English | Dzongkha Friday, November 15, 2019

The Jaagey Menchu of Paro

By Chimi Dorji, Paro
Mar 21, 2012
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Tshachus and Menchus are quite popular in Bhutan. There are many located in various parts of the country. People soak in the Tshachu and Menchus because they believe that it can cure various diseases like arthritis, body aches and sinusitis. One of the many popular Menchus is the Jaagay Menchu in Paro.

It is located just 10 kilometres from Paro Bondey, a place popularly known as Jiwphu in Chelala. Many locals are seen visiting the Menchu especially at this season of the year. Many elderly people say that this Menchu is very sacred as it is believed to have blessed by Lama Drukpa Kinley.

“A legend has it that a vulture with broken wings was left behind from the flock one day. The vulture took out some water from a rock and soaked it. It is said that the vulture’s broken wings got healed and flew back. That is why the name of the Menchu is called Jaagay Menchu, meaning a vulture’s medicinal water. The print of the vulture’s claws can still be seen today,” said Aap Passang Namgay, a local resident.

The Menchu is believed to help cure fractures and arthritis among others. Aum Chimi Om is one of the regular visitors at the Menchu. She said that she tried every medication to cure her broken legs but there was no improvement.

When Aum Chimi first visited the Menchu, she was not able to walk on her own. The attendants had to even feed her. But now with a sigh of relief she says that three weeks of continuous dipping in the Menchu helped her a lot.

“I broke my legs in an accident while on Pilgrimage to India. I couldn’t even walk before, now I can move around a bit,” she added.

Like her, Kinley Wangmo is another recovering from her broken ankle. Kinley Wangmo said that Menchu is helping her a lot. “I stayed in a hospital for about two weeks and had medicines also. It wasn’t getting better. So, I decided to come and dip in this Menchu. I feel I am getting better. I can move my legs a bit and my pain, especially during the evenings, has gone down.”  

With a lot of locals visiting the Menchu every year, the regional office of Natural Resources Development Centre Limited, NRDCL, have constructed a guest house for the visitors. A toilet and bins are also constructed for proper sanitation purposes.

“For the benefit of the visitors our office has constructed three living quarters and toilets and kitchen to themselves clean and also the surroundings clean,” Tashi Geley, Regional Head, NRDCL

Meanwhile, Aap Passang Namgay said that there are certain dos and don’ts in and around the vicinity of the Menchu. “There is a belief that the people cannot cut trees nearby, neither are they allowed to roast meat and fish. If they do that they will get sick. If they burn incense there will be no problems no matter how long they stay here.”     

As the Menchu is near the road-head, even the people with physical disability can avail themselves of the benefits.

From now on, the visitors don’t have to pitch tent but can pay Nu. 60 and use the guest house facilities.

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