English | Dzongkha Sunday, January 19, 2020

It’s ‘Chainkhar’ not ‘Kengkhar!’


Dec 9, 2019

Kengkhar in Monggar was initially known as Chainkhar but today the original name is all but forgotten. According to the local leaders of Monggar, it’s a high time to do research on the local names of places in the country to revive the original names and stop further distortions.

The Kengkhar Gup, Pema Chodrup during the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu raised the issue that Kengkhar has to be changed to its initial name Chainkhar to preserve its original name. He said that with the change in time, the name of places keeps on changing, and it is a big concern for the local people, as the original names usually connote cultural and religious meanings.

“During the 13th century, when three sons of Dharma prince visited Bhutan, the eldest son was believed to have settled in Kengkhar. In the Tibetan language, the eldest son is called Chainpo. Since then, the place was commonly known as Chainkhar. However, later on, due to change in the accent of people, the name got distorted as Kengkhar. Our forefathers told us that the name of the place used to be Chainkhar and not as Kengkhar. The gewog administration also did research and found it as Chainkhar,” said Pema Chodrup, the Kengkhar Gup.

 Other elderly people and locals also raised the same concern.

“Our forefathers told us that Kengkhar used to be called as Chainkhar but later on due to change in the pronunciation, the place got popular by the name Kengkhar. And we are worried that in future, our original name of the place would disappear if we don’t act now. It would be beneficial for our children if the name of the place can be changed to its initial name,” added Sangay Wangchuk from Kengkhar in Monggar.

The Gup also said that he could not agree to the name of holy places published by the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the Dzongkha Development Commission. He added, in that book, it was written how the name Kengkhar got originated through a holy place called Keng located above the gewog.

“Dzongkha Development Commission has provided us with a copy of a book written on holy places in the country. But I couldn’t agree with it. In that book, the name was written as Kengkhar, which was originated from a holy place called Keng located in the gewog. But when we did research, we couldn’t find the place anywhere in Kenghar,” he added.

However, currently all the ministries and organisation follow the names of places issued by the Delimitation Commission of Bhutan in 2016. In the delimitation book, the name is also spelt and pronounced as Kengkhar.

However, the Dzongkhag Tshogdu resolved to submit a resolution copy to the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs to change the name of the place from Kengkhar to Chainkhar.

Sonam Tshering

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