Lake in Tsho Gonpa on verge of drying up – Trashigang

Tsho Gonpa village in Trashigang’s Lumang Gewog is home to nine revered lakes, of which only one still retains some water. However, much to the concern of the villagers, even this lake is now on the verge of drying up. They believe the lake is an abode of their local deity.

According to local folklore, there were nine brothers who were reborn as local deities after a tragic and cursed past life.

Villagers said their forefathers had also not seen the eight lakes filled up with water but the ninth one, the dwelling of their local deity, Yeshi Namgay was filled to the brim until some two decades ago.

They said the lake has been gradually drying up over the years.

“When I was around nine to ten years old, I used to herd cattle and I used to see the lake filled with water from that wooden log. The lake was clear without any leaves and debris. But now, over the last 20 years or so, it has slowly started drying up,” said Sonam Youden, Tsho Gonpa Tshogpa.

“In Tsho Gonpa village, there were nine lakes, and the present lake with water is considered to be belonging to the youngest among nine brothers. My grandparents and even my Lama said that they have seen the present lake.They have not seen other eight lakes as a water body.  However, regarding the present lake, I remember it  being fully filled with water,” said Nidup Gyeltshen from Tsho Gonpa.

The community offers prayers and seeks blessings from their local deity to avoid calamities in their locality.

“Through RSPN’s support, we installed fencing and planted trees. In 2022, we had organised rituals for almost three days. After that, we did not face any crop infestation,” added Sonam Youden, Tsho Gonpa Tshogpa.

Now, efforts are underway by the Wamrong Dungkhag Administration to revive the lake. They are planning to seek fund from relevant authorities for the project. Residents are not sure what is causing the lake to dry up.

Sonam Darjay, Trashigang

Edited by Tshering Zam 

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