No clearance for campsite in Phajoding

Posted on 18/02/2021


Source: Heavenly Bhutan

Phajo Drugom Zhigpo established the Phajoding monastery in the thirteenth century. The founder of the Drukpa Kagyu School of Buddhism in Bhutan was Phajo Drugom Zhigpo. It is one of the most revered meditation locations in the nation because he meditated here for about a month in the 13th century. One of Bhutan’s most holy locations for meditation is Phajoding Monastery. Pha-jo and the Phajoding site are revered for their upright philosophical and theological significance, which is strongly reflected in the Bhutanese people’s popular heritage, culture, and memories. This complex has been around since the 13th century, when Todgen Pajo, the Tibetan yogi who founded the monastery, was looking for a quiet spot to contemplate. The majority of the complex’s buildings are older. Before entering the main topic, No clearance for campsite in Phajoding, let us take you through Bhutan Soul Tours and Travel.


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No clearance for Campsite at Phajoding

The Department of Culture (DoC) has refused to issue a clearance to the Tourism Council of Bhutan for a campsite at Phajoding Monastery on the grounds that it was against the protection of cultural elements.

According to DoC, the proposed location of the campsite, which was right next to the Phajoding Lhakhang, could violate the sanctity of the Lhakhang.

The site falls under the protection zone per the Cultural Heritage Bill of Bhutan 2016. It also falls under the watershed area of Motithang.

The campsite was part of the Phajoding trail enhancement project designed under the tourism stimulus plan. The plan was prepared to help engage those in the tourism industry affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campsite was proposed to be constructed in the project’s third phase.

Phase I, II.

Phase I, which includes the enhancement of trails to Phajoding, is almost complete. Gazebo, canopy, and other facilities would be constructed in phase II.

A total of 30 laid-off tourist guides were involved for more than one month in the Nu 6.8 million projects.

Project manager, Sherub Dorji, said that the initial plan was to come up with a campsite. Later to be handed over to the Guides’ Association of Bhutan to operate. “We respect DoC’s reservation. We’re now exploring other locations.”

He said that the campsite was located next to Tsamkhang/dupkhang. The plan to open a café there was also shot down.

The idea was to attract domestic tourists given the current pandemic situation.

The project included the campsite development since there are no campsite facilities at Phajoding. While many return because of lack of campsite, there have been several cases where people got lost on their way back.

“Most of the preferred areas where people camp is not feasible and an open camping area. The aim was also to ensure waste management,” Sherub Dorji said.

The deadline for the project is the end of December.

A DoC official said: “While we support the campsite idea to help the unemployed, our priority is to protect the sanctity of the Lhakhang. Our concern is that the campsite would increase waste and create noise pollution.”

Source: Kuensel, 17 Dec. 2020

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