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Trongsa, Bhutan
About Trongsa

Trongsa is a small village and capital of Trongsa District in central Bhutan. Trongsa litarally  means "new village" in Dzongkha. The first shrine was constructed in the year 1543 by the Drukpa Kagyu lama, Ngagi Wangchuk, who was the great-grandfather of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the person who united Bhutan.

Trongsa offers a strategic central location to manage Bhutan and for centuries it was the seat of the Wangchuck dynasty of penlops (governors) who effectively ruled over much of eastern and central Bhutan, and from 1907 have been rulers of Bhutan.

 
Trongsa Dzong

Trongsa Dzong is the biggest dzong fortress in Bhutan, located at a very prominent location is a very important Gompa, situated in Trongsa in Trongsa district, in the centre of the country. Built on a spur overlooking the gorge of the Mangde River, a shrine was first built at the location in the year 1543 by the Drukpa lama, Ngagi Wangchuk son of Ngawang Chhojey.

Chokhor Raptse Dzong at Trongsa which was founded in the year 1644, earlier it was the seat of power of the Wangchuck dynasty before it became rulers of Bhutan in the year 1907. Traditionally the King of Bhutan first becomes the Trongsa Penlop (governor) before being named Crown Prince and finally become King.

It is the main Gompa which has about 200 monks. The monastery houses a prominent printing house, responsible for the printing of many sacred texts in Bhutan.  

 
History

Trongsa means "the new village" in Bhutanese, which includes hermitages, retreats and shrines of monks. Its prosperous history dates back to the foundation of a shrine in the area by the Drukpa lama, Ngagi Wangchuk, ancestor of Zabdrung Namgyal, who came to this place from Ralung in 1541, and constructed a tiny meditation room in the year 1543. One day he had been meditating in the adjacent village of Yuling and observed a light ("from a body of lamps") at the furthest point of the spur. He considered this to be a favourable sign and erected a shrine on the spot, on a mountain spur elevated over the gorges of the Mangde Chhu, at a height of 2,200 metres.  He finally construct a small meditation centre, a tshamkhang, at that place.

Another myth states that Ngagi Wangchuk after observing the lights from lamps, went into a cave nearby for meditation where he found a tiny spring.  He then construct a small shrine, which has now become the main shrine Gunkhang. He also expanded it into a small village with some houses and the place thus came to be known as drongsar and generally known as 'Trongsa'.  The original site of shrine is situated at the end of the dzong, at the shrine of Chortens.

Trongsa Dzong was damaged in the 1897 Assam earthquake. It was repaired and modernized by both the 1st king, Ugyen Wangchuck and the 2nd king, Jigme Wangchuck in 1927. The old village of Trongsar is located below, but there is a new village of Trongsar, which has been under construction on the mountainside since the year 1982. Tibetan immigrants settled in the valley in late 1950s and early 1960. The shopkeepers are mostly of Tibetan and Bhutanese origin.

Architecture

Trongsa Dzong is a beautiful built fortress which is made up of dzong architecture. Trongsa Dzong is a widespread complex; the biggest complex all over the Bhutan, and is situated on many different parts.

It includes a maze of courtyards, corridors and passageways and the complex has about 25 shrines. The most important shrines are those devoted to the Tantric deities of Kalacakra, Cakrasamvara, Hevajra, and Yamantaka. The Shrine of Chortens is situated on the places where the original 1543 shrines had stood. It has about 15 paintings of the Buddha Akshobhya (Mitrugpa) and of the Arhats.

Watchtower of the fortress known as Ta Dzong, is over the gorge at the eastern part of the dzong. The watchtower is thin and has 2 sections that project in a v-shape from the main division of the building.

It also has a temple, built in the year 1977 to honour the warrior god, King Gesar. In the year 2008, a museum was added to this compound. The interior ornamentation of the shrines dates back to the time of the reign of the first ruler, King Ugyen Wangchuk.

Dzong was modernized recently with the support of an Austrian team. Ta Dzong, the watch tower has now changed into a state-of-the Art Museum (National Museum) with technical and financial assistance provided by Austria.

Trongsa is a large Gompa and presently has around 200 monks. A large printing house is also situated at the dzong, where printing of sacred texts is prepared by traditional woodblock printing.

Festival

Trongsa Tse Chu is celebrated in the northern courtyard of the shrine in the month of December or January. This festival lasts for 5 days.  

This festival is celebrated in every monastery of Bhutan with zust and zeal. The festival  commemorates the arrival of Guru Rimpoche to Bhutan in the 8th century, a mark of victory of Buddhism over evil. It is celebrated in spring and autumn seasons as per the Bhutanese calendar.

Some of the prominent features of this festival are masked together with the exhibition of a very huge Thanka (sacred painting) on cloth of Guru Rimpoche and other shapes called the thongdrel. A fire blessing in the form of people running though "an archway of blazing straw" is also observed in the festival.

Architecture of Bangladesh

The architecture of Bangladesh bears a extraordinary impact on the tradition, lifestyle and cultural life of Bangladeshi people.Bangladesh has attractive architecture from historic treasures to modern landmarks.The architecture of Bangladesh has a long history and is rooted in Bangladesh's culture, history and religion. It has evolved over centuries and assimilated influences from social, religious and exotic communities. Bangladesh has many architectural artifacts and monuments dating back thousands of years.

History of Bangladesh

Bangladesh is now a part of the historic region of Bengal, the northeast portion of the Indian subcontinent. Bangladesh consists mainly of East Bengal (West Bengal is part of India and its people are primarily Hindu) plus the Sylhet district of the Indian state of Assam.

The initial reference to the region was to a kingdom called Vanga, or Banga. Buddhists ruled for centuries, but by the 10th century Bengal was primarily Hindu. In 1576, Bengal became part of the Mogul Empire, and bulk of East Bengalis converted to Islam. Bengal was ruled by British India from 1757 until Britain withdrew in 1947, and Pakistan was founded out of the two predominantly Muslim regions of the Indian subcontinent. For almost 25 years after independence from Britain, its history was part of Pakistan's .

West Pakistan and East Pakistan were united by religion (Islam), but their peoples were separated by culture, physical features, and 1,000 miles of Indian territory.

Dress of Bangladesh

The Sari is by far the most widely worn dress by Bangladeshi women. A union of weavers in Dhaka is renowned for producing saris from superb Jamdani muslin. The salwar kameez is also quite famous, particularly among the younger females, and in urban areas some women wear western clothes. Western clothing is more widely adopted among men. Men also wear thekurta-paejama combination, often on special occasions, and the lungi, a kind of long skirt for men.

Geography of Bangladesh

Bangladesh, on the northern coast of the Bay of Bengal, is enclosed by India, with a small common border with Myanmar in the southeast. The country is low-lying riverine land passed through by the many branches and tributaries of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. Tropical monsoons and frequent floods and cyclones inflict heavy damage in the delta region.

How to Reach Bangladesh

By Rail
There are no direct trains that can get you to Bangladesh from any neighbouring country. However, the border is accessible from West Bengal and Assam (India) by train and then cycle rickshaws and buses provide the cross border connections.

By Road
You can drive into Bangladesh from India from two points on the border Benapol (from Calcutta) and Chilihati (from Darjeeling). These are the only two entry points on the India-Bangladesh border open at the moment. The roads are, however, best avoided during the monsoons (rainy season). The entry from Myanmar is no longer open.

By Air
Bangladesh can be reached by air from any part of the world. You can take a direct flight into Dhaka, the capital city, from 27 major cities in the world. In addition the national carrier, several international airlines also fly in and out of the country. The national airport is at Dhaka, 20km from the city. You can rent a car, take a cab or bus to get you to the city.

By Sea
The main seaport is Chittagong. Ferries from Myanmar and India connect to the southern coastal ports of Bangladesh.

 
 


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