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Drukgyel Dzong - Fortress of the Victorious Drukpa
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Image of Ruin
Druk Gyal Dzong today

All that remain of that mighty fortress, over half a century on, are the tokens of a haunted house, eerie winds wafting the jungle-growths on the still robust walls, except for their bald tops which still overlook the valleys around and keep watch on Mount Jhomolhari. Charred remains of gigantic wooden posts and beams, door-frames and window-frames gaze at the visitors as they saunter around wondering why.

Old Druk Gyal Dzong is a wasteland. Ap Sangay says that Babu Adi tried to use some courtyard space to run a make-shift school for a short period.

Later on, the army improvised it to coax the space to serve them. They gave up the idea because they were visited by sickness and disease. "Chhoechhong-Kasung was angry," Ap Sangay believes.


The Unanswered Questions
The remains of the utse stands today

Historians warn that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Research on Druk Gyal Dzong is fraught with the problem of finding the links which might provide vital clues to the inner and outer life of this great monument. We must have lost to the tragic fire most valuable treasures and records.

Many questions remain unanswered: What did it take to make the Dzong? How long did it take to make it? How many people were involved? What did it cost? Who were the major players or functionaries of the Dzong? When and how long did they work there? What was a typical day like in the Dzong? Somebody should have the answers.


The Historic Irony
It is a classic example of a supreme irony that the most significant symbol of our victory should languish in a tragic state of ruin - a spectacle of decay and desolation. And as a nation and as a society and people, we treasure and take pride in ideas and objects which we have inherited from our forefathers.

It was bad enough to let the famous symbol of our victory be reduced to smoke and charcoal, in the first place. What is worse is that we have apparently grown comfortable looking at the spectacle of ruin. We escort the tourists to the top of our broken citadel, regale the sense of "strangeness and beauty" as Buckley (2003) refers to, pose for pictures with the face of ruin as our backdrop. That is about all

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