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Trashiyangtse: Town Development
Town development in Yangtse ready to take off
Tashi Yangtse A few kilometers north of Tashigang, Tashiyangtse Dzong is half-hour walk from the main road. Established in 1656, the Dzong was completely renovated in 1976. Tashiyangtse is a small village with a garden aspect and a lovely place from where to launch a couple of hour's stroll into surrounding countryside. Nearby, Chorten Kora is one of only two temples in Bhutan, built in Nepalese style and is host to a great festival celebrated every year.

Chorten Kora : It is based on stupa of Boudhanath in Nepal, and constructed in 1740 by Lama Ngwang Loday. During the second month of lunar calendar there is interesting clebration here, known as "Kora".

Bomdelling: About one hour walk from Chorten Kora, Bomdeling is the roosting place of a flock of black-necked cranes.

Tashi Yangtse
Trashigang is used as the market place for the hill people from Merak and Sakteng who are known for their exceptional features and for their costume which is brightly coloured and different from customary Bhutanese clothing. The 17th century dzong is built on top of a cliff on the edge of town. The views from the courtyard of the dzong stretch across Trashigang's valley. Until the opening of an administrative centre at Yangtse Dzong, Trashigang was the centre of all religious and secular activity for the 2 districts. The town remains the capital of the East and a growing commercial centre.
Tashi Yangtse
The residents of Yangtse are finally receiving the green signal from the dzongkhag authorities to start constructing houses. Two years after the Council of Ministers approved the development of a planned town in Trashiyangtse, about 10 acres of land has been demarcated for the new town.

The new town will include a government housing colony and a residential and a commercial area. Some 26 houses are to be built in the first phase. Funded under the World Bank loan the Yangtse town will be developed in a "unique" way, using just stones and wood. Unlike the concrete buildings in other towns, the houses in Yangtse town will only be double-storied and carry strict traditional architectural designs.

Modern designs will be incorporated only in the bathrooms. The new design is said to be appropriate to the remote town. The houses will not only serve as shops but will also cater to visitors, especially tourists.

The houses will be designed to cater "bed and breakfast" services to visitors during the tourist season and for their own use at other times. Since Trashiyangtse is a dead-end or road-end town, there is hardly any potential for industry. But designed with rich architectural elements, the small town will attract tourists who will play an important role in the local economy."

Trashiyangtse has a good potential for tourism. The dzongkhag which already has a black-necked crane reserve in Bumdeling will soon open a trekking route from Yangtse to Kurtoe in Lhuentse via Bumdeling.

Trashiyangtse is also ideal for river rafting and bird watching besides having attractive traditional cottage industries and a rich variety of plant and animal species for eco-tourism.

The new town, to be developed after settling the allocation procedures, will have a road network, drainage, water and power supplies, vehicle park, oil station, Sunday market sheds and other service facilities.

Meanwhile, a similar but smaller town will be developed in Doksum, also under the World Bank loan. Plans to develop a new town for Trashiyangtse started as early as 1990. The plan was revised in 1993 after Trashiyangtse became an independent dzongkhag.

Contributed by KUENSEL, Bhutan's National Newspaper
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