Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 - 10:11 AM
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The changing (high) landscape


Flush with cordyceps funds, Layaps are on a building spree

COVER STORY High up along the famed Snowman Trek route, at 3,840m, is a village known for its beauty and uniqueness.  This pretty hamlet of the highlanders, where women still wear heavy jewellery around their necks and conical bamboo hats, though, is in quiet transition.  Laya is fast shedding its proverbial good looks and donning a new one.

Almost four hundred years ago, as dusk [... Read More]

Into the wild

into-the-wildMules and porters going up to Rinchendzoe pass

TRAVEL  I have now left civilisation and entered the wild.  I know this because, for miles along the snowman trek, between Laya and Lunana, I have not seen a single human settlement.  High snowcapped mountains, bare rocks and loud rivers are all I see wherever I turn to.

I have entered the wild.  I know this from the names of the places along the trail. They sound dangerous and foreboding.

Laya is a mild place [... Read More]


WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO Rimdro literally means service. Rimdro comprises rituals, ceremonies and practices, which are undertaken for a wide range of purposes including elongating life, overcoming illness, accumulating wealth, having good harvest, successfully finishing projects and overcoming hindrances.

Some rimdros are calendar events and undertaken seasonally or annually while others are observed as and when necessary.

The goal of all human endeavours can be classified into two types: the ultimate and the intermediate [... Read More]

When a road connects a community

DSC_5892Without road connectivity, villagers have to transport goods on their back

CHANGE Fifty-six-year old Leki Norbu still remembers how tedious and an arduous climb it was to go to his village, Lauri from Jomotsangkha Dungkhag, which then, was known as Daifam. Carrying ration on the back and walking uphills for four days weren’t easy but that’s how they had to travel if they had to survive.

That was a decade back when the gewog was completely out of road connection. Although the farm road to [... Read More]

Science vs Religion?

I’m a science student and a Buddhist. Sometimes I’m confused how to blend the two. For example, with global warming, science blames fossil fuels, whereas Buddhism says that karma is the root problem. Are the two really incompatible?
Norbu, Siliguri

YOUTH IN FOCUS No, science and Buddhism are not incompatible. In fact, Buddhism is often called a science of the mind.

However, this is not to say that science and Buddhism are the same. They [... Read More]

Dealing with seasonal flu

Dear Doctor
Whenever the season changes, I always end up getting cough and cold, and taking medications. For a change, can you suggest some of the home remedies of cough and cold? Please advise. 
Phuntsho, 29, Thimphu.

ASK DR LOTAY Dear Phuntsho,
Generally it takes about a week for the cough and cold to cure. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make any better for one who is suffering from it. Cough and cold accompanies with blocked [... Read More]

Capturing change

LAST PAGE The country is undergoing change, including sleepy hamlets in the highlands.

In 2006 when I trekked to Jomolhari, including Lingzhi and Laya, it was an unforgettable experience. The wealth of natural resources and its beauty were breathtaking.

To revisit these places, since then has always been my dream.

Then came 2013, when the first ever mountain festival provided me with an opportunity to visit the highlands again.  The venue was Dangokyong, about 15 minutes [... Read More]



Nightlife has taken on new life with some venues featuring live shows

COVER STORY It’s a Saturday night.  The autumn chill has yet to gain its sting.  Inside in a cozy bar, above the lane running parallel to Changlimithang stadium, are men and women, seated, but somehow managing to sway to the beat of a song.

Up on a small stage, is a group of young men, dressed in jeans, looking casual and with a [... Read More]

Different avenues available for upcoming singers

MediamaxYeshey Choden for the Blue Orchid Sessions

Music studios and production houses have mushroomed to keep up with the explosion of young talent

PLATFORMS What would be impossible for people, who were interested in singing a decade back, is now possible with platforms available, such as music studios and production houses that have mushroomed over the past few years.

These music studios and production houses are geared towards promoting young and talented new singers, apart from recording songs and producing music videos.

Some [... Read More]

Tourism’s role in the economy


LET’s MAKE IT SIMPLE All eyes were on the shortage of rupee when the economy suffered a serious blow in 2012 from which it is still recovering. Hydropower, the country’s biggest revenue earner could not fetch enough rupee to finance people’s need. The shock left by the rupee liquidity crisis was felt throughout the country in almost all the sectors of the economy.

But in between all that, the tourism sector continued to grow [... Read More]