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Building the country’s biggest hydropower plants

_MG_4678Project site

Works are in full swing both inside and outside to meet the deadline

 COVER STORY: March 31. A loud roar of machine interrupts Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay’s speech to the people gathered for the foundation concreting of Punatsangchhu-II Hydroelectric Project’s dam.

“That’s the sound of the machines at work,” says Lyonchoen, smiling. Bhutan and India has celebrated many such milestones over the years.

Twenty-seven-year-old Nitigyesh Shakar, an electrician, spends much of his time working inside the tunnels [... Read More]

Dorje Chodpa: The Diamond Sūtra

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: Dorje Chodpa is one of the most common books that we find in Bhutan. Literally translated, it is The Vajra Cutter Sūtra although it is commonly known as The Diamond Sūtra in English.

It is one of the short sūtras on the perfection of wisdom. It is claimed by historians to have been composed around the time of the beginning of the Christian era when the perfection of wisdom [... Read More]

Building and maintaining muscles


I  have stopped working out with weights due to some problems. And so have some of my friends. It’s been a month now and I can see my muscles shrinking. Please advise what I should do.

Sagar Gurung 

Hi Sagar,

We as individuals have different preferences. And we have our unique gifts, strengths and weaknesses. So it is pointless to compare yourself with others. Focus on self improvement. That will definitely [... Read More]

From inside deep tunnels

IMG_0390 Pratap Singh with his friends

It is almost 8am. Pratap Singh, 28, gets to his workstation at Punatsangchu Hydropower Project Authority (PHPA) II above Wangdue-Tsirang highway road.

Wearing a knee-high rubber boots, a safety helmet and a shirt with the project- logo, Pratap is all set to enter a tunnel to start his 12-hour shift.

As he comes out of the tunnel, he rubs his eyes with his mud-strained hands and takes a long breath. There is a bus waiting for him.

[... Read More]

The Bhutanese roll of honours

From 1967 to date, a glittering array of awards have been conferred on meritorious individuals from all walks of life  

COVER STROY: December 17, 2013, Changlingmethang national stadium, Thimphu.  It was a bright winter morning and the stadium was teeming with people, young and old, who had come to witness the 106th National Day.

Kaka Tshering, 58, a forestry official from Paro division, sat listening to His Majesty’s address to the nation, calm and [... Read More]

Bardo Thoedrol

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: Bardo Thoedrol is often translated as the Tibetan Book of Dead. It literally means ‘liberation through hearing about the bardo’, and bardo refers to the post-mortem intermediate state between this and next life. It is one of the most common books used in Bhutan especially for funeral rites. When people die, Bardo Thoedrol is read next to the deceased person’s body to help the spirit.

Bardo Thoedrol is [... Read More]

Being Content is True Wealth

YOUTH IN FOCUS: I have always strived to be a topper. I wanted a good job and a cool car. After graduating, I found a job with a high salary and soon I will buy a car. Suddenly, though, I feel empty. I feel that achieving my goals has not brought me satisfaction. What now? Do I strive higher or quit everything?

Confused, Thimphu      

Well, confused, I think your dilemma is a universal [... Read More]

National Honours (Decorations) and medals

1. Order of Druk Gyalpo 

Honour for life achievement

Breast Star:  80mm star constructed in four pieces:

1. Large ornate gold plated back plate

2. Enamelled border centre piece in orange enamel

3. Centre enamelled red

4. Royal Symbol

The whole pinned through and the pins concealed with a centre dome on the reverse of the star with crossed dorjee. Reverse of the star is semi-matt finish with [... Read More]

As you sow, so shall you reap

100_5058Agriculture club members of Damphu HSS weed a corn field

As an exercise in self- sufficiency and improved diet, the school agriculture programme is becoming a huge success

COVER STROY: The sky is overcast with a mix of clouds and smoke from the forest fire.  The surrounding hills echo with the faint rumbling of thunder.  It is a gloomy day in Tsirang.  But if thunder and clouds are the harbinger of rain, rain is what farmers are waiting for.

Farmers are as busy as bees [... Read More]


WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: Domang is a collection of many important short sutras. It literally means ‘many sutras’. It is also known as Zungdue or a compendium of zung or dhāraṇī texts. Dhāraṇīs are mantra spells and very cryptic and formulaic texts which are believed to have special powers for different purposes.

Domang is basically a collection of core Buddhist scriptures, mantras and prayers which form part of the Kanjur canon and are [... Read More]

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