Wangdue Phodrang – Rising from the ashes

The just-consecrated Wangdue Phodrang dzong shines ten years after it was destroyed by fire in 2012. All sacred relics were saved, fortunately.

In its resurrection I see new hopes, old glories and  renewed confidence of what is possibile. And of course, a proud moment for the people of Shar Dargye.

Wangdue Phodrang (དབང་འདུས་ཕོ་བྲང་), which means “fortress of glorious unification”, was built when Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel set out to unify the collections of fiefdoms and valley kingdoms that made what is now Bhutan, and what used to be known as Lho Mon – the southern dark lands. Wangdue Dzong, therefore, is important for the unity of the country even now.

The dzong also is the repository of a sacred relic that is believed to be at par with the national treasure – Rangjung Kharsapani – the bone relic of Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorji, which has a self-emanating Avalokiteshvara. Some scholars argue that Wangdue Dzong was not a strategic fort to fend off any invasions from the south, but rather the symbol of a unified Bhutan.

Other than the sanctity, Wangdue Dzong is a beauty – and a sight of relief to weary travellers coming from south and from the east as they head towards Thimphu and Punakha. It stands on a tri-junction of the important East-West and the North-South highways.

#wangduephodrang #bhutan #dzong #fortress #monument #shadargye

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