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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A lure of Adventure

Bhutan is blessed with many great saints and scholars with rich culture and forest diversity. Many species of plants, animals and crop diversity were existed with abundance ecology and pristine environment. Many foreign visitors described the place as the abode of god or heaven to earth with immense joys and happiness.  The place that I have visited very recently echo absolutely beautiful and memorable and described as in the following ways.

Merak is officially two days walk from Trashigang Dzongkhag. There are two ways to follow like the one is from Rangjung through Chaling shongphu and other one through Khardung overlooking Phongmey village. Two ways meet at the beautiful place called Shebling a wonderful place where we can see many vales and mountains. Shebling is a grazing land where we can see lawn of grassland full of yaks surrounded by awesome environment. The moment we reach Shebling everything is silent and sometimes only sound one could hear is seldom voice of yak and its herders. One could meet many yaks with their individual babies grazing on the way and some with leech peak on their back especially if you are visiting around June, July and August months.  There are also yak herd house and big buzzing dog as care taker of the herd. As we walk continuously upward with alpine meadow environment one could reach place a mountain kind of Lhabtsa where one can take rest and follow downward path from there. Then we have to walk along the river bank and need to cross river more than five times. River its tributaries and distributaries are clean and very clear where one could really miss the sip. Then reached Merak village where one could see clustered settlements surrounded by river meander and lined up mountain. One could enjoy pretty landscape and environment with their culture and way of living. People out there very simple, interactive and magnificent whenever we interact with them.  Nomadic depend upon livestock mainly Yak,Zo and Zomo. They used to sell their cheese,butter and get maize, rice and other commodities in return.  The altitude is around 3000 to 4000 masl and snowfall start from the month of November till March. Yak herders remained in their yak herd and while only one or two people were living in the house during the period. Infrastructure like RNR, Community primary school, and one range office so called Merak Park Range under Sakting Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sambeykha geog is one of the remotest and farthest geog of Haa Dzongkha with four days of official work. Sambeykha is also called Sambey Aum. The geog has an area of about 432.8 Sq.Km (approx) and the altitude ranges from 1400 m to 2100 m above the sea level.   The farm road construction is on the way to Gakiling and Sombeykha. We had travelled up to Tegola and walked from there. The path meanders steep slopes fromn Tegola till the downstream river of Shebji village.  The area is covered by thick forest and one could never see sun of sky once started walking from Tegola downward forest to   the river before reaching Shebji. Then we have to walk upward to Shebji village once cross the river. Most of the office goer going for tour spent night at Shebji and started their next journey to Shava. The way from Shebji to Shaba is gentle slope and again downward moment from Shava till reaching another giant river stream. Meanwhile we have to walk again upward from the river stream and accordingly need to walk gentle slope pathway and finally land Sangbeykha geog center. Warm summer with heavy rainfall to cold and dry winters features their major climatic conditions. Geog has 85% of forest coverage with Sub-Tropical and Evergreen Broad Leave species. Bamboo, Cane Shoots, Ferns and Mushrooms are some of the non-wood forest products found in the geog. The soil is mostly sandy loam, clay loam, clay and sandy clay loam. Almost all the nice traditional crops of Bhutan were grown there with rich soil fertility.   Farmers out there cultivate buckwheat twice a year and the first cropping is start on last week of February to mid march and harvest by June end. The second cropping is done end of September-mid October and harvest December- January. 60% of the farmers cultivate sweet buckwheat and 40% bitter buckwheat. Vegetables like Chilli,Mustard green, Raddish, Pumpkins, Cabbage, Brocoli, Carrot, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Garlic and Onion. Paddy fields are lying fallow due to the lack of irrigation favourable soil for large scale paddy cultivation. The geog has total of five chiwogs and the geog is bordered by Sama gewog in the Northeast and Samtse Dzongkhag in the south. There are about 183 households and total population of about 1175. There is also a way from Sambeykha to Sibsoo which most of the villagers were still following its tract.
The places where people and nature relationship is enormous and the moment one felts were really unforgettable and rejoice.