Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Bhutan : New tourist hotspot – The spas of Ura

20 October, 2008 - What was earlier a mere hot spring source at Duethang in Ura, Bumthang, will soon be a major tourist attraction site after being converted into a public establishment offering hot spring baths.

The hot springs, flowing from two different sources (known as male and female), will be brought together through pipelines and collected in big containers.

The entire site development was being initiated by the Thrumsingla national park (TNP) as a component of tourist package and would be handed over to a tour operator group in Ura.

Assistant forest officer of TNP told Kuensel that a caretaker would be deployed and made responsible to heat stones and warm water. Dining hall and changing rooms would also be constructed.

“Once these constructions are done, we’ll fix an amount as tariff to be imposed on local people and tourists,” he said.

Earlier, people in the community bathed at one of the sources called Khandomai Drupchu, that flows from the left. The one on the right, called Guru Rinpoche’s Drupchu, was located a bit farther away.

Today, Guru Rinpoche’s Drupchu is being collected in a wooden rectangular container placed in the middle of the cliff from where a pipeline is connected.

Lam Thinley from Gaydhen said that Guru Rinpoche’s Drupchu, also known as Brakchu (water from the cliff), was very popular and it was believed that one must bath in the drupchu at least once a year.

“I heard that many people, who suffered from different diseases, got cured after taking bath in the drupchu,” he said. Locals said it helped in curing arthritic ailments, stomach, shin and eye disorders.

The old belief is that the drupchu contained magical power which could cleanse, just by drinking and bathing in it, impurities of body and soul.

By Nima Wangdi


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