Efforts to Revive Tsangkha Lake: Mermaid Statue Installed Amid Crisis

In the heart of Dagana lies a tale as ancient as time itself, a story whispered through generations, carrying the weight of legend and history. Tsangkha Lake, a once vibrant reservoir that served both humans and animals, now stands on the precipice of oblivion, its waters dwindling to a mere swampy remnant of its former glory.

Despite past efforts by residents and relevant agencies to breathe life back into its shores, the lake continued its steady decline, seemingly impervious to human intervention. But hope flickered anew as a bold initiative emerged, rooted in the rich tapestry of local lore and belief.

In a move both symbolic and poignant, a mermaid statue was unveiled at the lake’s premises, a tribute to the mythical being whose legend is intricately woven into the fabric of Tsangkha’s history. Legend has it that over a millennium ago, a mermaid named Mendrel Zam traversed from the depths of Tibet to grace the present location with her presence, birthing the very lake that now teeters on the edge of extinction.

The installation of the statue, standing tall at 42 inches alongside a lumbum, marked the culmination of a joint effort spearheaded by the Tsangkha Gewog, Dagana District Administration, and dedicated individuals who refused to let the lake fade into obscurity. Namgay, the project’s coordinator, recounted the astrologer’s dire warnings, spurring them into action to revive the fading waters.

Sonam Tenzin, Dagana Lam Neten, emphasized the importance of honoring sacred monuments with regular prayers and offerings, believing that by appeasing the mermaid through devout rituals, the community could usher in a resurgence of blessings and abundance.

Embedded within the collective memory of the locals is the tale of the mermaid’s flight from Tsang Province, seeking refuge from the divine wrath of Guru Rinpoche. It is said that her arrival heralded the birth of Tsangkha, a name synonymous with the very lake she birthed.

Yet, as whispers of climate change and human negligence echo through the village, the true culprit behind the lake’s demise remains elusive. Dawa, a resident, lamented the stark transformation witnessed over the years, pointing fingers at the encroachment of barbed wires and unchecked human activities that desecrated the once-pristine waters.

Tshewang Lhamo, another resident, shared accounts of pollution and disregard that tainted the lake’s sanctity, underscoring the urgent need for collective responsibility in safeguarding this precious resource.

Amidst the crisis looms a beacon of hope, as Dorji Dukpa, Tsangkha Tshogpa, envisages a revitalized lake not only as a source of sustenance but also as a catalyst for tourism and prosperity, breathing new life into the parched lands of Dagana.

As the sun sets over the horizon, casting a golden hue upon the tranquil waters of Tsangkha, the mermaid statue stands as a silent sentinel, bearing witness to the resilience of a community determined to rewrite the fate of their beloved lake. In the ebb and flow of time, perhaps the echoes of their efforts will resonate far beyond the shores of Dagana, a testament to the enduring power of myth and the human spirit.

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