Visiting Jela Dzong, a sacred site in Paro, has become much more accessible and convenient for visitors. Thanks to a hardworking group of volunteers who constructed a road leading to the dzong. In the past, the journey to the holy site involved hours of walking over rugged terrain.
Jela Dzong is located on a mountain between Paro and Thimphu. Every year, hundreds of visitors, including tourists visit the site. People can visit Jela Dzong via Tshaluna in Thimphu or from Paro.
While renovating the Jela Dzong in 2014, a construction company that carried out the renovation works did formation cutting of about a six-kilometre road leading towards the holy site from Tshaluna.
And it was in 2018, the volunteers took it upon themselves to complete the road finishing works. They are all from Jadingkha village in Maedwang Gewog.
Volunteers say since no one took the initiative, they stepped in. These days, with the help of machines, the volunteers are carrying out maintenance work.
For now, the road is pliable only during the dry season.
“UBW construction owner helped us to construct the road. Jela Dzong is under Paro district. But the district did not construct the road. The visitors are suffering,” said Tshering Dorji, the coordinator of the group.
“There are lots of difficulties due to this road. That is why I came to work voluntarily. During the rainy season, many vehicles cannot travel along the road due to its condition. As there is no one to carry out maintenance, we, the villagers are restoring this road,” said Tshering Pem, a volunteer.
“Every year, I come here to pay a visit to the Jela Dzong. Although many people prefer to travel to the site by vehicle, some people walk. That is why I have decided to make a contribution to improve the road so that the elderly people can also reach the sacred place,” said Ugyen Wangchuk, a construction company owner.
Lam Ngawang Choegyal built the Jela Dzong in the 15th century. Today, it is also one of the trekking routes of the Druk Path Trail.