Before the construction of roads, Bhutanese used ancient trails for economic, political, and social purposes. Reviving the country’s ancient East-West route, the ‘Trans Bhutan Trail’ initiative is in its last phase. The trail will be covering the 403-kilometre route from Haa to Trashigang.
Under the ‘Trans Bhutan Trail’ project, amenities such as toilets and resting areas are being installed along the route.
To guide hikers and to provide history about a certain place, around 130 sustainable marker poles with a QR Code will be also placed along the entire trail.
“So, if you scan the marker pole here, you will get detailed information about the place. We have around 130 poles that will be installed in places such as Chendebjii and Zhonggar Dzong. The poles will be installed starting from Haa to Trashigang. We are here today to install the first marker pole to kickstart the work”, said Sonam Rinchen, the Senior Project Director.
“We reached Trongsa in 12 days from Trashigang on foot during the first survey. The trail was covered with thick bushes and we faced a lot of problems. But, we also learned many new things. About 30 per cent of the ancient trails are now covered by modern roads. Since the 1960s, ancient trails are not used much, so it is covered with thick forests and bushes”, said Pema Drukpa, the Project Manager.
The Trail is also expected to contribute to the recovery of the tourism industry. Since 2019, the project has employed over 900 Bhutanese who lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic.
Bhutan-Canada Foundation and the Government funded the project which is expected to complete by the end of this year. So far, about Nu 48 M has been spent on restoration works.
Hiking along the ancient route will be a new experience for many younger generations and visitors who want an in-depth exploration of Bhutan’s traditions and culture.
Edited by Tshering Zam
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