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Wangduephodrang Dzong Reconstruction Project- A testament of unique ties between Bhutan and India

Ten years after a fire razed it to the ground, the Wangduephodrang Dzong once again adorns the fabled hill resembling the trunk of a sleeping elephant.

The historic Wangduephodrang Dzong, rebuilt to its former glory upon Royal Command, was consecrated on the auspicious occasion of November 11.

The historic Wangduephodrang Dzong has served as the seat of the District Monk Body and the District Administration of Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag since 1638. One of the most important heritage sites in Bhutan, the Dzong was damaged in a fire incident in June 2012.

To restore the Dzong to its former glory, the reconstruction of Wangduephodrang Dzong was taken up as a Development Partnership Project between India and Bhutan in 2014.

The reconstruction project has incorporated disaster resilient features for fire and earthquake safety, without losing the essence of traditional construction techniques and cultural heritage values. The Project was implemented by the Department of Culture, Bhutan.

Key components of the Project include reconstruction of three storied Kuenrey (lhakhang), four storied Utse (central tower), Shab-khor (surrounding structure) in 1st and 2nd courtyard, Du-Khang (lhakhang), and the construction of a 50 meters long service tunnel in both courtyards.

During the construction of the Project, special efforts were made to maintain Bhutanese essence and architecture elements. A dedicated team of local artisans have handcrafted and designed intricate murals showcasing the culture and traditions of Bhutan.

โ€œThe Government of India is privileged to be a part of this important cultural heritage project. India has provided assistance of Nu. 1,000 million to the project. The project was completed much ahead of the projected completion date of June 2023. The restoration of this historic Dzong to its splendour is a testament to the unique ties between Bhutan and India characterised by mutual respect, trust and friendshipโ€, states the press release from Embassy of India, Thimphu.

His Majesty The King, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, HH the Je Khenpo, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, Their Royal Highnesses Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel and Gyalsey Ugyen Wangchuck, Members of the Royal Family, Indian Ambassador, The Prime Minister, Ministers, senior officials from the Royal Government of Bhutan, local administration and people of Bhutan atended the Tashi Rabney consecration ceremony of the reconstructed Wangduephodrang Dzong.

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