Background of Project Area
Mongar district is located in eastern Bhutan. It consists of one dungkhag, 17 gewogs and 638 villages. The 17 gewogs are Balam, Chali, Chaskhar, Drametse, Drepong, Gongdue, Jurmey, Kengkhar, Mongar, Narang, Ngatshang, Saling, Sherimuhung, Silambi, Thangrong, Tsakaling and Tsamang.
Most people in Mongar practise Buddhism, which is attested by the existence of numerous lhakhangs, chortens and conduct of festivals. There are 170 lhakhangs in Mongar as of 2015: 13 owned by the government, 66 by the communities and 91 by private individuals 9 . The number of chortens is 2121. The chortens are of various types such as jangchub, khangzug, mani drangrim, kadam and others. In addition, the number of chortens that are either in ruins or vandalised stands at 485. Many kinds of festivals are held throughout the year, the most important ones being Trel Da Tshechu in Mongar, Kangsol Chhenmo in Drametse, Sa Nyen Tshechu in Sherimuhung and Khandro Kong Shag in Tsakaling. One of the most spiritual places is Aja Ney, which is attributed to Guru Rinpoche. Circumambulating chortens, chanting mantra, reciting prayers and offering nyendar in lhakhangs are common sights.