A fee to visit the residence of Buli’s guardian deity

Visitors to the Buli Manmo Tsho (lake) in Nangkhor gewog, Zhemgang, will be charged a fee of Nu 30 that will go into the Gewog Development Fund.

The sacred lake, the residence of Buli’s guardian deity, believed to be half woman and lower half snake, recently got a fencing and an entrance gate with support from the Multi Sectoral Trust Fund. The fund was also used to build footpaths, painting roofs of houses and placing dustbins along footpaths in Buli.

“The gewog will start to charge people visiting Buli Tsho   after they receive directives from dzongkhag authorities and upon completion of placing a statue in the chorten built there,” said Nangkor Gewog Tshogpa, Kinley Wangchuk.  “We might start charging from September and there will be a gatekeeper.”

People of Buli perform rituals to the lake’s guarding deity of on the 15th day of the 5th and 10th months of the Bhutanese calendar to appease and show their appreciation for protection and blessings.

As part of Bon practices, the people of Buli also make offerings of wheat, millet, buckwheat, milk and other cereals to the other 105 lakes surrounding Buli Tsho.

The lake is a 30-minute walk from the Nangkhor Gewog Center Office and covers an area slightly larger than a football ground. Shrubs and dense broad-leafed trees cover the lake’s surrounding area.

People of Buli believe that if one visits the Tsho after attending a funeral or baby shower some natural calamity will strike the village.

Legend has it that the Buli Tsho migrated to its present location from another area. Some say it came from Yebliptsa in Zhemgang itself, others say it came from Zhongar (Mongar) and still others contend that it migrated from Bumthang.

‘Deities and environment’ by Dasho Karma Ura says Bhutan’s policies could cultivate the principles inherent in such practices to continue protecting the environment as domain of local cultures.

He goes on to say that all the citadels of the deities are characterized by minimal human interference and this has significant bio-diversity implications, it implies that these are the areas of uninterrupted evolution of microbes, animals, insects, plants, flowers and trees.

An elderly man from Buli said the volume of the Tsho increases in winter rather than in summer.

“It is good the gewog fenced the Tsho,” said Sangay, a student of Zhemgang Central School. “It will prevent wild animals and domestic cattle from polluting it and help in its conservation.”

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