Gasa to host Royal Highland festival

The highlands of Gasa will come alive from 16th to 18th October with the Royal Highland Festival and also the Snow Man run from 15th to 16th October.

The festival will see a display of tradition and culture of Highlanders with  songs, dance, games, sports, costumes, arts and crafts, Bja (Yak fur tents), life style.

Auley, an annual local offering festival coincides with the festival this year. It is a rich traditional epic poem/song recitation tradition originated from Zhabdrung Rinpoche days

An exhibition of different highland related technologies exhibition stalls consisting of yak related products and there will be financial and banking services for spectators.

There will be a contest for judging of  highlander’ animals like yaks, horses and dogs in the festival. The competitions solely created to value animals through 70% public voting and 30% through appointed judges using prescribed technical criteria.

Games and sports like a strong man competition, yak race and horse races will be seen.

The Sonam Man run is a two days cross country race of 53 kms starting from Gasa Tshachu (2231 meters above sea level (masl) ) ending at the festival venue in Langothang (4000 masl) , Laya. The 1st day of the race with 28 km will start at 11 am on 15 October  and end at midpoint. The 2nd day’s race of  25 km will start all 11.30 am on 16 October and end at Langothang in Laya.

A maximum of 50 men and 25 women on first come and first serve basis will registered. For those interested they can contact Tshering Choden  at 17606913, Pema Dorji at 16288124,  and  Sonam Pelden at  17111563.

In Gasa basic accommodation will be arranged in home stays and guest house (bedding provided). Guest house users, advised to bring their own bedding or sleeping bags etc.

At Laya guests will be put up in houses of the local home and farm stays. The host will provide bed and meals at nominal rates. Lunch during the festival shall be available from restaurants operated by local community at the festival venue.

The contact person for booking prior accommodation is Dorji Wangchuck with mobile number 17642846.

Guests are advised to carry only inner bed sheets. All bedding material will be provided.

Basic medical services will be at various points on en-route and at BHU, Laya and Festival venue. Medical camp by Kidu Mobile Medical Team will be in operation during and after the festival.

Enroute locally operated restaurants at four points between Gasa and Laya will be in operation, so there is no need to carry packed lunches. Toilets and basic medical services will be also available at these points.

Special permits for expatriates living and working in Bhutan with Bhutanese work permit may apply to Gasa Dzongkhag Administration.

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