Dagana Travel Guide
Dagana Travel Guide. Dagana’s verdant region extends south to the kingdom’s border with India. Nearly 80 percent of the district is under forest cover and hardy trees like chaamp, augury, chirpine, and sal abound. Accounts differ on the derivation of the temple’s name.One version states that while in meditation, Shawa Ripa came across two Shawas (stags) drinking from a nearby lake at Karling Zingkha. Hence the name “Shathong” which loosely translates as “the place from which the stags were seen”. Down the ages, the temple received many important visitors, including the 13th Desi, Chogyal Sherab Wangchuk, the 16th Desi, and the Je Khenpo Sherub Sengye.
The Lhotshampas and other ethnic groups add color to the region with their diverse languages, music, festivals customs and cultural celebration.
What is Dagana Famouse for?
Dagana is famous for its orange plantations, and rice cultivated in its valleys find their way to the capital and other parts of the country.The stone megaliths of Do Namkhai Kaw stand facing the Dzong from an opposite slope across the valley. More than 20 meters high, the tips of the megalith and the golden cupola of Daga Dzong are believed to be of the same height, although each appears to be taller than the other when viewed from the other side. The megalith is said to have miraculously intimated the message that the dzong would collapse if it was built any higher than it currently stands.The Shathong Lhakhang was founded by Dupthob (Siddhi) Shawa Ripa, a renowned Buddhist master believed to have lived for about nine hundred years. The Siddhi first established a meditation centre where the present temple stands.
Religious places to visit in Dagana?
The Nyindukha Lhakhang is another important religious center in Dagana. Located in Karling block, it was founded by Chholay Namgyel (1708-36), the first speech reincarnation of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The temple is known for its store of sacred artifacts. There are two ethnic groups in Dagana – Ngalops of western Bhutanese origin and Lhotshampas or southern Bhutanese settlers.
How to Get There?
The closest airport to Dagan is Paro airport from where you can take a bus or a taxi to Dagana. It is also connected by road to other major towns in Bhutan.
Things to Do
Dagana offers plenty of activities for travelers, including hiking, trekking, birdwatching, and cultural tours. Some of the must-visit attractions include the Dagana Dzong, a stunning fortress that dates back to the 17th century, and the Donga Tshachu, a hot spring that is popular among locals and visitors alike.
Festivals: Dagana is home to several vibrant festivals throughout the year, including the Dagana Tshechu, a religious festival that features mask dances and traditional music performances.
There are several hotels and guesthouses in Dagana that offer comfortable and affordable accommodation options for travelers. Some of the popular choices include the Dagana Guest House and the Dagana Village Lodge.
Dagana offers a variety of delicious Bhutanese cuisine, including dishes like Ema Datshi, a spicy cheese and chili dish, and Red Rice, a staple of Bhutanese cuisine. Agriculture is the main livelihood for the region’s people, and the settlements are fairly dispersed, and homesteads are remote compared to others in the country.More recently, the government resettlement programs have added to the ethnic diversity bringing in Khengpa people from the central Zhemgang district, Bumthap people from Bumthang, and the Tshangla and Kurtoep people from the far east of Bhutan. Today Dagana farmers produce a significant portion of the citrus mandarin (oranges) and cardamoms grown in the country. Studies have also deemed the region fit for the production of other cash crops such as ginger, mango, green gram, and mustard. The mandarin grown in the district is mainly sold to the modern Integrated Fruit Processing Plant the government has established in the region, providing economic incentives for farmers while encouraging them to explore other forms of horticultural production.