A memorable pilgrimage. PART I.

Coinciding with the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche,( Precious Buddhist Master) me and few of my colleagues made ad hoc plan to visit Tshechu Drak, the most popular pilgrimage site in Gasa Dzongkhag. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche had mediated there before he went to mediate in Goen Tshephu of Punakha Shari.
As planned, we have started our journey by cars through narrow, bumpy road leading towards Punakha.  The road was wet and muddy because of continuous rainfall for past several weeks. Hundreds of potholes were filled with rain water and it gets splashed when the tires of car whirled over it.
After 30 minutes of jerking journey, we have reached at the junction where our cars were supposed to park. From the junction till pilgrimage site, we have to walk on foot for two hours.  We unloaded our pack lunch, umbrellas and other edible items from our cars and packed them inside the bags. From the junction we were joined by few local people and headed towards the destination. 

Our team.
The journey seems bit scary as our path was covered with thick grasses. For every step we take the hungry leeches were gluing to our foot wears. Our lady friends were screaming for help often now and then. Fortunately the sky had completely stopped pouring on that day. After two hours of terrifying journey finally we have conquered our destination. There was a small haunted temple built under the big cliff. Before we enter the temple we took off our foot wears. As expected blood were oozing out of the infected parts of our legs. On the ground, we can see dozens of fatten leeches struggling to move. They are almost cylindrical in shape.
Melting of Dalda.
Accidently I happened to looked up at the cliff and to my surprise I saw a hive of wasps hanging from the cliff. Immediately I rushed to share this news to my friends. One of the elderly local man reminded us to not to produce smoke and remain careful while at that place. But we have kilograms of Dalda to be melted and offer butter lamps. Oh! We have no other options to melt Dalda without making fire. We boldly decided to start fire in the temple. Without wasting much time, we have collected dry firewood in the pot and ignited the fire with a small match stick. Some of our friends had closed the doors and windows so that the wasps are remained undisturbed. Very soon the fire started to grow bigger producing thick black smoke. Soon the only room of temple was filled with waves of smoke and we were almost succumbing to suffocation. Instantly one of our senior lady friends took the pot of fire outside the temple. Yes we were relieved off suffocation, but worried of wasps. We waited inside the temple for few minutes waiting for the reaction from the wasps. Wasps remained calm and seem to pay no reaction to the smoke we have produced. 

Our ladies team.
We felt relaxed and plodded outside to explore other pilgrimage site. We were escorted by local man. He seems to know about the history and significant of the place. Just beside the temple, there was a body print of Guru Rinpoche in meditation posture crafted on the huge rock. Suddenly I heard a wasp buzzing around me and trying to attack me. I pulled up my gho to cover my head and started flailing my hands in an uncontrolled way. Before it could sting on me, one of my hands had smashed it and threw it on the ground. No sooner did I get rid of the first wasp, 3 or more wasps started to attack me. I quickly uncovered my head and cried for help. At a glance, I saw all of my friends battling with the wasps. None of their heads can be seen. All of them were covered like me and was screaming for help with their hands flailing as fast as they can. For first few minute’s time, none of the wasps could succeed in releasing bullet to me as I fought violently with the wasps. May be I have killed more than a dozen within few minute’s time. However the number of armies seems to grow in numbers and I felt exhausted to fight with them. I looked for a hole around me to escape from wasps. To my dismay, I could not find any place to hide myself and decided to rush inside the temple. On the way to temple, I saw hundreds of wasps angrily hunting for prey (us). I have no choice than to penetrate through the flight of wasps. With no potions I have rushed towards temple penetrating through the flight of wasps. On the way one of the wasps stung on my lower jaw. When I entered the temple I found everybody was in chaotic state. I asked them to quickly remove the wasps from my cloths.
Readying for Lunch.
 Finally every one of us were inside the temple eyeing at each other with gloomy faces. Whom to be blame? In fact we have drunk our own ara (wine). We remained silent for about half an hour cursing ourselves for the producing smoke. Sadly we decided to return home remaining other pilgrimage sites unexplored. We embarked back to our home. On the way near by a stream we parked ourselves on the ground for lunch. We giggled staring at each other.       
Return Journey.


  1. The encounter with the wasps sounded quite unpleasant! Hopefully you won't experience anything like that on the remainder of your journey.

  2. Always humbled to have your presence in my little world. Keep as it is mam.