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Showing posts from August, 2011

Cypress Surprise

It’s said that every cypress tree in Bhutan tells a tale. And indeed each one has a story. It just takes going around asking about the tree to unveil it. Besides being the national tree of Bhutan the cypress is associated with diverse myths and beliefs. Every grain of the cypress tree seen majestically towering over the dzongs, temples and stupas is imbued with intricate stories. Such stories are the greatest surprise surrounding the cypress. The two formidable trees at Baylangdra in Wangdue and at Kurjey in Bumthang are no exception to this. Their origin can be traced to the walking stick of the great Indian saint who visited Bhutan in 8th century. When such trees are planted, they’re done to serve as the ‘standing proof’ of the flourishing dharma. Often it is said that the trees will grow only if there is a prophecy that Buddhism will exist without waning. The trees cater to the locality as symbol of worship and blessings. The giant cypress tree growing near the Kurjey Lhakahng is

Shading the barren land

Natural 'thri' engraving in Lungtenphu landscape Mr. Sonam Phuntsho or he is popularly known as Ata Sonam – does it neither out of his professional obligations nor for any personal gain. It’s his typical instinct and the insatiable passion that drives him into the bare face of the mountain to get drenched by rain or scorched by sweltering sun. He is out there with a mission -to repay back what Mother earth gives him by planting trees and helping replenish those hundreds of acres of lands. This is something very unnatural by individual to the natural world. On any other normal day in office, he is no extraordinary human being, faithfully performing his assigned job in perfect cut. But deep inside, in his core of heart is that sense of engraved volunteerism of trying to bring deserted land into greener arena by planting of thousands of trees. Ata Sonam’s invoking of interest in environmental conservation commenced rather out of sheer inquisitiveness. Back then as a cow h