A Short Story On Trans-Bhutan Trail      

                          “Life has many twists and turns – similar to trails old and new”

Bhutan is connected by a historical trail that winds through deep river valleys and mountain passes. Armies and explorers, pilgrims, traders, and tax collectors have all used the trail for various reasons over the centuries, but it was only documented in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Religious leaders brought Buddhist teachings to the kingdom. Legendary Dzong Dak Route messengers, the Garps, rushed along the trails at all hours of the day and night. Monarchs have visited Dzongs and met with the people in successive generations. 

              For hundreds of years, the trail has served as a symbol of national unity and a link.

After the trail was replaced by the National Highway in the 1960s and 1970s, the journey was reduced from weeks to days. However, a third of the original route was subsumed, and the rest became overgrown and unusable as a result. Bhutanese people are eager to develop, but they also believe that tradition and heritage are equally important. 

As a result, an exciting initiative to revitalize this trail has begun.

The Story

The Bhutan Canada Foundation, chaired by Sam Blyth, and a number of senior Bhutanese leaders are enthusiastic about this initiative. Catherine Smart and her husband, Stephen Couchman, were asked to serve as catalysts for the initiative. 

Their role is to provide guidance based on industry best practices and personal experience. The couple will work with the National Steering Committee and local teams to improve trail standards, stewardship, communication, promotion, education, and sustainability.

The Hidden Secret – Bhutan.

Early in October, the couple arrived in Bhutan and immediately got to work! They are ecstatic to be a part of this initiative and consider themselves incredibly fortunate to be a part of it. To date, the couple has packed their belongings and relocated to Thimphu from Canada (the capital of Bhutan). 

They appreciate the warm welcome they’ve received here, including from Bhutan’s Tourism Council, which is hosting the project. The two met with a number of stakeholders and devised a three-month work plan to get them started on a journey with the goal of meeting local leaders and stakeholders along the trail’s 355 km.

 The Trans Bhutan Trail.

In the coming months, a website will be launched. Until then, if you want to learn more about the project or get involved, please contact Catherine Smart at catherine@bhutancanada.org.

If you are planning a trip to Bhutan, click the link here https://www.drukheritage.com/contact/

or you can continue reading more About the Trans Bhutan Trail.

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