August 19, 2008

Places to see and know in Bhutan: Narphung, Eastern Bhutan

Narphung: Those few who have travelled the Samdrupjongkhar-Trashigang highway would be familiar with Narphung, as it is the Tanalung of the east. The ridge along which Narphung is located borders the two gewogs of Orong and Gomdar. At about 50 kms up from SamdrupJongkhar and 40 kms down from Wamrong, it is a road-side settlement situated at a high altitude.

But aside from the checkpost, there is also a small booming roadside market; an assortment of bars, restaurants and vegetable vendors. This place provides a marketplace for the farm products of the surrounding villages and hamlets.

You will find fresh vegetables, cheese, edible wild-forest products…this is a vegetarian's haven. Interestingly there is also a short one-way traffic system in the middle of nowhere.

But the one thing that you will not fail to notice is that this place doesn't have electricity. There is an interesting story to it.

One side of Narphung falls under Orong gewog, and the other falls under Gomdar gewog. The road is the borderline. So due to the difference in the electrification planning timings and plans of these two gewogs, the residents of the two sides of Narphung couldnt come to a consensus, nor could the two gewogs. Thus Narphung doesnt have electricity.

Since the road-widening is taking place this linear settlement could cease to exist, but there is still the hope for electrification.