fading of our beggining – Goen Hoptso Dzong

Direct line descendants can still be traced back today. The story goes that after generations the seula lineage or the amrimo choeje – family of the “Jamgoen” truelku hold the line. There are still a few families that can still trace back ancestoral lineage. A wellknown Buddhist scholar, John Ardussi has researched on the amrimo family and has documented research findings.

I hope to do more study on Hoptso dzong, a historically important monument dating back to the start of formation of a theocratic state of Bhutan. Through this study I hope to bring about more awareness of a part of our history that we may loose completely if we do not act soon. Any information to help me in my attempt would be most useful. I hope to bring back more in my next post on Hoptso Dzong.  

Hoptso Dzong ruins

Hopsto Dzong named after Hoptso Lam is located in Gasa between damji and zamina bridge and is a historical site. I mention this because the recent occurrences of mudslides have made it impossible for commuters to travel to and fro to Gasa from geza, damji. Tomorrow (August 26, 2010) the community will clear a foot trail to avert risks while crossing the mudslide affected area from falling boulders and debris (someone lost his life while crossing a while back around the same area). The foot trail will follow slightly above the recently excavated road and this will pass a little further south of the Hopsto Dzong or what remains of it (I plan on getting very recent photographs one of these days and will post it for curious souls). For those travelling and planning to travel to Gasa, incase you see a site in ruins which may resemble parts of an ancient wall, you are looking at a historical monument or what’s left of it. I will put up pictures of the remains soon on my blog for those interested to learn more.Most Bhutanese and a good number of historians on Bhutan believe that the Hoptso Lam had invited and received Zhabdrung into Bhutan in 1616 (http://bit.ly/b8JxIE). Some of the unique and old dances/songs, praising Zhabdrung; “Aulay of Laya” and “Goen Zhey“; which is part of grand celebrations and festives (Gasa tsechu and others) is believed to have been enacted then in celebration of his arrival into Bhutan. Although it is not clear when the dzong was built but became the seat of an early supporter of Zhabdrung against his conquest over Lam Kha-Nga it is told. Hopsto Dzong became the seat of 1st Desi, Umze Tenzin Drugey (son of Goen Hoptso Lam – 1591–1656). Today it lies in ruins unfortunately.

Photograph credit: Dzongkha Development Commission

About Sangay Khandu

Elected to Parliament of Bhutan twice. Previously worked with the Central Bank, the largest SoE (power utility) and international organization.
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