Dr Aishwarya Mahajan, Regional Head, Livelihood Education- South Asia walked along the ancient trail of the 14th century saint, Choeji Drukpa Kunley of Bhutan with Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck and Her Royal Highness Princess Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck on the route which takes four hours to walk and connects 21 villages of Toep Gewog in Goemkha, Begana, Thinleygang, Renakha and Menchuna Chiwogs of Punakha Dzonkhag of our project My Gakidh Village in Bhutan.
The trek was also joined by various ministers and high level government delegates, and locals of Toep Gewog.
It is believed along this trail Choeji Drukpa Kunley hunted and subdued demons. There are many sacred sites along the 21-km trail related to Drukpa Kunley. Despite its sacredness, the route has not been used for many decades and bushes had covered it in many places.
The route has been cleared and converted into a trekking trail with the help of My Gakith Village Staff, locals and the dzongkhag. With the trek, the route will now be open as another trekking route for tourists as per the plan to promote eco-tourism projects under the ‘My Gakidh Village’ project as each village possesses their own unique culture, artistic skills, trade practices, and a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
My Gakidh Village is a project implemented by the Bhutan Youth Development Fund and Aide et Action International, which is built upon the Tourism and Development framework and part of its Livelihood programme, iLEAD.
This is an initiative to empower rural youth through livelihood skills, which aims to reduce rural to urban migration by opening up better livelihood opportunities within the sphere of their own. Apart from Eco tourism, Tea Processing, IT and Pottery are also the additional features of the project which is available to the local youth in the community.
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