Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Nganglam to Pemagatshel – The Road
The black topped road meanders across the slopes of the rugged mountain which is geographically young - trying to connect places finding suitable gradient taking you up towards the pass and down near the river beds.
Remembering Gods and praying for the protection while navigating across the cliff from where you can see the river down below watching which, disturbs your bowel movements and gives you an urge to pee abruptly. Crossing the risky looking stretch of road you instantly forget the fears on the plains and breaking into songs and occasional hums.
The past rainy season has left its mark in the form of slides and blocks which had been cleared just enough for one vehicle to pass at a time. Couple of retaining walls and some stretch of roads may require resurfacing with the black tar. It would take some time for the new carving to set in, on the natural contours and the steep slopes of the mountains.
After more than an hour drive you reach Yangbari - for the people afar; and Telung -for the people of the locality. There you are greeted with open valley with huge river flowing rapidly but without forming rough rapids and known by many names: Some call it Dangmechu, some call it Kuri gongri but for the locals it is known as Gongri.
It is a great place to take photograph and a very popular site for picnic. Further the road takes you to Monggar; had it not been the cliff and steep rocky mountain face the road would have been connected by now, rendering people,to not give a damn, about the frequent strikes and 'bands' in India. Right now strikes in India are more painful to the Bhutanese commuters than the intended targets.
Right after Telung a road branches out towards Pemagatshel, which opens up valley after valley of little hamlets starting with Durungri village, Mikuri, Laniri and Dungmin crossing which, after uphill journey across the precarious steep slopes you reach a short tunnel like structure, from where, the valley of Pemagatshel unfolds like a petals of lotus with houses dotting the slopes of the petals forming into various villages.
The view from the tunnel is breathtaking even for the residents of Pemagatshel and it makes you forget all the tiredness and effort taken to navigate the steep slopes and turns on the rough roads.
It is a journey worth taking to see the developmental activities the Royal government is carrying out and to see the survival capabilities of the fellow countrymen in remote pockets of the country with bare minimum amenities. The road may bring changes in the development more promptly along with unwelcome changes in the attitudes of the people that would remain for us to see and deal with, as the time flows by. ..