After staying for almost a year in Drametse, now I know where I live. During the sunset, we cannot close the eyes to streams of frosty wind as the place is sited at brow of hill and there are not many woods to serve as windbreak. Being a rural area, the small marketplace shutdowns in the early hour as the local businessmen do not anticipate the downpour of nocturnal shoppers since there is no nightspot for the natives to hangout like in heart of capital, Thimphu. 

After the earthquake on 21/09/09, many shopkeepers with no choice live in temporary huts as their conventional two storey buildings were severely damaged during the time. However, it is one of the developed villages in the east with accessibility to elementary amenities like communication networks, broadband internet service, electricity, Banking facility from BDBL, ambulance service, Early Learning Center, and more. The curvy road running uphill will make travelers remember the ride through Darjeeling highway. The only difference is that the road of the former is unpaved, and though only 18 km in length, the minimum time span of the expedition would be an hour.

Environmentally, Drametse is unhealthy with very less tree cover due to steep gradient, sandy infertile soils, inadequate water supply, and heavy biotic pressures from both man and livestock. Therefore, it was in 1997 that government of Bhutan established community forest in Dozam (southern region of Drametse) so to implement participatory forestry management programme, and thereby documenting it to be the first such community based forest in the country. Though the forest condition is improving with such initiatives, the communities however extract house building timbers from distant places like Gyelposhing or from Kalapang due to immature timber stands in Drametse.

Historically, Drametse is one of the sacred sites of Peling tradition and its temple was consecrated in the year 1511 by Ani Chorten Zangmo, the granddaughter of Rigzin Padma Lingpa. Beside other relics and religious manuscript, it has stupa in which the body of Ani Chorten Zangmo was obscured.  In addition, the very famous ‘Drametse Ngacham’, meaning ‘Mask dance of drum from Drametse’ was recognized by UNESCO as Intangible World Heritage and thereby adding more colour in its culture. Today, Drametse is the seat of renowned Buddhist master His Eminence Sungtrul Rinpoche, Jigdrel Kuenzang Pema Dorje, the 11th speech emanation of Rigzin Padma Lingpa. So, I am fortunate that I live in a place where emanation of such great beings exists.



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