Saturday, May 10, 2014

Time Builds and Destroys; Nymezampa Chortens

Few days ago, the old picture of Paro Tsongdue Lhakhang stole my heart. Today I found another picture that made me wordless. It is from the book called "Myth & Memory" by Tshering Tashi.  I suppose the picture was taken somewhere in 1900s. 

Nymezampa Chortens Then in 1900s? 
Look at the total serenity and  tranquility around the Chortens of Nymezampa then. Long time ago, when people described Bhutan as the Last Shanrgila, they must have meant a place like the one shown in the picture. Grazing ponies, resting adults and playful children shows the beauty and innocence of Bhutanese. Look how some of them are taking shade below the chorten! Does it not look like a spiritual sanctuaries described in the Buddhist legands? Could we not call it as a heavenly sight?  I am just wondering!

Below is is picture of the same old chortens in 2007. In my nine years (in Paro) I have witnessed how those chortens withstood the forces of change and modernization. Enough willow trees has been planted in the surroundings. Although  their wilted yellow leaves creates a mess in autumn and winter, it gives a lush green look in the spring and summer.
Nymezampa Chortens in 2007
In 2007, I was told that some devoted business family in Paro, voluntarily took the initiative of building two Mani Dungkhor. I personally thought the idea was noble. With two additional giant Mani Dungkhor, the area would truly become like a religious sanctuary. But just before the completion, the work came to a sudden halt. I don't know what went wrong. Few days later I saw new structures being removed piece by piece. Finally two giant Mani Dungkhor disappeared without a trace.  

Now this is what it has become. Otherwise religious sanctuary and a shangrila like place has now become a giant parking area. Some call it development. Few call it as a sign of  progress we humans have made. Many call it a modernization.  But honestly, I don't know what to call it. 
Nymezampa Chortens now, 2014

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