August 30, 2007

Gasa Hot Springs (Tsachus)

Tsachus (hot springs) are found in many parts of Bhutan. according to folklore, theses were created bu Guru Rinpoche, the Saint who converted Bhutan to Buddhism. Gasa Tsachu is the famous and easily accessible, people from all over the Bhutan goes there every year. The waters of the hot springs have medicinal values and are effective cure for a number of ailments.

The Trip to Gasa Tsachu is around 3-4 hours journey after you reach the Damzi Chorten where the motorable road Ends. The journey would offer something magical experience of Bhutan's wild and unspoilt beauty as you get to walk through the dense and verdant forest, the steep gorges and the craggy cliffs. Once you reach the Gasa Hot Spring which bubble forth from the riverside at the base of the Gasa Dzong. The Dzong looks unreal from the opposite side of the hot springs as if it is floating in the air against the backdrop of towering snow peaks and clear blue sky.

The Hot springs has five ponds, each is fed from the different springs and each ponds has different ailment. Before you enter the hot springs ponds, there is rules that you must take shower and bath as it is clearly mention in the Notice Board but people of these days cared much and enters the ponds without taking bath and with dirty cloths on.

Out of Five Ponds one is a royal pond and water from this ponds flows to the second pond, both these ponds are very hot and said to cure Tuberculosis. The water of the third pond is believed to cures blood related and bone diseases. The fourth ponds cures insanity and the fifth venereal diseases.

These hot springs are Scared sites (Home of deities and water goddesses, so one has to be very careful while entering the ponds because if the traditional customs are not observed they lose heat and their curative powers. According to folklore, a man from laya who was drunk and entered the pond and got drowned. His death made the pond impure and it's water lost it's heat. Another incident, a women made it impure by delivering a child in it and the pond got dried up.

Gasa also have more than 13 Medicinal waters which are in and out around the hot springs. These waters cures headache and migraines and we have to immerse our head in the water as long as possible but the icy waters are hard to take in the cold weather condition. Some people take the water back to home for their relatives and friends.

Gasa Hot Springs is also famous for curing sinus in Sinus Cure Holes, those who suffer from sinus inhale the gas which comes out from the plastic fitted bottle.

When it come to accommodation, there are two guests house at the hot springs area, one for the royal family and the other for the general public. The guest house is of two storyed where the upper has four small rooms, one common hall and the rates for those small room charges Nu50 per night and Nu. 10 per person for the hall. The ground floor has a common hall which are free and visitor can cook. There are areas which people can pitch tents which is little further down from the ponds and the place is crowded and litter all around.

The Visitor who get themselves enough rations to last for weeks as it is believed that the more you be in the hot springs, the more your body become pure and free from illness. Most people who come there are the old peoples. A Week long dip in the hot springs would be a perfect for any visitors.

Gasa is most famous for its Layap people, and for the Snowman Trek, one of the most challenging treks in the Himalayas.


arcibaldo said...

so that's what the gasa springs looks like. i've read about the it from the queen's book "a portrait from bhutan" (which i bought in the bookstore near the clock tower), and the details she wrote there made me more curious and interested in going there, especially with it's curative effects. i hope i can visit this place someday and find myself in the fourth pond to cure my seeming insanity in life. hehehe

ugyen said...

Hey Arcibald,
Well i was curious about it when i was a child and it's sad to say that i haven't been there also. I am looking forward to go there. Well the Hot Springs is of great medicinal value and most bhutanese people does go there often.

arcibaldo said...

i've also read that a trip to the hot springs is part of many multi-day treks in bhutan. it's a lot of days to miss work, but hearing the 3-4hour journey seems a big relief for someone unwilling to leave work for many days.

ugyen said...

Arcibald, It is true that it is just 3-4 hours journey and seems pretty easy for someone working to go on Friday night and Come back on Sunday. Wish i could go.

arcibaldo said...

how far is gasa from thimpu by the way?
will have to find free time in case i get myself back in thimpu in the near future.

ugyen said...

Well You need to Go to punakha first and then from Punakha it's around 1 and Half hour drive to the end of the Motor Road, so it will come to around 4 hours drive from Thimphu to Motor end and then 3-4 hours journey on foot.

arcibaldo said...

it must be a long bumpy ride but with the sights you'll see along the way, it may be well worth it.

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