History of Zhongar Dzong
Zhongar Dzong in Mongar is distinguishable from the Mongar-Bumthang Highway, a few kilometers from Lingmethang. It is half a day ride from Mongar town to Shongar Dzong and about half an hour’s hike from the nearest road end. At a distance from the Dzong, the ancient trade route that associated eastern and western Bhutan in olden times can be regarded. Built on a flat-lying hillock, the area looks like a bowl stuffed with milk. Thus, the Dzong came to be recognized as Zhongar, (zhong-bowl, kar-white).
Legends of Zochhen Bala and the Cursed Dzong
There are several oral statements concerning the deterioration of the glorious Dzong. According to one, after the completion of the Dzong, the king killed Zochhen Bala (the master architect) in the fear that a Dzong of matched or greater magnificence might be built. In his dying wish, Bala cursed that the Dzong be mopped out, and himself be reborn in the Dzong as a wrathful spirit. It is admitted that Bala’s curse materialized leading to the wreck of the Dzong. Bala himself is expected to have been born as a monstrous serpent in the Dzong.
The Destruction of Zhongar Dzong by Fire
Another explanation associates the Dzong’s deterioration to fire in the late 1880s during the reign of an eccentric Dzongpon called Namela from Drametse. The Dzong is claimed to be ravaged by rodents and mites that not only harmed animals but individuals too. On seeking recommendations from his custodians to eradicate the Dzong of rodents and fleas, they suggested lighting the Dzong down. So the eccentric Dzongpon set the Dzong on fire.
The Role of an Earthquake in the Cessation of Zhongar Dzong
We also associate the destruction of the Dzong is also to an earthquake. Because of the hot and moist hot atmosphere of the territory, there were numerous epidemics of illnesses. The Dzongpon himself was claimed to have been considering abandoning the place when an earthquake affected the Dzong.
The historical Zhongar Dzong has remained in ruins for centuries. The dissonantly silent, massive four-acre compound with collapsing walls has been at once impressive and creepy. The major ruins of the fort comprise one of the most melancholy sights in eastern Bhutan. The ruins, neglected, are exceptional as the destroyers left them.