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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Meanings behind the names

I come from one of the eastern parts of the country. Whenever somebody asked me where i was from, i said Pemagatshel.

But i would have been completely unresponsive if those people had asked me what laid behind where i hail from; I might not have been able to explain them the myth,history and legend about the dzonkhag i belong. Now i know atleast a little about Dungsam Pemagatshel,meaning behind the name associated with it.

The present Samdrup Jongkhar and Pemagatshel districts were popularly known by the common name Dungsam. One of the two oral sources explains that the word 'Dungsam' came from the three conch-shape hills surrounding Pemagatshel(present name); It is said that there are three hills(out of many) that resemble conch. Dungkar/dung in Sharchop dialect means conch and Sam would mean three. Thus, dungsam refers three-conch-shape-hills.

The second source has it that there was a lake, called 'Dungtsho Karmathang' on a hill above the present day Khar(in Pemagatshel) known to have revealed a ter (a sacred hidden treasure) from it by Tertoen Pema Lingpa(1450-1521) . The ancestors who settled there(after the lake dried) came to be known as Dungtshogpa, the people of Dungtsho. Latter Dungthogpa was corrupted into Dungsapa and finally became Dungsampa which in turn was the corruption of Dungsapa.  

Specifically present Pemagatshel was known as Dungsam Khoidung(village of Cuckoos) while present Samdrup Jongkhar was known by the name Dungsam Khotri untill 1970.  Again Khoidung became Khidung; and the place was known by this name untill it became Pemagatshel. 

Thus, in 1969, when Lam Sonam Zangpo(who resided in Yongla goenpa) Invited His Holiness Chabje Dudjom Rimpoche to bless and give discourse on "Rinchen Torzoe Wangling" to the people of the place, got its name PEMAGATSHEL, meaning "blissful land of lotus". 

note: the above given map must have changed due to some alterations.


  1. Yedzer.....I love your informative writings man. Keep it up, now I will be able to explain the meanings of our Dzongkhag's name.


  2. Thanks dude. Yap these are the meanings for the different names given to our dzongkhag.

  3. oye thank you very much for making me informed about the our dzongkhag ya... before that i had only rough knowledge about out dzongkahg but now information i got is more... thats all due to you.. thank you and ya nice write up... keep it up!!!

  4. Nice explanation man,
    PemaGatshel - Literally means "Lotus Land of Happiness".