27 January 2014

The Art and Science of Tshachu

Gelephu Tshachu is the only tshachu I have ever been too, therefore I am assuming other tshachus are more or less of same architectural design. The unwelcoming design of the low-roof shed, and suffocating thick walls around the congested pools don't seem to have any element of art at all. But on the second thought there seems to be a form of art typical to pre-modern Bhutan, which is based on the science Bhutanese understood very early in time.

The Tshachu is under that low Green Roof
There is physics in the circular shape of the ponds, circle is the most accommodating shape. They had to choose circle because they could not build bigger pool for another scientific reason-the science of preserving heat. It led to keeping pools small with thick high walls and even the low roof of the shed. Though it seem like a typical Indian well, sometimes even resembling oven at the cremation ground, they seemed have crafted the best of art relevant during their time with the science that is timeless.

See any aesthetics? Look who is with me. She says people are stinking, I had to explain what was smelling. 
What is disappointing about the evolution of Tshachu is that it didn't evolve with time. It remained frozen. It's time something is done about the architecture of Tshachu. It has become one very important wellness tourist destination for Bhutanese and it's time we place some importance on our own people too.

Modern architecture should intervene and create space and convenience. The pools should be enlarged to accommodate as many people to reduce the waiting time and avoid indecent rushing. The heat science should be taken care by glass walls and wooden tubs. Introducing glass technology will transform the aesthetics of the place with sufficient light and much needed hygiene.

It's also time to pay attention to the huge drains that pose safety risk and adequate amenities should be put in place to avoid gender awkwardness while changing.

To be continued, if possible...


  1. I hope your watch is water-resistant, Passu!

  2. Andrea, it is. In fact after I went out my friends kept it with them to keep time. They cooked their eggs for hours.

  3. Interesting theory! I want to go to Gelephu tsachu too. It seems like I have a long way to go....


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