Rolling from Lhuentse towards the extreme corner to the North, after 45km drive on unpaved road is Dungkar, a village of pure Kurtoep. It is well known in its history significance throughout the nation.
The history discloses that the name of the place was originated from the physical shape of the land. The place bears the exact shape of a conch shell. The land form of the village can be seen from the place called Tabandchen.
Kurtoed Gewog is one of the developing Gewog among the eight Gewogs under Lhuentse Dzongkhag. Gewog Office is located at Dungkar which is about three hours drive from the Dzongkhag Headquarters (altitude 2023 m above sea level). Gewog has a total area of approximately 1076 square kilometer with sparsely distributed population in the five Chiwogs of Dungkar, Tabi, Jasabi-Ugyenphu, Tang-Roong-Wawel and Chagdzom-Chhusa. By size, it is the biggest but the least populated Gewog in the Dzongkhag housing 235 households with total population of 2212 as per census record.
Ancestral home town of our beloved monarchs, the Gewog takes pride in having two standing historical structures called Dungkar Choeje Lhakhang and Nagtsang Lhakhang where Jigme Namgyel was born. Besides historical sites of Dungkar Choeje Lhakhang and Nagtsang, the Gewog is also blessed with numerous religiously sacred places and Lhakhangs. The most prominent of all are Rinchen Bumpa, Kuenzangling, and Ugyenphu which are associated with the visit of Guru Rinpoche and Longchen Rabjam.
The Gewog is connected with a 45 km of GC road. All the five Chiwogs are connected with farm road.
Other infrastructures and facilities include Dungkar Primary School, Chagdzom ECR, one RNR centre, one Community Center/Gewog Banking, one Farm Shop, one BHU and three outreach clinics at distant villages of Jasabi, Chakzam, and Thuenpey respectively.
Gewog also falls under the Wangchuck Centennial National Park having Park’s Eastern Office located at Dungkar.
Wet land and dry land cultivation dominate agriculture land use with minimal orchard development.The Gewog has a fertile soil for growing both food and cash crops. As such it is expected that there will be booming of agriculture produces in near future as all five Chiwog are connected with farm road. But the Gewog’s development potentials is limited by lack of access market and crop damage by wild animals, farm labor shortage and post harvest losses.
The Gewog has social infrastructure such as RNR center, one farm Shop, one Community Pry School, one Extended Classroom, one BHU, three Out Reach Clinics (ORC), thirteen lhakhangs (including Nagtshang) and one Community Centre/Gewog Banking. Gewog Centre and Chiwogs are connected by motor able road. Basic Services such as Electricity, Mobile services and clean drinking water are covered to all the Chiwogs.
Opportunities and Strength
Lhuentse Dzongkhag is well known for its richness in sacred site as Dzong (Lhuendrup Rinchen Tsei Dzong) itself is one of the sacred Dzong in the history of Bhutan. Likewise Kurtoed Gewog is also known for housing many sacred places and sites including birth place of our beloved monarchs. As blessed by Guru Rinpoche and Longchen Ramjam, Gewog has fertile soil and suitable climatic condition to grow almost all nine types of crops ( Dru Na Gu).
The diverse agro-ecological condition in the Gewog provides potentials for growing cash crops such as tree tomato, potatoes, brinjal, ginger and cereal crops such as red Rice, mustard, millet, buckwheat and maize.
Most importantly, the Gewog has high potentiality for establishing Cultural Based Tourism and Eco-Tourism.
Challenges and Weaknesses
One of the biggest challenges for the Gewog is not having market to sell farm produce.
The majority of the people depend on agriculture and rearing of livestock but farm labour shortages and damage of crops by wild animals is a serious threat which have discourage people from cultivating on larger scale. The rural-urban migration is the main cause of farm labor shortages in the Gewog as educated youth move out of farmstead to bigger town in search of employment. These also result in increased of Gungtongs.