The name of our Dzongkhag – “GASA” – what it means?
There are 3 schools of thought on the origin of the name “GASA”.
First – “Gasa” is said to be derived from “Garsa” means the “land of blacksmiths or blacksmithing”. “Gar” from “Gaw” which means “blacksmith”. It is believed that Drubthop Terkhungpa who resided in Gasa in 12th century was known to be skilled in iron works due to which later the blacksmithing became the major occupation of the people in this area. The official dzongkha spelling of Gasa means blacksmith.
Second - “Gasa” meaning “land of saddle (Ga)”. One of main relics (nagtens) of Gasa dzong today is the six numbers of sacred saddles from Shaabdrung Rinpoche’s time in 16th century. These sacred saddles are associated to Pe Yeshey Gonpo (Mahakala), Pe Legi Gonpo, Pe Yeshey Lhamo (Mahakali), Pe Tsheringmo, Ge Nyen and Gomo Damchen who were part of the entourage in Shaabdrung Rinpoche’s s maiden journey to Bhutan.
Third – “Gasa” meaning “Camp (Ga) site”. Today there is small lake at half an hour walking distance from Phulakha Lhakhang. This lake is known as “Ga tsho”. After the advent of Shaabdrung Rinpoche to Bhutan in 16th century, Gasa also had number of invasions from Tibet. It is said that the Tibetan invaders used this lake area as their campsite and since then the lake has been named as “Ga Tsho”.
We have the fourth school, represented by the present civil servants who like to associate “Ga” in Gasa to “Gawa, Gakith” meaning happiness. Therefore, “Gasa” means “Land of Happiness ”. The 2015 GNH Survey conducted by the Centre for Bhutan Studies reported that GNH was Highest in Gasa…