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Matsutake Festival in Ura, Bumthang August 18, 2008 - moa.gov.bt
The First Matsutake Festival in Bhutan was inaugurated at Ura, Bumthang by H.E Lyonpo (Dr.) Pema Gyamtsho, Honb’le Minister, Ministry of Agriculture on 14th August 2008. The Festival was held for three days from 14th to the 16th August. The Festival was sponsored by the Royal Government of Bhutan.
Festival was organised by the Ura Mushroom Conversation and Tourism Group together with the Thrumshingla National Park, Department of Forestry of the Ministry of Agriculture. The Festival will be organised every year for three to five days in the month of August and will manage the matsutake tourism package.
The Chief Guest H. E Lyonpo (Dr.) Pema Gyamtsho, Honb’le Minister, Ministry of Agriculture said that in addition to supplementing incomes and diets, these mushrooms continue to enrich and nourish the bonds between man and nature. “In a rapidly changing world, getting in touch with nature helps to remind us of the preciousness of our fragile planet and acknowledge its bounties”. Lyonpo added.
During the festival inauguration, Ura Gup welcomed all the guests including the tourists and villagers from all the communities of Ura geog.
Ngawang Norbu, Park Manager of TNP said that at Ura, either during the festivals or before or after, spending a few nights in the farm houses, was the best to discover Bhutan and to get to know the Bhutanese.
After lunch, the Chief Guest inaugurated a beautiful and peaceful Ura hot stone bath located near Ura river. The stone bath hut and water sources were renovated by TNP.
The Ura to Geyzamchu walking trail (4 hours walk) was formally inaugurated by the Chief Guest. The Chief Guest led the other guests and officers to the mushroom picking program in the beautiful and pristine forests of TNP area.
Many stalls including Ara hut made the viewers enjoy unforgettable moments. The art of cooking the Matsutake was demonstrated by professional Japanese chefs.
During the festival, the sacred and profane were shown by Ancient Dancers and Modern Clowns. Community dancers and students of URA LSS performed old songs, old melodies and modern songs.
The Ura Mushroom Conversation and Tourism Group offered a special five day discount package at Nu. 10,000/- per tourist for the whole five day package. The Group will continue these special offering programs in the future too.
Tourists studying the different varieties of mushroom on display