Located in Southern Bhutan, SamtseDzongkhag covers an area of 1,582 sq. km and ranges from 600-3,800 m in altitude. The main crops grown in the region are oranges, cardamom, ginger and areca nuts. These cash crops are exported to the nearby Indian state of West Bengal and even to Bangladesh.
The population of Samtse is divided into two main ethnic groups, the Lhotshampas and the Doyas. Smaller groups of Bumthaps, Tshanglas, Ngalongs, Khengpas and Kurtoeps have also started inhabiting the region in recent years. Samtse is a religiously diverse district and both Hinduism and Buddhism are widely practiced in the dzongkhag. Visitors will find temples belonging to both religions all over the beautifully forested district. The main festivals celebrated in the region include Losar (New Year), Thrue and Lomba by the Buddhists and Diwali and Dussehra by the Hindus.
With its’ hot and humid climate, Samtse has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. One of the more exotic animals found in this district are the local elephants, some of which have been domesticated. Though the main form of employment remains agriculture, there are also agricultural and construction based industries in Samtse. Minerals like Dolomite and Quartzite are mined at Pugli, providing raw materials for two major cement plants. Agricultural industries in the area are Samtse’s Fruit and Food Products Factory and the Cardboard Factory.
One of the most important facets of the Dzongkhag is the Samtse College of Education. It was started in 1968 and has provided the country with countless valuable teachers. This college is widely considered to be one of Bhutan’s premier educational institutions.
PLACES OF ATTRACTIONS
1. SHIVALA MANDIR
Shivalaya Mandir one of the main attraction for the tourist who visit Samtse from across the border.
ShivalayaMandir is being rebuilt upon the Command of His Majesty The King as a gift from His Majesty to the people of Samtse to commemorate the Royal Wedding.
The mandir, which has been constructed out of intricately carved sandstone, and features marble statues of Lord Shiva and other deities, was built around a sacred site where a small mandir previously stood. It was completed in the year 2015, coinciding with the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth DrukGyalpo (11 November 2015).
2. SIDHOK KHORLO CHORTEN
Sidhok khorlo Chorten is dedicated to the 60th Birth Anniversary of the fourth DrukGyalpo and also for the peace, longevity and happiness in the country, which is build in 2015.
The 30 feet tall chorten has been constructed out of intricately carved white marble, which is built from the funds contributed by civil servants, local leaders, Business Communities and the Public of Samtse in celebrating the 60th Anniversary in year 2015.
3. BUKEY DHAM
A religion pilgrimage site popularly known as BukeyDham is situated in Samtsegewog at Bukey. The devotees from nearby India visit the Dham in the autumn, winter and spring seasons. This site could be used in better way to generate income from the Indian tourists (devotees from India).