18Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal deputed his Dronyer Druk Namgyel to Darkala in 1648 to bring under control the area and the people and also commanded him to build a Dzong to defend the country from the invading armies from south and the people of the Duar areas.

Thus in 1648 Druk Namgyel at the command of Zhabdrung set off and brought under his control the three areas of Darkala. Soon after, he laid the foundations for the Dzong on a ridge that overlooked the valley. The people of Darkala contributed labour in its construction. Two years later in 1651 the Dzong was completed and was formally named as Darkar Trashiyangtse Dzong by Zhabdrung. Tenpa Thinley was appointed as the first Penlop (Governor).

A striking feature of Darkar Trashiyangtse Dzong is the Utse that is exceptionally tall and towers over the other structure of the Dzong. The reason for the exceptional height of the Utse was for defensive purposes as no separate Ta Dzong (watch tower) was built. The Bhutanese forces could take advantage of the tall Utse and fight back any invading armies.

The Dzong today houses the monk body and has eight temples. The main statue is that of Jowo Shakyamuni surrounded by the sixteen arhats.

The Dzong has played a central role in defending the country from the southern enemies and today plays a crucial role in administering the people of Darkala. Over the years the Dzong has been affected by earthquakes and storms of which the most severe occurred during the time of the sixth Penlop Pekar Jungney. The entire roof of the Dzong was blown off and major damages were done on the Dzong structure. Renovation works were immediately taken up and the completed work was consecrated by the tenth Abbot Je Tenzin Chhogyal. The Je Khenpo also established the first monk body in the Dzong formally appointing Geshey Rabgyal as the first Lam Neten.

The second major damage occurred in 1897 where the entire structure was affected as a result of the strong earthquake. Not only were the renovation works carried out but additional temples were also built and many statues installed.


Dagana District (Dzongkha Dar-dkar-na rdzong-khag; also spelled “Dhakana,” previously known as “Daga”) is one of the 20 dzongkhag (districts) comprising Bhutan. Its administrative capital (dzongkhagthromde) is Daga.

Legend has it that the people of Dagana were lawless in the 17th century, and that the Zhabdrung had to send in soldiers to gain control over them.

Dagana is populated mostly by Dzongkha speakers; however in the southwest near Sarpang District, Nepali is also spoken as a native language.


Dagana itself is divided into fourteen gewogs:

  • Dorona Gewog
  • Drujegang Gewog
  • Gesarling Gewog
  • Goshi Gewog
  • Karmaling Gewog
  • Kana Gewog
  • Khebisa Gewog
  • Lajab Gewog
  • Lhamoy Zingkha Gewog
  • Nichula Gewog
  • Tashiding Gewog
  • Tsangkha Gewog
  • Tsendagana Gewog
  • Tseza Gewog