Tsho/Lake of Athang which is located under Athang Gewog, Wangduephodrang at a pristine nature in abundance, the existence of the lake enhances the beauty of the landscape in Athang. A more than true – mythical story states that the lake originally moved from a place close to Trongsa, where one could still see some mark of a water body or a lake. The original lake is believed to have been located along the main mule track between Trongsa and Wangduephodrang.
Unaccustomed to increasing disturbances from the commuters, the Mermaid of the lake decided to relocate to another place where peace and tranquility abound. The Mermaid disguising as a nomad lady traversed from place to place through the remotest mountain ranges in search of a place of her choice for serenity. Believe it or not, the narrative story tells us that water pools occurred wherever the Mermaid lodged. No place impressed her to permanently perch the lake until she reached Phagtakha in Athang valley. On her arrival in Athang, she sought refuge for the night halt at a home of a family and occupied the basement.
The next morning, a neighbor informed the family that their paddy field has been submerged underwater. Before heading to the paddy field, the man of the house checked the basement but found the nomad lady nowhere, and instead, he was amazed to see a small water pool. He believed it to be the creation of the nomad lady. Hurriedly, the man reached the paddy field and he could not believe his eyes to see the entire harvest afloat in a lake. In his rage and grief over the loss of the fields and crops, the man had tried to drain out the lake but all in vain which caused emotional exhaustion, and had fallen asleep on the shore of the lake.
A beautiful lady was said to have appeared in his dream from the lake and who told the man to restrain from feeling miserable. The beautiful lady said to have gifted him a white horse in his dream to compensate for the loss of the paddy field and the harvest. She advised him to feed the horse with forage and water on time. She also disclosed that the horse would neigh every morning and evening when it is time let out gold & silver coins instead of horse dung. She instructed him to receive the precious coins in a container. Surprisingly, he found a beautiful white horse standing next to him when he was awakened by a gush of wind. He took the horse home and followed the instructions received in the dream.
He kept the horse in the basement and offered timely forage and water daily. The mysterious white horse blessed him with plenty of gold & silver coins twice daily which made the family progressively rich in Phatakha village.
As time advanced, the name, fame, and prosperity of the family spread fast and wide. The Wangdzob of Wangduephodrang, one of the most powerful Governors of his time also heard of the unusual progressive success news of the Phatakha family in Athang. The Wangdzob had sent a team of trusted Chamberlains to investigate and authenticate the incident. The Chamberlains got information about a mystical white horse being the cause of the family becoming richer by the day & months. Having been convinced of the success news and the cause of the family’s prosperity, the team of Chamberlains reported back to Wangdzob. The Wangdzob instructed his Chamberlains to return immediately to bring the horse for him.
On reaching Phagtakha, the team of Chamberlains took the horse forcefully, even though, the horse was reluctant to budge from its stables. They struggled to pull and push the horse until they reached Tshangbub, from where the lake could be viewed for the last time en route to Wangduephodrang. The horse refused to budge any further. As a result of flogging and physical abuse, the horse said to have collapsed and ultimately breathed its last which caused immense worries to the Chamberlains without the horse to offer to Wangdzob. Left with no tangible alternative, they decided to take the saddle and the bridle rope to prove themselves but the horse accessories magically and mysteriously turned into rocks which can be seen even today in the rock forms.
Signifying the horse’s blood, a patch of ground covered with red-colored grass and two rocks resembling saddle shape and bridle can be seen on the way to Athang. Don’t forget to look for these rocks and the red grass patch if you ever happen to traverse through the area.