The three Generation boatmen
Custodians of the river pathway to Bhutan’s magical forest land of Manas National Park, the three Generation boatmen - Purshoram Choudary, Shankar Choudary, Raj Kumar Choudary, Lokhan Choudary are the Cross-Country Preservation of the Eastern Himalayan Awardees. The Award was presented by Deitrich Schmidt Vogt, Dr. Paramananda Rajbongshi, Ranjit Barthakur and Richard Leitch
The Royal Manas National Park is said to be Bhutan’s oldest treasure with its evolutionary history dating back to the 1960s. The Manas Camp has been largely isolated due to the river, making it possible to reach the destination with the help of traditional wooden boats. The idea of the traditional boat was implemented when third king of Bhutan (Jigme Dorji Wangchuck) visited the Manas Camp. Ironically, the history of the Manas Camp is largely associated with the boatmen, as the only means of transportation is by the river. The boatmen are originally Indian and have served three generation of kings. The first generation of boatmen are no more but then, the bigger dream is for the previous generations to hand over the prestigious occupation to the upcoming generations. These generations of boatmen from the same family carry knowledge of the Manas river, serving wildlife and humanity for ages. They have been Bhutan’s first river guides, dealing with harsh climatic conditions making river transportation viable and safe.