I cracked the mystery of “Gya Chila”!!
I went to speak to someone called Lam Kesang Chhoephel. He is the CEO of APIC (Agency for Preservation of Indigenous Crafts). He is a qualified and learned Lama. So I asked him if he had ever heard of “Gya Chila” …. He said never. But as we dwelled over the matter and began to wonder what would be “Gya Chila”, he came up with:
“This cannot be “Gya Chila”. It has to be “Ja Chila”. Sometimes foreigners tend to grasp our words wrongly. As you know, Ja is short for “Jaggar” which as you understand means India or Indian. So it must mean Poenlop of India – "Ja Chila".
I totally agree with him!
As I said in my earlier mail, if a regional ruler is a Lam, he would be called “Chila” and not “Poenlop”. That is why the title of the first Mangde regional ruler Chogyel Minjur Tempa was called “Choetse (Trongsa) Chila” because he was a Lam. Whereas Jigme Namgyel was called Trongsa Poenlop or Choetse Poenlop.
The Ja Chila under reference must have been a Lam or Lama. He would have been appointed by the 8th Druk Desi Druk Rubgye who ruled between 1707 – 1719.
“This strengthened the position of the Bhutanese who stationed in Cooch Behar their agent named Gya Chila along with an escort. Bhutan went a step further and struck the Ngutam (a silver coin) for circulation in Cooch Behar thus undermining the independence of Cooch Behar as a State.”
I will reply to your other mail tomorrow.