Thursday, December 1, 2022

Doongchoong Taagla Thrikar: Bhutanese Army General In The Employ Of Gesar Of Ling

Years of relentless research into the history of coinage in Bhutan has taken me to destinations never before imagined, and connected me to people I had never before known or heard of. But all of them were rewarding and wondrous to say the least. What is even more phenomenal is that my quest put me face to face with a piece of incredible history that dealt with the history of my family and lineage – that of Taagma Doong.

A year or two back, one Bhutanese scholar had told me that the only Bhutanese who qualified to serve in the army of Gesar of Ling was from the family of Taagma Doong, that his name was Doongchoong Taagla Thrikar.
Gesar of Ling

Since I am the surviving head of one branch of Taagma Doong, I kept a look out for any material related to the issue. Then a week back I got to know of a western scholar/researcher/historian doing research on the Epic of Gesar of Ling. I wrote to the person for validation on the matter and the following is the response I got:

Hi Yeshey,
I hope you will excuse how long this took me. I've been busy and spending time with family (a rare treat.)

I was able to find the general you were speaking of. His name in Tibetan is:

and according to my notes he is "originally from Mön but a brother of Gesar."  So the "brother" thing isn't a blood lineage, this will refer to previous life and karmic connections. As for being Bhutanese, it's important to remember that 1000 years ago borders were different and often didn't matter: it was your tribe and community. So we know that Taklha Trikar was from Mön, but this wasn't really a region at the time so much as a kingdom united by ethnicity. According to what I can find there was a "monyul" or "lhomon" at the time of Gesar located partially in Modern Bhutan and that in the 11th century they converted to Buddhism, which matches with Gesar's timeline of Buddhist conversions in the region.

What does this mean? Nothing 100% solid. As a historian, I believe there is very good evidence for the existence of King Gesar and for his conquests. And this timeline definitely defends a general from Mon becoming a member of Gesar's kingdom. It's not proof for or against, but it's definitely possible and I would even argue likely. So basically what you've been told about your family clan and lineage is absolutely possible! The name is there, the history matches, the locations are correct.  I don't have a time machine, so I can't say 100% if something is true or not, but the info matches.

What a cool family history!

I hope this helps!



  1. What a cool piece of information, uncle. ☺️

  2. Real cool Piece of Information indeed! I was listening to the Namthar of his Holiness the Je khenpo of Bhutan by Khenpo Tshering (HH was fond of the story of Ling Gesar) and there it says is 90% mythical/ some kind of legend and 10% real. Nevertheless, the story of Gesar is such a profoundly told one that continues amaze us !!

    1. I think there should be no confusion - either it is 100% truth or it isn't. It is not possible to be only 10% true. I too have been intrigued for many years - is it true? is it false? You are right - thousands of scholars around the world are engaged in the study of the epic - they are as amazed as you and I are.