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As per the wishes of the Druk Gyalpo the Dharma Project began as Research III under His Majesty’s Secretariat in 2007.
Following basic training and field trips outside Bhutan, production began on a small scale with seventeen artisans in a small bamboo thatched shed near Lungtenzampa. The project was granted autonomy in 2009 as activites started to expand and was registered with Department of Trade and Industry as a manufacturing company, Dharma Industry.
With the assistance of the Privy Council, Dharma began collaborations with institutions in Thailand, India and Nepal. From its basic beginnings, Dharma now has 78 skilled artisans at its production base in Bjemina Industrial estate near Thimphu.
Spiritual significance of Buddhist artifacts
Bronze casting or Lugzo in Bhutan was introduced only in the 17th century mainly through the visiting Newari artisans from Nepal, the first of whom were invited by the great Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to cast bronze statues and religious items.
The creation of sacred Buddhist artifacts represent the ‘Body’, ’Speech’, and ‘Mind’ of the Buddha, manifested by the Images, Scriptures and Stupas (Ku Sung Thugten) in Buddhist artistry and holds a very special spiritual significance in the lives of Bhutanese people and all Buddhists.
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