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Bumthang Bhutan Tour & Travel Packages



BUMTHANG: It’s in the heart of Bhutan and is also known as the ‘Switzerland of Bhutan’ owing to the gentle hills and wide valleys. It is also one of the holiest of districts in the country with many sacred temples and shrines. The district is comprised of 4 main valleys, Chumey, Chamkhar, Tang and Ura. The district if knows for its woollen textiles.

Jambey lhakhang: It was built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in 659 AD. The temple was blessed by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang. It is said that Guru Rimpoche was the one who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. It was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life with his magical powers. Many believe that there is a natural lake under the temple in which Guru Rimpoche took refuge on several occasions.

Kurjey Lhakhang: It’is a monastery located in the Bumthang Valley of Bhutan. The Kurjey Lakahng Temple Complex is a 20 minute hike from the Jambay Lhakhang. According to legend, Guru meditated in a cave there to subdue an evil spirit and left an imprint of his body in the cave to serve as a reminder to all evil beings of his wrath. A cypress tree stands behind the temples, it is believed to have grown from Guru Rinpochhe’s staff. The Kurjey Lhakhang Temple complex consists of 3 major temples and surrounding Chortens. The first one dates back to the 17th Century, second one was built by the first King in the 1900’s and the last one was built by the Queen Grandmother in the 1980’s

Tamshing Lhakhang: Is home to Lama Sungtrul Rinpoche, the present day speech reincarnation of Pema Lingpa, the ‘Treasure revealer’.The temple was constructed in 1501 by the great Pema Lingpa himself. Before 1960 Tamshing was privately owned. The core mission of the Tamshing monastery is to teach the Dharma, perform religious service for the community and educate the young monks under its care. Since the monastery is not state run the monks find it a challenge to support the operation of this monastery and survive off donations from the devout. Most of the young monks in the monastery are under the age of 15 and are either orphans or come from very poor families who can’t afford to send their children to even the state run schools.

Kenchosum Lhakhang: This is also believed to be built around the same time as Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro and Jampa Lhakhang on the other side of the river, by Srongtsen Gyampo while subduing a huge demon in Tibet. Legend has it that the King of the water deities rose from a lake underneath the temple and offered a pillar and a scroll. The temple was destroyed by fire in 2010 and the new one was consecrated in 2014.

Red Panda Beer Factory: It is a small cottage industry factory that produces German Weiss beer. The Manager will give you a short tour about the history of the place and the method of production and end it with a drink of their beer.

Bumthang Cheese Factory: The factory was initially set-up by the Swiss in Gogona Phobjikha. Although Gogona still produces cheese the main production was shifted to Bumthang. The staff will give you a tour of the factory.

Kharchu Dratshang: It is a private Monastery was built by the 6th Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpochhe during the Chinese invasion of Tibet after fleeing from there and is currently headed by the 7th re-incarnation. This monastery is supposed to be the sister monastery of Lhodra Kharchu Dratshang in Tibet, the seat of the 1st Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpochhe. If you reach here at the right time then you may be able to see the monks participating in a Traditional Debate on Buddhism.

Jakar Dzong: Legend has it that a huge white bird landed on the hill where the Dzong (bJa= Bird, Kar= White) sits today majestically overlooking the valley below. It was taken as a good omen and construction began in the mid 1500s. It is the largest Dzong in terms of total area covered.

Wangdi Choling Palace: Located right in the center of the valley, it used to be the Summer Residence of the 2nd King. The Palace now functions like a museum and a temple for monks.

Thangbi: It is a village located about 30-45 minutes drive on farm roads north of Bumthang. The village is picturesque with houses clustered together and fields to grow their potatoes and buckwheat below. There is a temple in the village which holds an annual festival usually around June, which is marked by fire dance and all the public is asked to run through a fiery gate.

Peseling Goenpa: It is a prominent and sacred monastery located on top of a steep mountain ridge overlooking Chamkhar town below. It takes about 4 hours of hiking to get there from near the domestic airport. The path is quite rough and terrain difficult but at the same time, hikers are presented with breathtaking views of the valley and the large species of flora and fauna found along the route keeps things interesting. There’s a beautiful meadow about two third of the way up which can be a wonderful place for pic-nic lunch. From there, the last part requires steep uphill hike until the Monastery is in sight. The annual festival of this Monastery will now be held in Thimphu in Spring starting 2016

Dhur Tsha Chhu Camping: The trek to the hot spring starts from Manchugang and takes you to Dhur village (2900m). The inhabitants of the village are the nomadic Kheps and Brokpas. This village has two distinct dialects, the Bumthang Kha and the Brokke a language spoken by the nomads. The camp is also a part of the ‘Owl Trek’ and the famed ‘Snowman Trek’. You can camp near the hot springs and relax your body by dipping in the pool.

Domkhar Tashicholing Palace: It used to be the transit Palace of the 2nd King while shifting from his Summer Residence, Wangdi Chholing Palace in Chamkhar valley to his Winter Residence, Kuenga Rabten Palace in Trongsa or the other way round. It is located in Chumey valley surrounded by beautiful meadows and villages below.

BUMTHANG: It’s in the heart of Bhutan and is also known as the ‘Switzerland of Bhutan’ owing to the gentle hills and wide valleys. It is also one of the holiest of districts in the country with many sacred temples and shrines. The district is comprised of 4 main valleys, Chumey, Chamkhar, Tang and Ura. The district if knows for its woollen textiles.

Prakar Lhakhang: A temple close to Domkhar Tashicholing Palace that is believed to have been built with the help of Grey Langurs that came at night after the humans who were working on it left for the day. The temple hosts a festival every year during Autumn around the same time as Jambay Lhakhand Drub.

Yathra Weaving Center: It is a handicraft shop that specialises in producing local textiles made from Yak and Sheep wool called Yathra. It’s a very rough material but a very good insulator that helps keep people warm in the cold Bumthang winter. They even have a few weaving stations where women work so that others can see how the textiles are produces.

Tharpaling Dratshang: It’s a beautiful drive on farm road up to the monastery. The complex consists of a couple of temples, Chodrak and Tharpaling and also has sacred caves where Guru Padmasambhava and Longchen Rabjam Rinpochhe meditated. Up on the ridge, a little above the complex is a huge rock that is believed to have been the rock throne of Longchen Rabjam Rinpochhe. Chamkhar valley can be seen on the other side and if one is feeling adventurous, the it is possible to hike down on small, hard to see paths.

Mebartsho (The Burning Lake): It is not a lake as such but a small stream instead which gets collected into a small pool. This is the place where Pema Lingpa discovered his first treasure. The villagers didn’t believe that he found the treasures there. So, to prove that he was not lying he jumped in the lake with a burning butter lamp in his hand, when he came out he had some more treasures in his hand and the lamp was still burning.

Tang Valley: It’s the birth place of Bhutan’s most famous treasure discoverer, Terton Pema Lingpa, and is also the smallest and narrowest among the 4 valleys of Bumthang. The people raise sheep and cows and yak at a little higher elevation. The valley is not so fertile but has been subject to experimental farming to improve organic agricultural products. It’s about an hour to hour and half long drive from Chamkhar town till the valley center from where one can see Ugyencholing Palace Museum perched on a hill overlooking the valley.

Pema Thekchok Choling Nunnery: It’s a privately funded nunnery and a Buddhist school for girls which was established by Gangtey Trulku in 2001, as per a prophecy by Pema Lingpa to benefit the local women who wanted to follow the Dharma. You can visit there and see the way of life for a Buddhist nun in Bhutan.

KuzangDrak Goenpa: It’s about 2 hours of hike from the beginning of Tang Valley and is one of the most important sites related to the treasure discoverer, Terton Pema Lingpa, who also constructed a retreat for himself in the late 15th century. Most of his relics are kept in this temple including a stone which bears his footprint.

Tang Rinmochen Lhakhang: It’s a small temple in Tang valley located below a huge rock with black and yellow stripes that resembles a tiger’s stripes, which is where the name for the temple comes from. It is said that Guru Padmasambhava meditated here and there’s a rock infront of the temple that bears the body imprints of Guru Padmasambhava and his consorts. There are two large boulders below the road which are believed to represent male and female Garudas (bJa-chung)

Ugyenchholing Palace Museum: It used to be a residence of the ruler of the valley in the medieval days. It has now been converted into a museum and is managed by the descendants of the old family, most of the times the great grand-daughter stays there and gives tours to visitors. IT takes about 30-45 minutes of hiking to reach the Museum located on top of a small hill in the valley.

Ura Valley: Ura is about 50kms away from Chamkhar town and takes about 1 ½ - 2 hours of drive to reach there. The drive itself is beautiful with roads on mountain slopes with very less trees and occasionally running into forests. Large pasture lands for sheep and cows line the roads up to 20kms away from Chamkhar town. The road goes through Ura pass (3600m) with magnificent view of Mt. Gangkar Puensum to th north. The village of Ura (3100m) is one of the finest examples of cluster settlements and not so common in this region of Bhutan. A walk around the village and a possible visit to one of the local houses will give a wonderful perspective of living in a close-knit society.


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