Bumthang has a distinctive charm that entices the visitors and separates it from the other cities, towns and districts of Bhutan. It is composed of 4 small valleys i.e. Chumey, Tang, Ura and Choekhor. Since, all the important temples and the dzongs are found in the Choekhor, is is often referred to as the Bumthang valley. The profound spiritual region of this city is rooted in this religious land. This city is also the traditional home to the renowned Buddhist philosopher and teacher Pema Linga. The present day dynasty traces its origin to the descendants of Pema Linga.
Legends give 2 key notions on the name of this place. One, the canyon here is supposedly in the shape of Bumpa which is the container of pious water usually found on the shrine of a lhakhang. Thang here stands for a flat place or an open field. Another but rather a less respectful translation of the name relates particularly to the beautiful women residing here as bum stands for ‘girl’.
Besides, the pristine beauty of the four valleys, Bumthang also has numerous other places to see along with a few of the oldest Buddhist temples of the kingdom. Bumthang is definitely one of the best tourist places in Bhutan which can be well explored on foot with walks to suit everyone.
Recommendations for Bumthang
Newly Added Bumthang Experience
Jambay Lhakhang Festival
Located on the way to Kurjie Lhakhang, in Bumthang, Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples founded in 7th century by Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan King. As per legends, the king was destined to construct 108 temples in a single day, to suppress a demon in the Himalayan region. This temple is one of those 108 temples. Legend Guru Rimpoche is believed to visit this destination and considered it a sacred and extremely pious destination. The temple got renovated again in 8th century AD. The temple has more than hundred statues of Gods and Goddesses but the main attraction is the relic of future Buddha. This is a spectacular festival which is celebrated for five days. Highlights: A ritualistic naked dance on the fire that attracts huge crowd from all over the country. Festival time: In the month of November
Kurjey Tshechu is a popular festival celebrated in Kurjey temple in Chokhor valley of Bumthang district. There is huge historical significance attached to this temple as well as the festival. According to the legends Guru Rimpoche meditated here for the suppression of evil spirits in this region. There are three major temples in Kurjey. The first temple was built in 1652 on the location where Guru Rimpoche meditated, the second one on the place where Guru left his body imprint and the third built in 1990 which holds images of Guru Rimpoche. The Kurjey festival is one of the important religious occasions for the locals of the place. It is a social gathering as well as a time to seek blessing and enjoy victory of good over evil. It is a festival that displays the golden traditions of Bhutan and the rich cultural heritage. Highlights: special mask dance Festival time: In 10th day of 10th month of lunar calendar
Chokhor Valley is a spiritual heart land in the Bhutan. It is brimming with several precious and ancient Buddhist sites.
Highlights: Bumthang is a religious hub of Bhutan and comprises of some of the oldest temples of Buddhists. Apart from the Jakar, the principal town in the Chokhor Valley along with its undulating terrain with its numerous temples and the apple trees is a sheer delight for the tourists. The visitors who come here can marvel at the scenic Trongsa Dzong that lies on the top of the steep ridge which drops off amidst the clouds in the southern end. This scenic town is often regarded as an overnight destination for the travellers who come here all the way to the eastern and central Bhutan.
Location: Chokhor Valley is located at an elevation of 2600 meters in Bhutan.
Timings: Open round the year.
Pricing: Entry is free.
Bumthang Cultural Trek
A trek through the “cultural heartland “of Bhutan, is always a precious one. This short and simple trek is one of the preferred trekking trails to enjoy the natural beauty of Bhutan with its trout- filled rivers and verdant valleys. Apart from this the trekking trail also provides a fascinating glimpse of some of ancient Buddhist temples and age old monasteries. Passing through the countryside of Bumthang, one can enjoy the scenic pleasure of blue pine forest and scrub bamboo along with several small villages displaying their traditional lifestyle. For all those nature lovers this is a splendid trail to visualize the beauty of Thimphu, Paro valleys and Punakha. Highlights: old Buddhist temples Duration: 3 days trek Location: Bumthang, Bhutan Best Season: March to May, September to November
One of the most sacred sites in Bhutan, Krje Lhakhang consists of three temples which are surrounded by 108 Chorten walls. The first and the oldest structure of the three, was constructed on the rock where Guru Rinpoche meditated. The second building is also called the Sampa lhundrup temple and houses a colossal statue of Guru Rinpoche. The third building is known as Ka Gon Phur sum lhakhang dedicated to the happiness of all living beings in the kingdom. Highlights: It is one of the most beautiful and sacred sites in Bumthang. It offers much to explore and learn about Guru Rinpoche and the culture, tradition and faith of Bhutanese people. Explore various images, statues and elaborate paintings of deities. Location: Located 5 kms from Bumthang district on the bank of Chamkhar River. It takes 12 minutes drive from Bathpalathang Airport. Timing: 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM Price: 600 BTN.
Bumthang Valley is considered a sacred place by the local population and ancient tales of religious treasure-discoverers still linger to this day. The valleys in the area are vast and rolling and the place is home to some of the most venerated temples of the region and country. The landscape is dominated by fields of rice, potatoes and buckwheat. You will also find quaint scenes of dairy farms and apple orchards in this quiet part of the world which make for excellent picnic spots and day trails. Thousands of visitors visit the region every year, coming here to marvel at the scenic Trongsa Dzong whose unique structure, lying on top of a steep ridge makes it a sight to behold. Location: Bumthang Valley, BhutanTiming: Open all-dayPrice: Free
If you are planning to visit Bumthang, then the best time would be when the annual Nomad Festival is being held. Bumthang is the part of central Bhutan and less than 10 hr drive from Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. This is the time of the year when you get to see the real nomadic people coming together from all parts of Bhutan. However, primarily the nomads from North West and North East Himalayas dominate the festival with their presence. During the festival you get to witness the unforgettable shows when the nomads put on the traditional performance. You get to understand their culture, traditions, and way of living. The colourful outfits, cheerful environment, and all in the backdrop of incredible landscape make the experience overwhelming. Location: Bumthang – 10hr drive from Thimpu Timing: From late in the morning till late in the evening. Price: No special pricing to visit the festival
Bumthang Owl Trek
To enjoy unspoiled natural beauty and pictorial scenic vista in Bhutan, one of the best options is to set out for the short yet fascinating Bumthang Owl trek. The trek starts from Manchung and travels through Dhur village, Drangela Pass and reaches Tharpaling monastery. On the trekking trail one can enjoy unlimited and undisturbed scenery with dense forests on both sides with blue pine, birch, maple, spruce, juniper, bamboo and famous rhododendron trees. One can visualize the exceptional beauty of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, which is ideally the highest unclimbed peak in the world. Avian wildlife is a key attraction of this trek. The trekking trail is filled with an array of fascinating flora and fauna and multiple ancient Buddhist temples. Highlights: Old Buddhist temples, Himalayan black bear Duration: 3 days trek Location: Bumthang, Bhutan Best Season: March to May, September to November
Trekking was such an amazing experience and we did camping also
People Also Ask About Bumthang
Get a travel or medical insurance before you get here. You can easily enquire about all the formalities of insurance from the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan
INR denominations of 500 and 1000 are unacceptable in Bhutan.
Do not carry with you cash more than necessary. You can find ATMs everywhere so make use of them and avoid any mishap.
Money can be withdrawn here via VISA or Master Card only.
You can easily withdraw a traveler’s cheque to get the requisite local currency.
Carry flat to round pin converters with you for charging your electronics here.
It may be typically cooler than the surrounding areas so do carry with you warmer layers of clothing.
Trekkers must bring with them the kit that may be needed by them during the adventure.
Check with your guides whenever you film or take pictures inside the monasteries, temples or the Dzongs. There may be a fair chance that filming or photography maybe prohibited there so kindly respect the same.
Make sure you dress appropriately.
Nudity is illegal here.
Never befriend a stranger or a person you barely know.
There is no ban on alcohol in Bhutan. Moreover, drinking the traditional alcohol of this place is believed to be a tradition.
Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?
Bumthang is quite famous for its brewery and you can taste the best beer in the town here. The brewery is very close to Jakar. Most of the tours that visitors take includes this place as it is amongst the best micro brewery in Bumthang. You will also get a Red Panda Beer complementary with your admission fee.
Bumthang is one of the most sacred places for pilgrims in Bhutan and this lake has a huge religious significance. It is believed that The Famous Saint Pema Lingpa discovered a lot of hidden treasures from this lake which belonged to Guru Rinpoche. This is one of the reasons why people add it to their places to see list in Bumthang.
Kurjey Lhakhang is a huge temple complex frequented by a large number of tourists. This place is christened after body print of Guru Rinpoche which has been preserved safely inside the cave. The famous temple is located just at a distance of 2.5 km from Chakhar Lhakhang, another popular tourist place.
The temple is located at a distance of 10 km in the Chokhor valley. The exterior of the temple was recently renovated but the interiors which includes the beautiful statues and paintings still impresses tourists and locals alike.
Your visit to Bhutan
is incomplete without visiting a few Buddhist monasteries. Although you will find many monasteries in the city, the Deothang Goemba is the most famous one. It has a huge main hall and 12 metal statues that look marvelous inside the hall.
What will you like there?
People who like shopping will have a great time at Bumthang as there are hordes of shops where one can buy traditional handicrafts. The place is quite famous for these things and ensure good sightseeing. A lot of tourists indulge in buying good looking handicraft items for themselves or their loved ones from here.
Adventure enthusiasts will love horse riding along the beautiful backdrop of the hilly region. There are various tours in which the package includes a horse ride at an affordable price. The Wind Horse ranch and riding club offers some exciting packages that you can buy.
The best way to discover the cultural and historical heritage is to visit the museums in that place. The Ogyen Chholing Museum is among the most popular ones but you can find other museums in the city too. They promise you a tour in the past to the ancient Bumthang where the things were completely different.
If you are here for a holiday, you must definitely try the food cuisines available here. There are various restaurants that promise you a range of delicious dishes and you must make it a point to try them out while you are there. Sunny restaurant is a famous place where a lot of people love to eat because of the hygiene and the quality of food there.
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