Bumthang (Alt 2600m) – The Geographic Core
This fascinating valley is religious heartland of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Here tales of Guru Padsambhava and his re-incarnates, known as Lingpas, still linger in most nook and corners that have become now sacred ground.
Enroute from Trongsa we reach Yotongla Pass (Alt 3425m) and next to Kikila Pas ( 2750m) Arguably unsurpassed in the serene poetry of its landscape Bumthang is a photographer’s paradise. This broad valley in central Bhutan, which houses several sacred Buddhist shrines, is split by a clear mountain river that runs by one of the most picturesque towns in the kingdom. Perched high on a hill above the town looms the impressive and appropriately named Jakar Dzong (Fortress of the White Bird) which sports a central tower rising 150 feet high.
Bumthang comprises of four valleys, Chumey, Tang, Ura and Chokor all of which houses tremendous amount of religious temples. Pilgrims would need a few months to hike to each place of worship.
Myth and religious legend abound in Bumthang. A host of tales and accounts of the revered eighth century Tibetan mystic, Guru Padma Sambhava, and the great Nyingmapa treasure revealer, Terton Pema Lingpa (1450-1521), are traced to Bumthang and its satellite valleys. The Guru’s bodily imprints are still visible at the Jampa Lhakhang (monastery) and the Kurjey Lhakhang, located on a fringe of the Choekhor valley.
Beyond Bumthang lies the equally charming Ura valley, which is the last settlement before the climb up to the country’s highest road at Thrumshingla (12,500 feet) and then further down into eastern Bhutan.
PLACES OF INTEREST :
Jambay Lakang, Kurje Lakang, Jakar Dzong, Swiss farm and cheese, Tang Valley, Burning lake or Member tsho, Ura Valley and many other day hikes to hermitages etc.