Central Bhutan is an exciting destination for all visitors. If you have few days more than a typical weeks holiday, this is where you need to spend some time during your Bhutan holiday. It includes some of the most significant historical and religious sites in Bhutan. The district of Trongsa has always been of great political importance to the monarchy of Bhutan due to its strategic geographical location in the centre of the nation while Bumthang district has some of the most ancient and important temples and monasteries in Bhutan.

Some of the important landmarks in central Bhutan are: Kurje Lhakhang built in 1652 at the site where the great Buddhist saint Guru Rimpoche meditated. Tamshing Lhakhang, the great religious treasure revealer Terton Pema Lingpa built dating back to 1501. Mebar Tsho: A sacred lake from which Terton Pema Lingpa discovered religious treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche.

The Watchtower of Trongsa Museum: This ancient tower has been made into a museum dedicated to the Wangchuck dynasty and provides visitors with unparalleled insight into Bhutan’s political history, Chendebji Chorten: An interesting and visually striking religious building with eyes painted towards the four cardinal directions. Legend states that it was constructed to subdue the remains of an evil spirit that manifested as a gigantic serpant.

In addition to the traditional annual religious festivals (Tshechus) there are also many newer festivals showcasing the rich traditions of the region like the annual Nomad’s Festival and the Matsutake Mushroom Festival in Ura, Bumthang.

Central Bhutan is a region blessed with great natural beauty and there are miles of pristine alpine and sub-tropical broadlead forests teeming with all manner of flora and fauna. The Thrumshingla National Park is located in this region and is famous for the many rare and endangered birds that inhabit it including the Rufous necked hornbill, Rufous-throated wren-babbler, Satyr Tragopan, Beautiful nuthatch, Ward’s trogon and Chestnut-breasted partridge. Visitors may even catch a glimpse of the exotic animals that live in the park such as the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger or the adorable Red Panda.

Bhumthang district need a special mention, also known as the Switzerland of east: Bumthang district consists of four main valleys Choekhor. Ura, Chumey and Tang. Choekhor is the largest of the four mountain valleys and is widely considered as ‘Bumthang Valley’. The valleys are broad and gentle carved by the ancient glaciers. The wide and scenic is a major Bhutan tourist attraction.

The name Bumthang has two probable origins; The first origin implies that it is the Valley of Beautiful Girls as Bum translates to ‘Girl’ and Thang means ‘flat piece of land’. The sexond is that it is named after a Bumpa, a vessel for holy water which the valley resembles in shape.

These fertile valleys are covered in fields of rice, buckwheat and potatoes. Dairy farming and organic apple orchard are also common here. This valley is not only one of the most beautiful place in Bhutan, but also one of the most peaceful and hospitable that a Bhutan tourist will come across.

This Bhutan district is one of the most richly endowed districts in terms of spiritual and historical legacy. Some of Bhutan’s oldest and most venerated temples are found in Bumthang, including Jambey Lhakhang. According to legend this ancient temple was built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in 659 A.D. as part of a chain of 108 simultaneously constructed temples in order to subdue an evil demoness that lay over the Himalayan region. It is the oldest temple in Bhutan.

There are numerous shrines and temples worth visiting in Bumthang and most of them are linked to Guru Rinpoche’s Bhutan visit in 746 A.D.


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