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Bhutan +975-7765-5137 | Thailand +66-8-9494-2064

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Bumthang

The District of Bumthang

This region that spans from 2,600-4,500 m is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Tales of Guru Padmasambhava and the tertons (“religious treasure-discoverers”) still linger in this sacred region.

Bumthang Dzongkhag consists of four main valleys, Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor. Choekhor is the largest of the four and is widely considered as ‘Bumthang Valley’. The valleys are broad and gentle carved by the ancient glaciers. The wide and scenic valleys draws a large number of tourists each year.

This dzongkhag is one of the most richly endowed districts in terms of historical and spiritual 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 lhakhang in Bhutan. There are numerous other temples and shrines worth visiting in Bumthang and many of them are linked to Guru Rinpoche’s visit in 746 A.D.

The fertile valleys of Bumthang are covered in fields of buckwheat, rice and potatoes. Apple orchards and dairy farms are also common sights here. This serene region is one of the most peaceful places in the kingdom.

Things to do in Bumthang

Places of interests in and around Bumthang, Central Bhutan
Wangduechhoeling Palace, the Birthplace of Bhutan’s Monarchy

Wangduechhoeling Palace was built in 1856 by Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyel, the father of Bhutan’s first King Sir Ugyen Wanchuck. As the birthplace of the first king of Bhutan, Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuck, the Wangduechhoeling Palace serves as an important landmark in the history of the monarchy in Bhutan. In addition to its historical importance, the palace is also an extraordinary example of traditional Bhutanese architecture, painting, and craftsmanship that continues to influence Bhutanese architecture today.

The magnificent carvings and paintings on the façade of the palace, the frames of the timber windows, and the wall murals are rapidly deteriorating and are in danger of being damaged beyond repair or lost forever if not conserved soon. The palace provides an opportunity to restore a significant part of Bhutan’s history and make it available to the general public while promoting sustainable tourism.

7th century Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang, central Bhutan.
7th century Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang, central Bhutan.
Jampa Lhakhang

One of the oldest lhakhangs in the Kingdom, Jampa lhakhang was founded by the King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet in the 7th century AD. The King was destined to built 108 lhakhangs to subdue the spirit of the demoness that was residing in the Himalayas. Jampa Lhakhang is one of the two which were built in Bhutan. The other one is Kichu Lhakhang in Paro, both believed to have been built on the same day.