Bumthang valley is one of Bhutan’s holy places associated with religious figures beginning from the 8th century, such as the great Indian Tantric Saint and Buddhist Master Guru Padma Sambhava. The valley also houses one of Bhutan’s oldest temples, the Jampa Lhakhang built in the 7th century.
It also houses the Kyichu Lhakhang where Guru Padma Sambhava is said to have meditated and left an imprint of his body. The famous Tamshing Lhakhang, built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa is also in Bumthang. Besides, the famous Burning Lake (Mebar Tsho) is located in Bumthang from where the great Terton (Treasure Discoverer), Pema Lingpa is believed to have discovered several religious treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche.
Bumthang valley is one of Bhutan’s most beautiful places stretching from Chumey in the east to Ura in the west. As one passes on from Bumthang, you enter vegetation that has dozens of rhododendron species. Bumthang is also popular for its local cuisines such as Khuli (Buckwheat), Puta (noodles) and garments, popularly known as Yathra, a product from sheep wool.
Places to visit in Bumthang
– Jambay Lhakhang. Is a sacred monastery built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region.
– Chakhar Lhakhang. Besides the main road, a short distance beyond Jambay Temple is Chamkhar (Iron Castle). It is the site of the palace of the Indian King Sendha Gyab also known as Sindhu Raja.
– Kurjey Lhakhang (Kurjey means, “Body imprint”). The temple to the right was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rinpoche meditated and left his body imprint.
– Tamshing Lhakhang. This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message).
– Jakar Dzong. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of monks.