Bumthang Tourism Guide
Bumthang District (Bum-thang rzong-khag) is one of the 20 dzongkhag (districts) comprising Bhutan. It is the most historic dzongkhag if the number of ancient temples and sacred sites is counted. Bumthang consists of the four mountain valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor (“Bumthang”), although occasionally the entire district is referred to as Bumthang Valley.
Bumthang directly translates as “beautiful field” – thang means field or flat place, and bum is said be an abbreviation of either bumpa (a vessel for holy water, thus describing the shape and nature of the valley), or simply bum (“girl,” indicating this is the valley of beautiful girls). The name is said to have arisen after the construction of Jambay Lhakhang.
Bumthang is home to some of the Kingdom’s most ancient and precious Buddhist sites. The district is subdivided into four blocks Chhokor, Chume, Tang, and Ura valley.
Best Things to Do in Bumthang
Bumthang is ancient valley of Bhutan and holds the most ancient monastery and it is the cultural hub of the Country. The best things to do here is to explore the cultural heritage, visit oldest temples, go for nature hike, trek the unique Bumthang Cultural trek and enjoy the Bumthang Khooli the local delicacy of the place.
Bumthang Owl Trek
The lovely Bumthang valley is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. This three-day trek passes through several villages on its meandering route through Bumthang countryside and provides an exceptional opportunity for contact with Bhutanese rural life. Find Details
Visit the oldest Temples in Bhutan
Visit Jampa Lhakhang which was built in 659AD by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo to pin down the left knee of a giant agrees on whose body lay across the Himalayas. The inner shrine of the temple houses an exquisite image of Jowo Jampa, the Buddha of the future, also known as Maitreya.
Attend the most popular and unique Naked dance festival in Bumthang that takes place every year in November.
Cycling Bumthang Valley
Cycling in Bhutan’s most beautiful valley is the greatest adventure one can have. The wide valley of Bumthang offers a great opportunity to view the ancient monastery, traditional villages, and Fortresses during the adventure.
Visit Cheese Factory
Visit the Cheese factory.
Best Places to Visit in Bumthang
The Ura valley is about 1 hour journey from main Bumthang city.
Burning lake in Bumthang. Mebar Tsho is more of a gorge than a lake. It is a very sacred site and the name refers to the most famous episode of the famous treasure discoverer, Pema Lingpa’s life. In early 1475 the saint discovered holy relics hidden here by Guru Rinpoche and thus received his holy mission to propagate religion.
Kencho Sum Lhakhang
The temple was built in the 7th century but later restored by Terton Pema Lingpa in the 15th century. The three sacred Buddha statues which grace the Lhakhang main shrine are said to have miraculously flown there from Khini in Kurtoe a region further east.
The Jakar Dzong or the castle of white Bird was built in 1677. It was later renamed Yuelay Namgyel Dzong. Today the Dzong functions as the administrative and religious seat of the district.
Kurje temple is one of the most important temples for the Bhudhsit Pilgrimage as it was built around a rock on which Guru left an imprint of his body while meditating there in the 8th century. The name Kurjey means sacred body imprint. The rock around which the temple grew came to be known as Dragmar Dorje Tshegpa(the red cliff of the Diamond of Long life).
Best time to Visit Bumthang Valley
The best time to visit Bumthang is Spring (March to May) and Autumn (August to November). Winter is very cold and risky to travel by road because of snowfall and icy road conditions.
Climate and Weather Condition of Bumthang Valley
Located at an elevation of 3650.72 meters (11977.43 feet) above sea level, Bumthang has a Temperate highland tropical climate with a dry winter climate (Classification: Cwb). The city’s yearly temperature is 9.61ºC (49.3ºF) and it is -5.99% lower than Bhutan’s averages. Bumthang typically receives about 71.39 millimeters (2.81 inches) of precipitation and has 142.46 rainy days (39.03% of the time) annually.
How to reach Bumthang Valley?
Bumthang can be reached by domestic air and by road. If you take flights from Paro airport it takes about 25 minutes to Batpalatahng domestic airport. By road, it takes about a day from Paro. It is always best to take the one-way road and return on flights to experience.