Renowned for its sprawling valleys, Bumthang is known as the spiritual hub of Bhutan. Famed as the rich producer of apples and apple juice, Bumthang houses some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries and temples. One of the most peaceful places in Bhutan, the district boasts beautiful apple orchids and dairy farms.
The name Bumthang has two sources; Bhumpa which means a vessel for holy water and Thang mean a flat piece of land. Bumthang is also known as the Valley of Beautiful Girls, as Bum means ‘Girl.’
Knowing Bumthang – The Centre of Valleys
Ura, Chumey, Choekhor, and Tang are the four main lush valleys of Bumthang, which are also the main tourist attractions of Bumthang. Noted as the largest of four mountain valleys, Choekhor is popularly referred as ‘Bumthang Valley.’ The scenic environ carved by the ancient glaciers, these fertile valleys are decked with the fields of rice, potatoes and buckwheat.
The Centre of Spirituality
The sacred town sings glory of Guru Padmasambhava, who was believed to have healed a local king trapped by a spirit. This healing deed by Guru Rinpoche’s resulted in spread of Buddhism in Bhutan. Bumthang has many temples and shrines that are linked to the Guru’s visit in 746 A.D. Jambey Lhakhang is the oldest temple in the country and one of the 108 temples constructed to kill an evil demon, who is considered to have resided in the Himalayas.
Shopping at Bumthang
Bumthang is well-known for its lustrousandquintessentially woven woollen garments known asyethra. Yethra is made of yak hair and sheep wool. Also, fresh apples can be bought from the orchards of Bumthang.
Highlights of Bumthang
- Landmarks – Jakar Dzong is one of the prominent constructions and most imposing structures in Bhutan. It houses monk offices within it.
- Sacred Sites – Bumthang houses several impressive monasteries. Some of the famous ones include, Kurjey Lhakhang, Thangbi Goemba, Tamshing Goemba, Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake), Jambey Lhakhang and Tharpaling Goemba.
- Leisure Sites – Wangdicholing Palace is worth visiting in Bumthang. Built in 1857, it was the old summer residence of Bhutan’s kings.
Climate in Bumthang
Winters in Bumthang are chilled followed by strong wind and heavy snowfall. On the contrary, summers are warm and pleasant, followed by heavy monsoon falls. Bumthang can be best visited from the end of May to the end of September.
Culture, Festival and Food
One of the oldest temples in Bumthang, Jambay Lhakhang is one of the most spectacular festivals in Bhutan. The five day festival highlights the fire ritual that is held mostly during evening. The event displays the ritualistic naked dance in the evening. The regional dish of Bumthang includes Khuli (buckwheat pancakes) and Puta (buckwheat noodles).
Come, explore Bumthang and reside in the heart of nature!