The Bumthang Valley is a district located in central Bhutan, known for its beautiful landscape, religious sites and cultural significance. The valley is one of the most historic and important districts in Bhutan and is often referred as the spiritual heartland of the country.
Bumthang is home to several important Buddhist monasteries and temples, including the temples of Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang and the Jakar Dzong. These Temples and Dzongs are not only religiously significant for the country but also showcase the unique Bhutanese architectural style.
The District of Bumthang
The district of Bumthang is also popular for its traditional handicrafts such as weaving, woodcarving and painting. Visitors can witness these crafts being made by local artisans and can even take some of the handicrafts home as a souvenir.
Fascinating natural beauty makes Bumthang a perfect place for a trekking trip. The region offers several valleys such as Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura. Each with its own unique landscape and cultural heritage.
Bumthang is also known for its several temples and monasterys. Two of the most famous and beautiful temples in Bumthang Valley are the Tamshing Lhakhang temple and the Kurje Lhakhang temple.
Tamshing Lhakhang Temple
The famous Tamshing Lhakhang temple, also known as the “temple of the good message”, was founded in the year 1501 by the guru Pema Lingpa. The temple is built in the traditional Bhutanese architectural style, with intricate wood carvings and frescoes that depict the life of Buddha and various religious teachings. The Temple is also known for its traditional design, with a whitewashed exterior and a sloping roof. The temple is also famous for its annual festival which is held in the eight-lunar month (usually in October). The Tamshing Lhakhang festival features traditional Bhutanese music, dance and other cultural performances, as well as religious ceremonies and rituals.
Another famous temple in Bumthang valley is the Kurjey Lhakhang Temple. This temple is one of the holiest temples of Bhutan The Kurjey Lhakhang temple is closely linked with the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. It is named after the saint guru Rinpoche. Who was invited to this place in the year 746 to fight against ghosts and demons. The complex consists of three Temples. The oldest one in which guru Rinpoche meditate was built in 1652 direct in the stone walls.
The famous Kurje Tsechu also takes place in this temple. Usually, the festival take place in the autumn season. The festival is known for its masked dances, religious festivals and cultural performances.
One of the oldest and most sacred Temples in Bhutan, the Jambay Lhakhang temple is located in Bhumthang valley. This temple plays an important religious and historical role for the country. The temple was built back in the 7th century, it is believed that the temple is one of the two temples which where rebuild at the same day, the other temple is the Kyichu Lhakhang Temple in Paro. Jambay Lhakhang serves also as a important pilgrimage place. Several buddhist teachings, ceremonies and cultural activities will be hold in the temple.
Being one of the oldest Dzongs in the country, the Jakar Dzong was built in the 16th century. Initially build as a monastery it was later transformed into a fortress. The Dzong also serves for several roles. On the one hand the Dzong is an important religious center for monks. And on the other hand, it serves as and administrative center for Bumthang valley
The temple is also famous for the Jakar Dzong festival, held annually in Bumthang valley, attracts both locals and tourists and is a great opportunity to experience Bhutanese culture and traditions. This festival might not be as big as the festivals in Paro or Thimphu but is one the other hand even more authentic.