Day Hikes in Bumthang Valley
This excursion begins with 30minute drive to Lamigompa. The hike starts with gradual climb through the chirpine forest. Through this hike we will see the entire Chumey Valley. Walk down to the Chumey Village and our car and driver will wait for us here to take us back to the hotel. The hike will take about 5hours.
This hike will take about 3hours. This hike begins with a gradual climb through the blue pine forest. Visit the lhakhang which over looks the beautiful valley of Bumthang.
It is two hours walk above Drangchel, Tang Valley. It is one of the most important sites related to Tertoen Pemalingpa, the great treasure discoverer in Bhutan. He constructed the Goenpa in 1488, and many of his sacred relics are kept here including the gilded stone bearing his footprint.
A Hike to Ngang Lhakhang
After breakfast take a hike to Ngang Lhakhang with packed picnic lunch. Three hours’ walk up the Bumthang river from Thangbi Lhakhang is the small region of Ngang Yul (‘Swan Land’). This is where Ngang Lhakhang- “Swan Temple”. A wonderful trek to Ngang Lhakhang will pass through villages, fields and forests and cross the suspension bridges.
Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche visited the site and Lama Namkha Samdrup contemporary of Pema Lingpa known as the ‘treasure hunter’ built the temple in the 15th century. Then hike back to Thangbi Lhakhang where your car will wait for you. The round trip hike will take about 6 hours.
Temple Tour: Jampa Lhakhang – Kurjey Lhakhang – Tamshing – Khonchosum Lhakhang
Rather than driving to the beautiful temples in Bumthang, we recommend walking or biking if the weather permits. You can start your walk from Jampa Lhakhang, a ten minute drive from Jakar town, or start biking. Continue from Jampa, through fields and meadows to Kurjey Lhakhang. On the way you will pass a beautiful Chorten and the newly built temple, Zangdo Palri. After Kurjey the trail continues past a water source, Kurjey Drupchhu, believed to be the Holiest Water in Bhutan, before you reach the suspension bridge which will take you across the river. If you are biking, there is a short section where you will have to push your bikes before getting on the dirt road on the opposite side of the river. The next stop is Tamshing Lhakhang. You may end the walk or ride here, or continue to Khonchosum Lhakhang just 400 meters further. You may get picked up here or continue by foot or bike back to the lodge. Jampa Lhakhang is believed to have been built in the year 659 by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, on the same day as Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro, in order to subdue a Tibetan demoness. It was here that Guru Rinpoche conducted the first sermon on Tantric Buddhism for his host King Sindhu Raja, the local ruler and his family. The place where Guru Rinpoche sat during the sermon can still be seen. Every year in October, the temple hosts a spectacular festival, the Jampa Lhakhang Drup. Two of the main attractions are the fire dance and the treasure dance or „naked dance‟, and the fertility blessings for women. Kurjey Lhakhang is named after the body (kur) print (jey) of Guru Rinpoche who was invited to meditate here in 746 AD to subdue evil spirits and demons. There are three temples; the oldest temple was built in 1652 on the rock face where Guru Rinpoche meditated. The body imprint of the great master can be seen distinctly in the rock cave enshrined in the temple. The second was built in 1900 by the first King when he was still the Governor of Trongsa. The third temple was built in 1990 with the support of the Queen Mother Ashi Kesang. A wall of 108 chortens surrounds the temple grounds and symbolizes Buddha‟s victory over the evil spirits. The Cypress tree which is seen near the temple is believed to have grown from the Guru‟s walking stick.
Kurjey Drupchhu: During the 8th century Sindhu Raja, the King of Chakhar invited Guru Padhma Sambawa from Yangleyshey in Nepal (meditation cave of Guru Rinpoche) to cure his prolonged illness. The Guru meditated at the present Guru Lhakhang and subdued the Demon of Dragmar Dorji Tsegpa, known as Shelging Karpo, responsible for the sickness of the Raja. Drupchhu was made available at the end of Guru‟s meditation with his spiritual power to celebrate the victory over the Demon and to cure the illness of the King. Therefore it is believed that this water is holy and cures all our sins and illnesses. Tamshing Lhakhang (temple of good message) is located in a village across the river from Kurjey. It was built by Pema Lingpa in 1501 and is the most important Nyingma Lhakhang in the Kingdom. Being a skilled tantric master and an artist, Pema Lingpa sculpted the main statues and painted the frescoes, which can be seen even today, mostly in original state. He also created a 25 kg suit of chain-mail armour and it is believed that you will be freed from your sins if you carry it around the lhakhang three times. Khonchosum Lhakhang is a rural looking temple which has its roots in the 7th century. The current structure, however, dates back to the 15th century when Pema Lingpa, the Treasure Discoverer, restored it and revealed terma (sacred texts and artifacts) on the hillside behind the temple. The temple‟s three small Buddha statues representing the past, present and the future, are believed to have flown there, hence the name Kencho meaning divine and Sum meaning three. Legend has it that when the bell inside is rung, it can be heard as far away as Lhasa in Tibet.
Jampa – Kurjey – Tamshing: 1 – 1. hour hike (not including stops)
Jakar town- Jampa – Kurjey – Tamshing – Khonchosum - lodge: 1 . to 2 hour bike ride (not including stops)
Difficulty level – Easy