Trongsa & Bumthang are two stunning valleys located in the central Bhutan. There are many amazing sightseeing places to visit in Bumthang & Trongsa. They are the land of scenic valleys and Fortresses.

Bumthang Valley

Bumthang valley comprises of four major valleys ; those of Tang, Ura Valley, Chumey & Choekhor. Agriculture activities predominant in Chumey & Choekhor valleys while in Tang & Ura sheep & yak breeding is more popular. Bumthang’s fascinating valley is the spiritual heartland of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. The valley is famous for the production of honey, cheese, apples, and the yathra (woolen materials). The town of Jakar is the administrative center and is located in Chokhor valley. It is in this valley the most sightseeing place of Bumthang is located including Jakar Dzong. Bumthang gentle green valley with a wide terrace enjoys a sense of space that is fairly uncommon to Bhutan & is thus an ideal place for hikes & light treks.


 Trongsa Valley

Trongsa, the sacred and temporal heart of the country is a two-day journey from Thimphu. Situated in central Bhutan, it was once the seat of power over central and eastern regions. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat and it is customary for the crown prince to serve as the Trongsa Penlop (“governor”) prior to ascending the throne. Trongsa till the very recent past played a pivotal role in the history of the country. 

Top 10 interesting facts about Bumthang and Trongsa, Bhutan

  1. Bumthang valley  is known for its breathtaking landscape
  2. Bumthang is a place of mysticism and is also called as Spiritual heartland of the country
  3. The beautiful slopes around Bumthang valley are perfect haven for hikers.
  4. The famous Ura Yakchoed Festival takes place in Ura Valley
  5. Bee farming is a major activity in Bumthang valley
  6. It is famous for local handicrafts and textile
  7. Bumthang has its own brewery
  8. Trongsa Dzong is one of the best sightseeing place to visit in Trongsa
  9. In the nineteenth century Trongsa was the de facto center of authority as the Trongsa Penlop controlled all of Central & Eastern Bhutan.
  10. Trongsa is famous as ‘the center of Bhutan’

Here, check out the top sightseeing places to visit in  Bumthang and Trongsa, Bhutan. If Magic is real and Bumthang is where it can be found.

Jambay Lhakhang

Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Located in Jakar valley in Bumthang – central Bhutan, the temple was built in the early 7th century by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo. He commissioned the creation of 108 temples in successive circles in order to pin down an evil demoness who was seen to be blocking the spread of Buddhism. This temple is one of two such temples in Bhutan, the other being Kichu Lhakhang in Paro valley. The Jambay Lhakhang is dedicated to the future Buddha, Maitreya (Sanskrit) or Jambay (Dzongkha), thus the name Jambay Lhakhang. Many historians assert that Buddhism appeared in the country for the first time with the establishment of this temple. Both historically and culturally, this temple remains one of the most important landmarks of the kingdom. The popular Jambay Lhakhang Drub or the Jambay Lhakhang Festival is also held here.

Jambay Lhakhang Drub or Jambay Lhakhang Festival 

Jambay Lhakhang Drub is one of the most unique and interesting festivals of Bhutan. It has become an increasingly more popular tourist attraction due to two unique portions of the program- The Fire Offering and Naked Dance. Both these sacred dances take place at night on the full moon day. People believe that their obstacles will be burnt away by successfully passing through the Fire Offering- in the form of an arch- which is located outdoor. In addition, for those who witness the Naked Dance, additional purification or removal of obstacles will be accomplished. Simply observing the Naked Dance empowers one with the ability to overcome the obstacle of anxiety and fearsome and thus cut through the barrier of ignorance. The dance represents naked wisdom and primordial awareness, both of which naturally abide within the unfettered mind.

Tamshing Lhakhang

Lhakhang Nagpo or Black Temple in Haa valley is one of the two temples bu

Tamshing Lhakhang was founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa who was personally involved in its construction. It took four years to build and even today remains the premier center for teaching Pema Lingpa’s tradition of Buddhist studies. It is believed that he was assisted in his task of constructing Tamzhing Lhakhang by Khandums who are female celestial beings.

Structure Of Tamshing Lhakhang

The outer courtyard of Tamshing monastery holds the monk’s quarters while the inner courtyards leads to the lhakhang. The Dungkar Lhakhang is to the East of this courtyard which also accesses the assembly hall. In this hall is a separate structure-the main chapel.

A low balcony wraps around the upper floor of Tamshing Lhakhang which also has a chapel, located just above the lower one, which holds the statue of Buddha of Long Life.

There are thirty-six paintings on the inner walls at the ground level-these are attributed to Pema Lingpa himself and are the oldest extant paintings in the country.Each has a central deity surrounded by attendants, the figures conforming to the iconographic canons established by him. These early sixteenth century paintings are of special value and interest in the field of both art and history as they are in their original forms.

The inner sanctuary of Tamshing lhakhang

It is dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava and his eight manifestations. His statue is believed to have been sculpted by the Khandums and has the eyes sloping upwards watching the angels in their flight!Another unusual aspect is the fact that Guru Padmasambhava is not wearing shoes.Pema Lingpa’s original coat of mail is kept on this floor and it is supposed to bring good luck if you can carry it three times around the Tamzhing Lhakhang. (Warning: It weighs twenty-five kilograms!) .

Upper floor

Moving to the upper floor, the walls are elaborately illustrated with 1004 paintings of Buddha and those of the 21 Taras and striking yellow -on -red depiction of the Three Bodies of Buddha- Amitabha, Avalokiteswara and Padmasambhava. On the inner walls are paintings of the religious cycle with eight forms of Guru Rinpoche, the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas and 1000 Buddhas. 

The collection is one of the most remarkable  pertaining to this period, in the country and indeed anywhere in the Himalayas. The temple on the upper floor of Tamshing monastery is dedicated to Amitayus, but do look out for the small statue of Pema Lingpa in a glass case by the entrance. Tamzhing Lhakhang affords a great view of Kurjey Lhakhang complex across the river.

*Carry a torch while visiting Tamshing Lhakhang so you can fully appreciate the magnificent art.The famous Tamzhing-Phala- Choepa Festival is held here. 

Built by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. Legend has it that the Emperor released two doves, white and black from his heart to find auspicious locations to build the temples. The place where the black dove landed is where the black temple, the Lhakhang Nagpo was built. And where the white bird landed is where the white temple or the Lhakhang Karpo was built.

The Black Temple is said to have been built on top of a lake and there is a doorway on the floor of the temple inside that is believed to be a passage to the underworld of the water spirit (tshomen/mermaid). The temple also has a shrine of the local diety Dado Chen. This is a mysterious place with lots of myths and legends and probably one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. It is one of the best places to visit in Haa valley.

Located close to the huge Lhakhang Karpo (white temple) complex, the Black temple is about 15 minutes walk following the footpath above the White temple. You also have the option to drive to the temple but the walk is really enjoyable. It is a highly recommended place to visit in Haa valley. 

Jakar Dzong

Jungney Dra Lhakhang or temple is a visually striking temple perched on a majestic rocky mountain in rustic Haa valley. One can’t miss talking about Jungney Dra Hike while discussing Hiking and Walking Tours in Haa. The hike is a short 45 minutes hike encircled by the stunning view of mountains.  It is one of the least explored and best places to visit in Haa valley.  

It is said that the cliff where the Jungney Dra Temple sits right now, is going to be the place or the source from where the hidden treasure teachings of Guru Rinpoche will be discovered in the future. ‘Jung’ means origin or source; ‘Ney’ means a place and ‘Dra’ is a cliff. So, it can be roughly translated as the Source of Hidden Treasure.

The hike starts with a walk through an authentic Bhutanese village until you reach a pastoral surrounding past the Mani Dangrim. Mani Dangrim is a long wall-structured stupa. Following this, ascend the pine path for about 40 minutes till you reach an old stupa gate from where you will notice the Cliffside temple and the steep stair leading to it. The sight of the valley below and the sky behind the temple is truly remarkable. Before entering the main temple which houses an ancient statue of Guru Rinpoche and the right footprint of Machig Labdron on a rock, you will have to squeeze your way through a natural stone entryway.

Being a spiritually blessed place yet unstained by the crowd, the Jungney Dra Lhakhang is one of the best places to visit in Haa valley.

Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake)

It is a sacred lake for the Bhutanese. In order to convince the skeptics and cynics, Terton Pema Lingpa , a trasure revealer, jumped ito the lake with burning butter lamp in his hand. When he came out of the pool , he did so with sacred religious treasures hidden by Guru Rinpoche and butter lamp still burning. Thus this fresh water lake which is located in Tang, Bumthang valley was therefore called Maebartsho or the burning lake.

The path to lake is lined with prayer flags and ends up above the Gorge where the river forms a pool before it rushes on. Images of Pema Lingpa and his two sons are carved  on a rock here. You may get tempted to peer in to see if you can get lucky enough to make a discovery yourself  but please dont fall in.

If magic is real, and Bhutan is where it can be found.

Kurje Lhakhang

It is dedicated to Saint Guru Padmasambhava who has meditated here in the 8th century and has left his body imprint on the rock. The temple which can be seen today was built attached to the rock where Guru Padmasambhava has left his body print. Thus, the name Kurje means Body Imprint in respectful terms. This is a very sacred site for the Bhutanese.

Ura Valley

Visiting Ura Valley of Bhutan, is like journeying back in Time . It has  a blend of legend and history. In the heart of the Ura Valley lies the Ura village , nestled at an elevation of 3,100 meters . It consists of about 50 clustered houses in a traditional setting . It is unfabricated by modernization. The whole layout gives you a feel of the medieval period. The Ura valley is one and half hour drive from Bumthang Town.

The Ura valley Bhutan, is surrounded by forests of spruce, pine , larch, fir, Juniper ,Bamboo and Rhododendrons. Ura represents an idyllic Bhutanese village maintaining a beautiful balance between pristine nature and peaceful traditional life.

The village was named after Padmasambhava, the guru from the land of Ugyen (Oddiyana) who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. He is said to have passed through the valley on his first trip to Bhutan. Since then, the village came to be called Urbay, the hidden land of Ugyen. It is, however, the second coming of Padmasambhava that the village remembers and celebrates through Yakchoe, the grand annual festival.

Click here to check out  Our Ura Yakchoe Tour Itinerary

An old account has it that the Ura community prayed to Padmasambhava to cure them of widespread leprosy. He answered their call by appearing as a mendicant at the house of an old lady, who was spinning wool on her terrace. The lady invited the mendicant to lunch but he mysteriously disappeared when she had finished preparing the traditional buckwheat pancakes. Thoroughly perplexed, she resumed her wool work only to find a statue of the Buddhist deity Vajrapani left in her wool container.

Popular accounts maintain that statue out of the lady’s house after three nights and landed in Gadan of Ura Valley. the seat of Ura’s local lama. At the same time, a nine-headed snake is said to have emerged out of the spot that is now known as ‘the nine-headed snake’ (puguyungdhogo) and slithered out of the valley. Leprosy, the disease spread by the serpents, was eventually overcome by the blessing of the Vajrapani, the subjugator of the subterranean world. “The Yakchoe is a commemoration of this important event and offering in gratitude”.

Ura valley of Bhutan speaks of time when every culture remained confined by climate, geography and ignorance; a time when our people retained their ancient beliefs in sanctity of natural events and objects; a time when demi gods and demons visited the human dwellings and impregnated the women, the result being the birth of individuals of superhuman qualities. The valley  still reverberate with the legend as one.

Strolling around the Ura village will give you the glimpse of Bhutan’s culture and village life. So in your visit to Bumthang you can include the visit to Valley.

Ogyen Choling Heritage House

The place was blessed by the presence of the Great Nyingmapa Master Lognchen Rabjam. It later became a center of the saint Dorji Lingpa (religious treasure discoverer) in the 14th century. Today it is an ancestral home of the descendant of Dorji Lingpa.

This heritage museum provides a perfect insight into the lifestyles and living conditions of a high noble family over the last century. The large building on the right is Tsughlhakhang which contains two temples with spectacular statues and paintings. The artifacts depicting the way of life fare recreated in the original room. Everything inside the palace looks authentic. The whole visit gives an intimate feeling of stepping into a bygone way of life.

Kenchogsum Lhakhang

It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples in Bhutan. Tibetan EmperorTrisong Duetsen upon the instruction of Guru Rinpoche in the 9th century first built the temple for the propagation of Dharma and Promulgation of peace and prosperity beyond the southern borders of his empire, which is currently Bhutan.

Guru Rinpoche himself visited Bumthang to design the temple and performed auspicious consecration ceremony. He has also hidden several treasure texts & relics that were later discovered by Terton Boenpo Draksal and Pema Lingpa. Later in 1979, Pema Lingpa renovated the temple fulfilling Padmasambhava’s prophecy regarding the future prosperity of the temple. 

To the despair of the Bhutanese and alike, the temple was destroyed by fire in 2010. However, to the solace of all, the sacred relics were only partially damaged. With support from the Royal Government of Bhutan and the people, the temple was restored to all its glory. 

The bright and colorful structure that can be seen today is the new temple that houses the old temple inside, in its originality with the main relic that includes the statue of the Buddhas of the Three times which is believed to have flown from Kusumphel, Kurtoe. This is how the name of the temple “Kenchogsummeaning Three Jewel” was derived due to the presence of the Three statue. Another sacred relic preserved is a large bell, which is believed to have been offered by Nagas to Guru Rinpoche during the foundation laying ceremony of the temple. The offering site today is located inside the main hall of the new temple. 

Trongsa Dzong

Trongsa Dzong was the ancestral home of the Royal Family. It was built in 1648 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It is not only located in the central region of the country; it also played the most central role in being the seat of power for the rulers that wielded control over the east & western region.

In the past, Trongsa dzong served as a strategic position in administrative as well as military functions.

 The Royal family has its antecedents here-the father of the first king, Jigme Namgyel, as the penlop of Trongsa exerted his authority across the country. Before becoming the monarch, Ugyen Wangchuck became penlop of Trongsa thereby establishing tradition that continues-the present fifth king was appointed Trongsa penlop in 2004. All kings held the post of Trongsa Penlop prior to being crowned as the King.

Besides wandering around the incredibly well maintained stone-flagged courtyard, you will find a visit to main Lhakhang(Kuenrey) particularly interesting. The complex has tem as well as one dedicated to the great tantric deities Yamantaka and Kalchakra as well as one dedicated to Maitreya with a large statue within. There are superbly executed paintings. Trongsa Dzong even has its own xylographic method used to print texts.

Ta Dzong

It served as the watchtower for Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion and it is now a heritage museum.

This watchtower, which once guarded Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands on a promontory above the town. It was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the 1st Governor of Trongsa in 1652. It has four observation points resembling Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon. Climb up the path to visit Ta Dzong which now houses a shrine dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. A visit to this former watchtower provides visitors with an insight into the significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history. As of date the Ta Dzong of Trongsa is the most fascinating museum of the nation.

Thruepang Palace

This two-storied simple palace situated just above the highway in the town is the birthplace of our Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It was here that on 2nd May 1928, His Majesty was born to King Jigme Wangchuck and Ashi Puntsho Choden. He spent most of his early childhood days here in this Thurepang Palace. The other palace of interest is the Eundu Choling Palace which was the winter residence of the 1st King Ugyen Wangchuck.

Kuenga Rabten Palace: The 23 km. drive from Trongsa to Kuenga Rabten takes about an hour and passes through open countryside high above a river gorge. The land slopes quite gently in this region, and farming is well developed, so there is much of interest to observe in the fields and in the villages as one speed along.

As one approaches Kuenga Rabten, the Palace is clearly visible just below the road on the right. It was the winter palace of the second king and is now looked after by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. This pleasant afternoon excursion from Trongsa offers further insights into the early days of Bhutan’s monarchy.

Chendebji Chorten

En route to Trongsa is Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Zhida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Legend says that the evil spirit manifested as a gigantic snake.

Tharpaling Goemba

Ten kilometers drive from the Chumey valley will take you to a beautiful and secluded monastery on the hill top, popularly known as Tharpaling Goenpa.

The Tharpaling Goenpa was founded by Great Dzogchen Master, Longcehn Rabjampa. The Goenpa has several temples and houses more than 100 monks who study in the attached shedra. If energetic, you can further take a short hike to a mountain top where there is a grand statue of Longchen Rabjam and where the great teachings of Zheydhen was written. You can also catch the glimpse of towering Himalayas upon reaching there.

Nimalung Goemba

Just outside of Domkhar, there is a 500 meter road where the people from Chhume have settled. If you continue along this road, you will eventually reach Zhungney. However, before reaching Zhungney, there is a paved road that leads to the Nimalung Goemba, which is about 3.5 kilometers away. This monastery was founded in 1935 by Dorling Trulku and is an important Nyingma monastery.

Inside the monastery, on the ground floor, there is a special chapel with a statue of Drolma (Tara). This statue is housed within an amulet that was brought all the way from Tibet. If you go behind the altar, you can see the black hats that are used during the three-day Tshechu, which is typically held in July (fifith month of Bhutanese Calendar). There is also a large metal box in front of the altar that contains a Thongdrol, which represents the eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche. On the upper floor of the monastery, you will find the Goenkhang, and it is common to see the monks playing khuru outside. If you walk downhill for about 15 minutes, you will reach the Prakhar Goemba.


Choedrak, situated at an elevation of 3,800 meters on the northern ridge of Tharpaling. It is one of the Four Cliffs (Dra Zhi) associated with Guru Rinpoche, commanding the panoramic view of the entire Chumey valley. The remaining three cliffs—Shugdra in Choekhor, Kunzangdra on the way to Tang, and Thowadra in the Tang valley—are located in the Bumthang district of central Bhutan.

Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche arrived at the sacred Choedrak riding on a tigress, engaging in meditation akin to his spiritual practices at Paro Taktsang. Although Choedrak attained prominence in the 18th century when the esteemed Drukpa monk Ngawang Trinley from Punakha undertook the reconstruction of the monastery. Despite being recognized as Choje Drak, the site is commonly referred to as Choedrak.

Its beautiful white structures consist of two ancient chapels, separated by a sacred chorten and a spring. Thukje Lhakhang on the right houses a remarkable 1000-armed statue of Chenresig, while Lorepa Lhakhang holds Guru Rinpoche’s stone footprint and the skull of a celestial being.

Zhmbala Lhankhang

Zhambhala Lhakhang is another beautiful Lhakhang dedicated to the beloved God of Wealth. Make sure not to miss the circular grooves in the rock behind the lhakhang, where pilgrims seek blessings. Hidden within these lhakhangs is the grand funeral chorten of Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, a renowned Tibetan lama who passed away in 1999. These monasteries also hold significance as the place where sacred texts and artifacts were revealed by Pema Lingpa, concealed by Guru Rinpoche himself.

If lucky you can catch glimpse of Monal Peasant in evening and morning, looking for food. It will indeed be a pleasant site to witness.

Domkhar Tashicholling Lhakhang

On your way back to the main road from Zhambala lhakhang, you’ll come across a bridge over the enchanting Gaytsa Chhu. You can relax and explore various scenic walking trails, including a 30-minute hike to the majestic Domkhar Tashichholing Dzong, the summer palace for second king. The place served as a residence for second king’s wife for years and now identified as a royal guest house which is closed for the visitors. The mountain bike rides through the picturesque valley is a thrilling experience!

Prakhar Lhakhang

Just a 30-minute drive from Zungney, you’ll find the Prakhar Lhakhang, a beautiful three-storey monument. It is one of the off beaten and amazing place to visit in Bumthang. The lhakhang was built by the son of Tertoen Pema Lingpa, Dawa Gyeltshen and it sits on a cape, overlooking the river. Inside, you can explore the ground floor which houses a meticulously crafted statue of Sakyamuni by the artists of Nepal. On the middle floor, there are statues depicting the eight forms of Guru Rinpoche. The top floor is adorned with ancient chortens and murals as old as the temple itself. Don’t miss the Prakhar Duchoed Festival, held around October or November (ninth month), which coincides with the Jampey Lhakhang Drup.

Chorten Nyingpo Lhakhang

Chorten Nyinpo is built on the top of a hill in Chhume above the place called Kakaling or Yamtrak, Bumthang. It is a 16th century relic, housing the statue of Zhabdrung’s father, Tenpa Nyima. He is said to have preached for three years from the white throne on the ground.

Ngang Lhakhang

The Ngang yul, also known as Swan Land, is a small area that you can reach by driving 10 km from Thnagbi Goemba. It was visited by Guru Rinpoche and has a beautiful temple called Ngang Lhakhang, built by Lama Namkha Samdrup. Inside, you can admire amazing paintings and statues, including a special statue of Guru Rinpoche made by the Buddhist missionary Shatarakshita and Tibetan King Trisong Detsen. The walls are decorated with stunning murals of Zhabdrung, and there’s an image of Guru Rinpoche sitting gracefully on a lotus surrounded by swan-like ducks. Upstairs, a special room called goenkhang with statues of Tsepame, Namse, Drolma, and Chenrigse. You’ll also notice masks hanging from the ceiling, which are used during the three-day Ngang Bi Rabney festival in the middle of the 10th month of the Bhutanese calendar to honor the founder of the temple.

Note: You can also choose to the section of Bumthang Cultural Trek which starts from Thangbi Lhakhang and ends at Ngang Lhakhang, by walking alongside the Bumthang River.

Thangbi Goemba

The Thangbi Goemba is a 3.5 km drive from Kurjey Lhakhang and was founded by Shamar Rinpoche in 1470. The main chapel houses the statues of Dusum Sangay or the past, present and the future Buddha. You can explore the mani (festival) and fire ceremony conducted on the eight lunar month (Usuall held on October).

Chakhar Lhakhang

Ahead of Jampey Lhakhang, you’ll find Chakhar Lhakhang, the former palace of Indian king known as Sindhu Raja. The original palace was made of iron and was nine storeys high, holding all the treasures of the world. The current building was constructed in the 14th century by Dorji Lingpa.

There is a main statue of Guru Rinpoche along with many masks and black hats used during the Jampey Lhakhang Drup festival. Guru Rinpoche took Sindhu Raja’s daughter as his consort, and you can see her wonderful statue and a photo of her footprint in the temple. You can explore the museum towards ground floor filled with religious artefacts.