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Bumthang is so called because the valley is shaped like a “bumpa” or the vessel containing holy water placed on altars (“bum”) and “thang” implies “field” or “flat place”. The other translation relates to a beautiful girl (“bum”).

Bumthang on Bhutan Map

Bumthang on Bhutan Map

Bumthang comprises four major valleys – Chokor, Tang, Ura and Chhumey. It’s known as the most sacred district in the country because Guru Rinpoche healed a local king here and brought about the acceptance of Buddhism in Bumthang and subsequently the whole country. It has famous “nyes” (sacred sites) which pilgrims from all over the country visit. Bumthang is also known for its natural scenic beauty, apples, organic apple juice, cheese and the colourful yathra cloth.

Attractions in Bumthang

Jakar Dzong Fortress

Jakar Dzong Fortress in Bumthang

Legend has it that when the lamas assembled in 1549 to decide the site of a monastery, a white bird rose suddenly in the air and settled on a hill spur. Taking this to be a good omen, the monastery was built which was later upgraded to the dzong in … View details

Kurjey Lhakhang

About 2.5 km from the main road, beyond Jampey Lhakhang is the Kurjey Lhakhang. There are three lhakhangs inside the complex – the Guru lhakhang with the image of a garuda and snow lion locked in a struggle representing the Guru (snow lion) subduing … View details


Mebartsho or Burning Lake is a five-minute walk from a bend in the road leading to the Tang chhu.  Terton Pema Lingpa discovered many of Guru’s termas (treasures) here. A wooden bridge crosses the gorge and offers a good view of the lake. Legend has … View details

Wangdicholing Palace

It was the first palace in Bhutan that was not designed as a fortress but as the principal residence of the first king of Bhutan, King Ugyen Wangchuck. The entire court used to move from Wangdichholing to Kuenga Rabten in winter. Later on, it was … View details