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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best Time: March-May and September-November Read More

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"Religious Heartland of Bhutan"

Bumthang Tourism

Home to four beautiful mountain valleys and an array of ancient monasteries and temples, Bumthang takes its place as the most historic of all districts in Bhutan. Considered to be the spiritual centre of the Himalayan Kingdom, Bumthang is a beautiful place to visit if one has a keen interest in religion, spirituality and history.

Directly translating to "Beautiful Field", the region gets its name from Jambay Lhakhang. Spanning over 4500m it is known to be the religious heartland of the kingdom with several old monasteries and Buddhist temples.

Bumthang is one among the twenty districts (Dzongkhangs) comprising of four valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor. Endowed with the most picturesque views of the Ura La Pass, rhododendron forests surround the valley at a slightly higher altitude.

When in Bumthang, there is a lot to be accomplished. Apart from visiting the major sightseeing spots like the Kurjey and Tamshing Lhakhang; one must go trekking up the mountainside or taste the beer, cheese and buckwheat delicacies the region has to offer. If not, you can check out the palace museum or head to the burning lake of Bhutan. Bumthang hosts the Bhutanese nomad festival every year in February.

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Bumthang - The Religious and Spiritual Heartland of Bhutan

Bumthang is at the heart of religion in Bhutan as is evident in the number of historic temples and monasteries in the region. It lies at the centre of the country's Buddhist faith which traces back a number of years.

There can be found temples or monasteries dedicated to Guru Rinpoche and also Saint Pema Lingpa and the spirituality and religion are clearly witnessed in a number of festivals held in different religious sites and places of significance throughout the year across the region.

Various such places in Bumthang are revered and considered highly auspicious by people not just in the district but all over Bhutan.

Switzerland of the East

Bumthang is also known as mini-Switzerland or the Switzerland of the East not just due to its topography of snow-capped mountains, beautiful lush countryside and swift mountain rivers, but also because of the surprising availability of a number of Swiss products here.

One could hope to find Swiss cheese, brandy, honey and marmalade. Swiss meals are also available in many hotels and restaurants. The Swiss Guest House in Jakar is indeed owned by a Swiss national (Fritz Maurer) who was trained in Switzerland.

So one is sure to find Swiss specialities there. He came to Bhutan a number of years ago in response to an advertisement for a cheese-maker required in Bhutan. The brother of the third King of Bhutan convinced him to stay despite the absence of milk in the region.

But now Mr Maurer is also the owner of the Bumthang Cheese Factory which offers some exotic and authentic cheeses and the Bumthang Red Panda Brewery from which one could hope to sample some fine, unfiltered Swiss beer.

Religion of Bumthang

It is important to note that it was in Bumthang where Buddhism in Bhutan first took its footing. It is considered to be the religious and spiritual heartland of the country.

Bumthang Customs

People mostly follow and practice Buddhist customs and traditions.

Language of Bumthang

Bumthangkha is commonly spoken. English is the medium of instruction in schools and is spoken in urban centres. The Indian language Hindi is also widely understood.

History of Bumthang

By virtue of being endowed with a large number of ancient temples and spiritual sites, Bumthang is considered to be the most historic out of the 20 Dzongkhags (administrative and judicial districts) of Bhutan. It is also the ancestral home of the House of Wangchuck, descendants of Saint Pema Lingpa.

Nightlife in Bumthang

Bumthang doesn't have many options as far as nightlife goes. However, one could try their hand at singing at Hangout Karaoke in Chamkhar. ( Open from 9:00 to 23:00 on Mondays,Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 to 12:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, Sunday 9:00 to 11:00 and closed on Tuesdays)

Shopping in Bumthang

Jakar town has a lot of scope for shopping for souvenirs and other products. However, the Chumey Valley is famous for yatra wool with which products such as scarves, blankets,bags and sweaters are made.

Best Time to Visit Bumthang

Commuting within Bumthang

Bumthang Photos

Bumthang, Bhutan
Kurjey Lhakhang - Sacred Place with the Body Imprint of Guru Rinpoche
Jakar Dzong - Largest Dzong in Bhutan
Mebar Tso - Religious Site in Bumthang

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FAQs on Bumthang

What is famous about Bumthang?

Best for experiencing core of religion in Bhutan.

What is not so good about Bumthang?

Roads are not very good making it difficult to reach Bumthang

What is the best time to visit Bumthang?

March-May is the best time to visit Bumthang. During Spring, the flora and fauna are at their best along with the pretty Rhododendrons at higher altitudes. It is also a good season for trekking. Rain approaches only in the month of May. This is also the time for the famous Ura Yakchoe festival.

September-November denotes the season of Autumn which is a beautiful time of the year with temperatures being comfortable and just right. It is the season of a number of festivals all over the country but of particular significance to Bumthang are Jambey Lhakhang Drup, Prakhat Tsechu and Thangbi Mani through which one gets to witness Bhutanese culture. There are also celebrations held in the Jakar Dzong.

Summer in Bhutan (June-July, August) isn't that warm and uncomfortable. It is characterised by spells of rain but adequate planning can eliminate problems. The Nima Ung Tshechu festival is held sometime in June. 

Winter (December - February) temperatures can vary from 0C - 7C. Nights could get pretty cold and the evenings slightly windy. Trekking doesn't remain an option as routes might become impassable due to snow. This is the time one could see the clearest of skies and witness the Bumthang Nalathar Tshechu festival. One may also catch a glimpse of the endangered Black-necked crane which spends its winter in Central Bhutan.
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What is the local food in Bumthang?

For those looking to sample local delicacies, visiting what is known as the Buckwheat House, near Jakar Lhakhang is a must-try. Buckwheat is eaten mainly in Bumthang and this place offers 'Bumthang Indigenous Organic food' such as puta (noodles), Khuli (pancake), jangbali(pasta) among other dishes.

Alcohol beverages include ara, bangchang, singchang and changkoe. Unfiltered weiss beer is available at Panda Beer Garden and Bhutanese meals are for BTN 450. One could also try the tasty apple cider and wine available there. Bumthang Cheese Factory sells various cheeses, clover honey and apple cider.

For an authentic taste of Bhutanese cuisine, one could visit the following restaurants: Sonar Yangkhel and Sunny Restaurant (both in Jakar), Noryang Restaurant and Bar (opposite Wangdicholing Palace). For those bored of Bhutanese food, the following might provide some respite: Himalayan Pizza (Jakar), Cafe Perk (Jakar), Bumthang Pizza (near Jakhar Lhakhang).

Read more about Local Bhutanese Dishes

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What is the best way to reach Bumthang?

The amount of time taken to reach the destination is subject not only to the mode of transport, but also the route taken. There exist the following ways to reach Bumthang:
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What are the things to do in Bumthang?

The top things to do in Bumthang are Kurjey Lhakhang, Jakar Dzong, Jambay Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Mebar Tsho, The Burning Lake, Ura Valley. You can see all the places to visit in Bumthang here

What are the places near Bumthang?

The top places near to Bumthang are Punakha which is 78 km from Bumthang, Thimpu which is located 104 km from Bumthang, Paro which is located 126 km from Bumthang, Trongsa which is located 22 km from Bumthang, Jakar which is located 10 km from Bumthang

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