Jigme Dorji National Park

4.2 / 5 42 votes


Weather:

Timings:

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Monday - Friday)

Entry Fee:

BTN 150 per person
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Jigme Dorji National Park, Punakha Overview

Bhutan is a country which always believes in preserving the traditional valuables and respects its natural resources. And following its footsteps, Jigme Dorji National Park not only houses the distinct flora and fauna but also provides them with all the essential resources, facilities and care.

Stretching over an area of 4316 square kilometres, Jigme Dorji National Park is the second largest national park of Bhutan. Named after Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the third king of Bhutan, it is the crown jewel of the country due to the treasures that it holds within its boundaries.

Jigme Dorji National Park
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Established in 1974, the pristine environment, variety of animals and beautiful birds attract thousands of tourists from all across the globe every year. Spanning more than five districts, it has a population of about 6500 people, whose primary source of livelihood are agriculture and animal husbandry.

Included in Bhutan's Tentative List for UNESCO, the presence of animals, including the endemic Himalayan Wildlife, explains its global significance. In fact, here the national flower (blue poppy), national animal (Takin), national tree (Cypress) and national bird (Raven) come together to form an iconic destination. It is an important attraction in the country since the significant tourism in Bhutan was paved from Jigme Dorji National Park only.

Bhutan Takin, Jigme Dorji National Park
Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan (Source)

The peaks of some of the tallest Himalayan mountains, such as Mount Jomolhari and Mount Jitchu Drake, are visible from here and provide a scenic view. In fact, apart from being naturally rich, its cultural value is also appreciable. Gasa Dzong and Lingshi Dzong are a part of this national park, both being historically and religiously prominent monasteries.

The different species of animals, reptiles, birds and butterflies shows how diverse and vivid nature is. The flowers which blossom here are colourful and vibrant. They make the atmosphere picturesque and fragrant. The overall environment of the Jigme Dorji National Park is tranquilising and captivating, tempting people to visit here over and over again.

Jigme Dorji National Park
Himalayan Peaks as seen from Jigme Dorji National Park (Source)

A trekker's paradise, many important treks such as Jomolhari Trek, Snowman Trek, Lunana Trek and Gasa-Laya Trek pass through here. The hiking trail which comes under Jigme Dorji National Park is not a very difficult one and is only moderately difficult.

The path passes along dense and green Cypress forest ranges. Many birds, butterflies and animals are encountered with on the way. Seeing the beautiful pristine environment and snow-capped mountains while climbing up the mountain is quite an experience in itself. Keeping trekking essentials with you is beneficial since it ensures a hasslefree experience.

Jigme Dorji National Park
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Jeep Safari in the Jigme Dorji National Park is full of fun and thrill. Passing through the dense forest housing animals with full speed on is a wonderful experience to take up.

Jigme Dorji National Park
Safari in the Jigme Dorji National Park (Source)

Jigme Dorji National Park houses some of the exquisite flora and fauna of Bhutan within its boundaries. It gives endless opportunities to see animals and plants thriving in their natural surroundings. Mammals such as Snow Leopard, Takin, Tiger, Black Bear, Blue Sheep and Red Panda are a major attraction here.

Snow Leopard, Jigme Dorji National Park
Snow Leopard found in Jigme Dorji National Park (Source)

There are 37 known species of animals which are preserved here, many of them come under the list of vulnerable, rare and endemic species. There are more than 300 species of birds, who chirp all day long and make the tour of this park enjoyable. Apart from animals and birds, the flora is also vibrant. Orchids, Rhododendrons, Blue Poppy etc. are only a few of the many plant species which thrive here.

Jigme Dorji National Park
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Two significant monasteries of the country, Gasa Dzong and Lingshi Dzong, are found in Jigme Dorji National Park, making it a religiously rich place. Apart from this, Mount Jomolhari and Mount Jitchu Drake also lie here and provide quaint scenic views to the visitors. Hot springs and medicinal baths located here also attract several tourists, who feel relieved after taking up baths in these.
Jigme Dorji National Park
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Spread across an area of 4316 square kilometres, Jigme Dorji National Park spans most of the Gasa District and parts of Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue Phodrang and Paro. Elevated to a maximum height of 7000 metres, the lower-lying regions have warm broad-leaved forests and as we move to the top, the glacial mountains dominate the terrain.
Jigme Dorji National Park
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Jigme Dorji National Park is a treasure trove of some important glaciers and glacial lakes, such as Thorthormi, Luggye and Teri Kang. In fact, the glacial lakes sources of major rivers of the country, such as Mo Chhu, Pa Chhu and Wangdi Chhu, are also located here. Due to the presence of these glaciers, there is always a risk of flood due to defrosting. But regular maintenance ensures that the risk is minimised to the lowest level.
Lakes at Jigme Dorji National Park
Glaciers and Lakes at Jigme Dorji National Park (Source)

Spring season (April-May) is the best time to visit the Jigme Dorji National Park because the flora and greenery are at its best. Animals and birds are also much more active and visible in this season, as compared to winters and summers when they prefer to hide in a shelter.

Wildlife at Jigme Dorji National Park
Wildlife at Jigme Dorji National Park (Source)

Walking is the most ideal and feasible option to explore the Jigme Dorji National Park, since that way the beauty of the surroundings can be enjoyed and appreciated in a much better way. Jeep safaris are also available, however, access to much of the park's beauty may be restricted with this approach to wandering around the park.

Jigme Dorji National Park
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  • Carry a vomiting bag, since vomiting due to altitude sickness is very common here.
  • Keep enough water bottles with you.
  • Do not disturb the animals and birds, otherwise, there is always a possibility of them turning violent.
  • Littering is strictly banned.
Jigme Dorji National Park
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After landing at the Paro International Airport, you can hire a car to reach Jigme Dorji National Park. From the airport, it will take around 5 hours to reach the national park. You can either opt for a bus or a taxi from the airport to reach your destination. If you are in Thimphu, you can reach Jigme Dorji National Park by road and it is essentially the most convenient way to reach the national park. It takes around 4 hours to reach Jigme Dorji National Park from Thimphu if the roads are free from traffic. However, it is advisable to keep at least an hour or so at hand in order to reach the park on time in case there is any traffic on the way. 

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