Wangdue Phodrang

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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

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

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"The Largest Dzongkhang (District) in the Country"

Wangdue Phodrang Tourism

Being one of the largest Dzongkhangs (District) of Bhutan, Wangdue Phodrang has everything from monasteries and temple to wildlife and rustic villages. The reason why the region is different as compared to others is that it is very diverse in terms of subtropical forests in the south to cold, snowy areas in the north. With Wangchuck Centennial Park in the northern part and Jigme Dorji National Park in the southeastern region, Wangdue Phodrang is a host of numerous plants and animal species.

Plants like or orchids, Rhododendrons, Blue Poppy and rare animals like the Red Panda, snow leopard, Blue Sheep and Black Bear can be found in this district. It is also home to many monasteries and temples for the spiritually inclined soul to visit. There are also hikes and treks with beautiful views for the nature-lovers as well. A particularly attractive place to visit in Wangdue Phodrang would be Phobjikha Valley, which is one of the few glacial valleys in the country and is abound in natural beauty.

Things to do in Wangdue Phodrang

1. Wangdue Phodrang Dzong

Wangdue Phodrang Dzong
Built-in 1638, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong was the most visible feature of the district and provided a wonderful view being located on a ridge overlooking the confluence of the rivers Dang Chhu and Punakha (Read More) Chhu. It was open to visitors during the festival of Wangdue Phodrang Tsechu in Autumn. Unfortunately, it was burnt to the ground in 2012 and plans for renovation are expected to go on till 2021. However, the location of the Tsechu is now the Army Training Centre which could be confirmed with the tour operator. There is also an Archery Ground where competitions might be held once the Dzong reopens.

2. Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park

Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park
A perfect example of serenity in nature, Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park is one of the country's largest national park areawise. Located in Trongsa and occupying parts of other districts such as Wangdue Phodrang also, it is a popular birdwatching spot in Bhutan.

3. Phobjikha Valley

Phobjikha Valley
Phobjikha Valley, located in Wangdue Phodrang District is one of the few glacial valleys in the country. It is distinctly different from the others in the sense that it is shaped like a bowl due to th (Read More)e glacier that existed before and hence is much flatter as compared to others in its category. Phobjikha valley would suit the taste of all nature-lovers, hikers, trekkers and those with a keen interest in birds.

4. The Temple of Sha Radap

The Temple of Sha Radap
Temple of Sha Radap also known as the Rada Lhakhang, is situated close to the site of the  (Read More)Wangdue Phodrang Dzong and is dedicated to and houses the image of the guardian deity of the region known as Sha Radap. Locals often pay a visit to this temple to seek blessings and also go there to name their children. One could roll the dice and receive the blessings hoping to have their wishes come true.

5. Gasleo and Nahee Village

Gasleo and Nahee Village
Gasleo and Nahee Villages are located towards the western side of Wangdue Phodrang district and take about 2 hours to reach. It is an ideal option for those looking to have a nice picnic during the da (Read More)ytime and also for those seeking a true perspective into the Bhutanese rural way of life. Autumn, being harvest season is the best time to visit for the harvest festival. 

6. Rinchegang Village

Rinchegang Village
Rinchegang Village is located just a short distance away from Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. A day (Read More)-tour here shall prove to be fulfilling for keen photographers. It faces the now-ruined Dzong and is represented by a small cluster of houses. It too would most likely suit the taste of those wanting to experience and know about the rural way of life in Bhutan. It is also well known for the practice of stone carvings so architecture buffs might take a liking to the samples of stone masonry in this village.

More on Wangdue Phodrang

Wangdue Phodrang Dzong

The district of Wangdue Phodrang derives its name from the most prominent feature of the region that is the Dzong. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel was at Chimi Lhakhang in Punakha when an old man approached him saying that in order to unite the country, he must build a Dzong on a ridge that looked like a sleeping elephant. So a noble was sent out to the location and upon finding it he saw that there were ravens circling the site which flew away in different directions as he approached. Considering this as a good omen, the Dzong was constructed in 1638 overlooking the confluence of the rivers Dang Chhu and Punakha Chhu. This Dzong has a strategic control over the routes of Trongsa, Punakha, Dagana and Thimphu. According to a legend, Zhabdrung Rinpoche was so touched by the innocence of a boy named Wangdi that he decided to name the Dzong as Wangdi's Palace.However, since then it has had an unfortunate history of being damaged and destroyed by earthquakes and fires with the most recent fire in 2012 resulting in it being razed to the ground. Reconstruction is expected to go on till 2021. The Tsechu (festival) earlier held on the Dzong grounds is now taking place at the Army Training Centre.

Shopping in Wangdue Phodrang

Wangdue specialises in the culture of stone and slate carving and bamboo weaving. So on Saturdays and Sundays especially, one could find local craftsmen selling woven bamboo products and stone carved souvenirs in Wangdue town also known as Bajo.

Nightlife in Wangdue Phodrang

An active nightlife culture is not present in Wangdue Phodrang. However there seems to be a night club along the Trashigang-Semthoka Highway called Kuentro Karokea.

History of Wangdue Phodrang

The region is named after the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong that overlooks the confluence of two rivers. The history of this Dzong is marked by disasters. After being constructed in 1638, it was destroyed by a major fire in 1837, then damaged by an earthquake in 1897. In 2011 it faced minor damages from another earthquake and 2012 saw it being razed to the ground by fire.

Language of Wangdue Phodrang

English may not be widely understood. The majority speak Dzongkha. However,along the Bumthang border, Lakha is spoken in certain parts and Nyenkha is spoken in others.

Wangdue Phodrang Customs

People mostly follow and practice Buddhist customs and traditions.However, lores of Shaman culture exist.

Religion of Wangdue Phodrang

Mostly Buddhism is practiced in the region.

Speciality in certain crafts

Wangdue Phodrang is a district which has a speciality of its own. There are families of craftsmen who have been involved in bamboo weaving and stone carving and masonry for a number of years now. Souvenirs and products of this craft could be found in shops at Bajo town and stone masonry could also be observed in the village of Rinchegang.This might prove to be satisfying for those with an inclination towards the art and crafts.

Best Time to Visit Wangdue Phodrang

How to Reach Wangdue Phodrang

How to Reach Overview

Travellers usually stop over in Wangdue and then proceed to visit the attractions such as Phobjikha Valley. There are both taxis as well as buses available from the key cities to Wangdue Phodrang.

How to reach Wangdue Phodrang by flight

To visit Wangdue Phodrang, one could land at Paro Airport and then transfer to Wangdue by cab or bus.

How to reach Wangdue Phodrang by bus

From Thimphu, Bumpa Transport plies buses to Wangdue daily at 8:30 and 14:00. From Phuentsholing, Meto Transport provides buses daily to Wangdue at 7:00. From Gelephu, Sernya Transport provides buses to Wangdue on Tuesdays,Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:00. Buses from Paro are also available.

How to reach Wangdue Phodrang by waterways

Not applicable

Local transport in Wangdue Phodrang

The town is small enough to be traversed on foot. Taxis can be hailed from any point. There is a taxi stand located in the centre of the town.There are fixed rates for plying on city routes. The maximum charge is around BTN 70. On Saturdays and Sundays, there are buses which go to the villages of Gaselo nearby.

Wangdue Phodrang Photos

Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan
Adha and Rukha Village - To Experience the Rural Bhutanese Life
Wangdue Phrodang Situated in Central Bhutan
Wangduephodrang Dzong - Constructed in the Year 1638

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FAQs on Wangdue Phodrang

What is famous about Wangdue phodrang?

Diverse in flora, fauna, topography and geography

What are the places near Wangdue phodrang?

The top places near to Wangdue phodrang are Thimpu which is 25 km from Wangdue phodrang, Paro which is located 48 km from Wangdue phodrang, Punakha which is located 11 km from Wangdue phodrang, Phobjikha valley which is located 32 km from Wangdue phodrang, Trongsa which is located 60 km from Wangdue phodrang

What are the things to do in Wangdue phodrang?

The top things to do in Wangdue phodrang are Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park, Phobjikha Valley, The Temple of Sha Radap, Gasleo and Nahee Village, Rinchegang Village. You can see all the places to visit in Wangdue phodrang here

What is the best way to reach Wangdue phodrang?

Travellers usually stop over in Wangdue and then proceed to visit the attractions such as Phobjikha Valley. There are both taxis as well as buses available from the key cities to Wangdue Phodrang.
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What is the local food in Wangdue phodrang?

Traditional Bhutanese delicacies such as Ema Datsi (chillies and cheese) with red/white rice, Maroos (stews) and local beverages such as Yak butter tea (Suja) and Ara (alcoholic) are offered in shops, restaurants and hotels. There are also other cheese-based dishes such as Khewa Datshi available. Small shops also sell wai wai or some other noodles and soup-based dishes as part of their menu.

Read more about Traditional Bhutanese Dishes

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What is the best time to visit Wangdue phodrang?

March-May is the Spring season is the best time to visit Wangdue Phodrang mainly due to the conducive weather conditions. September - November is the season of Autumn and also provides very cool and pleasant weather conditions where Himalayan views are at their best. The endangered Black Necked Crane could also be spotted in Gangtey during this period. The Wangdue Phodrang Tsechu is also held during this period. Winters can be quite cold with the maximum temperature being around 7 degrees Celcius and the minimum temperature is around -3 degree Celcius. A few endangered cranes could also be seen early in the morning in the frosty valley of Gangtey. June to August is the monsoon season. Though the flowers at high altitudes reach their peak bloom, the rains might disrupt most treks and hikes. Not advisable to pursue those activities during monsoons.
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What is not so good about Wangdue phodrang?

Mosquitoes and insects cause discomfort in summer

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