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Wangdue Phodrang

3.2 /5 15 votes

Weather:

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

Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Nearest Airport: Paro International Aiport Check Flights

"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.

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Wangdue Phodrang Customs

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Religion of Wangdue Phodrang

Mostly Buddhism is practiced in the region.

Restaurants and 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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Wangdue Phodrang Photos

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Diverse in flora, fauna, topography and geography

What's Not So Great?

Mosquitoes and insects cause discomfort in summer

How 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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