Enriched with historical and spiritual legacy is Bumthang, the religious heartland of Bhutan. Bumthang consist of the four mountain valleys Choekar, Chumey, Tang and Ura but most of the time the entire district is known by the name Bumthang Valley. Jakar is the main town of Bumthang with the Bhutan’s only brewery. The home of some of the oldest and religious institute, Bumthang is famous for the production of honey, cheese, apples and the yatra. The name Bumthang has two probable origins; the first is that it is named after a Bumpa, a vessel for holy water which the valley resembles in shape. The second origin implies that it is the Valley of Beautiful Girls as Bum translates to ‘Girl’ and Thang means ‘flat piece of land’.
The scenically blessed Bumthang Valley with its beautiful houses and terraced field has become a favored destination for tourists who want to catch the glimpse of rural Bhutan. It is also one of the most peaceful regions of the quaint kingdom. There are numerous monasteries and spiritual sites in this charming valley where history and mythology help to bring alive much of Bhutan’s culture and traditions. Some of Bhutan’s oldest and most venerated temples are found in Bumthang, including Jambey Lhakhang. According to legend this ancient temple was built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in 659 A.D. as part of a chain of 108 simultaneously constructed temples in order to subdue an evil demoness that lay over the Himalayan region. It is the oldest lhakhang in Bhutan. There are numerous other temples and shrines worth visiting in Bumthang and many of them are linked to Guru Rinpoche’s visit in 746 A.D. and dwelling in these monasteries and lhakhangs are the best way to learn about the ancient Bhutanese era. Apart from housing some of the oldest religious institute it is famous for the production of honey, cheese, apples and the yatra. Bumthang valley trip is incomplete if the tourists haven’t tired the local delicacy. Buckwheat pancakes called Khooli and the buckwheat noodles known as Puta are the regional cuisine of Bumthang and another specialty of the region is hardened cheese cubes made from yak milk. The serene ambiance with the pictorial view of the adjacent valley has made Bumthang a must visit destination of Bhutan.
Far from the maddening crowd and ruckus of modernized society, Bumthang has its own pace of life, making it the sojourn for the travelers who crave for a simply unhurried life. Inflate your lungs with the untainted air while exploring the decades old monasteries of the Bhutanese region. Experience the rural Bhutanese life and learn more about the tradition legend during the visit to Bumthang.
Tourist can visit Bumthang throughout the year since each season has its own charm to be enjoyed in the luxuriant valley but October to February is considered the best time to visit Bumthang to make most of the trip.