Thursday, March 1, 2012

TRAVELLING THROUGH BHUTAN-BUMTHANG


I made the best use of the week long national holiday last week. It’s more like doing one of the important things in my bucket list. Well people last week I was in BUMTHANG, it was a short four days trip with my family. And boy it was breathtaking; no wonder everyone wants to visit this beautiful place. To be honest beautiful is not enough to describe how I felt about BUMTHANG, actually I can’t even find the perfect word to describe it. It was like; God took most of his precious time to create this heavenly place. So in this article I ll use lots of pictures so that you can actually see for your self how BUMTHANG is like.
Trongsa Dzong, view from the view point

We started late on the first day so we could only manage to reach TRONGSA, we halted there for the night. It was a 5 hours journey till Trongsa from PUNAKHA (my village). But from Thimphu it’s almost 6-7 hours journey. We couldn’t visit much of Trongsa since it wasn’t in our plan but we did get good shots during our short stay in Trongsa on the first day and the last day (since we halted there again while returning to Thimphu)
Ta Dzong, National Museum 
The following are the pictures taken on the way till Trongsa.


Chendebji Chorten; there is a twin Chorten of this in Nepal
Tsheringma Drubchhu; believed to make your vocal melodious if you drink this spring water 


Basically Bumthang has four main valleys CHHUME, CHHOEKHOR, TANG and URA. I visited all the four valleys but couldn’t explore them well because for that four days are not enough. Anyways on our second day we reached Chhume valley and Chhoekhor valley. The moment we entered Chhume valley, my heart must have skipped a beat because it really deserved that. We took the ride real slow to enjoy what the Bumthang valley had to offer us. The view, the fragrance, the sites…I felt like a little kid in Disney land, trying to look at everything in one glance.




Image of people erecting a prayer flag pole




Since it was during the Losar (new year), people were playing the national game, ARCHERY 



New Chamkhar town

Industrial area of Bumthang; this way lead to the domestic airport of Bhutan

Glimpse of the Domestic airport runway

Anyways, the first thing we went to visit was the JAMPA LHAKHANG, which is under Chhoekhor valley. It is said to be one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 659 AD on a single day to subdue a demon. One of the 108 temples that still exist in Bhutan is KICHU LHAKHANG in PARO. Here in Jampa Lhakhang, the sacred naked dance is performed during the TSHECHU (festival). 
This is where the Buddhas status are
What fascinated me the most about this monastery was that it had the statue of three Buddhas, the Buddha of past, present and the future. And right before the statues were two stone steps (not man-made), according to the care taker; there is believed to be three stone steps from ancient times. But with the first Buddha gone, the first stone step disappeared. Like wise the remaining steps are expected to disappear with the present and the future Buddha.

The next place that we visited was KURJEY LHAKHANG. It is a very important and scared place since this monastery holds the body imprint of GURU RINPOCHE (a great lama) on the rock while he was meditating. I wish I could show what I saw but sadly photography is strictly prohibited inside the monastery. But from the outside, it’s the temple in between. The one on the right side of the temple has the statue of Guru Padmasambhhava. And on the left hold the ashes of Bhutan’s first three kings.


The above three Lhakhangs are the ones i just talked about.
The one on the left is the image of the Chorten right in the middle of the compound.

The image below is the carvings for prayers on the stones outside the compound.

Right above this monastery, lays the Kurjey Drubchhu (spring water). It is believed to have been extracted out of a rock by Guru Rinpoche. Bhutanese believe that this Drubchhu can heal various physical and mental problems.

people collect the spring water and take it home for those who were not there

On the third day we went to visit Tang valley and Ura valley.  There is a very scared lake in Tang valley called the MEBAR-TSHO (burning lake). PEMA LINGPA, a great lama had retrieved hidden relics from the lake which were used to propagate the teachings of Buddha. It is called the burning lake since he went into the lake carrying a burning butter lamp, and when he surfaced the butter lamp was still burning. Both ends of the lake looked completely wild but this lake was surprisingly calm and intense.







offering prayers near the burning lake

View of the lake from above


Front view of the lake

Tried to capture the intensity of the lake b



Over view of the Ura town with the Ura Lhakhang
After that we travelled towards Ura, which was approximately 2 to 3 hours from Tang. We couldn't enjoy the Ura valley since we had to make this visit short as we planned on returning to Trongsa for the night. But we did have great home made lunch at a small restaurant on the way and also enjoyed the sites.



Following are the sites I captured on the way.









On the fourth and the last day, we sadly returned home from TrongsaL. It breaks my heart to realise that I won’t be able to be in Bumthang as and when I want. I wish to have a house at Bumthang…haha…well I hope to see this wish coming true some day ^ _^

Following pictures were taken while returning to Trongsa






 HOPE YOU ALL HAD FUN GOING THROUGH THIS BEAUTIFUL PLACE, BUMTHANG!!!