Bhumthang – Cradle of Buddhism in Bhutan

In Bhutan, Bhumthang is called as the cradle of Buddhism. This title is attributed to many ancient temples present in this region and its religious history. Jakar is the central town in Bhmuthang and a bus service connects it with the rest of the destinations in Bhutan.

I had planned five days in Bhumthang and I was eagerly waiting to begin the last stretch of my trip. Not only, I was looking forward to visiting the religious sites but also to experience home stays and Tang Valley trek.

I was looking forward to my five days in Bhumthang. It consists of visiting monasteries and Dzong, homestays and a trek and a place where I could vividly imagine the strolls that I took in the evening.

How to reach Jakar in Bhumthang

Most of the tourists opt for taxis from Thimpu to Jakar, We opted for the bus service. There is a daily bus from Thimpu to Jakar which leaves at 6:00 am. We tried booking seats two days before the date of our journey, but all the seats were booked already. The alternative was to take a bus from Jakar to Trongsa and then take a cab or bus from Trongsa to Jakar.

I had taken out Trongsa from the itinerary, but this became a perfect excuse to stay in Trongsa, even if that was for a day.

Our bus started at six in the morning and stopped twice for breakfast and lunch. We reached Trongsa at 4:30 pm. Next day, we started Jakar in the afternoon. We hired a cab and it took us two hours to reach Jakar.

Jakar is a tiny town surrounded by mountains and covered with clouds. There are two main streets which have the eateries, general and souvenir shops. I vividly remember our taxi trudging through rough patches of the curvy roads to reach the valley, Jakar town. It seemed impossible to see narrow winding roads opening to wide green farms on the banks of swirling Bhumthang Chhu.

No words could do justice to the beauty and tranquillity of this place. I vividly remember my evening walks and gastronomy tours. I wanted to taste everything, from pizzas to momos, from datshis to noodle soups.

 

Places to visit in Bhumthang – my Bhumthang itinerary

We had dedicated a day to visit monasteries. That day was environment preservation day which meant that no taxis were allowed in the town and outside. We walked and hitch-hiked to reach Jambay Lakhang.

A religious ceremony was taking place and we witnessed devotees who had come from other parts of Bhutan, who had come to be a part of the religious congregation. Food was getting served to the devotees and visitors and we also stood in the queue. I was touched by the hospitality of the people in the town, who extended a warm welcome to us and made us feel special. We talked about trivia and the places which we had covered in our trip till now.

We were guided by the local people and we could find a shortcut to Kurjey Lakhang. We were the only visitors in the temple as all devotees had gone to Jambay Lakhang. This place felt surreal to me. Lush greens meadows, horses and mountains in the backdrop painted the vista to behold.

We explored the monastery and saw a monk deeply immersed in making cake petals from butter of different colors. I asked if I could sit there and observe. His fingers dint rush while folding the colored petals and molding them in different patterns. He repeated the same exercise a hundred times to complete one layer of the cake.

There was no hurry, each petal received his attention. I thought of all the times when I dismissed my perfunctory attitude towards tasks which I had to do out of obligation. I wish I could have been this sincere. This experience has stayed with me. It has made me less grouchy and more receptive towards the chores of mundane.

Following is my five-day itinerary for Bhumthang. There is a lot to experience in Bhumthang especially if you could visit during the annual face mask festival.

Day 1:

  • Jambay Lakhang
  • Kurjey Lakhang
  • Tamshing Monastery
  • Konchogsum Lhakhang

Day Two:

Day Three:

Day Four:

  • Membrasto lake and Back to Jakar

Day Five:

  • Jakar Dzong
  • Strolling in the town

Find more pictures of Bhumthand on the instagram channel: https://www.instagram.com/smokeytales.in/

You can also visit:

https://smokeytales.in/blog/2018/09/23/hoi-an-a-picturesque-affair/

https://smokeytales.in/blog/2018/09/23/krabi-heist/

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