n central Bhutan, Bumthang is one of the most historic and religious sites in the country. The name Bumthang translates to “beautiful field”. Being located in the spacious and tree covered Bumthang (Chhoekhor) valley, the area is also a popular tourist destination, and consequently the town is served by several good quality hotels and craft shops. There are many guest houses. The bazaar is located on a street of single story building in an area of the town called Chamkhar.
Located on the ridge overlooking the beautiful valley of Chamkhar in Bumthang, the name Jakar Dzong translates to “The Castle of the White Bird”. It was built in 1549 and later upgraded in 1646. The Dzong is now used as administrative centre for the people Bumthang valley and houses of the regional monk body.
The palace is the historic seat of Bhutan’s reining Wangchuck dynasty. The palace has one of the finest architecture in the country. It was built in 1857 by Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal, the father of the First King of Bhutan.
Ogyen Choling was never so much a seat of political power as a center for religion. Throughout its history it was referred to by terms which alluded to its religious nature as being a monastery or hermitage. In fact the history of Ogyen Choling begins with the visit of the great Tibetan master of Buddhism, Longchen Rabjam (1308-63).
It is located in Chokhor Gewog in Bumthang. It is a ten-minute drive from the Bumthang main town. The monastery was built in the seventh century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of 108 monasteries he built to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. It is here, one of the most popular dances held in the annual Jampa lhakhang Drub is the naked dance.
It is located in Tang and is a 30-minute drive from Chamkhar town. It is considered as one of the most sacred sites in Bumthang. The legend Terton Pema Lingpa (treasure discoverer) had a vision of the sacred treasure that Guru Rinpoche had hidden within the lake. Pema Lingpa held a burning butter lamp in his hand and jumped into the lake. When he re-emerged holding a chest and a scroll of butter lamp still burning. On auspicious days people offer butter lamps at the Lake. Many tourist visits the site to observe spectacular beauty of this important historical and religious site.
It is located at Kurjey in Bumthang. It is a 15-minute drive from Chamkhar town. This monastery comprises three temples. The right was built in 1652 on the rock face and the second temple was built on the other site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of Guru Padmasambhava’s body. The third temple was built by the Queen Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck. These three temples are surrounded by a wall with 108 stupas. There is drupchu (holy water) about a hundred meters above the temple and is said to be created by Guru Rinpoche.
It is located at Chamkhar, Bumthang. It is about a 30-minute walk from the nearest road head. It was founded by Shamar Rinpoche of kagyul religious school in 1470 .
It is located five kilometer away from the main town of Bumthang. It was built in 1501 by the treasure discoverer, Terton Pema Lingpa, who still remains one of the most popular Bhutanese saints whose coming was prophesied by Guru Rinpoche centuries earlier. A skilled tantric master and an artist he sculpted the main statues and painted the frescoes, which can be seen even today.
Kenchosum Lhakhang, Bumthang (referred to as Tselung Lhakhang in Pema Kathang and Choekhor Lakhang during the time of Pema Lingpa) was built in the 9th century (the initial construction was started at the end of 8th century and completed in 9th century), upon the instruction of Guru Rinpoche. Guru Rinmpoche instructed King Thrisong Deutsen of Tibet to build a three storeyed temple similar to Samye Monastery (of Tibet) in Bumthang to serve as centre for flourishing Dharma, Peace and Happiness.