To the east of Trongsa lies the Bumthang
valley at an altitude of 2,600m, has an individuality that
charms its visitors and separates it from other regions. Comprised
of four smaller valleys, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang
is shrouded in religious legend. Here tales of Guru Padmasambhava
and his reincarnation known as Tertons still linger in most
nooks and corners. The town of Jakar is the largest between
Thimphu in the west and Trashigang in the east. Jakar is famous
for its honey production, cheese, apple juice and apricots.
Visitors to Bumthang should plan to spend a few days taking
advantage of the valley’s relatively gentle slopes to
walk nearby medieval temples and glimpse Bhutan’s mostly
rural population. It is also known for its woolen material
(yathra) which can be seen hung outside of houses for sale.
Further east there is the Ura valley with the village of Ura
in its centre. A small but old dzong and cobblestone paths
give the village a medieval feel. Many excursions can be done
at this valley like Tharpaling monastery, Kunzangdra, Tang
Mebrtso and many more….
Jambey Lhakhang: built in the 17th century
by a Tibetan King Songtsen Gempo believed to be the reincarnation
of the Buddha of compassion. This temple is one of the 108
temples built by him to subdue a large demon which was stopping
the spread of Buddhism.
Kurje Lhakhang: located above Jambey Lhakhang
consists of three temples. The one on the right was built
in 1652 on the rock face where Guru mediated in the 8th century.
Second temple is built on the site of a cave where Guru Padmasambhava
left his body imprint on the rock. The cave is not visible
as it is concealed by a large statue of the Guru Rinpoche.
The third temple was recently built by the present Royal Queen
mother and these three temples are surrounded by 108 stupa
wall symbolic of each joint of the Human body.
Tamshing Lhakhang: located opposite Kurje
Lhakhang on the other side of the river was founded in the
beginning of the 16th century by Terton Pema Lingpa, the reincarnation
of Guru Padmasambhava. The monastery has very interesting
religious painting like 1,000 Buddhas and 21 Taras (female
form of Buddhisatawa). The temple was restored at the end
of the 19th century.
Jakar Dzong: founded by the great grandfather
of Shabdrung. The dzong was initially built as a monastery
in 1549 but was upgraded after the Shabdrung had firmly established
his power in 1646. The Dzong is now used as the administration
centre for Bumthang valley.