Bumthang or Jakar valley
This fascinating valley is religious heartland of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Here tales of Guru Padsambhava and his re-incarnates, known as Lingpas, still linger in most nook and corners, that have become now sacred ground.
Jambeylhakhang: This monastery was built in 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gernbo, believed to be the reincarnation of the Buddha of compassion. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region.
Kurjie Lhakhang: Located above Jambey Lhakhang, the Kurje Lhakhang consists of three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 on the rock face where Guru meditated in the 8th century. Second temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of Guru's body and is therefore considered the most holy. The third temples was recently built by the present Royal Queen Mother. These three temples are surrounded by 108 chorten wall, symbolic of each joint of the human body.
Tamshing Lhakhang: Located opposite Kurje Lhakhang on the other side of the river, this temple was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the re-incarnation of Guru Padmasambhava. The monastery has very interesting religious paintings like 1,000 Buddhas and 21 Taras (female form of Buddhistava). The temple was restored at the end of the 1 9th century.
Jakar Dzong: Founded by great grand father of Shabdrung, the Dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549. It was upgraded after the Shabdrung had firmly established his power in 1646. The Dzong is now used as administrative centre for Bumthang valley.
GANGTEY GOMPA/PHOBJIKHA (altitude 9,840 feet)
Towards the east of Wangdiphodrang, there is an old monastery of Gangtey Gompa dating back to the l7th century. A few kilometers past the Gompa, on the valley floor is the village of Phobjikha. This is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate.