The Taktsang or Tiger’s nest monastery clings precariously to a cliff of 30000 ft. above Paro valley. Legend has it that in the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava flew to the cliff on the back of a tigress and mediated there for 3 months. In 1684, fourth temporal ruler of Bhutan Gyalsi Tenzin Rabjay built a monastery on the site and named it Taktahang as a reminder of its origin in the PadmaSambhava legends.
Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue under construction in the mountains of Bhutan. The statue will house over one hundred thousand (one hundred thousand) smaller Buddha statues, each of which, like the Buddha Dordenma itself, will be made of bronze and gilded in gold. The Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, overlooking the southern approach to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Upon completion, it will be one of the largest Buddha rupas in the world, at a height of 169 feet (51.5 meters). Although its completion was planned for October 2010, construction is still ongoing as of February 2014. The statue alone is being built at a cost of US$47 million, by Aerosun Corporation of Nanjing, China, while the total cost of the Buddha Dordenma Project is well over US$100 million. The interior will accommodate 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded Buddhas respectively. Names of sponsors will be displayed in the meditation hall which forms the throne of the Buddha Dordenma.
Dochula Pass which is the most known pass in the Bhutan is just 30 odd Km drive from the Capital City Thimphu on the way towards central Bhutan. Dochula pass is around 3150 meter from sea level and it's mostly covered with white clouds, where on a clear day you can see spectacular view of the mighty Himalayas mountain ranges. The pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range. Dochula pass serves the stop for all the passer by traveling to and fro to punakha and wandgi for a hot cup of coffee well served from the Dochula Cafeteria located just above the Beautiful Dochula Pass. The 108 Chortens at the dochula pass gives the passer the beauty of the fresh and high altitude vegetation around, bhutan being the Buddhist country the construction of 108 Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chhortens brings multi fold merit to all sentient beings.
Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in the kingdom. It was founded by, Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan King in the 7th century AD. The king was destined to build 108 temples known as Thadhul- Yangdhul (temples on and across the border) in a day to subdue the demoness that was residing in the Himalayas. The temple is one of the two of the 108 built in Bhutan. A second is located in Paro, the Kichu lhakhang also built on the same day.
Kurjey Lhakhang (Kur=body; jey=print) This lhakhang is named after the body print of Guru Rinpoche which is preserved in a cave in the oldest of the three lhakhangs complex. 1) Guru Lhakhang is the oldest built in 1652 by Mingyur Tenpa. In the cave is the body print. 2) Sampa Lhakhang built in 1900 by the first king of Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuck. 3) The third lhakhang was built by Queen mother Ashi Kesang Wangchuck in 1984 together with 108 chortens to enclose the complex.
The Paro Dzong is one of Bhutan's most impressive and well-known dzongs, and perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture you'll see. The massive buttressed walls that tower over the town are visible throughout the valley. The dzong's correct name, Rinchen Pung Dzong (usually shortened to Rinpung Dzong), means 'Fortress on a Heap of Jewels'. In 1644 Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal ordered the construction of the dzong on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche. The fort was used on numerous occasions to defend the Paro valley from invasions by Tibet. The British political officer John Claude White reported that in 1905 there were old catapults for throwing great stones stored in the rafters of the dzong's veranda. The dzong survived the 1897 earthquake but was severely damaged by fire in 1907. It was formerly the meeting hall for the National Assembly and now, like most dzongs, houses both the monastic body and district government offices, including the local courts.
This is a short and easy trek through Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan. The altitude of the trail covers almost a thousand meters in range but the slopes are mostly gradual and should not present hikers with much difficulty. This hike follows the old foot trail from Thimphu to Punakha passes through several villages, forests and rice fields. It offers incredible views of Phajoding Monastery and crosses through Sinchula Pass. Hikers will also camp near Chorten Ningpo, an ancient chorten linked to Bhutan’s favourite patron saint, The Divine Madman Lam Drukpa Kuenley. Due to the low altitude and warm climate of the area, this hike is available all winter but the best times to go are between March-May and September-November
Also know as "fortress of the glorious religion", it was initially built in 1641 and later rebuilt in its present form by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1965. The Dzong houses, main secretariat building which houses the throne room of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan. The National Assembly Hall is housed in a modern building on the other side of the river from the Dzong. During the warmer summer months, the monk body headed by His Holiness, the Je Khenpo, makes its home in the Dzong.
GANGTEY GOMPA (alt. 3,000m): In the east of Wangduephodrang, the great monastery of Gangtey dates back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the monastery, on the valley floor is the village of Phobjikha. This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter winter in milder and lower climate.
The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, originally built in the 7th century by the Tibetan EmperorSongsten Gampo. It is considered to be one of the 108 border taming temples he built. In the 8th century the temple was visited by Guru Rinpoche and it is believed he concealed many spiritual treasures here. Je Khenpo Sherab Gyaltshen wrote that during the 12th century the temple was looked after by the Lhapa Kagyu tradition and that during the 13th century it was handed over to a descendant of Phajo Drugom Zhigpo’s son Nyima. In his The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: It's Fundamentals and History H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdrel Yeshe Dorjerecords that the Jowo Temple of Kyichu could not be seen and that Terton Pema Lingpa (1450-1521) uncovered the temple and restored it as it was before. In 1644 the temple was taken over by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. From 1836 to 1838 the temple was restored and re-consecrated by the 25th Je Khenpo Sherab Gyaltshen. In 1971 HM Kesang Choden Wangchuck,the Queen of King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, built a Guru Temple next to the old Jowo Temple which was consecrated by HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
Jomolhari Trek is longer than the Jomolhari Loop - the most popular trekking routes in Bhutan. With altitude differences of 2,500m and nearly 5,000m it offers a wide range of landscapes, fauna and flora. The highlight of this trek is the spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari from Jomolhari Basecamp (Jangothang). The Jomolhari Trek in the far north-west is reputedly Bhutan's best walk, an eight-day horseshoe which follows ancient tracks beneath the spine of mountains separating Bhutan from Tibet, then turning eastwards to descend the valley high above Thimpu, the country's capital.
Cheri Goemba: This monastery was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1620. A silver chorten inside the monastery holds the ashes of Shabdrung's father. The goemba is situated about half an hour walk from Dodena (alt. 2,600m). The trail commences by crossing a traditional wooden bridge that spans the Thimphu Chhu, then climbs steeply to the monastery. Being the place where the Shabdrung spent many years in meditation, Cheri today has numerous hermitages and small temples located on its slopes, commanding spectacular views. The one way walk to the monastery is approx 4.5 km, taking about 2 hours.