Hiking in Bhutan
Hiking in Bhutan
Bhutan being a Himalayan country, it is heaven for hikers . There are many challenging and exciting routes to explore as well as shorter walks that most people can enjoy with day hike with sightseeing. Some hike takes you to the dense forest, some hike takes you to the village where you get to see the living style of Bhutanese, some hike even takes to snow-capped peaks, icy plateaus, ancient forest-graced slopes dotted with historic fortress, monasteries, temples and religious monuments. Bhutan is covered with great beauty of mountains with forest covered.
Following are some of the hikes that are highly recommended by Bhutan Travel Organiser.
Takstang Monastery Hike– ( 2 to 3 hrs one way)
The most popular hike in the country that lead to the cultural icon of Bhutan – Tiger’s Nest Monastery. It is located in Paro valley. It is also one of the sacred Buddhist places.
We have to gradual climb uphills through the conifers, across the small chorten takes to 1st view point. Along the way, you will see some chorten, and colourful ritual offerings in caves. You will see prayer wheels in the 1st view point and also some roadside information boards of wild tress, birds and animals.
Following the trail further, you will reach 2nd view point, there you will see cafeteria. From Cafeteria you can have close nice view of the monastery. After Cafeteria you have to climb up for 20 minutes and reach 3 viewpoint from where you will have stunning view of the Temple. After that you have to climb steep downhills turn though narrow steps are paved all the way. In the midway, the sight of waterfall cascading through high rocks is quite beautiful and dramatically, it turns uphill to reach the Taksang Monastery
Kamsum Namgyal Chorten Hike – ( 40m to 1 hrs one way)
It’s a scenic sub-tropical hike in Punakha valley. Approx 20 minutes drive north from main town, across Punakha Dzong, takes you to the starting point of the hike in Sirigang village. It begins with crossing the suspension bridge over Mo Chhu, following the ridge of narrow trail through furrowed paddy field for over few meters bring it to the gradual uphill, further few meters of hike take you to the typical rest house – with wooden seats and also encompassing massive solitary prayer wheel, offering a scenic vista of terrace rice field below. Following the trail for almost 40 minutes, through the farm houses en-route, it ultimately bring to Kamsum Namgyal Chorten. From the rooftop of the Chorten, it offers astounding view of northern edge of the valley.
While returning back, we follow the same trail and rafting do rafting.
Lungchutze Hike – ( 3 to 4 hrs one way)
The Lungchutse hike or dochula hike is the most beautiful hike the in the Thimphu region. The hike initially starts from the stunning pass called Dochula 3140m and end at Hangtsho. From Lungchutse one can see the Himalayan ranges. The hike trail will take you through forest of hamlock and rhododendrons till your uphill hike and slowly you have to walk slightly downwards in thick forest of bamboo, hemlock and junipers till you reached the Temple. On clear days you will have 360 degree views of grate Mountains like Jumolhari(7314m), Masang gang in the region of Laya (7158 m), Zongophu Gang the table mountain of Lunana region (7060 m) and Gangkhar Puensum (7520 m) the highest peak in Bhutan and the unclimbed virgin peak in the world. While you return back you will come across Trashigang Goemba was built in 1786 by the 12th Je Khenpo. It is an important mediation centre. After reaching Hongtsho one can visit beer factory and test the local beer of Bhutan.
Kila Gompa Nunnery & Chele la Hike –(2 hrs)
Today after your strong breakfast we will drive to Chele La pass (3988 meters) the highest motor-able pass in Bhutan. It is 2 hours drive uphill from the Paro town towards Haa. If the weather is clear you will have stunning views of Himalayan ranges such as Mt. Jumolhari (7314m), and Gangkhar Puensum (7520 m) and also the world’s 3rd highest peak, Kanchuenjunga. After reaching chelala pass the hiking start. You will see so many flags flattering on the hill hosted by the people for good luck and for dead people. Along the come across the rhododendrons, primulas, and many other wild flowers. This hike just amazing as you can see the high elevations plants which are used as medicines. Your 2 hours hike will end at Khela Gompa Nunnery.
Ura Valley, Bumthang ( 1 hr one way)
It is one of the principal valley among four that constitute Bumthang – Cultural Heartland of Bhutan. It is known for its spectacular landscapes and quaint ambience. Passing through the farm house and scattered houses can provide an opportunities to interact with people and to explore and learn of its charming village.
Gangtey Nature Trail– Phobjika Valley (2hrs)
Located in the beautiful, broad and U shaped glacial valley of Phobjika. It is know for its scenic splendour and cultural uniquenessIt is the most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trails in Bhutan. From the small hilltop overlooking Gangtey Goemba, head downhill through flower meadows to Semchubara village and from here through beautiful forests and into the open valley. After passing a chorten and Khewa Lhakhang, the trail ends at the local community school; this involves a 30 minute walk up to the start of town. Gangtey Goemba is a 16th century monastery situated picturesquely at the hilltop at the edge of Gangtey village, making it the landmark structure of Phobjikha valley.