Villages of Bhutan:The Hidden Jewel

Apart from all the major well-known places, there are some hidden jewels of nature in the country which are not discovered by many people. These are those villages of Bhutan which are still practising their age-old traditions and their old ways of living.

 While in Bhutan you must try out few of our villages so as to penetrate through our customs, old traditions and rich heritage.

  1. Sopsokha Village at Punakha

A tiny village located in the midst of paddy field. It is believe that  Lam Drukpa Kinley the divine madman was followed by demoness till Sopsokha village. It is here where he has subdued the evil spirits.He used the phallus as a medium to subdue and discipline the malevolent Spirits. And to celebrate the victory , on the exact spot Chimi Lhakhang was constructed later on by Lama Ngawang Chogyal.

So maybe thats why you may see the phallus painting at almost all the house of Sopsokha Village.

2. Wochu Village At Paro

Women at Work at Wochu Village

Wochu Village is popularly called as the Village of Blacksmith. 

It is about 5Km walk from the Paro town. The walk through Wochu valley is soul uplifting; stunning landscapes, legendary ancient house and fortresses, simple and smiling people: all these makes it a worth a visit.

 The blacksmiths here design and make traditional knives, swords, daggers and other metal products that are customized

This village also consists of the country’s only international airport. The best time to visit Paro Wochu village is in summer where the green covered fields can be seen. This village is situated in Lungnyi which is also known for the Lungnyi gewog cloth.

3. Rinchengang Village at Wangduephodrang

Rinchengang is a small clustered village located opposite to  Wangduephodrang Dzong and is famous for its proficiency in traditional means of stone stonework. It is about 20 minutes’ walk uphill with great sight of the Dzong, valley and the river.

4. Phobjikha /Gangtey at Wangduephodrang

Gangtey is located at the western edge of the Black Mountains. Gangtey village which is commonly known by its name Phobjikha is is a U-shaped glacial valley. It is popular for its scenic splendour and cultural uniqueness. 

This village is famous for giving shelter to black necked Crane. 

The few things that you could here would be Apart from all these Gangtey Monasteries is situated nearby the village which is the best place to practice spiritualism.

5.Merak & Sakteng Village at Trashigang

Long closed to outsiders, the beautiful far flung regions of Merak and Sakten present Bhutan travellers with the unique opportunity to see two of the least known villages in the kingdom. They are called the twin jewel of the East.

Situated at an altitude over 3,500 meters, the exotic valleys of Merak and Sakten have been home to the Brokpas for centuries since their displacement from Tsona in Southern Tibet. The nomadic indigenous group of eastern Bhutan, the Brokpas seasonally move their herds of livestock from the lower valleys in the winter to the higher pastures in the summer.

While polygamy is a prevailing practice as well, marriage among Brokpa couples is a convergence of practical consideration and sacred responsibility, with elaborate rituals to seal the union. Like the rest of Bhutan, they are fond of archery and are skilled in games of accuracy. Women are particularly well-known for their singing and they love to perform from their wide repertoire of festive songs dedicated to gods and goddesses, as well as the universal themes of nature, youth and old age. Brokpas prefer to wear their traditional attire spun from yak hair. Take a trek to the sacred mountain of Jomo Kuengkhar in Merak (from where it is said the plains of In – dia are visible a clear day) witness the yak dances unique to the region or catch a performance of the famous nomadic opera, Ache-Lhamo. Experience the stark wilderness and the simple generosity of the Brokpa people, learn how their traditional garb is still fashioned from yak skin and listen to timeless tales of the yeti which form an inseparable part of Brokpa lore. Journey into the hidden valleys of Merak and Sakteng and discover the exquisite eastern wilderness of Bhutan.

6. Tang Village at Bumthang

Tang Valley

It is one of the four valleys of Bumthang. You need to drive about 10Km towards west east until you pass the Dechenpelrithang Sheep Farm to an off beaten path that leads to North.

The drive through this road takes you to a different time; You will come across a burning lake,occasionally you will see the farmers grazing the cattle’s, horses and along the way you will come across other small villages ; Jamzhong & Mesethang Village, where you can stop  for a picnic lunch and enjoy the Arcadian scene of the valley .

Please do not forget to stop at Tang Rimochen Lhakhang standing magnificently behind the Tiger Stripped Cliff. The place has a serene energy.

Tang is one of the remotest valleys of Bumthang. Owing to its high elevation, not much of Agricultural activity takes place. People here mainly raise sheep and yaks and the view of the ranch will leave you in awe. Tang valley also houses the famous privately owned heritage house.

7) Ura Village At Bumthang

This village of Bhutan is best known for its photographic sites and the age-old traditional architecture. This village is positioned at a height of 3100 meters from the sea level and is also one of the highest valleys in the country. This village is situated close to Chamkar and it takes around 1 hr and 30 minutes to reach there. In the winter season, this village gets covered with snow and becomes an eye-catching view. During the spring the whole surface of the valley gets covered with the flowers. Ura has  got many walking trails which is a centre of attraction for many hikers.

Mother Nature always blesses us with many boons and Bhutan is one among them. The feeling of calmness and divine happiness emerges from the heart when someone visits this heaven on earth. When you pay a visit to theses exotic places one of the major things which you will notice is the positive attitude of the villagers. SO next time when you plan a visit to Bhutan, do make sure to also visit these heavenly villages, where the Bhutanese culture shines.

8) Dhur At Bumthang

The View of Dhur Valley From Mountain Top

Dhur, a village situated at a distance of 50 km from Chamkhar is the best place to see traditions and culture. Dhur is also very much popular for its trekking trail, commonly known as Dhur Tsachu which is also a home for hot spring. Local Dhur Tshechu festival is the key highlight of this village which is popular among many people and occurs during the winter season. Covered with alpine forests this village is a home for many animals like yaks, sheep and many mountain peaks covered with snow.

9)Khoma At Lhuntse

Khoma village, famous for giving the glimpse of Bhutan’s textile industry is generally at the top of the tourist’s bucket list. This village comes under the  Lhuentse district. From Lhuentse the distance to Khoma is very less and can be covered in 30 minutes. The route to Khoma has some breathtaking views which snatch away the spectator’s attention in a short period. The village’s traditional method of weaving handlooms is a treat for many tourists. Kishuthara, a textile which is produced majorly in this village has got a huge demand in the market

10.Trong Village at Zhemgang

Trong Village at Zhemgang

The Trong Heritage Village is an array of 27 traditional stone masonry houses clustered neatly on a small hillock, overlooking the imposing Zhemgang dzong. The actual origin of the village and vintage traditional houses is still unknown.  But as per the elders of the village, it must have been there for more than hundreds of years

Built without a proper foundation atop rocks, this feature of houses in Trong village is Earthquake resistant which intrigues experts.

Street lamps, underground cable ducts, drainage and concrete footpaths among others have also been developed over the years to support the community living in the village but its aesthetic & originality is well preserved.

11. Radhi Village At Trashigang

Radhi is located some 30 km east of Trashigang Dzongkhag on a north facing slope. It is partly a dry Chirpine belt in its lower part and the upper part is covered with a cool broadleaf forest. It is drained mainly by two small rivers systems, namely Chongdiri in the east and Yudiri in the west.

It is famous for its rice and Radhi-Buray textiles. The main agricultural crops that are grown by people of Radhi are paddy, maize, soyabean, potatoes and vegetables, which are mostly used for household consumption except for rice which is mostly sold.

The village has around 200 households, all of which the people make living from fine raw silk or bura textiles during the off-agricultural seasons. All textiles produced in Radhi are made using the traditional back-strap loom and traditional dyes. As a result, Radhi village produces some of the most authentic high quality raw silk textiles to be found anywhere in Bhutan.

14.Laya, At Gasa

Let your adventurous spirit take you to the valley of Laya. Situated at an altitude of 3800 m, this village will mesmerize you with their unique culture.

It is amazing how a small pocket of ethnic groups survived for so long in the northern part of the country. Anyone on the Snow Leopard trek or the grand Snowman Trek will converge through Laya. To experience the maximum cultural richness, time your trip during Royal Highland Festival.

Women of this region have facial features that are distinct from those of other women in Bhutan, and their great love for turquoise jewelry, colorful clothing , and their conical bamboo hats immediately set them apart in any crowd.

15.Lingzhi at Gasa

Almost all the people depends on mobile livestock with specific grazing time during summer and winter. Geographical topography of the Gewog is not suitable for any other Agricultural and developmental activities, as it’s located in the mountainous region.  

The Gewog consists of 5 chiwog’s namely Chakphu, Gangyuel, Shayuel, Chuzakhar and Khangkidyuel. It consists of 94 households with the population of 490 (2017 Census).Gewog has a BHU, Agriculture and Livestock Extension office, Primary School, Dratshang, Park office and a Traditional Medicine Drying Unit.

Lingzhi  is one of the most populated gewog among the three high altitude  Gewogs (Soe, Naro and Lingzhi) under Lingzhi Drungkhag Administration. It has 94 households and population of 490 in total.The Gewog has five chiwogs with 12 villages. Gewog is located at 92 kmfrom Thimphu with the road connection(72 km with black top from Thimphu to Drugyel and 20 km feeder road from Drugyel to Shana)  and 4 days walk from the road end point (Paro Shana).

Lingzhi Gewog is one of the high altitude Gewog in Thimphu Dzongkhag located at about 3280-5960 meters above sea level(4109 fromGewog Center) with 304.230 area and forest cover of 9.47%.

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