If you want to have a hike to a quiet mountain, then Phajoding hike in Thimphu is just for you. The trail is 5Km to the monastery and it takes about 3-4 hours to reach up to the Phajoding monastery. The hike is pretty steep, however there are several resting areas with canopies and wooden benches before you reach Phajoding monastery.
The Phajoding Monastery is an important holy site in Bhutan, perched at an altitude of between 2,580 and 3,600 feet. The monastery, which is about a three-hour hike from Thimphu, is well worth the effort. Phajoding Monastery, hidden in the highlands, is a peaceful haven frequented by trekkers and others in search of enlightenment.The path to Phajoding Monastery runs through a lush, verdant terrain filled with colorful bushes of all shapes and sizes.
This particular monastery has seen a lot and went through the journey of riches to rags. It used to be one of the most prominent temples, but with years of ignorance and evolution it ended up in the list of Top 5 Endangered Monuments 2010 by World Monuments Fund. It encloses some of the oldest and unique artifacts and antiquities.It Consists of a large complex that has several sacred buildings and remains. It also has a State Monastic School for the education of Buddhism to young aspirants.
You can take the pictures with young monks, enjoy the tranquility of the place & if still energetic visit Thujeydra and lakes nearby .
A climb of around fifty minutes from Phajoding Monastery brings visitors to Thujeydra Monastery. The monastery's elevation on a mountainside affords spectacular vistas of the countryside.
Explore further, and you'll find an unruly Rhododendron garden that perfectly captures the wild beauty of the area. There are more than nine different types of Rhododendrons in these mountains, lending an air of untamed mystique to the area.
The Sky Burial hill covered with prayer flags is another nearby attraction worth seeing on the way to or from Phajoding Monastery. Because newborns' bodies should not be cremated according to Buddhist teachings, this hill is used as a burial site for them. The hill, covered in fog, is reminiscent of a distraught mother, inspiring seriousness and respect.
Hikers on the well-known Druk Path, which begins at Sangygang base and ends in Paro, may be seen traveling with their loads on horses as tourists continue on their way.
Tshep Tsho, the first of several gorgeous lakes, may be seen after only a couple of hours of hiking. These lakes are known for their unique formations and are tucked away in the highlands, making them difficult to find. Unfortunately, some lakes, have run dry over time and now go by the terrible moniker of "run-away lakes." Locals believe that a lake will dry up if its deity or mermaid (Tsho-men) leaves it. The emptiness where the lake used to be has a beautiful melancholy about it.
On the way to the lakes, visitors will come across a number of smaller lakes and rivers before reaching the main Dung-Tsho lake. Lucky sightseers may even be able to see Dungkar (Sunkosh) floating in the water. Heavy rain, mist, or, as the natives see it, the filth in the heart of one of the guests could hide the lake.
Visitors to the sacred lakes are asked to observe a strict silence so as not to jinx themselves by breaking the peace. Visitors to the remote lakes frequently get down on one knee out of reverence.
You too have an option to stay back at Phajoding monastery and experience the monastic life for a night. Next day you can join the little monks in their morning prayer,and then return to Thimphu.