East Bhutan comprises of the districts of Mongar, Lhuntshe, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Pemagatshel, and Samdrup Jongkhar at the Southern border.If you want to see the authentic Bhutan, no place will justify like the East of Bhutan. The place is marked by raw natural beauty and pristine environment. The onslaught of globalization has not yet taken place here. The people are warm and friendly and assure us that Happiness can be found in simple things which can be found anywhere and in anything.
Below are the list of things you should not miss while you are in Eastern Bhutan Tour.
ALTITUDE: 400 - 4,000M APPROX.
Mongar marks the beginning of eastern Bhutan. Endowed with stark cliff and gorges and dense conifer forest, the region is notably famous for its weavers and special textle and fabrics. While large section are Buddhist, Bon practice is also features prominently in the region. Woodworking is an important skill in Mongar and the Geog of Khenkhar is well know for production of Wooden item such as Ara container, wooden bowls, musical instrument etc.
Today , Mongar district is acquiring an increasing fame as the "Birding Capital" of the world with largest density sighted around Sengor-Yonkola-Lingmithang area.
Sengor & Yonkola at Mongar:
A short stretch of 26Km of broad leaved forest in eastern Bhutan, found between Sengor & Yonkola is considered by birders as "Birding Capital of The World". This place is the Paradise For Birders.
Drametse Monastery At Mongar:
This monastery was founded in the 16th century by Anita Cheten Zangmo the granddaughter of Terton Pema Lingpa. It is today the biggest seat of the Peling Buddhism in Eastern Bhutan.The monastery is also famous as the origin of Drametse Ngachham, a mask dance sequence with beautiful choreography that has been recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the oral and intangible cultural heritage of the world.
Kurichhu Hydropower Plant at Mongar:
The Kurichhu Hydropower Plant is located at Gyalpozhing, Mongar, on the Kurichhu River in Eastern Bhutan. It is a run-of-river scheme, with a dam of height 55 m (from its deepest foundation) and with the silhouette of mountain beneath , makes this place worth a visit.
(ALTITUDE: 600 - 5,800M APPROX.)
Geographically, it is one of the remotest dzongkhag in Bhutan, with its population scattered across its eight blogs . Jammed like an upside down tooth in the north-eastern corner of the kingdom with the green river running deep, the ancient region of kurtoe enjoys to auspicious connotations in Bhutanese mind. First, it is considered the Spiritual home of Bhutan king and second it boast some of the most sacred sites of pilgrimage in the country.
Many shamanic bon rituals add color to the cultural diversity of the region
The few things that you can check out while you are at Lhuntse could be Khoma Village, Gangzur Village and Tequila Village
Gangzur Village at Lhuntse:
Gangzur Village is located in Lhuntse Dzonghag at a distance of two kilometers from Lhuntse Dzong. This village is famous for its pottery as many of the women here are renowned artisans adept at their craft.
It is also seen as a dying art and the Government is now making efforts to revive it through financial support. When visiting Gangzur Village it is worthwhile to take the time to watch the local women practicing their art.
Khoma Village at Lhuntse:
Kisuthara , the exquisite and treasured women’s kira, also originates from Khoma village in Lhuntse. The women here are taught the art of weaving when they are barely about 7 years and a trip to Khoma village is greeted by row of women in makeshift textile.
cottage,weaving inticate design and patterns.Picking up a Kishuthara here will be much cheaper than buying one from the capital.
Takila Guru Statue at Lhuntse:
With initiation by Druk Odiyana Project, the 154ft tall Guru Padma Sambhava statue Guru Nangsa Zelnen, was constructed at Takila under Menbi Gewog, Lhuntse, supposed to be the largest statue of Guru Rinpoche. The site is beautifully located on top of Takila Village. A wonderful sight to visit.
Trashigang spans the easternmost corner of the kingdom, skirting up to the edge of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh . Bhutan largest river Dangmechu flows through the district. The 650 square kilometre Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to many species of mixed conifer and rhododendrons is also located here. Trashigang boast of numerous sacred and ancient monastery which provides a spiritual anchor for the people.
We can also witness the nomadic life of Brokpas in Merak and Sakeng or watch the Tshanglas(aboriginal settlers) building colorful home or witness women from Radhi at work or try a local alcohlol beverage (Ara) with locals. The people here are known for their hospitality and easy going nature.
Radhi Village At Trashigang:
Radhi village is famous for two things, its rice fields and the skill of its weavers. It is often known as the ‘Rice Bowl of the East’ because of its verdant rice fields that supply most of the grain to eastern parts of the country.
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.
Merak and Sakteng 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.
Take a trek to the sacred mountain of Jomo Kuengkhar in Merak , 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.
Woesel Choling Monastery at Trashigang :
This monastery at Rangjung in north Trashigang is the religious headquarters of Dungsay Garab Rinpoche. The biggest monastery complex in the region , the place is today the spiritual hub of eastern Bhutan.
This is the eastern most part of Bhutan and borders Arunachal Pradesh in India. The district boasts of wealth of flora and fauna and is also home to the Black-Necked Cranes. The Bumdeling.Wildlife Sanctuary is also located here. It is one of the richest temperate fir forest in the eastern Himalayas, offering a protected habitats for big cats like Bengal Tiger & Leopard.
The people are also skilled at work woodworkers .The art of traditional wood bowl making and Bhutanese paper making is also well established here. The district has an institute of 13 art and craft or Zorg Chusum.
Gomphu Kora at Trashiyangtse:
Gomphu means "Meditation Cave" and Kora means circumambulation. Hundreds of devotees visit this sacred please which comes alive once every year in spring. The people all over Eastern Bhutan descend on the narrow valley, dressed in their finery, to partake in the festivity to worship and to reaffirm their connection with the past. The festival even draws the the Dakpa tribe from neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh(India). Some say the Dakpas have done this for more than a millennium, beginning shortly after Guru Padmasambhava Sanctified the place in 8th century AD and prophesied that devotees will flock to Gomphu Kora for eons to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
Chorten Kora at Trasiyangtse:
Chorten Kora was built in the 18th century by Lama Ngawang Lodro. Modeled after the famous Boudhnath stupa inNepal, it tool 12 years to construct the stupa which was consecrated by Chief abbot of Bhutan, Je Yonten Thaye. A popular belief is that when stupa is constructed , a pious dakini princess from Arunachal Pradesh in India entombed herself within to meditate on behalf of all beings. Every year the stupa is a venue for two popular festivals-the Dakpa Kora & Drukpa Kora. These festivals are attended by Dhakpa tribe from Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutanese from all over Eastern Bhutan.
13 Arts & Craft School at Trashiyangtse:
The Institute is located 2 K.M. above Chorten Kora and between Trashiyangtse General Hospital and Bhimkhar village.
The student who could not make it for higher education are provided vocational training here. The student learn 10 of 13 arts and craft including Thanka painting, embroidery, metal work, Sculptor and wood work. You can visit here and watch student at work