Wangduephodrang is one of the largest dzongkhags (districts) in the country. As the district covers 4,308 sq km and ranges from 800-5800 m in altitude it has extremely varied climatic conditions ranging from Sub-Tropical forests in the south to cool and snowy regions in the north.
This town is located south of Punakha and is the last town before central Bhutan. The district is famous for its fine bamboo work, slate and stone carving. The scenic Gangtey valley is also a part of Wangduephodrang.
Gangtey Goenpa :
Situated atop a hill at an altitude of 2,800 meters, the monastery offers a stunning view of Phobjikha valley.It is the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition which was established in 1613 by Gangteng Sangngak Choling.
The monastery currently hosts an institute of Buddhist studies and is the seat of Gangtey Trulku, the body emanation of Terton Pema Lingpa. You will also encounter lot of monks moving in and around the monastery.
Gangtey Natural Trail (Hiking Hike)):
Gangtey Nature Trail Hike is the most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trails in Bhutan. The trail hike starts from the Mani (like Chhorten) stone wall to the north of the Gangtey Gonpa and ends in Khewa Lhakhang. The hike takes about 1 hour 30minutes through the pine forest and small bamboo plants. You can see the Phobjkha valley so beautifully from this hike. It is one of the best hike places for the Nature lovers. During the winter months, we can see the endangered species of birds – Black Neck Cranes
Crane Information Centers :
Crane Information Centers of Royal Society for Protection of Nature’s (RSPN) has all the information displayed about the endangered black-necked crane and its rich environment.
The best time to visit Gangtey, is in the winter months, especially November, when the Black-necked Crane Festival is held at the courtyard of Gangtey Goenpa, with local songs and masked dances celebrating the coming of Black Necked Crane.
Khewang Lhakhang :
The Vajrayana monastery houses the Buddha of three times; past, present and future. Ample of myth and magic are associated in lieu to the construction of Lhakhangs.
It was founded by Truku Penjor Gyeltshen. The temple is circled by the rivers all around and it is believed that there is a lake underneath the temple.
Wandue Dzong :
The Dzong ,containing some of the most sacred relics,was gutted in 2012 & reconstruction is underway. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel constructed the fortress in 1643 overlooking the confluence of the Dangchhu and Punatsangchhu rivers.
The fortress had three doorways,three courtyards and 14 temples.
Bey Langdra :
This sacred site in Wangdue is highly revered. Guru Padmasambhava saw in his vision the sufferings the people in locality endured because of drought and powerful malignant spirit. Guru Rinpoche meditated & conquered the spirit which turned into a red bull to distant the Guru. The spirit was subsequently turned into a protecting deity of the place & numerous treasures the Guru concealed. The great Terton Dorji Lingpa discovered one of the most profound treasures from the site
Adha and Rukha :
The villages of Adha and Rukha are excellent places to gain insights into the lives of Bhutanese farmers. While it is possible to camp out during your visit we recommend asking your guides to arrange a home-stay with one of the local families. The farmers will happily welcome you into their homes and regale you with local legends of mermaids and ancient kings. It is usually better to schedule your visit during autumn as these areas are prone to leeches, sand flies and mosquitoes during the summer