The Road to Bumthang

On the steps to the temple.
On the steps to the temple.
Natascha contemplated the meaning of life...or just her fingers.
Natascha contemplated the meaning of life…or just her fingers.
Our bus ride.....
Our bus ride…..

I’m always amazed by the journey from Trongsa to Bumthang.  The scenery changes dramatically….you leave the dense forests of the Black Range that runs north to south in central Bhutan and enter the alpine terrain of the upper plateau.  Once over the pass, you descend through forests of white pine and an open valley with straight roads (a very unique feature in Bhutan)…onto Jakar.

Up the steep stairs in Trongsa Dzong!
Up the steep stairs in Trongsa Dzong!

On our way today, we visited the largest of the Dzongs in Bhutan, Trongsa Dzong.  We had the chance to go into the inner shrine room in the temple, a very rare treat for us all.  The monks were in the process of lighting 1000 butter lamps in honor of the Buddha’s passing all those centuries ago.

Later in the day we stopped for tea along the pass, wandered into a nunnery and sat for a while to listen to chanting on this day of Buddha’s parinirvana.  The nuns chanted in unison and the mantra had a kind of soporific affect on us all.  Soon after, they served us butter tea, puffed rice, and a few treats.

Cleaning butter lamps at the temple.
Cleaning butter lamps at the temple.

From there we headed back to the hotel and settled in for the night.  Our day was easy and actually quite wonderful.

WIFI remarkably slow tonight….will upload photos when I can tonight or tomorrow AM!

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