Often described as one of the most picturesque valleys in the nation, Bumthang is the religious hub of the country and home to some of its most ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries. The legends & anecdotes of Guru Padmasambhava and the tertons, the religious treasure-discoverers, continue to reverberate throughout this sacred region.
The Jambey Lhakhang monastery was built in the 7th century AD by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the one hundred and eight monasteries which the King built to exorcise evil spirits in the Himalayan region.
Located further along the valley, Kurje Lhakhang comprises three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 AD against the rock face where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century AD. The middle temple is built on the site of a cave which contains a rock with the imprint of the Guru's body. It is therefore considered to be the most holy. The temple on the left was constructed in the 1990s by H.M. Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother. These three temples which form the temple trio are surrounded by a 108 chorten wall.
Tamshing Lhakhang is located across the river from Kurje Lhakhang. The temple monument was erected in 1501 AD by Terton Pema Lingpa who was considered a re-incarnation of Guru Padmasambhava. There are various religious paintings on the inner walls of the temple which was renovated at the end of the 19th century.
Jakar Dzong was built in 1549 by the great grandfather of the first Shabdrung. The dzong was initially constructed as a monastery. It was upgraded in 1646 AD once the Shabdrung had firmly established his power in the region. Jakar Dzong is currently being used as the administrative center for the Bumthang valley. It also houses the regional monk body.