Bumthang is the most historic place in Bhutan as numbers of ancient temples and sacred sites are located here. This religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist monasteries and temples spreads from 2,600-4,500 meters. The valley is composed of four main valleys Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor. Bumthang translated as “beautiful field” as “bum” is said to be derived from either bumpa which means a vessel for holy water or simply bum, which means a girl pointing that this is the valley of the beautiful girls and “thang” means field of flat piece. The valley is fertile so it produces large amount of buckwheat, rice and potatoes. Apple orchards, honey, woolen products and dairy farms are also common sights in Bumthang. Some of Bhutan’s oldest and most revered temples are found in Bumthang, including Jambey Lhakhang, built by King Songsten Gampo in 659 A.D in order to subdue an evil demon that lay over the Himalayan region and is the oldest Lhakhang in Bhutan. Major attractions of Bumthang are Jakar Dzong, Mebar Tsho-the Burning Lake.
Jakar Dzong or the “Castle of the white Bird” enhances the beauty of Chamkar Valley and overlooks the town. It was constructed in 1549, by Tibetan Lam Nagi Wangchuk, which played as important role as the fortress of defense of the whole eastern Dzongkhas and also served as the seat of the first king of Bhutan. The unique feature of the Dzong is a sheltered passage, with two parallel walls, interconnected by fortified towers, which gave the population of the fortress access to water supply, is still intact to this day.
Mebar Tsho-The Burning Lake
The Burning Lake, Mebar Tsho is located along the way to the Tang village over the feeder road under Bumthang Valley and takes approximately 30 minutes drive to the Mebar Tsho from Chamkar town. It is believed that Terto Pema Lingpa had a vision of the sacred treasures that Guru Rinpoche had hidden within the lake centuries earlier but the local people were biased of his claims so in order to prove his claim Pema Lingpa held a butter lamp in his hand as he jumped into the lake and then re-emrged holding a chest and a scroll of paper after reaming under water for a long time with the butter lamp held in his hand still burning bright. Afterwards, the lake came to be known as Mebar Tsho (The Burning Lake).
Jambey Lhakhang is one of the 108 monasteries built by King Songsten Goenpo in the 17th century to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region.
Kurje Lhakhang is dedicated to Saint Guru Padmasambava who was supposed to have meditated here in the 8th century.
The Lhakhang lies on the other side of the river opposite to the Kurje Lhakhang. It was built by Terton Pema Lingpa, a re-incarnated disciple of Guru Padmasambava.