Gasa is the northernmost district of Bhutan which adjoins the districts of Punakha, Thimphu and Wangdue Phodrang and has the smallest population with just about 3000 inhabitants. Gasa elevation ranges from 1500 to 4,500 meters so it experiences extremely long and cold winters and short but beautiful summers. Gasa has become a tourist destination because of its pristine forests and the exceptionally scenic location of Dzong. Gasa is famously known for its inhabitants, the Layaps, and for the Snowman Trek-one of the most challenging treks in the Himalayas.
Laya Village is situated at an altitude of 3800 meter which is adorned with their own unique culture. Anyone accompanying the Snow Leopard Trek of The Grand Snowman Trek will converge through Laya. The village celebrates the Owlay festival which takes place once in three years.
Gasa Dzong was built in 17th century by Tenzin Drukdra the second Druk Desi over the site of a meditation place established by Drubthob Terkungpa in the 13th century. The Dzing is locally known as Tashi Thongmon Dzong and served as a defending barrack in the 17th century. The dzong is circular in shape and consist of three watch towers that are placed at strategic points.
The nomads of the village have top knowledge on medicinal herbs and have benefited a lot from cordycep harvesting. Lunana is the most remote village of Gasa district which reflects the culture of the Himalayan people residing amongst the glaciers.
Gasa Tshachu (Gasa Hot Springs)
Gasa Hot Springs is reached with a trek for approximately 40 minutes from the nearby road and is located in the valley floor. The springs are situated close to the banks of the Mo Chhu River and are most popular springs among the tourists and local people. There are three bath houses at the Gasa Tshachu, one of the bath houses consist a large bathing pool and the remaining two each have smaller pools and the temperature varies in each of the pool.