The idyllic Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten is built on a ridge in the northern countryside of Punakha valley. It takes 30 minute drive to reach the countryside from Punakha town and the journey continues for another 45 minutes on foot. Hikers will start the hike through the paddy fields. The way the terraces are built fed by the irrigation channel, hiking during the plantation or the harvesting season offers a scenic view of the countryside. At the base of the hill, the real trail begins through the pine forests. Upon arrival hikers can enjoy the spectacular view of the valley below.
(It is an easy forty-five minute uphill hike from the footbridge in the village of Yepaisa. Standing regally on the hill above the Punakha valley, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten is a classic example of Bhutanese architecture and craftsmanship at its finest. Despite its being constructed fairly recently, the Chorten was built strictly along traditional lines and designed as per the instructions set down within the holy scriptures instead of modern engineering manuals. It took Bhutanese carpenters, painters and sculptors over nine years to build the four-storied, pagoda-style stupa.
This temple is unique because rather than being a place of communal worship, a monastic retreat or a place of education, it was built to grant divine protection and bring about peace and harmony in the world.
Next we proceed towards Phochu Dumra Lobdra, observe and interact with the young monks over tea, as they go about their business of learning the sacred arts. It is a good opportunity to see and understand what it takes to be a monk. You will get wonderful insight into their regimented lives, beyond the superficiality of just the maroon robes. In a nutshell, the life of a monk is difficult; the food and housing simple, study hours long, the daily work hard and the wake-up time at 4:30am. You will grow to appreciate it all the better when you observe matters first hand. )