- Altitude: 2400 – 3800 mts
- Best Season: March to May and September to November
While on this trek, besides the scenic beauty of Himalayan ranges you will be visiting the two most revered Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Bhutan, Bumdra and Taktshang Monastery. Bumdra means ‘Rock of One Hundred Thousand Foot Prints’. The legends say that a hundred thousand Dakinis (angels) descended here and left their footprints on the rock 800 years ago. Bumdra is about 3800m above sea level and the Taktshang Monastery is above 3100m above sea level.
The 2 Day Bumdra Trek:
Day 1: Sang Choekor Monastery – Bumdra Monastery
3-4 hours to camp, 2-3 hours optional return trek to peak (3800 mts)
Hike from Sang Choekor Buddhist College (2,800m) to Yak Pasture below Bumdra Monastery (3,800m). The adventure begins with an early morning drive up to the Sang Choekor to start the hike to Bumdra. The initial 1–2 hour ascent of a ridge can be steep but most part of it will be under cool shades. We will reach a clearing with prayer flags and enjoy a spectacular view of both Paro and Do Chhu valleys.
About 1-2 hours walk away is the Chhoe Chhoe Tse Lhakhang (temple); which nestles at the side of the mountain. The trail continues and when we reach the last steep elevation we will see a temple overlooking the views of Paro airport and the snow-capped Himalaya. After another 20 minutes of climbing through ruins and fluttering prayer flags, we hike into the ancient forest for about 40 minutes before we reach a wide meadow with sacred chortens and prayer flags. We will spend a night at Bumdra Monastery (the cave of a thousand prayers).
After lunch we can visit the monastery (if it is unoccupied) and climb towards the north of the peak (about 4000m) for a better view of the Himalayan before returning for dinner.
Day 2: Bumdra Monastery – Tiger’s Nest
2-3 hours hike to Tiger’s Nest
After a hearty breakfast in the jaw dropping landscape, it is time to either head straight back into the valley or linger awhile soaking up the view and perhaps hang some prayer flags of our own. Eventually we have to drop back into the ancient pine and rhododendron forest on the monks’ zig zagging trail. After 1-2 hours of descent we catch glimpses of the golden roofs of temples below and soon come upon the first of many on our way back from the wilds.
The path snakes across the mountainside between the monasteries and temples before reaching the gardens of Sangtopelri (Heaven on Earth) from which you can bravely peer over edge and straight down onto the ornate roofs Taktsang in the cliff far below. An hour later and we are at the gates of Taktsang looking across the gorge a steep descent to a waterfall then ascent on steps and you are passing into the Tiger’s Nest itself.
(Start from Sangachhoekhor Shedra.. The hike is approximately three and half hours. Bumdra campsite is an elevation of 3, 800 meters above the sea level. We stop for our lunch at a small ‘Tshamkhang’ or hermitage en route. After lunch, merely an hour will to get us to our campsite, which means we have plenty of time to explore and amble around. On reaching the camp site, we take a tea break and if you are up for it we can go visit an ancient sky burial site further up the mountain top.
Sky burial is a funeral practice in which the human corpse is placed on a mountaintop to decompose while exposed to the elements or to be eaten by scavenging animals, especially carrion birds. The function of the sky burial is simply to dispose of the remains in as generous a way as possible and to give even in death, but the practice has become obsolete today. )