SIMANACHARIYA TOURS AND TRAVELS
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(v) LHUENTSE SECTOR
Lhuntse District is one of the 20 dzongkhag (districts) comprising Bhutan. LHUENSTSE is In the north-eastern corner of Bhutan lies the ancient region of Kurtoe or Lhuentse as it is known today. Lhuntse is one of the least developed dzhongkhags of Bhutan. There are few roads, the first gas station was opened as recently as September 2005, electricity is not well distributed and the difficult terrain makes distribution of social welfare difficult. Despite its favourable climate, farming is also hindered by the difficult infrastructure. Lhuentse is one of Bhutan's remotest and least developed districts and the landscape in the north is dominated by the Himalayas. The district is famous for its beautiful and intricate woven cloth. The Lhuentse Dzhong is perched on top of a spur overlooking the Kuri Chhu river valley. The Lhuntse Dzhong is located about 77 kilometers away from Mongar and can be accessed to going up a flagstone paved path that is located next to the road. The Dzhong is the ancestral home of the royal family of Bhutan, even though the town is located in the east, culture of the place is closer to that of central Bhutan. The place was originally the site of a monastery that was established in 1543 by Kunga Wangpo, the son of Trenton Pema Lingpa, the great treasure discoverer. Later in 1654, a formal Dzhong was constructed by Mijnur Tempa. The place is worth a visit, not because it sweeps you away from the crowded cities, but because one can experience the nature in its unadulterated form.
Lhuentse is one of the most isolated districts in Bhutan. The landscape is spectacular, with stark cliffs towering above river gorges and dense coniferous forests. The region is famous for its weavers, and their distinctive textiles are generally considered to be the best in the country. Kishuthara is one textile that the Kurtoep women are deft in weaving. The place succeeds in attracting most of the travelers because along with its beauty and remote location, it provides sacred temples to pay homage at, mountains to do trekking, dense forests with challenging trails, melodious rivers, and as an icing on the cake, it produces very high quality handicrafts. The textile industry here is known as the nation's best. The scene of women sitting together- weaving, doing embroidery, making baskets, giving touches to the dresses, inspire the photographers to come up with their master-pieces.
The main tourist attractions of LHUENTSE are:-
Popularly known as Lhundub Rinchentse, the Dzong was built in 1654 by the Trongsa Penlop Chogyal Minjur Tempa at a site where once stood a small temple built by Nagi Wangchuk in 1552. Built on a hill overlooking the Kurichu, the dzong is today the administrative and the religious centre of the district. The Dzong houses many sacred art crafts that were installed by the 4th Druk Desid Tenzin Rabgay.
The dzong contains five temples, three of which are in the central tower and are dedicated to Guru Rinpoche. The dzong also contains a Gonkhang, which is dedicated to Mahakala and a temple dedicated to Amitayus, the Buddha of Infinite Life. The ground floor also has a temple dedicated to Avalokiteshvara.The Kunre, the assembly hall for the monks, is located on the upper floor. The Dzong has suffered serious damage during an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale that hit eastern Bhutan on Monday, 21 September 2009. Many other monasteries in the region also suffered serious damages. Lhuentse Dzong - a fort that accommodates around 100 monks is identified by its unique entry, which is marked by wavering flags on the stone clad path. Built on a hill, the dzong is an administrative and religious center of the district. The eastern side of the Kuri Chhu River is dedicated to this Buddhist Monastery. Being located at the end of a narrow valley, it succeeds in attracting a good number of travelers. The places have five beautiful temples situated at its heart. An adjoining village, Khoma, is rich in silk embroidery and one can experience the scene of live weaving there.
A twenty minutes drive from the Dzong on the route towards Kurtoe Dungkhar will take you to the small village of Kilung inhabited by the Tshanglas who migrated during the late 1880’s and settled there. Village, Kilung, carries great history in its heart. In the village one will come across the Kilung Lhakhang situated on a ridge overlooking the Kurichu river built on the former site of the Kilung Gyalpo, a regional chieftain. One can see the amazing sight of Kilung Lhakhang situated on the ridge, surprising one's eyes with the view of Kurichu River flowing on its base.
This place has the ancient sacred chain mall that is said to have been used to chain down a statue that flew away from the Lhuentse Dzong. It houses the sacred chain mall once used to recapture a statue that miraculously flew away from the Lhuentse Dzong.
This is another monastery worth paying a visit. It was founded in the 18th century by Pekar Gyatso and till recently was under the patronage of the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorji. The daughter of 1st King, Ashi Wangmo lived here at the monastery as a nun. The monastery is well connected by a feeder road.
Among the noble lineages to emerge from Kurtoe, the house of Dungkar was home to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal, progenitor of the Wangchuck dynasty. Dungkar Naktshang the ancient home of the Dungkar Chojie and the ancestral domicile of the Wangchuck Dynasty stands tall amid the scenic backdrop of towering mountains overlooking the tiny Dungkar village below. It is a 40km rough road from Lhuentse leading up to the Dungkar Lhakhang. The Dungkar expedition will surely be a voyage into Bhutan’s past. This place lies in the lap of the amidst the snow clad mountains that provides it the protection by covering it from all sides. The place serves dual purpose- feeding your soul with its rich history and feeding your eyes with rich scenic beauty.
At a distance of two kilometers from the Dzong is situated the Gangzur village that is most popular for pottery. The women folk from the village are skilled artisans and adept in the art of pottery. A dying art, the Government has now tried to revive it through financial support. You can witness the women folk displaying their skills.
A walk to this village will truly be a pleasant trip. Situated about two hours walk from the Dzong through gentle slopes amongst pine trees, this village is known throughout the country for its woven textile, the Kishuthara. A culture that has evolved over the years is a row of women in a makeshift textile cottage, weaving intricate designs and patterns. Picking up a Kishuthara will be much cheaper than buying one from the handicraft shops in the capital.
The famed Singye Dzong, one of the most important sites of pilgrimage in Bhutan is a three days uphill walk from Lhuentse Dzong. It is located at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, the Precious Tantric Master once meditated here. Singye dzong is the main sacred place where Guru Rinpoche meditated. A journey to Singye dzong will be a rewarding experience.
As our name is SIMANACHARIYA TOURS AND TRAVELS and literally SIMANACHARIYA means beyond the boundary so going beyond the boundary of the normal or the popular tourist destination we had searched out sum of the hidden destination of BHUTAN for our travelers those are not so popular in the tourist map but are worth to visit specially if you are a travel lover and wish to travel sum of bit destinations. AS Bhutan for a long time the "Forbidden Kingdom", still limits the number of tourists visiting the country, to protect the cultural heritage and preservation of natural wealth and beauty is still the number one priority of the country. The snowman trek is considered to be the most challenging trek and of the longest duration in Bhutan. This trek provides an in depth look of the unspoiled and old traditional lifestyle of the Bhutanese; not only the grandiose mountain views and alleys of the Himalaya region but also the lifestyle of the mountain people living in harmony with nature and gods.We had kept those ofbit spots in our hidden sector and they are mentioned below:-
Sarpang District is one of the 20 dzongkhags (districts) comprising Bhutan. It is also known as "Geylegphug".
The SarpangDzongkhag is situated in the central southern foothills bordering India. The area of the dzongkhag stretches from Lhamoy Zingkha in the west to Manas National Park in the east. It encompasses a total gewographical area of approximately 2288 km2 (Source- LUPP). Its topographic features have undulated terrain with an elevation ranging from 200m to 3600 m above mean sea level.
The Dzongkhag is administratively divided into two Drungkhags viz. Gelephu and Lhamoy Zingkha, and consists of 15 gewogs. Five gewogs, namely Hilley, Dekiling, Senghe, Doban and Sarpangtar are under the jurisdiction of Dzongkhag headquarter. Seven gewogs namely Gelephu, Chhuzagang, Umling, Serzhong, Taklai, Jigmechhoeling and Bhur are under Gelephu Drungkhag while Lhamoy Zingkha, Deorali and Nichula gewogs are under Lhamoy Zingkha Drungkhag. The dzongkhag has 186 villages with 4395 households.
Sarpang is one of the oldest towns in the country with access to motorable roads as far as early 1950s. Due to its close proximity to the Indian markets, Sarpang has been the commercial center for the central dzongkhags.
Favourable terrain and climatic conditions combined with fertile agriculture land offer tremendous opportunity for farm mechanization and commercial horticultural development.
Sarpang population is a mixture of most of the ethnic groups of Bhutan. As it borders India Sarpang has been the commercial hub for the central dzongkhags. Its main attractions are the national park and the wildlife sanctuary. With its rich soil and favorable climate Sarpang is great for farming and commercial horticulture.Sarpang is a paradise for those travellers who like Flowers, Birds and Wildlife. The main tourist attractions nearby from here are:-
Royal Manas National Park
Stretching over an area of 1000 sq km, along with Sarpang it also stretches over Zhemgang and Pemagatshel. It holds a strategic location as it adjoins the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park from north and it forms a trans-frontier reserve with Manas National Park in India from the south. It home to the rare golden langur (Presbytis geei), pygmy hog (Sus salvanius) and hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus) along with one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) and water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and supports 362 species of birds.
Previously known as Shemgang, has been closed to tourist for a long time. As it borders Assam in India its southern forests where known to be guerilla bases. In 2003 the King of Bhutan led an attack to which swept the guerillas out of the region. Now a small part of this region has been opened and its absolute delight for bird watchers. In some parts of this region the animist traditions of Bhutan are still practiced. Royal Manas National Park covers a part of Zhemgang along with Jigme Singye Wangchuck and Thrumshingla National Park. Around 86% of Zhemgang is under thick forest. In the recent years only a small part was opened for bird watching. This newly opened region is the jewel of tourism in Bhutan. Zhemgang people here are grouped under three regions of upper, middle and lower Kheng.
If you are interested in the last of the animist traditions in Bhutan, this is the region. They invariably celebrate a number of shamanistic practices which is locally known as Bon. Khengpas are adept artisans and are known for their bamboo products like wine containers, baskets, matted bamboo carpets and other cane products.
In the good old days this region cultivated a substantial amount of cotton, a major part paid as tax to the government, besides textiles woven out of cotton. Historically there are traces of the advent of Guru Rinpoche (from the 8th century) though visible records can be seen mostly from the 15th century.
Temples like Buli lhakhang in Buli village and Tharpa Choeling is associated with the treasure revealers Terton Pema Lingpa who is famous for the Peling tradition of Buddhism. The Bhutanese Royal Family is a direct descendent of Pema Lingpa. Traditionally, the Kheng region was divided into three regions of Chikhor (Uper Kheng), Nangkhor (Middle Kheng) and Tamachok (Lower Kheng).
Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park
This 1400 sq km protected area, earlier known as 'Black Mountain national Park', is the second largest national park in Bhutan. It is also the home of seven globally endangered bird species along with other 390 bird species. 20% of Bhutan's tiger population is inhabited in this park. The park also has the undisturbed tracks of forests in Eastern Himalaya with the highest coverage of pine, mature fir and other broadleaf forest. Black necked crane makes the Phobjikha valley its home for winter, which is based in the buffer zone of the park.
Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary
This is a relatively small sized sanctuary spanning over 278 sq kms. It is home to the Chital (spotted dear) and boasts of the country’s only remaining natural Sal forest.
Crocodile Breeding Centre
The centre breeds marsh muggers and gharials (crocodiles) for release in nature reserve. They are fed around the noon time general, if you want to catch a glimpse.