Temples In Bhutan

Bhutan is a magnificent country, known for its surreal landscapes, rich culture and spirituality. The majority of the attractions in this country include monasteries, dzongs and temples. Bhutan temples are known for their eye-catching architecture and soothing atmosphere. It is a place where you can meditate as well as learn in-depth about Buddhist culture. A lot of these monasteries are not just a religious site for the Bhutanese people but also an educational centre.

One of the most famous monasteries that you should visit is the Paro Taktsang. It is a beautiful temple, built on an end of a cliff and displays ancient statues, relics, and texts. Another one of the popular monasteries is the Rinpung Dzong which is built like a fortress and displays illustrations of Buddha’s life. Some of the other popular monasteries that you can include in your itinerary of Bhutan tour packages are Tamshing Lhakhang, Tango Monastery, Punakha Dzong and Gangteng Monastery.

Some of these monasteries are centuries old and were built to capture demons and evils as per the folklore. Some of the monasteries were recently built as a means to grow tourism in Bhutan. A common factor in all of these monasteries is that they were built to promote Buddhism and peace.

Here are some of the best Bhutan temples:

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Kyichu Lhakhang

Situated in the Paro Valley, Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest and most sacred temples of Bhutan. Built in the 7th century by Tibetan Emperor, Songtsen Gampo, it is believed that it was built to capture a giant female ogre. Initially, it was a small temple but gradually several Buddhist saints kept on adding to this structure, creating a masterpiece that stands today.

Inside the temple, you will get to see stunning wall paintings based on Buddhist legends and an 8-year-old figure of Gautam Buddha. Kyichu Lhakhang is nestled amidst lush greenery and offers a soothing and serene atmosphere to its visitors.

Location: C9RG+F62, Bhutan
Timings: 9 AM - 12 PM and 1 PM - 5 PM
Entry Fee: Free

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Jambay Lhakhang

Jambay Lhakhang was built in 659 by Songtsen Gampo, on the same day as Kyichu Lhakhang. Inside the temple, there are three steps made of stone, representing the past, present and future. The main statue of this monastery is Jampa which is believed to be the future form of Gautam Buddha.

Additionally, the monastery includes a statue of Guru Rinpoche, sacred texts, artefacts and ancient murals. The four corners of the monastery have four chortens, built in the colours of white, red, blue and yellow. One of the most popular festivals of Bhutan, Jampey Lhakhang Drup is celebrated here during which locals perform traditional dances and rituals. 

Location: HPGM+4CR, Jakar, Bhutan
Timings : 8 AM - 5 PM
Entry Fee: Free

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Changangkha Lhakhang

Built in the 12th century, Changangkha Lhakhang is a beautiful structure made with bronze and plating of gold. It is a popular tourist destination and a magical site for the locals as it is believed that it fulfils all your wishes. Parents visit this temple to wish for the well-being of their children or to name their infant.

The temple has giant prayer bells as well as two beautifully engraved prayer wheels. Changangkha Lhakhang has authentic Bhutanese architecture and stunning murals that are worth witnessing.

Location: FJFH+988, Changangkha Lhakhang Footpath, Thimphu, Bhutan
Timings: 8 AM - 6 PM
Entry Fee: Free

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Taktsang Temple

Located at an altitude of 900 metres, Taktsang Temple is also known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery. As per the folklore, Guru Rinpoche came to meditate in a cave here, around which the monastery has been built. It requires a challenging three-hour trek to reach this temple which is situated at the end of a cliff.

Once you reach the temple, you will get to witness mesmerising views of snow-peaked mountains, gushing rivers and lush green fields. The structure consists of several temples and caves where you will get to see the statues, sacred texts, relics and murals. 

Location: Paro, Bhutan
Timings: 8 Am - 1 PM and 2 PM - 6 PM
Entry Fee: Free

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Tango Monastery

Tango Monastery is one of the most important religious institutions and education centres for Buddhist monks in Bhutan. Established in the 13th century by Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa, it got its name from the sacred Tango Cheri Mountain. The attractive architecture of this Tango Monastery includes white walls, golden roofs and detailed wooden work.

Nestled amidst a picturesque setting, this monastery offers gorgeous views of the surrounding valleys, lush green forests and huge mountains. It hosts the annual Tango Tsechu festival, during which locals dance wearing colourful masks and perform religious rituals. 

Location: Thimphu Valley, Thimphu District, Bhutan
Timings: 9 AM - 6 PM
Entry Fee: Free

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Kurjey Lhakhang Monastery

Kurjey Lhakhang is a huge monastery which is divided into three temples, built in three different years. Guru Lhakhang is the oldest temple which was built in 1652 by Mingyur Tenpa, the first governor of Trongsa and a secular head of Bhutan. It includes a secret passageway, a meditation cave, a cypress tree, the main statue of Guru Rinpoche along with his thousand small statues.

Built in 1900, Sampa Lhundrup Lhakhang is the second temple where you can find a 10-metre-tall statue of Guru Rinpoche and paintings of Guardians of the Four Directions. Zangto Pelri Lhakhang is the third temple which has a 3D depiction of Guru Rinpoche’s paradise and murals of Ashi Wangchuk, a princess of Bhutan.

Location: HPPJ+R4R, Jakar, Bhutan.
Timing: 8 AM - 5 PM
Entry Fee: Free

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Tamshing Lhakhang

Tamshing Lhakhang was built in 1501 and was originally known as Tamshing Lhendup Chholing. It is a beautiful single storey monastery which was built by Pema Lingpa, a spiritual master and a great Buddhist saint. The monastery has a unique interior with a long courtyard, a huge prayer wheel and a main altar.

Inside the temple, you will get to see statues of Jampa, Sakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche which is the primary statue of the temple. It is home to over 100 monks and hosts the annual Phala Choepa festival which includes ceremonial dances and religious rituals. 

Location: HPQQ+246, Jakar, Bumthang Valley, Bhutan.
Timing: 6 AM - 6 PM
Entry Fee: Free

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Gangteng Monastery

Established in 1963, Gangtey Monastery was built by Pema Lingpa, a great and well-known Buddhist saint. It is one of the most well-known temples in Bhutan known for its exquisite Bhutanese craftsmanship, including stunning woodwork and murals. This monastery is surrounded by beautiful mountains and offers breathtaking views of the nearby Phobjikha Valley.

You will also get to see the Tibetan architectural style at the central temple which is supported by eight pillars and decorated with colourful murals. It also hosts the Black Necked Crane Festival to welcome the seasonal birds with their sacred dances.

Location: F5M7+WV9 Phobjikha Valley, Nubding, Bhutan.
Timing: 8 AM - 5 PM
Entry Fee: Free

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Punakha Dzong

Built in the 17th century, the Punakha Dzong is the second-largest and the second-oldest temple in Bhutan. Also known as the ‘Palace of Great Bliss’, it is situated at the meeting point of two eminent rivers, Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. Inside the monastery, you will get to see Buddhist manuscripts, sacred figures, religious paintings and lifelike portraits of saints.

There is a huge central courtyard which consists of the remains of the founder of the country of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This temple holds great religious significance for the locals and is a must-visit place in Bhutan in June. 

Location: HVJ7+V6Q, Punakha Valley, Bhutan.
Timing: 9 AM - 5 PM
Entry Fee: Free

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Tashichho Dzong

Established in the 13th century, Tashichho Dzong is one of the most well-known temples in Bhutan. Situated at an elevation of 2500 metres above sea level, it is placed on the banks of the Wang Chhu River. Apart from being a monastery, it is also the government central and a summer residence of religious leaders, secretariat and ministers.

The monastery has a stunning garden, home to various plants and flowers and an ideal place for relaxing. It has remarkable architecture with white-washed walls and golden roofs, providing it with a luxurious appearance.

Location: Thimphu, 11001, Bhutan.
Timing: 9 AM - 5 PM
Entry Fee: Free

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People Also Ask About Bhutan

  1. What are the best temples in Bhutan?

    Some of the best Bhutan temples that you can visit include Punakha Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang, Gangtey Monastery, Taktsang Temple and Tango Monastery. These monasteries are nestled amidst a picturesque setting and offer an insight into Buddhist culture. You can admire the beautifully built statues of Buddha and Guru Rinpoche as well as meditate inside the monastery for a relaxing experience.
  2. Is December a good time to visit Bhutan?

    Yes, December is indeed a good time to visit Bhutan. You will experience cold and dry weather with an average temperature dropping to 4-8 degrees Celsius. You will also get to experience snow at higher altitude regions like Paro and Thimphu. Additionally, you can enjoy activities like trekking, rafting, kayaking and stargazing.
  3. What is special about Bhutan?

    The country of Bhutan is known for its mesmerising natural beauty, rich culture and spirituality. You can witness the stunning landscapes of Bhutan in places like Paro, Bumthang, Haa Valley and Gangtey Valley. For a spiritual and cultural tour, visit places like Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Rinpung Dong and Kyichu Lhakhang.
  4. How many days are enough to explore Bhutan?

    Ideally, a minimum of 7-8 days are required to explore the major attractions and enjoy the popular activities of Bhutan. In these 7-8 days, you can explore places like Kyichu Lhakhang, Taktsang Temple, Punakha Dzong, Tango Monastery and Tamshing Lhakhang. Some of the best activities that you can try include trekking, bird watching, river rafting and mountain biking.
  5. How to reach Bhutan?

    The fastest and most convenient way to reach Bhutan is by air. You can book a direct flight to Paro International Airport which is around 3 km from the city centre of Paro. You can book direct flights from Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. Alternatively, you can plan a road journey to Bhutan from India. There are three border crossings in Bhutan, namely Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. The most popular route is Jaigaon to Phuentsholing which requires a travel time of approximately 5-6 hours.
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18 November 2015
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16 August 2015
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10 October 2015
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I booked this tour to Bhutan from Delhi. The places we covered were pious and had attractive and eye-catching Buddha statues. Also we gained a whole new experience by exploring through the markets on our own like locals. was exceptionally well planned and executed, right from our timely pick-up from the airport till drop, the driver was friendly and supportive and the breakfast served was delicious. Thanks team.
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