Popular Temples in Bhutan Discover the Top 14 Popular Temples in Bhutan That'll Amaze You (2023)

26th February 2024

Discover the Top 14 Popular Temples in Bhutan That’ll Amaze You (2023)

Planning to visit Bhutan temples? In this blog, we’ve mentioned the top 14 popular temples in Bhutan that will definitely make the most of your trip.

Are you ready for an adventure through the mystical land of Bhutan? Get ready to explore the captivating monasteries and dzongs that dot this enchanting Himalayan kingdom. From ancient temples to majestic fortresses, Bhutan offers a spiritual and cultural experience like no other.

As experienced travelers, we’ve had the privilege of leading group trips and immersing ourselves in the wonders of Bhutan.

Our last visit left us in awe of the architectural beauty, serene ambiance, and vibrant traditions that these sacred sites encompass.

Let’s delve into the popular temples in Bhutan in this exciting blog post!

1. Kyichu Lhakhang

Kyichu Lhakhang

Our journey begins with Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most revered temples. Located in the picturesque Paro Valley, this sacred site dates back to the 7th century and is known for its spiritual significance.

The temple houses exquisite statues and intricate murals, transporting visitors to a world of devotion and artistry.

Paying homage to the two primary figures of Buddhism, the Jowo Jampa and Jowo Sakyamuni, Kyichu Lhakhang invite pilgrims and travelers alike to experience its serene atmosphere and partake in its religious rituals.

From spinning prayer wheels to offering butter lamps, the temple provides opportunities for spiritual connection and reflection.

  •  Location: Paro Valley, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 9:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 300 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Exquisite statues and intricate murals, Jowo Jampa and Jowo Sakyamuni figures, Prayer wheels and butter lamp offerings

2. Jambay Lhakhang

Jambay Lhakhang

Nestled in the fertile valleys of Bumthang, Jambay Lhakhang welcomes visitors with its vibrant ambiance and rich history.

Believed to have been built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, this temple holds immense cultural significance.

Exploring Jambay Lhakhang during the annual Jambay Lhakhang Drup festival offers a glimpse into the country’s colorful masked dances and ageold traditions. The temple’s architectural marvels, characterized by intricate woodwork and detailed murals, captivate visitors.

Inside, pilgrims engage in prayers and circumambulate the main hall, seeking blessings for themselves and their loved ones. The spiritual practices conducted at Jambay Lhakhang evoke a sense of deep reverence and devotion, leaving a lasting impression on all who visit.

  •  Location: Bumthang, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 7:00 AM  6:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 400 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Intricate woodwork and detailed murals, Annual Jambay Lhakhang Drup festival, Circumambulation, and prayer rituals

3. Jokhang Temple

Jokhang Temple

Venturing further into the spiritual heartland of Bhutan, we arrive at the revered Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet. Despite its geographical location, the temple holds immense importance for Bhutanese Buddhists.

This architectural gem showcases a unique blend of Tibetan, Nepalese, and Bhutanese influences. The Jokhang Temple serves as a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists from around the world, attracting devotees seeking spiritual solace and enlightenment.

The bustling Barkhor Street surrounding the temple is an enchanting labyrinth of shops, eateries, and prayer wheels, bustling with the energy of pilgrims and visitors. It is a vibrant hub where ancient traditions and modern life intertwine seamlessly.

Inside the temple, visitors can witness monks engaged in prayer and witness the splendor of ancient relics and statues, truly immersing themselves in the spiritual essence of Bhutan.

  •  Location: Lhasa, Tibet (though important to Bhutanese Buddhists)
  •  Opening Hours: 9:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 500 per person
  •  Main Attractions: The unique blend of Tibetan, Nepalese, and Bhutanese influences, Barkhor Street and its vibrant atmosphere, Monks engaged in prayer and ancient relics

4. Taktsang Temple

Taktsang Temple

Perched precariously on a cliffside, the legendary Taktsang Temple, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, offers an awe-inspiring experience for intrepid travelers. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, the great Buddhist master, meditated in a cave at this very site.

The temple complex consists of multiple structures interconnected by stairways and paths, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

To reach this sacred site, visitors embark on a challenging trek through pine forests, crossing traditional prayer flag-adorned bridges. Upon arrival, the spiritual ambiance envelopes you as you explore the intricate interior adorned with colorful murals and sacred artifacts.

  •  Location: Paro Valley, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 8:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 700 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Guru Rinpoche’s meditation cave, Panoramic views of mountains and valleys, Colorful murals and sacred artifacts

5. Tango Monastery

Tango Monastery

Hidden amidst the pristine natural beauty of Thimphu Valley, Tango Monastery stands as a place of spiritual retreat and learning. This monastic complex serves as a center for higher Buddhist studies, attracting scholars and practitioners from far and wide.

As you approach the monastery, the serene environment and the melodic chants of monks create a tranquil atmosphere. The monastery’s architecture reflects the Bhutanese style, with intricate woodwork and traditional paintings adorning the prayer halls and meditation rooms.

Visitors can engage in meditation sessions, interact with resident monks, and witness their daily rituals, gaining a deeper understanding of the monastic way of life.

  •  Location: Thimphu Valley, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 9:00 AM  4:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 200 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Center for Higher Buddhist Studies, The serene environment and melodic chants, Intricate woodwork and traditional paintings

6. Kurjey Lhakhang Monastery

Kurjey Lhakhang Monastery

Located in the stunning Bumthang Valley, Kurjey Lhakhang Monastery is revered as one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan.

It holds deep historical and spiritual significance, as it is believed to have been blessed by Guru Rinpoche himself. The monastery complex consists of three main temples, each dedicated to a different form of Guru Rinpoche.

Pilgrims and visitors can circumambulate the temples, offering prayers and seeking blessings. The site also features a holy water pool, where devotees cleanse themselves before engaging in spiritual practices.

The serene surroundings and the aura of devotion make Kurjey Lhakhang Monastery an enchanting destination for those seeking a profound spiritual experience.

  •  Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 8:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 300 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Blessed by Guru Rinpoche, Three main temples dedicated to Guru Rinpoche, Holy water pool for cleansing and spiritual practices

7. Tamshing Lhakhang

Tamshing Lhakhang

Situated in the Bumthang Valley, Tamshing Lhakhang is renowned for its ancient teachings and religious art. This temple holds a special place in Bhutanese history, as it was founded by the treasure discoverer Pema Lingpa in the late 15th century.

Tamshing Lhakhang serves as a center for the preservation of the Nyingma tradition, one of the oldest schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Inside the temple, intricate murals depicting Buddhist deities and teachings adorn the walls, while ancient scriptures and religious artifacts are carefully preserved.

The monastery also houses a library that holds a vast collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, providing a treasure trove of knowledge for scholars and enthusiasts.

Tamshing Lhakhang is not only a place of spiritual significance but also a cultural gem, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Bhutanese art, history, and religious traditions.

  •  Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 9:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 200 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Founded by treasure discoverer Pema Lingpa, Intricate murals depicting Buddhist deities and teachings, Library with a collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts

8. Gangteng Monastery

Gangteng Monastery

Nestled in the scenic Phobjikha Valley, Gangteng Monastery exudes tranquility and spiritual serenity. This 17th-century monastery is the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition and holds great religious significance for the local community.

The monastery showcases a distinct Bhutanese architectural style, with its white walls and golden roof glistening under the sunlight. As you enter the monastery, the peaceful ambiance welcomes you, and the sound of monks chanting creates a mesmerizing atmosphere.

Gangteng Monastery is also famous for the annual BlackNecked Crane Festival, where locals gather to celebrate the arrival of these majestic birds during their winter migration.

Visitors can witness traditional masked dances, and cultural performances, and immerse themselves in the vibrant Bhutanese festivities.

  •  Location: Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 8:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 300 per person
  •  Main Attractions: The main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition, a Distinct Bhutanese architectural style, the Annual BlackNecked Crane Festival with traditional dances and performances

9. Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong

As we venture into the lush Punakha Valley, the grandeur of Punakha Dzong unfolds before us. This magnificent fortress-monastery, also known as the “Palace of Great Happiness,” stands at the confluence of the Pho and Mo Chhu rivers, adding to its scenic splendor.

Built in the 17th century, Punakha Dzong served as the seat of government until the capital was moved to Thimphu. The architectural marvel showcases Bhutanese craftsmanship at its finest, with intricate woodwork, colorful murals, and towering white walls.

Inside the dzong, visitors can explore the vast courtyards, visit the sacred temples, and witness the stunning 25foot tall statue of Guru Rinpoche. The dzong also hosts the famous Punakha Drubchen and Punakha Tshechu festivals, where locals and tourists gather to witness masked dances, religious ceremonies, and celebrate Bhutanese culture.

  •  Location: Punakha Valley, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 9:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 300 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Stunning location at the confluence of the Pho and Mo Chhu rivers, Intricate woodwork, colorful murals and white walls, Sacred temples, and the 25-foot-tall Guru Rinpoche statue

10. Tashichho Dzong

Tashichho Dzong

Located in the heart of Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, Tashichho Dzong stands as an architectural marvel and an important seat of government.

This impressive fortress-monastery serves as the office of the King and various government ministries. Its grandeur is enhanced by the meticulously crafted traditional Bhutanese architecture, adorned with ornate woodwork and vibrant paintings.

Tashichho Dzong is not only a symbol of political power but also a sacred site, housing several temples and shrines. Visitors can witness the daily flag-lowering ceremony, where the national flag is lowered with great precision, accompanied by traditional music and elaborate rituals.

The tranquil gardens surrounding the dzong offer a peaceful retreat, inviting visitors to relax and immerse themselves in the serene atmosphere.

  •  Location: Thimphu, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 9:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 300 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Office of the King and government ministries, Meticulously crafted traditional Bhutanese architecture, Daily flag-lowering ceremony and serene gardens

11. Changangkha Lhakhang

Changangkha Lhakhang

Perched on a hilltop overlooking Thimphu, Changangkha Lhakhang offers a panoramic view of the capital city. This ancient temple holds great significance for Bhutanese families, as it is believed to bless newborn babies and protect them from evil spirits.

Inside the temple, visitors can witness locals engaging in age old rituals, seeking blessings for their infants. The serene atmosphere and the melodious chants create a sense of peace and spirituality.

Changangkha Lhakhang is not only a religious site but also a cultural hub, attracting locals and tourists alike. The temple’s courtyard serves as a meeting place, where families come together, children play, and visitors engage in conversations, experiencing the warmth of Bhutanese hospitality.

  •  Location: Thimphu, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 8:00 AM  6:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 200 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Blessings for newborn babies and protection from evil spirits, Melodious chants and a serene atmosphere, A cultural hub and gathering place for families

12. Chimi Lhakhang

Chimi Lhakhang

Nestled in the idyllic Punakha Valley, Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the “Temple of Fertility,” holds a unique place in Bhutanese culture.

Dedicated to the Divine Madman, Lama Drukpa Kunley, this temple is renowned for its fertility blessings. Couples from all over Bhutan and beyond visit Chimi Lhakhang to seek blessings for conception and prosperous family life.

The temple is adorned with phallus symbols and colorful murals, representing the eccentric nature of Lama Drukpa Kunley’s teachings. The trek to Chimi Lhakhang takes you through scenic landscapes and traditional Bhutanese villages, offering glimpses into rural life and cultural traditions.

  •  Location: Punakha Valley, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 9:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 300 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Fertility blessings and association with Lama Drukpa Kunley, Phallus symbols and colorful murals, Scenic Trek and cultural insights

13. Jangsta Dumtseg Lhakhang

Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang

Situated in the picturesque valleys of Paro, Jangsta Dumtseg Lhakhang is a unique architectural masterpiece. This threestory temple, perched atop a hill, showcases Bhutan’s traditional building techniques and design.

The temple is renowned for its intricate woodwork, beautiful paintings, and ornate decorations. Visitors can explore the temple’s various levels, witnessing the blend of religious and cultural elements.

Jangsta Dumtseg Lhakhang offers a tranquil environment where one can connect with the spiritual essence of Bhutan while admiring splendid craftsmanship.

  •  Location: Paro Valley, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 8:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 200 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Unique architectural masterpiece, Intricate woodwork, beautiful paintings, and ornate decorations, The tranquil environment and spiritual experience

14. Tengar Monastery

Tengar Monastery

Located in the serene Haa Valley, Tengar Monastery stands as a hidden gem, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The monastery is nestled amidst breathtaking natural surroundings, surrounded by lush greenery and snowcapped mountains.

Tengar Monastery is known for its peaceful ambiance and the opportunity it provides for deep contemplation and meditation. Visitors can engage in silent walks around the monastery, soak in the serene atmosphere, and witness the simple yet profound lifestyle of the resident monks.

The journey to Tengar Monastery itself is a rewarding experience, as it takes you through picturesque landscapes, and traditional villages, and offers glimpses into the traditional way of life in Bhutan.

  •  Location: Haa Valley, Bhutan
  •  Opening Hours: 9:00 AM  5:00 PM
  •  Entry Fee: INR 300 per person
  •  Main Attractions: Serene escape amidst natural surroundings, Peaceful ambiance for contemplation and meditation, A scenic journey through picturesque landscapes

In conclusion, the popular temples in Bhutan offer a captivating journey into spirituality, culture, and architectural brilliance. From the revered Jokhang Temple in Lhasa to the breathtaking Taktsang Temple in Paro, each site is a testament to Bhutan’s rich heritage.

Whether you seek inner peace, cultural immersion, or simply an awe-inspiring experience, these sacred destinations will leave you spellbound. So, pack your bags, embrace the mystical allure of Bhutan, and embark on a transformative adventure that will stay with you forever.

Get ready to create memories amidst the serene beauty of Bhutan’s monasteries and dzongs.

Which is the most famous temple in Bhutan?

The most famous temple in Bhutan is the Jokhang Temple, located in the heart of Lhasa. It is a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists and holds immense religious significance. The temple’s stunning architecture, intricate artwork, and the vibrant Barkhor Street surrounding it make it a must-visit destination.

How can I reach Taktsang Temple?

Taktsang Temple, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is nestled on a cliff in Paro Valley. To reach the temple, you can embark on a scenic trek that takes approximately 34 hours. The trail offers breathtaking views of the valley, and once you arrive at the temple, you’ll be rewarded with a sense of achievement and a stunning panorama of the surrounding mountains.

What is the best time to visit Bhutan’s monasteries and dzongs?

The best time to visit Bhutan’s monasteries and dzongs is during the spring and autumn seasons, from March to May and September to November. The weather is pleasant, and you can witness vibrant festivals such as the Paro Tshechu and Thimphu Tshechu, where these sacred sites come alive with colorful celebrations.

Are there any entry fees to visit these temples and dzongs?

Yes, there are entry fees to visit these temples and dzongs. The fees vary depending on the location, ranging from INR 200 to INR 300 per person. The fees contribute to the preservation and maintenance of these sacred sites, ensuring they can be enjoyed by future generations.

Can I take photographs inside the temples and dzongs?

In most temples and dzongs, photography is allowed in the outer courtyards and surrounding areas. However, it is important to be respectful of the religious practices and traditions by refraining from taking photographs inside the prayer halls and sanctuaries.

Are there any specific dress codes to be followed while visiting these sites?

Yes, there is a dress code to be followed when visiting these sites. Both men and women are required to wear modest attire that covers their shoulders and knees. It is also customary to remove your shoes before entering the temples and dzongs as a sign of respect.

Can I attend any religious ceremonies or festivals at these sites?

Yes, you can attend religious ceremonies and festivals at these sites. Bhutan is known for its vibrant festivals, where you can witness mask dances, traditional music, and cultural performances. The timing of these events varies throughout the year, so it’s worth checking the festival calendar to plan your visit accordingly.

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