Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About 

Tripoto

Bhutan remained isolated from the world till 1974, when the first tourists arrived. The country feared that the entry of non-Bhutanese people would dilute their culture and traditions. But in 2008, a new modernising king realised that growth in tourism was necessary, and his people were capable of embracing modernity without giving up on their way of life.

Today, Bhutan tops many travellers wish-lists. Most itineraries usually feature elaborate temples, fascinating dzong monasteries, and colourful local festivals. But one of the best ways to access the real Bhutan in its unspoilt and untouched glory, is to trek through its mystifying landscape. There are many treks in this stunning country, ranging from easy and scenic hikes, such as the Druk Path, to one of the toughest treks in the world, the Snowman Trek.

Here's a selection of the best treks in the country in order of increasing difficulty:

Druk Path Trek

Credit: Trekking in Bhutan

Photo of Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About by Himani Khatreja

Credit: Trekking in Bhutan

Photo of Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About by Himani Khatreja

One of the most popular treks in Bhutan, the trail on this easy to moderate path is mesmerising and takes you from Paro to Thimphu. You start by walking through some apple orchards, past the ruined Jili Dzong and go through a stunning landscape of blue pine, fir, dwarf rhododendrons and several passes, which cover an altitude of 2400 to 4200 metres. The third day takes you to the pretty Jimiling Lake, the waters of which are home to gigantic mountain trouts. On other days you will encounter some dzongs, ancient lhakhangs (temples) and villages. The final descent goes through juniper forests and leads you to Thimphu.

Duration: 6 days

Level: Easy to moderate

When to go: March to June and September to November

Route: Paro – Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha – Jimilangtsho Lake – Jimgelang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho – Phajoding – Mothitang – Thimphu

Bumthang Owl Trek

Credit: Himalayan Wonders

Photo of Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About by Himani Khatreja

Credit: Himalayan Wonders

Photo of Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About by Himani Khatreja

Bumthang is an unspoilt region in Bhutan with a lush green countryside, gentle mountain streams and a easy pace to life. And this trek takes you right into the heart of it. Day one of the Bumthang Owl Trek takes you to Dhur Village, the biggest village of the district, where you can interact with the local inhabitants, see the working of the traditional water-driven flour mill and witness life in the village. The next two days expose you to the flora and fauna of this lovely destination, such as rhododendrons, maple and birch trees, spruce and fir forests and vibrant monal pheasants. The trek ends at Tharpaling Monastery, which overlooks Chhume Valley.

Duration: 3 days

Level: Easy to moderate

When to go: March to May and late September to mid-November

Route: Manchugang – Dhur Village – Drangela Pass – Tharpaling Monastery

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

Credit: Himalayan Expeditions

Photo of Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About by Himani Khatreja

Credit: Himalayan Expeditions

Photo of Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About by Himani Khatreja

The sporadic bouts of strenuous climbing on this trek are definitely worthwhile, with rewards of magnificent views of some of the highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest. A six-day trek, the trail on this one brings you to many, many high altitude mountain lakes, where you could get a chance to fish, and camp besides them. Days end quickly on this trek, while a few involve some difficult uphill climbing. If you take the route near Gynekha, you will encounter beautiful Bhutanese villages, where you can drop in to say hello.

Duration: 6 days

Level: Moderate

When to go: April to June and September to October

Route: Gynekha – Gur – Labatama – Panka – Talakha – Chamgang

Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek

Credit: Trekking in Bhutan

Photo of Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About by Himani Khatreja

Credit: Trekking in Bhutan

Photo of Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About by Himani Khatreja

This isn't the same as the popular Jomolhari Trek, but it does follow the same route for the first five days. The Laya-Gasa Trek is one of the most scenic in the country and takes you through untouched landscapes, including pine meadows, dense sub-tropical jungles and high mountain passes. On the trail, you will even come across indigenous animals, such as takins and blue sheep. Meet the Layaps in remote mountain villages, who will introduce you to their unique culture and traditions. Ask your trek organiser to include a day of relaxation at the Gasa hot springs on the trek. This is a difficult trek and has many steep ascents and descents on the trail.

Duration: 14 days

Level: Difficult

When to go: April to June and mid-September to mid-November

Route: Gunitsawa Village – Sharna Zampa – Thangthangkha – Jangothang – Lingshi – Chebisa – Shomuthang – Robluthang –Limithang – Laya – Koina – Gasa

Dur Hot Springs Trek

The Dur Hot Springs is a natural, geothermal spring known as one of the most stunning in the Himalayas. A trek to these springs is challenging, as it overlaps partially with the trail of the Snowman Trek, one of the most difficult in the world, and involves steep ascents and descents, going till 4700m. Your trail will go through maple and spruce forests, and you will meet Himalayan black bears, blue sheep and musk deer. When you reach the springs, spend a day dipping your feet and resting.

Duration: 9 days

Level: Difficult

When to go: March to April and September to November

Route: Duer – Gorsum – Lungsum – Tsochenchen – Duer Tsachu – Tsochenchen – Lungsum – Gorsum – Duer Village

The Snowman Trek

Credit: Andrew Purdam

Photo of Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About by Himani Khatreja

Credit: Andrew Purdam

Photo of Breathtakingly Beautiful Treks In Bhutan That Indian Trekkers Still Don't Know About by Himani Khatreja

If you're up for the challenge, the Snowman Trek will reward you with not just incredible views, but bragging rights for the rest of your life. One of the most difficult treks in the world, this trek takes you through some of Bhutan's remotest areas. It is a high-altitude, difficult terrain trek, in which you cross 11 passes, all over 15,000 feet. The trek starts from Paro and goes along the Bhutan-Tibet border, culminating at Sephu Village in Central Bhutan. You will walk around 17km a day, for approximately 6 to 8 hours, and will need around two days before beginning the trek to acclimatise.

Duration: 25 days

Level: Difficult. Super challenging.

When to go: Mid-June to mid-October

Route: Gunitsawa Village – Sharna Zampa – Thangthangkha – Jangothang – Lingshi – Chebisa – Shomuthang – Robluthang – Laya – Rhoduphu – Narethang – Tarina – Woche – Lhedi – Thanza – Danji –Tshochena – Jichu Dramo – Chukarpo – Thampe Tsho – Maurothang – Sephu

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