Trongsa: Elevation 2,316m
About four hours drive from Wangduephodrang is the central district of Trongsa, the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family and from where the first two Kings ruled the Kingdom.
Long before you reach it, you see the resplendent Trongsa Dzong in the valley centre. Its labyrinth of temples, corridors, office and living quarters for the monks add up to a masterpiece in Bhutanese architecture preserved through professional restoration in 2004.
Trongsa is a convenient place to halt for the night if you are travelling to the east or the south of Bhutan. The landscape around Trongsa is spectacular, and for miles on end the dzong seems to tease you so that you wonder if you will ever reach it. Backing on to the mountain and built on several levels, the trongsa Dzong fits narrowly on a spur that sticks out into the gorge of the Mangde River and overlooks the routes south and west.
Bumthang: Elevation 2600m
Bumthang is often described as the spiritual heartland of the Kingdom. There are numerous monasteries and spiritual sites in this charming valley where history and mythology help to bring alive much of Bhutan’s culture and traditions. Bumthang is a picturesque valley of Beautiful houses, and fields of Buckwheat, barley and apples.
A strong sense of spirituality pervades the atmosphere and at auspicious times of the year, the valley resounds with the chants of the spiritual community as temples all over offer prayers for the well being of all sentient beings.
Some of the well known temples include Kurjey Lhakhang (associated with Guru Rinpoche, who brought Tantric Buddhism to Bhutan and Tibet), Jambey Lhakhang(dating from the 8th century) and historic JakarDzong.
Bumthang’s tsechus are well known and even its small local festivals are a previlege to attend to catch an insight of the culture and spirit of Bhutan.