Central Bhutan

Central Bhutan is a region in Bhutan.


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Culturally, Central Bhutan is closer to Eastern Bhutan, and like the East the predominant school of Buddhism is Nyingma. The towns, however, have been developed with a mixture of both Eastern and Western design. Trongsa, for example, has the Eastern characteristic of being located on the side of a hill, while Jakar meanders along a wide and lush valley, like towns in the West.

Bumthang District

"Bumthang" directly translates as "bumpa-shaped valley". "Thang" is valley or plain, and "bum" is an abbreviation of "bumpa" (a vessel used in consecration ceremonies). The Bumthang region is known as the spiritual heart of the kingdom, as it was here that Guru Rinpoche cured a local king of a spirit-induced ailment in the 8th century CE, an event that resulted in the king, and finally the whole country, embracing Buddhism. The Buddhist saint Pema Ligpa was born in the region and many other famous Buddhist yogis lived and practiced here. Consequently, the area is a repository of sacred artifacts and monasteries.

The region is also known for its lush valleys and is a major producer of apples and apple juice. Previously, buckwheat was the most common grain grown in the valleys, but in recent years rice has successfully been introduced to the area and this has supplanted buckwheat as the main cash crop.

Bumthang is also famous for its brightly colored and distinctive woven woolen garments called yethra.

The winters in Bumthang are bighting cold with a persistent strong wind and heavy snow falls. The summers, on the other hand, are warm and pleasant, and due to the high altitude, the region is spared from the worst of the torrential monsoon rains.


Bumthangkha is the predominant language in Bumthang. Dzonghka and Sharchopkha influenced languages are spoken in other areas, while English is generally understood in Jakar.



Sacred sites

For information on customs and symbols in Buddhism, see: Sacred sites of the Indian sub-continent



Jakar is the only place with international standard restaurants, though all villages have small eateries serving Bhutanese dishes.


The area is famous for its freshly produced apple juice.

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