Bumthang is home to some of the country’s most ancient and precious Buddhist sites. At an elevation ranging between 2,400 to 6,000 meters, the expansive valley is dominated by the sparkling Jakar Dzong or “Castle of the White Bird”. Chamkhar valley, one comes across the old Wangdichholing Palace of the kings of Bhutan.
The temple complex at Kurjey is built around a rock on which Guru Padmasambhava left an imprint of his body while meditating there in the 8th century. One of the oldest temples in Bhutan, Jambay Lhakhang was built in 659 A.D. and contains an exquisite image of Buddha Maitreya. The Lhodrak Kharchu Dratshang is located on a forested slope overlooking Chamkhar town. Known as Bumthaps, the original inhabitants of Bumthang speak Bumthangpaikha, a Tibeto-Burman language. The regional cuisine of Bumthang includes buckwheat pancakes called Khooli and the buckwheat noodles known as Puta. Another well-loved specialty of the region is the chugo or hardened cheese cubes made from Yak milk.
Bumthaps are renowned for their skill in weaving, especially Yathra which are
hand-spun from yak hair and sheep wool, and woven on trestle looms in a vibrant
palette of colors and patterns. Another popular fabric from the region is
the woolen Bumthap Mathra, check and plaid weavings popularly worn as ghos
(men) and kiras (women) all across the country.