The world’s happiest country, Bhutan is known for its stunning natural beauty and untapped emerald forests.
Not only does the country have numerous endangered fauna, but it also has some incredible monasteries that will entice you to visit this thunder dragon kingdom.
These monasteries are not only beautiful, but they also have incredible history and legends that will shift your outlook on life.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Bhutan, don’t forget to contact Norbu Bhutan Travels, as they can help you make the most of your vacation.
Now without further ado, let’s get into the facts about some of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan to blow your mind! After reading all of the stories and legends, we are certain that you will want to visit this beautiful country filled with happiness.
1. About Taktsang Monastery, Paro
The majestic Taktsang Monastery in Bhutan
The Taktsang Monastery is one of Bhutan’s most well-known monasteries that attract people worldwide.
Even some well-known celebrities like Jackie Chan, Keanu Reeves, and Drew Berrymore have visited this astonishing Monastery in Bhutan.
Every tourist and devotee is mesmerized by the cliff-top construction of this monastery with a gold-plated dome, colorful flags, golden prayer wheels, and a cave temple.
This tranquil residence of guru Rinpoche was demolished in a fire and rebuilt in 1998 at an altitude of 3120 meters in the upper Paro valley.
2. About Chimi Lhakhang (The Fertility Temple), Punakha
The fertility temple, Punakha
The Fertility Temple, also known as the sacred Chimi Lhakhang, is a famous location of miracles for women who cannot conceive.
This Buddhist monastery in Bhutan is a place of fertility and blessings, as it was blessed by Lama Drukpa Kunley, who had very unconventional ways of teaching Buddhism through sex.
He believed that enlightenment is possible even if you have sexual intercourse, which is somewhat considered unconventional.
Hence, he was known as the “Divine Madman.” Childless couples, those who are unable to conceive go to this temple in the hopes of receiving a blessing (wang) from a Buddhist monk and his “magic thunderbolt of wisdom.”
3. About Rinpung Dzong Monastery, Paro
Paro Rinpung Dzong, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, with Ta Dzong in the background
The Rinpung Dzong Monastery in Bhutan, set on a hillside and locally interpreted as a “Fortress on a Heap of Jewels,” is well worth visiting.
This Bhutan Monastery also serves as Paro’s administrative center. The 14 shrines and chapels and the high walls and magnificent murals are all noteworthy features of this magnificent infrastructure.
Ta Dzong, a watchtower, which houses the National Museum of Bhutan, is located just outside this lovely residence.
4. About Kyichu Lhakhang Monastery, Paro
Kyichu Lhakhang, Paro
After Taktsang, Kyichu Lhakhang Monastery in Bhutan is another popular religious monument in Paro, with tall sculptures of Guru Rinpoche.
The Guru Lhakhang chorten consists of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s ashes. He was a Vajrayana master, scholar, poet, and teacher regarded as one of Buddhism’s greatest realized masters.
5. About Tango Monastery, Thimphu
Buddhist learning center in Bhutan
Tango Monastery in Bhutan adds to one’s vacation experience with its tranquil atmosphere and charming surroundings, keeping with the Bhutanese tradition of valuing spirituality over flashy appearances.
The Tango Monastery is a famous Buddhist learning center in Bhutan, located near the Cheri Monastery in Thimphu. The one-hour trek to the monastery’s top is well worth it.
The Tango Monastery in Bhutan is a historic monument that houses traditional caves and temples. Its semicircular wall is one of its most notable architectural elements.
6. About Cheri Monastery, Thimphu
The Cheri Monastery
This monastery in Bhutan, built-in 1620 by Ngawang Namgyal, is a major learning and retreat center for people of southern Drukpa descent.
The journey to Cheri Monastery through beautiful green pine and rhododendron trees is spectacular.
The monastery building, surrounded by prayer flags, a tranquil prayer chamber, and a temple with Buddhist murals, will give you the true essence of tranquility and peace that will rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.
7. About Lhuentse Dzong Monastery, Lhuntse
The Lhuentse Dzong
This Dzong (fortress) overlooks the beautiful Kirichu River and is a must-see. Originally established by Kuenga Wangpo, this Buddhist monastery in Bhutan was renovated by Mingyur Tenpa in 1654.
Lord Padmasambhava is honored in the main temple. Khoma village, famous for producing Kishu Thara cloth, is another must-visit place within the district to see and experience the authentic handmade procedure of making Bhutanese silk cloth.
8. About Kurjey Lhakhang Monastery, Bumthang
One of the most historic Monastery in Bhutan
Kurjey Lhakhang is one of Bhutan’s most historic monasteries. Guru Rinpoche is said to have left his imprint in the monastery’s cave temples.
This is also the final resting place of Bhutan’s first three monarchs. This monastery in Bhutan has a legendary story.
Sindhu Raja, the monarch of Bumthang in the 8th century, became ill. Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, was invited to heal him.
It is believed that the king’s illness was caused by the malicious deeds of the local deities, particularly the strong Shelging Karpo.
Guru Rinpoche pursued the deities into a cave and meditated there for three months after discovering the source of the disease.
Guru Rinpoche then defeated the deities, including the strong Shelging Karpo, and imprinted his body inside the cave, earning the name Kurjey (Body Imprint). Kur (Body) Jey (Imprint).
A tall cypress tree stands near the monastery and is said to have sprouted from Guru Rinpoche’s walking stick.
9. About Memorial Chorten (stupa), Thimphu
The Memorial Chorten, Thimphu
The National Memorial Chorten was dedicated to World Peace in commemorating the Third Druk Gyalpo(King) of Bhutan. A magnificent white building with a golden spire crowns the Chorten.
With its beautiful murals and detailed sculptures, the Chorten is an outstanding example of Buddhist architecture and art. Every traveler is drawn to the lovely garden surrounding the stupa, as well as the gate with slate carvings, statues, and murals.
10. About Tamshing Monastery, Bumthang
Tamshing Monastery in Bumthang
Many residents and devotees worldwide come to this monastery in Bhutan to perform religious ceremonies and prayers. One of Bhutan’s few monasteries is dedicated to Pema Lingpa’s teachings.
Pema Lingpa spent his life unveiling Padmasambhava’s rare jewels. Hence known as Tertoen Pema Lingpa.
Providing empowerments and teachings, meditating in remote locales, constructing and rebuilding monasteries, and establishing a legacy that still exists today.
11. About Jambay Lhakhang Monastery, Jakar
The graceful Jambey Lhakhang
Jambay Lhakhang, one of Songstan Gampo’s 108 temples, attracts thousands of tourists during its great annual celebration of midnight sacred naked dances.
Jambay Lhakhang, a vintage Bhutan monastery with murals, wall paintings, and miniature temples, is unique and filled with celebrations that astonish locals and tourists visiting during the festival.
Bhutanese Buddhist monasteries are definitely fascinating tourist destinations. These locations are not only peaceful, but they also exude wonderful energy.
You can roam all of the historic and legendary monasteries in Bhutan with Norbu Bhutan Travels and feel rejuvenated.
They provide one of the best travel experiences for tourists that love exploring and learning along the way. Book your next trip with them and experience hospitality like never before.