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Bhumtang, Bhutan Travel GuideThe Yutongla Pass and a series of hair-raising bends at 11,500 feet separates the valleys of Tongsa and Bumthang. Views of Tongsa valley on the ascent are superb.

Bumthang has an individuality that charms its visitors and separates it from other regions. Comprising of fouf smaller valleys, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in religious legend.

Apart from the Dzong at Jakar smaller temples can be found throughout the hills. Tales of Padma Sambhava dominate these holy shrines. The valley is home to the sacred Jampa and Kuje Monasteries where bodily marks of Guru Rimpoche are impressed upon a rock.

Bumthang is also the traditional home to the great Buddhist teacher Pema Lingpa to whose descendants the present dynast traces its ancestry.

The town of Jakar is the largest between Thimphu in the west and Tashigang in the east. Jakar is famous for its honey production, cheese, apples and apricots. Its arable land and Swiss and German aid projects have helped the local economy to dramatically improve over recent years. A number of modern houses are evidence of the valley’s increased properity.

Visitors to Jakar should plan to spend a few days taking advantage of the valley’s relatively gentle slopes to hike to nearby medieval temples and glimpse Bhutan’s mostly rural population.

The eastern most valley in central Bhutan before the Thumsingla pass is the Ura valley with the village of Ura at its center. A small but old Dzong and cobble-stoned paths give the village a medieval feel. Elderly women can still be seen walking around Ura wearing sheepskins on the their backs (they lay the sheepsking on the ground and sleep on them).

Ura is the settlement before the climb to the highest pass(12,465 feet) in the kingdom at Thumsingla.

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