Lhuentse, located in the northeastern part of Bhutan, has been the ancestral home of its kings and houses several sacred sites. It is as famous for its landscape as its weavers whose textiles are believed to be the best in Bhutan. The famous attractions of Lhuentse are the Singye and Lhuntse dzongs, Khoma and Gangzur villages, Kilung Lhakhang and Phunying Pass. Interestingly, there is a weaving handicraft loom in every house. Most of this district is a part of the environmentally protected areas of Bhutan. Ara, the traditional alcohol of Bhutan, is very popular in this part of the country. One of its top attractions is the 173 feet high statue of Guru Padmasambhava situated on Takila mountain slope.
One of the things you will find on your trip to Lhuentse, counted among the famous tourist attractions in Bhutan, is that its people sure love their alcohol. Indeed, ara, the traditional homemade alcohol of Bhutan, is consumed in large quantities here. But even if you aren’t a big fan of alcohol, there are many reasons to plan a visit to Lhuentse during your Bhutan sightseeing tour.
The district of Lhuentse is one of the 20 districts in Bhutan, and enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year. It is located in the northeastern part of the country and is home to several important pilgrimage sites. Most of the destinations in Bhutan are famous for their spectacular scenery, and Lhuentse is no exception. There are many reasons for visiting this quaint district famous for its monasteries, weavers, spectacular scenery and others.
As you explore its incredible landscape, your eyes greet the sight of deep cliffs which stare down royally on the gorges below. The surroundings are covered with coniferous forests. Another reason which makes Mongar famous is its weavers and the fine textiles woven by them, which are considered the best in the country.
One of the most famous tourist attractions of Lhuentse is Lhuntse Dzong. Also known as Lhundub Rinchentse among the local population, it is a magnificent structure overlooking the River Kurichu. It was built in the year 1654 on the very spot where a temple was built by Nagi Wangchuk (one of the Drukpa Lamas) in 1552. Inside, the dzong houses sacred artefacts which were installed by the 4th Druk Desi Tenzin Rabgay. You can see them engaged in this fine art, and can also purchase various pottery items if you want to.
A most impressive sight awaits you at the Takila mountain slope, where stands the colossal statue of Guru Padmasambhava (a Buddhist scholar, saint and philosopher, he is respected as the second Buddha by his followers). The statue surprises you with its height, as it looks down benevolently from a height of 173ft approx. The scenic surroundings serve as the perfect backdrop to the statue. From the mountain slope, you can get a wonderful view of the Tangmachu valley stretched out below. There is an interesting story surrounding the statue. It states that Lerab Lingpa, the famous Tibetan teacher and saint, prophesied that, “At one point of time, there will be a war of horses in Kurtoe valley. To prevent this war, a statue of Guru Nangsi Zilnoen should be built”. Another revered saint and philosopher, Lama Sonam Zangpo, a revered Yogi and teacher in Bhutan, advised that for ushering in prosperity and success in Bhutan and the world in general, it was necessary to build the statue there.
Another village which you should explore is the village of Khoma. The road leading to the village takes you over gracious slopes flanked by pine trees. This is another village famous for its signature woven textiles, known as the Kishuthara. You can spot the women seated in their beautiful little cottages, engaged in creating interesting designs and patterns. On your visit to the village, don’t forget to carry with your camera with you, as its spectacular location offers wonderful photography opportunities.
There is also the village of Kilung, which is inhabited by the Tshanglas who are believed to have settled here during the late 1880’s. There is a fascinating story surrounding it. It is believed that inside the temple, there is a sacred chain mall which was used to recapture a statue believed to have flown away from Lhuentse Dzong.
A particular tourist attraction in Bhutan which you should not miss is Dungkar Naktshang, the ancient home of Dungkar Chojie. It is also the ancient home of the Wangchuk dynasty and is overlooked by gigantic mountains above while affording gorgeous views of the mountains below. You should visit this architecture built in the ancient days because it provides a glimpse into the ancient past of Bhutan.
During your Bhutan sightseeing tour to Lhuentse, there is another monastery which you should not miss out on. Founded in the 18th century by Pekar Gyatso, there is something that draws you towards it. Maybe it’s the spectacular location which lends it that aura of timelessness.
Lhuentse, like the famous tourist destinations in Bhutan experiences pleasant weather all through the year. Therefore, the best time to visit Lhuentse, depends on you and the kind of weather you enjoy sightseeing in. The summers are moderately warm, the monsoons only make Bhutan more stunning, and winters, the sun is a blessing.
Owing to good road connectivity and popularity as a tourist destination in Bhutan, Lhuentse makes for an easily accessible place. It enjoys good bus connectivity with several important destinations in Bhutan like Trashigang and Thimphu.