Nestled in the inner Himalayas at about 3000 meters above sea level, Phobjikha is a wide alpine wetland valley that is considered the largest and the most significant wetland in the country. It is often cited for the harmonious co-existence of its inhabitants with nature and the valley also holds great cultural significance.
The valley is the most significant wintering ground of the rare and endangered Black-necked cranes in Bhutan and has been protected since time immemorial by the local people’s traditional respect for all living beings. Every year, over 300 of the estimated 500 cranes that migrate to Bhutan spend their winter months in this valley.
3 Best Places to visit in Phobjikha Valley
- Black Necked Crane Information Center.
- Gangtey Monastery.
- Gangtey Natural Trail.
1. Black Necked Crane Information Center.
Black-necked Crane Centre (Grus nigricollic) locally called as Thrung Thrung Karmo) is located at Phobjikha valley under Wangdue Phodrang district at the elevation of 3,000 metres above the sea level. This preservation Centre was founded in the year 2003 by Dasho Pelden J. Dorji popularly known as Dash Benji. Total area of 163 square KM under the Phobjikha valley is now called as Phobjikha Conservation Area under Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN).
2. Gangtey Monastery.
Gangtey Sangacholing Goemba, which is popularly known as Gangtey Goemba is located at the elevation of 3,000 metres above the sea level at hilltop of Phobjikha valley in Wangdue Phodrang district. It was built by Pema Thinley who was grandson of Terton Pema Lingpa in the year 1613.
It’s 65 KM from Wangdue Phodrang town, which takes around 2 hours’ drive and it’s 135 KM from Thimphu city which take 6 hours’ drive.
3. Gangtey Natural Trail.
From Gangtey Monastery, hike through Gangtey Natural Trail (1.5 hrs). This is the most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trails in Bhutan. The trail hike starts from the mani (like Chhorten) stone wall to the north of the Ganagtey Gonpa and ends in Khewa Lhakhang. This hike which takes you though the pine forest and small bamboo plants provides a spectacular view of the Phobjikha Valley.