The Jhomolhari trek is one of Bhutan’s most exciting and dangerous treks where you will experience stunning landscapes, natural wonders, important relics, jaw-dropping vistas, and much more.
This trek takes hikers to mysterious places, awe-inspiring spots, ancient ruins, and some of Bhutan’s highest mountains yet to be climbed.
The trek begins at 2,580m from Drugyal Dzong at Paro to Thangthandkha to the west of Thimphu and completes at Jangothang (Jomolhari Base camp).
With excellent views of Jomolhari Peak, located at the base camp, this trek passes meadows, paddy fields, lush evergreen forests, farmhouses, and yak and yak herders.
You will see Blue sheep and Takin grazing on the slopes as we slowly ascend the trail toward the Bhutan mountain festival. You will have ample time to explore and sightsee after completing the Jhomolhari trek and a day of excursions.
You will get to capture and experience the region’s beauty, allowing you to melt into it.
The Jomolhari Mountain Festival takes place at the foot of Jomolhari Mountain, one of Bhutan’s most picturesque trekking routes. This two-day celebration pays homage to the culture and natural scenery of the local populations: the endangered yet graceful snow leopard, among other things.
The feline is known to inhabit the region, and several camera trap photographs and signs confirm that it is one of the country’s most important snow leopard habitats.
The Jomolhari Mountain Festival takes place on October 14th and 15th; arrive in Bhutan (at least a week) on/before the festival dates.
Jomolhari Mountain Festival
The Bhutan mountain festival is a community-based initiative designed to raise awareness about the snow leopard’s conservation and celebrate the natives’ distinctive way of life.
The festival also aims to improve the economic well-being of the locals through cultural shows and traditional sports like darts and horseback riding. It also allows visitors to try the local delicacies in the crisp mountain air.
During the Jomolhari mountain festival, you can also witness locals perform snow leopard-themed folk songs and dances. It is the ultimate trekking experience, where you can experience an inspiring mountainous landscape and understand the unique communities.
The history of Jomolhari Mountain Festival
The Jomolhari Mountain Festival was first held at Dangchong, Seo Gewog, at the Jigme Dorji National Park in 2013, and it has since become a must-attend annual event.
Since then, large crowds have witnessed the traditional dances, music, and religious ceremonies performed by monks and locals.
The Jomolhari Mountain Festival commemorates the peaceful coexistence of highlanders and the snow Lepaord, dubbed “the phantom of the mountain.” The natives refer to it as a symbol of peace in the northern regions of Lingzhi.
The Bhutan mountain festivals sought to raise awareness about the conservation of the snow leopard, an endemic indicator species, and to garner the support of local people.
That’s not all. The festival also aims to preserve and revitalize Lingzhi and Soe gewog songs and dances, including those of Nubri Gewog in Paro dzongkhag. This helps the locals who sell nomadic souvenirs and traditional food to visitors and participants earn money.
Other Highlights of the Jomolhari Mountain Festival
The Jomolhari mountain festival provides a chance to see some of Bhutan’s most sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples.
The highlight of this festival is getting to camp out under Mt Jumolhari itself! This iconic mountain stands over 3,000m above sea level and offers great views of other mountains, such as Mt Jichu Drake (3,146m).
Herbal plants and local delicacies also create a huge buzz among tourists.
Bhutanese herbs and herbal products are available alongside local delicacies during the event. The Lingzhi and Soe Gewogs in western Bhutan is known for their abundance of natural herbs and plants, which are collected for medicinal purposes.
There are many cultural attractions, including medieval fortresses (Dzongs), markets, and museums, that tourists may discover in the Himalayas.
You can also hike to the world-famous Taktsang Monastery, 900m above the valley floor, and enjoy panoramic views of the Paro valley.
You can also participate in a monk’s cooking lesson or meditation session to truly experience Bhutan’s approach to life.
Those who wish to avoid high passes and altitudes can retrace their steps from Jangothang while still enjoying the magnificent views of Mount Jomolhari.
How to pack for the Festival
Packing light is an art in itself. Since you will travel constantly, it is best to pack light. The hotel will store your heavier belongings, and you’ll receive them at the end of the tour.
During your trip, we will provide full-service camping at designated campsites.
We’ll provide porters and pack animals to help you carry all of your gear, cooks to prepare meals for everyone, and a certified guide who will accompany you throughout the entire trek.
We recommend you bring comfortable clothes for every weather. You can keep chills at bay with thermal underclothes(small and light).
It is also best to avoid wearing shorts during your trip as a show of respect if you visit any religious sites, public places, or government offices.
The weather in this part of the region is cold from the end of October to late February; it is quite favorable from March to early June but can still get very cold at higher altitudes.
While the Jomolhari trek is moderate for many trekkers, it is challenging for some.
To enjoy your trip more thoroughly and get the most out of it, we recommend that you train and get physically fit as it passes through altitudes ranging between 2500 meters to nearly 5000 meters above sea level and traverses rough terrain. Your body will thank you!
Note: Ensure you bring enough supplies to last the trek (if you are under medication), as the local pharmacies may not have the same supplies.
Hundreds of adventurous travelers journey to Bhutan each year. Whether for business or leisure, most trips are guided by a travel agent or tour company and planned to fit as many activities into a short time as possible.
Experience the adventure-thrilled Jomolhari mountain festival and travel well to Bhutan with Druk Heritage. Countless experiences await you in Bhutan, and we would love to show you all it has to offer!