If you’re seeking a thrilling and extraordinary travel destination, put Mongar on your list. Located in the enchanting eastern region of Bhutan, it offers many exciting experiences that should undoubtedly be at the top of your list.
This hidden gem, nestled amidst verdant valleys and majestic mountains, offers explorers a chance to discover an uncharted corner of the world. Mongar has everything you desire: awe-inspiring sights, sacred monasteries, and an opportunity to escape the chaos and immerse yourself in true serenity.
Prepare for an exhilarating adventure as we unveil 13 must-visit locations that will undoubtedly captivate the hearts of all travelers. Time to pack your bags and unlock the secrets that make Mongar an extraordinary haven like no other!
Discover the enchanting wonders of Mongar!
Discover the ancient secrets and hidden treasures nestled within the serene mountains
i. Aja Ney
Hidden amidst the rugged beauty of Bhutan’s Mongar district lies a captivating secret: Aja Ney. This sacred site, revered by pilgrims across Bhutan, promises blessings and absolution of sins.
At over 3,500 meters, this sacred site hides a remarkable treasure—an ancient rock adorned with a hundred renditions of the sacred syllable “Aa,” discovered by the revered Guru Padmasambhava.
To reach this sacred destination, you must undertake a challenging two-day trek from the picturesque Serzhong village, crossing untouched wilderness and breathtaking views along the way.
It is perfect for those with an adventurous spirit and a desire to encounter the extraordinary. The journey to Aja Ney is an odyssey worth pursuing, a chance to unlock the secrets of Bhutan’s sacred heritage and immerse oneself in the wonders of the untamed Himalayan realm.
ii. Phunying La
The story of Nye Chen Phunying La dates back to the dawn of time, intertwining with the rich history of Aja Nye. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche meditated within the majestic mountain rims of Phunying, defeating the demon king and restoring peace to the land. This historic location is adorned with countless religious sites dedicated to Guru Rinpoche. It is where spirituality flourishes, drawing revered yogis and seekers of truth to its serene valleys and towering peaks.
As you explore the Nye(sacared site), you’ll encounter over 50 religious sites along the sacred path, each holding the echoes of ancient wisdom. The imprints of Khandro Drowa Zangmo’s skull and the Guru Padmasambhava treasure box remind us of the profound spiritual energy that permeates this mystical landscape.
Phunying La offers a glimpse into a world beyond the ordinary for travelers and adventurers searching for a spiritual journey. Step into this remote, awe-inspiring landscape, where ancient legends come alive, and immerse yourself in the sacred atmosphere that has drawn seekers for centuries.
Immerse yourself in the spiritual energy as you explore the sacred sites
Immerse yourself in the captivating melodies of sacred mask dances and traditional music
iii. Drametse Lhakhang
Third on the list of must-see spots in Mongar doesn’t disappoint—it’s Drametse Lhakhang! This 16th-century fort at the top of a small hill is one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan, and many Tibetan and Bhutanese pilgrims regularly visit to pray and make offerings.
The monastery is also known for its annual festival, which draws thousands of visitors for masked dances, sacred operas, and other entertainment. Of the many masked dances, the Drametse Ngacham (Drum dance of Drametse) is the most popular and well-known in the country.
Don’t forget to take your camera—you’re sure to capture some beautiful snaps and create lasting memories of this magnificent site.
iv. Phrumsengla National Park
It’s no surprise that Phrumsengla National Park is one of the must-visit places in Mongar! Covering 905 sq km, it is home to over 340 species of birds, including the enchanting rufous-necked hornbill, black-necked cranes, vibrant blue-naped pitta, and a large variety of mammals, such as the Musk deer, Royal Bengal Tiger, Red panda, and Himalayan black bear.
Its highest peak(GangkarPhuensum, standing tall at 4,000 meters above sea level, beckons adventure seekers worldwide, while its dramatic landscapes paint a picture-perfect setting in the heart of Bhutan.
The park offers several attractions and activities, such as hiking, bird watching, and camping. With so much to explore, one day is not enough to experience all the park offers. Whether you crave heart-pounding adventures or want to relax in nature’s embrace—Phrumsengla won’t disappoint!
Traverse through lush forests, meandering rivers, and cascading waterfalls that adorn this pristine sanctuary
This magnificent stupa stands tall, adorned with intricate carvings and vibrant prayer flags that flutter in the wind
v. Jarung Khashor Chorten
Jarung Khashor Chorten is a must-see destination in Mongar, Bhutan. This sacred structure pays homage to its counterpart in Nepal, captivating visitors with its exquisite design. A popular place of worship for locals, this monastery holds great spiritual significance.
It is visually stunning, and its history is full of fascinating elements! Legend has it that prayers made here can fulfill wishes, making it a revered wish-fulfilling Stupa in Bhutan. Built by the esteemed Second Pedtselling Trulku, Jigme Tenpai Gyeltshen, and supported by the community, this Chorten symbolizes collective merit and protection against evil forces.
vi. Kurichu Dam View
If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure, you won’t want to miss out on visiting Kurichu Dam. This majestic site is a popular destination for Bhutanese and tourists alike. Standing at the dam’s edge, you’ll get a spectacular view of the vast greenery that dominates the landscape.
Standing at 55 meters, with a crest length of 285 meters, the dam holds a magnificent powerhouse at its base. With a capacity of 60 MW distributed across four units, this impressive project generates a staggering 400 million units (MU) of energy annually. This engineering marvel was inaugurated by HRH Trongsa Poenlop Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and H.E Shri Sudhir Vyas, the Ambassador of India to Bhutan, on April 26, 2006.
A magnificent testament to Bhutan’s hydroelectric power and natural beauty
A vibrant oasis of sustainable farming and agricultural diversity
vii. Integrated Horticulture Farm
At the Integrated Horticulture Farm in Mongar, you can find everything you need to have a fun and fulfilling day out! It is located off the Thimphu-Trashigang highway, just west of Mongar City in the eastern part of the country. This farm embraces an integrated farming system, focusing on enhancing productivity through diversification, resource integration, and establishing market connections.
So what’s there to do? Here are some of the exciting activities you can do:
- Take a guided tour with an experienced farmer and learn about traditional horticulture techniques in Mongar
- Learn about local herbs and spices that are used in their cuisine
- See the different crops and livestock that are raised on the farm, such as wheat, corn, and goats
- Enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the lush green landscape.
- Taste a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables freshly picked from the farms.
The Integrated Horticulture Farm is a great place to explore for an enriching experience. From learning about sustainable farming techniques to witnessing stunning landscapes – there’s something for everyone here!
viii. Mongar Dzong
No trip to Mongar is complete without a visit to the stunningly beautiful Mongar Dzong. Standing tall on the hilltop at an elevation of 1,639 meters, this centuries-old fortress is a testament to the fascinating history of Bhutan. Built in 1930 by the visionary King Jigme Dorje Wangchuck, the dzong stands as a famous landmark and serves as the administrative and religious headquarters of the district. The ancient fort has seen its fair share of battles and sieges, so it’s no wonder it still stands proud today.
The Mongar Dzong showcases the timeless beauty of traditional Bhutanese architecture and is adorned with exquisite murals, four Lhakhangs, and visually stunning walls and ceilings. You can take a stroll along its wooden corridors, listen to the enchanting prayers of the monks, and bask in the tranquil ambiance.
Don’t miss the vibrant Tshechu Festival held in November/December, immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of Bhutanese culture. Let this picturesque dzong be your gateway to experiencing Mongar’s cultural and spiritual essence.
Perched gracefully on a hilltop, Mongar Dzong is a true testament to Bhutan’s rich heritage
Mongar town: where tradition meets tranquility
ix. Mongar Town
Next, we have the vibrant and bustling Mongar town! Like many settlements in the region, the town is situated atop a hill, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. As Eastern Bhutan’s main trade and travel hub, Mongar attracts travelers and merchants who pass through, finding comfort in the local hotels for a restful night.
You can take a stroll along the main street, adorned with beautifully painted stone buildings featuring charming wooden facades and verandas. The bustling clock tower area, with its large prayer wheel, becomes a gathering point for locals, where old friends reunite, and lively conversations unfold. Satisfy your taste buds with the diverse offerings of Bhutanese and Indian cuisine at the local restaurants.
As you explore, you’ll witness the expansion of the old bazaar area, solidifying Mongar’s position as one of the region’s largest settlements. Don’t miss out on this colorful cultural hub of Mongar – it’s definitely worth a visit.
x. Ruins of Zhongar Dzong
One of the must-visit places in Mongar is undoubtedly the Ruins of Zhongar Dzong. It’s a great opportunity to divulge the intriguing cultural history of Bhutan and capture some incredible photographs.
The majestic ruins of Zhongar Dzong stand as a true testament to the craftsmanship of its builders, particularly the legendary master craftsman, Zowo Balip. This ancient fortress is captivating as you descend toward Lingmethang from the highway.
As you explore the ruins, you’ll feel connected to a bygone era, as if time has stood still. Past stories come alive as you listen to oral accounts passed down through generations. No matter what sets your soul on fire – history, adventure, or culture – The ruins of Zhongar Dzong are one place you must visit in Mongar!
Explore the weathered walls and crumbling structures as echoes of the past whisper their stories to curious ears
Embrace the serenity, soak in the blessings, and let the spiritual essence of Yakgang Lhakhang guide your journey through the heart of Bhutan
xi. Yakgang Lhakhang
If you’re looking for a place full of beauty and culture, you must check out Yakgang Lhakhang in Mongar! Nestled in a serene village near Mongar town, the Yakgang Lhakhang is a sacred gem within the Dzongkhag.
Constructed in the 16th century by Sangdag, the youngest son of Terton Pema Lingpa, this enchanting two-story temple holds deep spiritual significance. Legend has it that when Chhoekhor Deb attempted to destroy a box of treasures revealed by Terton Pema Lingpa, three small statues miraculously flew to Yakgang Lhakhang, Jakar Dzong, and Dongkola Temple.
Resembling the exquisite designs of Trashigang Yangneer Lhakhang, this traditional Bhutanese architectural marvel invites you to explore its sacred halls. As you visit, immerse yourself in the religious life of the local community, experiencing the profound spirituality that thrives within this revered sanctuary.
xii. Rhododendron Garden
Amidst the breathtaking scenery of Mongar lies a hidden treasure—the Rhododendron Garden, beckoning travelers to immerse themselves in its beauty. You can discover countless varieties of rhododendrons, with their delicate petals and vivid colors creating a feast for the senses. For flower enthusiasts, the Rhododendron Garden is a sensory delight, offering the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of botany and horticulture.
And if fortune smiles upon you, on clear days, the majestic Gangkhar Puensum, standing tall at an awe-inspiring 7,541 meters, may reveal itself as the world’s highest unclimbed mountain. This tranquil haven is a haven for nature lovers, providing an unforgettable experience amidst Bhutan’s awe-inspiring wonders.
Embrace the serenity, soak in the blessings, and let the spiritual essence of Yakgang Lhakhang guide your journey through the heart of Bhutan
Discover the secrets of Bhutan’s aromatic treasures as you witness the intricate process of extracting essential oil from the finest lemon grass
xiii. Lemon Grass Oil Unit
If you’re visiting Mongar, you shouldn’t miss the Lemon Grass Oil Unit! This facility produces essential oils from lemongrass, a grass with a distinct, lemony scent. This unit is fascinating to visit, and the oils it produces offer many benefits. For starters, they can be used in aromatherapy and massages to help improve mood and reduce stress or anxiety—perfect for a relaxing vacation.
Lemongrass oil is also used in many products like soaps and lotions. This means you are getting amazing souvenirs to bring back home and giving yourself a little pampering while you’re at it!
And if that’s not exciting enough, here’s why else visiting is an absolute must:
- Watch the distillation process – see how essential oils are made.
- Purchase fresh lemon grass oil – get amazing scents for your home or as gifts for friends.
- Learn more about the uses of this oil – discover just how versatile it can be!
- Support local industry – buy souvenirs directly from their factory and meet the workforce behind the production process.
So make sure to pencil in a visit to Mongar’s Lemon Grass Oil Unit—you won’t regret it!
From the oldest monasteries to the vibrant markets to the mesmerizing mountain peaks, Mongar offers something exciting for everyone. It’s a place of culture, beauty, and adventure, promising many unforgettable moments you cannot afford to miss.
Whether you’re craving a thrilling adventure or a spiritual retreat, these 12 must-visit places in Mongar are guaranteed to rock your world and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets and start your adventure with Druk Heritage Tours! With our expertise and commitment to exceptional experiences, we’ll ensure every moment is filled with joy and discovery.