Mongar Bhutan (the beginning of Eastern)
The differences between East and West Bhutan are far greater than the high pass that separates them. Perhaps like the Scots and the English, there are subtle but marked differences. History has played a significant role with the kingdom only being unified with the East at the end of the last century and prior to that many wars separated each side. The Eastern dialect is so different from the Western dialect that the two groups find it difficult to understand each other.
Thrumsingla pass and a seven-hour drive separate Ura from Mongar in the East. The journey is one of the most beautiful in all the Himalayas. Rising out of Ura, the highway climbs steeply to the highest pass (3,800 meters) along the West to East highway at Thrumsingla (during the Winter the pass can be closed for several days due to heavy snowfalls) where the mountains of East Bhutan can be seen during clear weather. The descent from Thrumsingla to Lingmithang is astonishing for several reasons. The road drops from 3,800 meters to 650 meters in only a few hours passing from pine forest through semi-tropical forest to orange groves. Carved out of the side of the mountain, in parts the road's edge borders a sheer cliff which descends several hundred meters vertically with nothing to stop the fall.
Arriving at Mongar marks the beginning of your Eastern Bhutan experience. Towns in Eastern Bhutan are built on the sides of the hills contrary to the West where they develop on the valley floor. Mongar Dzong was built in 1953 on the orders of the Third King, Jigme Dorje Wangchuck. The BTCL guesthouse is located near the Dzong enjoying a pleasant view from the garden over the Mongar Valley.
Places to Visit
- Samdruk Jongkhar
Bhutan Festival Dates
Places of interest in Mongar
This is one of the Bhutan's newest Dzong, built in 1930s.
This is a privetly owened monastry founded by Lama Sangdag the 6th son of Terton Pema Lingpa.
This Lhakhang is located in between the Trashigang to Mongar highway. It is one of the most important monastry in eastern Bhutan.
It has remained in ruins for centuries is briefly visible from the Mongar-Bumthang highway.
This is also another privetly owned Lhakhang built in 1825 by one of the disciples of Togden Shakya Shri, a renowned lama from eastern Tibet.