Wangduephodrang (alt. 1300m./4265ft)
Located in western central part of Bhutan, Wangduephodrang is one of the largest districts in the country covering an area of 4,308 sq. km. Known as ‘Sha’ or ‘east’ to the locals, the region characterises varied climatic conditions from sub-tropical forests in the south to cool and snowy areas in north. Popularly known as Wangdue, most of this district is environmentally protected with northern half of the territory falling within Wangchuk Centennial park with north-west pockets belonging to Jigme Dorji National Park while south-eastern district is part of Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park. Also protected are the biological corridors crisscrossing the district that connect Bhutan's extensive national park system.
Wangduephodrang presents rich ethnic and linguistic mosaic and it is the last town on the central highway before central Bhutan. Bajo is newly developed well-planned urban town of Wangduephodrang which lies at an altitude of 1310m above sea level. The higher reaches of Wangduephodrang valley provide rich pastureland for cattle while the district is also famous for its fine bamboo products, slate and stone carvings.
Places of Interest in and around Wangduephodrang
Sitting on top of the hill, overlooking the convergence of Punak Tsang Chhu and Dang Chhu rivers, Wangduephodrang Dzong is town’s most visible features. The Dzong was founded by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1638 and has played important role in history of Bhutan.
On 24th June 2012, a tragic fire led to the loss of this important heritage site but fortunately all the precious nangtens were salvaged under the guidance of His Majesty the King and His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo. The Dzong’s reconstruction is still underway and the tentative date of completion is scheduled to be in December 2021.
This small clustered picturesque village about 20-minute walk up a gentle gradient is mesmerising with its old traditional mud houses located on the opposite hill facing Wangdue Dzong. The village houses are built close to each other with whitewashed walls and wooden window frame. It is wonderful experience taking a stroll in the village, meeting & interacting villagers. The village is also known for its skill in traditional method of stone masonry.
Adha & Rukha Villages
The picturesque villages of Adha Rukha are excellent places to get an insight into lifestyle and culture of Bhutanese village community. The entire village practices organic farming and the visit to the village provides wonderful opportunity to experience traditional farming techniques and the warmth of classical Bhutanese hospitality. There are lovely camping spots in the villages while visitors also have option of experiencing village homestays.
Located towards the south of Wangdue town, these villages are at lower altitude and having tropical vegetation so not so pleasant in summer and autumn and spring are better times to explore these villages.