4 great meditation cliffs (Drak zhi) to visit in Bumthang, Bhutan

Author: Ugyen Thinley
Date: 2023-03-29

Share using:

Bumthang is one of the districts in Bhutan located at around 2,800 meters above sea level and is about a 7-hour drive from the capital city, Thimphu. One can reach the district by air as it is connected to a domestic air network. The journey will be shortened by 6 hours if you choose to travel by air. 

Bumthang is considered one of the holiest places in the country. The reason can be traced back to the 8th century when the king of Bumthang, Sindu Raja fell seriously ill and no intervention was successful in curing the illness. Subsequently, Guru Rinpoche visited the place upon the king's invitation to subdue the local deity who has taken the life and soul of the king. 

Guru Rinpoche, also called Padmasambhava (Lotus-born master), who introduced tantric Buddhism to Tibet had meditated, blessed, and left behind many terma (hidden teachings) in the four major draks (cliffs) in Bumthang. The four major cliffs are Thowa Drak, Kuenzang Drak, Shug Drak, and Choe Drak.

(1) THOWADRA (Tang Valley)

Thowa Drak is located on the mountain face of the upper Tang Valley and is a 3-hour drive from Bumthang district. It is one of the most sacred sites founded and sanctified by Guru Rinpoche and later believed to have been sanctified by the visit of Gelongma Palmo. 

The 3-hour hike uphill and the serene environment makes it perfect for someone who wishes to run away from the daily hustle and bustle. Upon reaching the cliff, the overlooking view of the valley is breathtaking.

The remaining three cliffs are reachable by road.

(2) KUNZANGDRA (Tang Valley)