One of the most tranquil and beautiful valley, Ura is a must visit valley in Bumthang. While in Ura visit the Ura Monastery and simply enjoy the meadows and the beautiful landscapes, the buck wheat and barley fields.
The 48 km paved drive to Ura ascends through a beautiful conifer landscape. Farms, cows and sheep pastures line the road. When reaching the Shelthang La Pass (3600 meters / 11800 feet), on clear days, you have a magnificent view of Mount Gangkhar Puensum (7540 meters / 24700 feet), the highest unclimbed mountain in Bhutan. From here, we recommend that you descend into Ura village by foot. The path meanders slowly down through meadows with a clear view of the village the whole way. Ura has nearly forty clustered houses, typical to only a few communities in Bhutan. You will first reach the new temple dedicated to Guru Rinpoche where the annual Ura festival is held in late spring. It has a huge statue of Guru Rinpoche and beautiful frescoes. From here, walk through the small village towards the local secondary school and get a feel of the village atmosphere.
30 minutes further by car from Ura, you will reach Shingkhar village. In this small traditional village at an elevation of 3400 meters (11200 feet), with a population of about 250, it is as if time has been standing still for several hundred years and it is strikingly clean and organized. The courtyard of the Dechen Chholing Goemba is a beautiful place to have lunch after a wander around.
Membartsho (The Burning Lake):
The story has it that Pema Lingpa had a dream that he would find a treasure where a wooden bridge spans across the trapped river-water pool. He later ventured into the river pool carrying a burning butter lamp in his hand saying if he were an apparition of evil the lamp would be snuffed out and if not it would continue to burn on his resurfacing from the water. He dove into the pool and returned with the treasures and the lamp still burning. Since then the lake has been known as Membartsho. It is believed that on a lucky day, if you lie down on the rock and look really closely into the water, you might still see parts of the treasure on the bottom. To this day pilgrims light lamps and release them into the pool.