High up in the mountains one hundred thousand angels descended and left footprints on a rock 800 years ago. Now a group of horses, yaks and tour guides eagerly wait to take tourist not to see the sight but rather experience mythology of Bhutanese history, tradition and culture 3800m above sea level.
The trek itself requires a degree of fitness as in some areas it can be difficult but as yak’s and horses carry all of the luggage except for your personal backpack it only requires a medium level of fitness. The trek depending on your specification can have the luxury of a bed set up or simple sleeping bags both of which give a unique take on the whole experience.
The trek like most places in Bhutan have some flat areas and many uphill areas but regardless of where you are the scenic view is extraordinary. Certain parts where small stupas (A small structure containing religious artifacts inside) decorate the area showcasing the Bhutanese religious take of interacting with nature. In one area on the way to the start of the Bumdra trek in Punakha, there is 108 small statue along the way to the Dochula pass which many Bhutanese stops for a break and walk around to admire the sight.
Treks can start at Sang Choekor which is in Paro, which also has Buddhist college known as Sang Choekor Lhakang where you can visit briefly and ask for a blessing for a good trek from the monks. After the blessings, the trek starts with the first landmark being Chhoe Tse Lhakang temple about 2 hours away. The trek starts in a forestry ridge where Bhutan's untouched nature is seen in all its beauty. This continues on till a clearing is reached with prayer flags serving as landmarks and a breathtaking view of Paro and Do Chhu valley.
The Chhoe Tse Lhakang when reached has a grand view of Paro valley and the snow-capped mountain ranges that surround Bhutan.
A small break is recommended to take in the view as after taking in the sights it takes 20 minuets to pass through the ruins and prayer flags to get back into the forest. After an hour traversing in the forest, a open meadow with religious chortens and prayer flags are the only sign of human influence in the untouched landscape.
From the meadow the Bumdra monastery where most people camp for the night is only a short while away after which reaching offers lunch and meditation practices. The beauty of Bumdra monastery and its surroundings is best seen as words can only provide the slightest understanding of its vistas.
After spending the night the trek route often takes people back to Paro through the Taktsang monastery which is described in another article as a short summary of which does not do it justice. The descent back into the valley of Paro is marked when the golden roof’s and great monastery of Taksang is seen thus marking the end of the Bumdra trek.
Bhutanese often view these treks as something to do with their family and friends over holidays. The experience is memorable with family and friends as the cold winds batter the tent all your loved ones huddle around the camp fire with hot food is a memory that will last a lifetime. For those who like a campsite horror story ask your tour guide as Bhutan’s ghost stories should give chills equal to the cold temperature.
While the trek route and landmarks can be explained the true essence of it cannot be captured in mere words instead taking a few days to experience the trek is minutes worth it.