phajoding hike

phajoding hike from kuenselphodrang

Phajoding hike

Phajoding hike starts youth center in Motithang, Thimphu. You need to walk uphill for about 5 kilometers to reach the monastery.  The hike is about three hours. 

dochula stupa

Kind of terrain

The path goes through the forest of mostly blue pine. The climb is all uphill and the path is mostly stoney. The trail is not very big but big enough in most places for two people to walk side by side. In one place the climb is really steep. 

day hike to phajoding

Best time to visit

This is a short hike so it can be done all year round. This is one full day hike. During rainy season the path gets little slippery but it is still manageable. 

Little about Phajoding

Phajoding monastery is one of the renowned monasteries in Bhutan. Phajoding was once considered as one of richest and most decorated monasteries in Bhutan. The World Monuments Fund listed Phajoding monastery as one of the five endangered cultural monuments in 2010. Phajoding is located above Thimphu at an altitude of  3650 m. 

The Phajoding hike

This is a one full day hike but you have the option to do night camping in Phajoding

Legend of Phajoding

Phajoding monastery was founded by Lam Phajo Drugom Zhipo in 13th century. Lam Phajo was a Tibetan saint who was the founder of Drukpa Kagyu teachings of Buddhism in Bhutan. The legend says that Lam Phajo mediated at this site for one month and he had a vision of Chenrisig; the Buddha of compassion.

It is also believed that Lam Phajo placed his walking stick into the cliff face, in order to ascertain whether his teachings will spread across Bhutan or not. He believed that if his teachings were to spread, water would emerge from the cliff face. Subsequently, water did flow and this sacred water is still flowing from the cliff face. This water is called ‘drub chu’ and is believed throughout Bhutan for curing people with speech impediments.

Things to see in Phajoding

As you enter the monastery, you will find the colorful painted wooden door which will take you back to history. The main temple of Phajoding is Khangzang lhakang. This temple houses the golden Buddha and bodhisattva images in the alter room. You will see colorful ribbons hanging from the ceiling which will make it look attractive.

Another important lhakang is Jampa lhakang which is a monastic school. In this lhakang, the monks are taught to live a life based on the Buddhist teachings, study and meditation. The monastic school houses about 80 monks and the monk body is almost totally financed by the Government. .

Other places to visit

You can also ascend to another lhakang called Thujidrag Goemba. There are also several sacred lakes near Phajoding monastery but visitors are not allowed to go near these sacred lakes. We can have the view of these lakes from above the cliff. When we visit Phajoding, we have to be mindful of the sacredness of the place.

We also need to keep minimum human intrusion as it is believed that we should not disturb the spiritual guardians and to preserve the biodiversity. We have to also be mindful that photography is not allowed inside the monastery and we need to remove our hats and shoes as we enter important religious rooms and alters.


Our work

Passionately committed to protecting our environment. All our day hikes are eco-friendly day hike.

Kuenselphodrang day hike

This half day hike will start from kuenselphodrang and end in Changangkha

Pumala day hike

This is another half day, day hike start from Mothithang and going up to the Pumala ridge.

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Tango Cheri day hike

Tango cheri day hike will take you to the two monasteries of Tango and Cheri. 

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Telecom tower ridge

Starting from Langjuphakha this climb will take you to the highest peak in thimphu

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