Kila Gyemba is a home to Buddhist nuns, which is beautifully located on a rocky cliff with a main temple and several meditation huts. Buddhist nuns give up their worldly possession and seek spiritual happiness through Buddhist dharma in this place. Kila Goemba is 27 kilometers from Bondey, Paro and is located below Chelela on the road to Haa.
HISTORY OF KILA GYEMBA
Kila Goemba is one of the seven oldest nunneries in Bhutan and is believed to have been built in the early 9th century as a meditating place. It was established by Dupthop Chhoeje Norbu and Dupthop Tempa. This place is considered sacred as it played significant role as a meditation site from centuries.
The temple was once destroyed by fire but was reconstructed and officially established as an ‘Anim Dratshang’ in 1986.
WHAT TO SEE IN KILA GYEMBA?
A walk to Kila Goemba is about an hour through a beautiful and magnificent forest. You will find the hike through this forest worthy, where you will see great beautiful clouds, yaks, hemlock trees, wildflowers, tall firs, Paro valley, Haa valley and natural beauty of the forest. You can also see the beautiful mountains of Bhutan such as Mt. Jomolhari (7314 meters/24000 feet), Mt. Jichu Drake (6794 meters/22290 feet) and the world’s third highest mountain, Kanchenjunga (8586 meters/28169 feet) in a clear weather from the spot.
In Kila Goemba, there are about 40 nuns whose age ranges from 15 to 80. These nuns reside in Kila Goemba as some were orphans and some left their homes and wealth for spiritual happiness. Nuns live here by dedicating their entire life for religion, meditation, studies, prayers and spiritual peace.
The main temple of Kila Goemba has ancient statues such as of Chenrizig (Avalokiteswara) and Guru Rinpoche. Nuns here live a simple lifestyle where their day begins and ends with prayers. The nuns have their breakfast at 10 am where their meal includes rice, vegetables and tea. After the breakfast, they continue with their studies until 9 pm. After the study, they have their simple meal for the night. The nuns are off to bed after their final session of prayers. Older nuns have entered into meditation by retiring while the younger nuns still undergo their dharma studies and even perform religious ceremonies. The courses take about five to six years and after that they start meditation which can take four months to five years.
When you visit this beautiful place, you will witness the atmosphere of peace and discover the undisturbed lives of nuns. One of the interesting things about the nuns here is that they also get lesson in carpentry. You will witness the nuns learning carpentry when you reach the temple.
KILA GYEMBA HIKE IN PARO
Visitors usually hike to Kila Gyemba from the Chelela pass which is 45 kilometers from Paro. Chelela pass is located at 3822 meters and is located between Paro and Haa. The hike takes about four hours through the spectacular views of valleys, pine trees, rhododendron tress and exotic highland flowers such as orchids and blue poppy which is the national flower of Bhutan.
The Chelela pass is the highest road point in Bhutan and people usually come here for picnic. Visitors usually start their hike on early morning around 8 am for fresh view and atmosphere. The pass is beautifully decorated with prayer flags and looks colorful and peaceful as well. Sometimes fogs make the scenes look very breathtaking and beautiful in pictures while captured.
We suggest visitors to take a picnic breakfast to enjoy and have a break on the way. You can see the mountain tops appearing one by one as you climb the hills of the pass towards the north. After you climb the hill top, you will reach a stone- bricked meditation hut. To reach this hut, it might take you an hour and a half. You can enjoy the mountain landscape and have your packed breakfast here.
After 45 minutes, you will reach to Kila Goemba and enjoy the walk down from the temple to the road which is lined with small white chortens
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR THE HIKE?
During the season of spring and autumn, the hike is most excellent but it is also possible in winter with the beautiful snow.
WHEN CAN WE VISIT KILA GOEMBA?
We can start the journey towards Kila Goemba at any time of the day but it is best suggested to start the journey from early morning.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY