If you are up for a combination of visits to the beautiful Khamsum Chorten, the old hilltop temple Giligang and Punakha Dzong, with the opportunity to experience stunning views of the valleys, this is an enjoyable yet challenging hike.
Difficult Level: Easy
Departure: Daily (Early Morning)
Duration: 1 hours hike
Starts from: Thangbi
Ends at: Thangbi
Attractions: Stunning views of the valleys
Transportation: Private Car
Thangbi to Shugdrak : 50 minute drive one way, 30 minute hike up, 20 minute hike down.
Shugdrak is one of the four holy cliffs which every one should visit during the course of their lifetime. The hike up to the temple is easy and the view from the top is beautiful beyond words.
The drive to the starting point for the Shugdrak hike takes you along the river down Choekhor Valley. The trail starts shortly after passing Thangbi Goemba on your left (see previous description). Initially, you will walk upwards through flower meadows before catching a smaller trail which leads towards a handful of farmhouses. It continues past an old water mill and then straight up to
Shugdrak, beautifully situated on a cliff overlooking the surrounding valleys. Steps imprinted in the mountain side lead up above the roof top of the temple where hermits reside in a charismatic farmhouse surrounded by prayer flags, and with spectacular views in several directions. This is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch before continuing on your journey back to the lodge. Shugdrak: The temple is dedicated to Guru Rinpoche and it is said to have been blessed by the Saint in the 8th century. The temple is built on a rock face and resembles the Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) in Paro. The stairs up to the temple entrance are enclosed in an enchanting cave, the temple has a small altar room with a view, and a little wooden plank veranda with views to the seat where Guru Rinpoche meditated.