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Phobjikha Valley

Phobjikha, or Phobjikha Valley to be precise, is a massive bowl-shaped glacial valley. It sits at an altitude of 3,000 metres in central Bhutan on the edge of Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park.

The locals also call the area Gangteng Valley, after the imposing Gangteng Monastery. The valley is synonymous with the black-necked cranes that come in the winter. Due to large number of these black-necked cranes, the area is a protected wildlife preserve.

Climate and weather in Phobjikha

The valley experiences snowfall during the winter from December to February. The minimum temperature could go lower than -4 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature could go to a high 20 degrees Celsius.

Main Attractions in Phobjikha Valley

There are the 3 main attractions in Phobjikha. If you're keen to explore the region, consider our 9 Days 8 Nights Bhutan Trip with Phobjikha Valley or 7 Days 6 Nights Bhutan Holiday with Gangtey Nature Trail.

1. Gangteng Monastery

Standing at an altitude of 3,000 metres, Gangteng Monastery has the front-row view of the majestic bowl-shaped glacial Phobjikha Valley. Gangteng Monastery was built in 1613 by Rigdzin Pema Tinley, the grandson of the great Bhutanese "treasure revealer" Terchen Pema Lingpa.

If you’re going by car from Gangtey town, it should take you around 30 minutes to reach Gangteng Monastery. If you were to walk from the town, it would take you more than 1 hour.

It’s a must-visit place if you’re in Phobjikha.

Bhutan Phobjikha Valley Black-Necked Cranes. Gangteng Monastery_Places_Phobjikha_1_Gangteng

Credit: @joemaniacom

 

2. Gangteng Trail (Trek)

Many visitors’ main objective of coming to Bhutan is to experience the many beautiful treks. One of the most popular and easiest treks, yet stunningly beautiful, is the Gangteng Trek. Also known as the Gangtey Natural Trail, the 90-minute trek starts from Gangteng Gonpa, through some villages and ends in Kungathang Lhakhang.

Bhutan Phobjikha Valley Black-Necked Cranes. Gangteng Monastery Places Phobjikha Valley

Credit: @ajoonat

 

3. Black-Necked Cranes

During the winter season, flocks of black-necked cranes come to Phobjikha Valley from Tibet to feed and roost. If you are lucky enough, you might witness a mesmerizing act by the black-necked where they would circle the Gangteng Monastery three times. They usually do this on their winter arrival in late October / early November and again before they return to Tibet in February.

Bhutan Phobjikha Valley Black-Necked Cranes. Gangteng Monastery_Places_Phobjikha_3_Cranes

Credit: @manfromdrukyul