Significant pilgrimage sites of Guru Rinpochoe in Bhutan


Discover sacred pilgrim sites of Guru Rinpochoe in Bhutan and the reasons why every buddhist must travel to these most venerated places of pilgrimage in the Himalaya.

Emerald Lake near Singye Dzong

Who is Guru Rinpochoe ?

Guru Rinpochoe or Padmasambhava is the lotus born buddhist master who journeyed around teaching buddhism to all the sentient being. 

Guru Rinpoche’s Exclusive Sacred Places in Bhutan

According to the Bhutanese calendar, he said, Guru Rinpoche first visited Bhutan in 810AD, the year of the Iron Tiger at the invitation of king Sindhu Raja of Bumthang. The local deity, Shelgin Karpo, snatched the king’s life-soul making the king ill. Guru Rinpoche came from Nepal and entered Bhutan via Nabji Korphug in Zhemgang.

He came to Bumthang, subdued the local deity, and the king recovered. He visited 10 sacred places in Trashiyangtse, Mongar and Lhuntse. From Singye Dzong, Guru Rinpoche and Khadro Yeshey Tshogyel flew to Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) in Paro. He continued to visit Drakarpo, Dzongdrak, Ragoed, Chumphu, Beyul Rinchenshong and went further  southwest till Sangbekha in Haa.  

Lopen Gembo Dorji said the Pure Land, Dewachen is also in Bhutan where many practitioners had achieved enlightenment. He said the sacred sites in Bhutan are not only historically significant but are also places of hidden blessings. “Bhutan is like a giant dialysis machine where one can avail free treatment and purification,” he said.

Guru Rinpoche’s sacred places in Bhutan- Paro Taktshang is Guru’s first sacred place

Paro Taksang is one of the most iconic landmark in history of tourism. The monastery is perched magnificently on the cliff in Paro is known in the world and has been listed in the bucklist landmark. Paro Taktshang is a very special sacred place and most venerated places of pilgrimage in the Himalayan where Guru Rinpoche spent four months, concealed many dharma and wealth treasures, and granted his blessings.

Bumthang Kurje Lhakhang 

About 15 minutes drive from Chamkhar town, Kurje Temple is built against a rock cave where in the 8thcentury , Guru Padmasambava subdued evil spirits which had king Sindhu Raja and his family stricken with ailments. There are three main temples the oldest built in 1652 on the site where the Guru Meditated the second temple where he left his body imprints, the third added in the 1990s.

The cypress tree near the entrance is said to be the offshoot of Gurus Walking stick. The Drupchu (holly water)is also considered very sacred.

Senge Dzong/Singye Dzong is the sacred place of Guru Rinpoche’s enlightened activity

Senge Dzong/Singye Dzong is located under Lhuntse Distrct. The pilgrimage to Senge Dzong/Singye Dzong is considered one of the most arduous and sacred trek in eastern part of Bhutan. 

According to the description of the sacred places, a visit to Singye Dzong shall liberate oneself from being born in lower realms and fulfill whatever one wishes and prays for his life. There are five main sacred places associated with Guru Rinpoche who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. It is called sacred place of the body, speech, mind, qualities and activity.

Singye Dzong is considered the most sacred place associated with activity while other four main sacred places are in Tibet. There are eight sacred places in Singye Dzong– all described as Dzongs.

Aja Nye

Aja Nye 

The Guru came to Aja following the trail of an evil Tibetan King, Khikharatoe who was trying to destroy Buddhism by establishing his empire at Aja. The place hosts Gurus footprints , body prints, the prints of his seat, orints indicating the subjugation of evil khando  Dowa Zangmos footprints and 108 retreat caves of the Guru. They are located in mountains, bamboo groves , meadows, gorges and dense forests. Legends has it that Aja was discovered by a renoened Buddhist master with a tiger acting as his gudie.

Why Visit these pilgrimage sites? 

Pilgrimage is a sacred journey. According to buddhist beliefs , it is said that making trip or paying homage to all these pilgrimage site can bring devotee closer to the path of enlightenment by removing defilement  and obstacles in ones life. 


Related Posts

What are the endangered mammals of Bhutan?

Currently, Bhutan is home to nine endangered mammals, with one being critically endangered.

Jul 23, 2021 16:30

All you need to know about De-suups (Guardians of Peace) in...

Whenever there’s a disaster, trouble, or a need, the guardians of peace are deployed, almost like magic.

Jul 02, 2021 10:35

Kidu: Bhutan's benevolent fund that has aided thousands of...

Bhutan’s kidu has ensured that children are educated, the sick receive proper care, the poor are aided, the media is...

Jun 24, 2021 11:10

RENEW's Livelihood Project: Lighting up the lives of women

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck founded RENEW (Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women) in...

Jun 17, 2021 11:32

6 reasons to get your very own 'Bhutan: Travelog'

A book that will tell you everything you need to know, see, taste, do, and enjoy in Bhutan? Take my money!

Jun 16, 2021 12:37

What are the 13 traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts?

“Were I to epitomise Bhutanese art with one word, that word would be colour... The attention to detail, the symmetry of...

Jun 09, 2021 11:17



What are the endangered birds of Bhutan?

Bhutan is home to 26 endangered birds. One of these birds even has its own festival.

Jul 19, 2021 10:35

Removing Bhutan’s import taxes on sanitary products is crucial for period equity

What might elimination of the 30 percent import tax on sanitary supplies mean for Bhutanese citizens?

Jul 12, 2021 10:48


What are the endangered mammals of Bhutan?

Currently, Bhutan is home to nine endangered mammals, with one being critically endangered.

Jul 23, 2021 16:30

All you need to know about De-suups (Guardians of Peace) in Bhutan

Whenever there’s a disaster, trouble, or a need, the guardians of peace are deployed, almost like magic.

Jul 02, 2021 10:35


What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives available in Bhutan?

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are groomed to innovate,...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37

Support authentic Bhutanese handicrafts by local artisans

Whether you are interested in artisanal Bhutanese handicrafts or boutique sourced products with contemporary touch, the incredible...

Mar 25, 2021 12:09


What are the traditional sports of Bhutan?

The Bhutanese have a variety of traditional sports. Some test your aim and skills, whereas with others, it’s about pure brute strength.

Jul 13, 2021 11:15

What's with the unique archery culture in Bhutan?

In Bhutan, archery is more than just a sport. It is a way of life. The dancing, the singing, the drinking—it is a manifestation of the...

Apr 19, 2021 10:40


Travel to Bhutan: experience the charm of Paro district

Paro district receives the highest volume of travellers annually. It's also easily one of tourists favourite places in Bhutan.

Jul 14, 2021 11:20

Travel to Bhutan: attractions in the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu

Western Bhutan is the perfect region to learn more about the beautiful kingdom for those who are visiting Bhutan for the first time.

Jun 29, 2021 12:58


How to identify female or male Bhutanese names?

Organizational Psychologist Joyce E. A. Russell observed, “A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and...

Jul 09, 2021 13:19

Where to satisfy your momo cravings in Thimphu, Bhutan

You can't go wrong with momo. It's almost always the answer to a growling stomach and social events.

Jun 28, 2021 11:20


Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced its second vaccination drive

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Paro International Airport is certified as a safe airport for travellers

Paro International Airport was awarded the Certificate of Accreditation by Airports Council International (ACI).

Jul 16, 2021 17:43

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!