Haa Valley – the beautifully quaint valley in Bhutan
Posted on December 3, 2016 by ghoomophirosisters
With its boundaries traversing the majestic districts of Samtse, Paro, and Chhukha, Haa Valley is regarded as one of the most exotic destinations in Bhutan. This picturesque art of peace blessed by the grace of the Gods is spread over an area of 1706 sq. km. The place earned reputation for its animist tradition during pre-Buddhist era. People from Haa Valley indulged in animal sacrifices to please their local Gods and Goddesses in that era.
However, these rampant animist beliefs in Haa Valley were soon abolished by the efforts of Guru Padmasambhaava in the 8th Century. Peaceful traditions of Buddhist value had taken over the animist beliefs. Some of this often plays a peek-a-boo in the valley’s festivals and rituals. Animist traditions have not disappeared from the scene completely.
How to reach there
To reach Haa Valley, one should reach Thimpu first which is connected to most parts of Bhutan. From Paro airport, you can board Thimphu-bound taxis which can cost up to Nu 800. Once you reach Thimpu, drive to Haa Valley via Dawakha. The distance is approx 120 kms approx and it’s a 3.5 hours drive via Dawakha.
It might surprise you to know that such a beautiful side of the country was first opened for foreign tourists in the year 2002. Two of the most popular sites to visit in Haa Valley are 7th century Lhakhang Karpo also known as White temple and Lhakhang Nagpo also known as Black temples. These temples of immense religious value are situated at the foothills of a venerated three brotherly mountains also called Meri Puensum.
One of the most celebrated festivals of Buddhist significance Haa Tshechu is also observed in the valley at Lhakhang Karpo in the 8th month of Bhutanese month. It is performed on 8th and 10th day of the month.
Places to Visit
One of the best places to visit in Haa Valley is Haa Wangchuklo Dzong. It was built in the year 1915 after Dumchog Dzong was razed by a wild fire. Other major attractions of the valley are Juneydrag of 8th Century, Katsho Goempa, Drana Trashidingkhag, Yangto Goempa, Jamtoe Goempa, Shelkardrag, Takchu Goempa and Haa Goempa.
The valley boasts an unparalleled cultural significance and diversity not just in Bhutan but everywhere in the country. The traces of its majestic soul can be felt in the air when you are in Bhutan. It is also regarded as a hub of folk culture diversity, legends, and shamanistic rituals.
One of the most common traditions practiced by all the communities in Haa Valley is shamanistic tradition. The communities of the valley celebrate a festival dedicated to honoring Ap Chundu, the deity of the Valley.
Apart from a host of festivals and cultural extravaganza, Haa Valley is an ideal destination for nature lovers. It is a paradise of natural beauty with unparalleled scenic views. You can just walk along the beautiful stretches decorated with an azure sky above. Being in Haa Valley is a rewarding experience for you and your family.
While on your way to Haa Valley, you will pass through Chele-la pass from where you can have one of the best views of Mount, Chomolhari, and Jichu Drakey.
One of the specialties of this region is a dried variety of Yak Cheese called the “Habi Ruto”. Some of the domestic animals raised by most of the people of this region are Yak, cattle, chicken, pigs and horses.
For those who may not know, the people of Haa valley are commonly known as “Haap”. The people of this place are known for their smiling faces and warm personalities which makes this part of Bhutan a much loved land.
Things to Do in Haa Valley, Bhutan
Go for Hiking
Do explore the hiking option at Haa Valley. There are many Goembas, that is Buddhist temples surrounding the valley where you can go for an amazing one day hike. One can visit Katsho Goemba and Jana Dingkha for some of the best hiking trails.
Visit the Chele La Pass
Chele La Pass located mid way from Haa valley to Paro is in all ways, a place worth visiting. As you ascend up from Haa to Chele La Pass, be prepared as the weather will change drastically. One will experience stronger winds and clouds will give way to rains.
Take a walk along the Haa Chu river side
You must head to the picturesque Haa Chu river flowing right through the center of the valley. You will love the fascinating walk by the river side, listening to the sound of water striking against stones.
While in Haa Valley, you explore the Lechuna Heritage Lodge that is located in the smallest district of Bhutan in the Haa Valley. It has a restaurant that serves traditional Bhutanese, Indian and Continental cuisine. It also offers Bar Services and has a bar that serves wine, beer, soft drinks and fresh clean drinking water.
Explore the unspolit Haa Valley once in a lifetime and don’t miss the beautiful walking and hiking trails there.