Nestled in the inner Himalayas at about 3000 meters above sea level, Phobjikha is a wide alpine wetland valley that is considered the largest and the most significant wetland in the country. It is often cited for the harmonious co-existence of its inhabitants with nature and the valley also holds great cultural significance.
The valley is the most significant wintering ground of the rare and endangered Black‐necked cranes in Bhutan and has been protected since time immemorial by the local people’s traditional respect for all living beings. Every year, over 300 of the estimated 500 cranes that migrate to Bhutan spend their winter months in this valley.
Additionally, the highly revered Gangtey Monastery that overlooks the wetlands surrounded by subsistence farms and natural forest areas makes Phobjikha a stunningly beautiful and sacred valley. Today, this glacial valley is an attraction not just to tourists but also pilgrims. Besides being the home to the cranes, Phobjikha is also the livelihood base for about 5000 subsistence farmers who have aspirations for economic development.
The Black Necked Cranes
Visit the following places:
Gangtey Gompa: one of the biggest Nyingma temple of the kingdom located on the hilltop
Short Hike: hike through the nature trail and visit local villages and interact with the local people. They are shy but very friendly. The little kids though shy, speaks some English and loves conversing with the foreigners.
Khewa Farm House: Stay the night with the family of Khewa Farm House and experience the authentic Bhutanese lifestyle and the local hospitality.