The trip to Mongar is one of the most mesmerising and thrilling journeys that one can experience in Bhutan. One has to pass through sheer cliffs, scenic mountains, lush forests and green pastures. Travellers also get the opportunity to visit the Rhododendron garden and get a glimpse of the highest unclimbed mountain, Gangkar Phuensum (standing at 7541m). Mongar is located at an altitude ranging from 400m to 4000m and it is the fastest developing dzongkhag in eastern Bhutan.
Some of the major attractions in Mongar are:
The Mongar Dzong is one of the few dzongs in Bhutan that was constructed to display the bhutanese architecture and traditional art forms, that are still thriving today. It s located on a gentle slope and was built to replace a previous dzong, the Zhongar dzong (The White Bowl Fortress), that was destroyed by a fire and an earthquake that lasted for seven days.
Today, although the Zhongar Dzong lies in ruins, it serves as a testimony to the skills of its builders, the prominent one being the master craftsman, Zowo Balip. The ruins of the dzong that was built in the 17th century, are located on a hilltop overlooking the village of Themnangbi. One can visit the site to get a feel of medieval Bhutan and experience the mysticism surrounding the area.
Aja Ney is a sacred site in Mongar that is visited by pilgrims from all around Bhutan. The most notable area of the site is the sacred rock that bears the 100 renditions of the sacred syllable “Aa”, believed to be discovered by Guru Rinpoche.
The Yagang Lhakhang is a temple that was built in the 16th century by the youngest son of Terton Pema Lingpa. The temple was built after the Kupijigtsam Lhakhang in Yangeer Village was completed and today it serves as a religious site to the local community.
Built in the 16th century by Ani Cheten Zangmo, the daughter of the renowned Terton Pema Lingpa, the Dramitse Lhakhang is a temple where the ‘Dramitse Ngacham’ or the ‘Dance of the Drums of Dramitse’ was founded. The temple is listed today on the esteemed UNESCO World Heritage list.