Aja Ney is one of the most sacred pilgrimage destinations in Bhutan with over 100 sacred Neys (sites) of Guru Rinpochhe. It is believed that one good deed done in this place is equivalent to a 1000 good deeds and one chant of prayer is equivalent to another 1000.
How to Get there
It takes a one and half day travel to Mongar district. From the highway towards Trashigang, you take a detour towards Shermung village. A 2 hour bumpy farm road drive then takes you to Yarab village and then you need to walk for 6 hours to Aja Ney valley.
The Walk to Aja Ney
The horizontal trail is relatively easier than most treks in Bhutan. It takes you through dense forests, bamboo groves and steep slopes overlooking rapid rivers. As you arrive closer to the valley, you’ll see scores of ancient stupas scattered along the trail.
Menchu – Healing Waters
It is believed that everything here in Aja Ney is considered holy. The water, the trees, the rock are all part of the sacredness of this land.
As you make your way towards Pema Yangdzong from Nimathang, you’ll come across a Menchu right next to the river. Bumdeling National Park under the Department of Forest helped the community build a shed and troughs where people can soak in the menchu.
Menchu is medicinal holy water that’s sourced from natural mountain spring. The water is boiled in a gigantic metal box and then diverted into the wooden trough. The locals also put heated river stones on the side of the trough.
It is believed that the Menchu here in Aja Ney can cure 18 different diseases (nayrig-chobgay) including tuberculosis, body aches, ulcers, whooping cough, and many others. The locals here can arrange a hot tub for you at Nu. 1700/- and one tub can easily fit 4 people.
Note: There are no changing rooms here but we found a nice canopy a few meters above the Menchu where you can keep your belongings. “During pilgrimage season, there’s no space and the tubs are always full of people,” says aue Wanglop the person who helped set it up for us. He also shares the income from the Menchu has also benefited the community eco-tourism group.
Aja Ney Eco Guest House Price: Nu. 100 per person per night
Tip: Rural guest houses don’t come equipped with sleeping arrangements so carry your own sleeping bag, toiletries, towels, etc.
Contact 77223313 to book your room, horse, porter for your trip to Aja Ney.
Please note: The guest house does not operate like a homestay or hotel so make sure you arrive on the exact date as per your booking as rooms are often given based on who arrives first.