A small temple of Dakinis on a cliff. A sky burial ground. A stunning sunrise view with clouds settled like snow on the mountains. There’s so many reasons to trek to Bumdra in Paro besides glamping at 3000s m.
Starting from Sangchhoekhor, Paro
As you start your trek to Bumdra from Sangchhoekhor Monastery in Paro, you’ll come across a wide stretch of dead trees. This was created by the devastating forest fire in 2018 that destroyed 16,000 acres of forest. For a long time I had only seen the charcoal scar of the mountain from a distance. But stepping inside and walking into the dead forest was a strange experience. The barren trees give no shade from the sun. It gave no shield from the rain. The sight of a black forest reminds us how quickly such disasters can destroy a forest. But it takes an eternity to heal.
Lunch near Chujungtse Goenpa.
After 3 hours we finally arrive at the lunch point near Choechung Tsi Goempa. We are greeted by the staff from the camp. In no time they serve a picnic lunch – a spread of rice, chicken curry, spinach and fried egg plant followed by cubes of fresh watermelon. On your way back drop by Lopen Kencho at the Goemba. Every single day he serves suja visitors at the Goomba. He lives with his cat and two dogs. As a thank you you can contribute any amount to the temple so Lopen Khencho can offer butter lamps.
Welcome to Bumdra
Finally after a 5 hour climb we arrived at the famous camp site in Bumdra. The campsite is a cluster of tents on a meadow overlooking the mountains at 3900 m. As you arrive, the staff welcome you with hot tea and zaw (which taste so good after an exhausting walk up the mountains). Have your tea. Relax on the beach chairs laid out for you. Enjoy the view.
If you’re up for it you can also visit Bumdra monastery located very close to the campsite.
It is said that when Guru Rinpoche meditated in that cave, 10,000 Dakinis descended from the sky to serve him food and songs. Bumdra prefaces the cave with the imprints of the dakinis.
Glamping in Bumdra
We had heard about the accommodations at the Bumdra camp. But we had no idea they had fit a queen size bed with fluffy comfy bedding inside our tents. The camp also provides 2 fresh towels, a shoe rack, solar lamp and a hot water bag. It gets really cold at night. Get comfy as you relax in your new little home in the mountains.
There are several reasons that make Bumdra Trek very memorable, besides the glamping. It’s the walking in the dead forest above Sangchhoekhor that makes you understand the importance of protecting our forests. It’s meeting Lopen Kencho and listening to the stories of Tshutshengtse Goenpa. The glimpse of clouds rolling against the peaks early in the morning. Whatever the experience may be, you’ll cherish these memories at Bumdra when you look back. This little paradise in the mountains above the clouds is truly unforgettable.