Perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor, the Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountains Gangtey valley, Bhutan and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery. Gangtey was founded by Pema Trinley, the grandson of Pema Lingpa, the famous Nyingmapa saint of Bhutan. In 1613, Pema Trinley establishes the monastery and became the first Gangtey Tulku. The religious traditions of Pema Lingpa still taught there. The second Tulku, Tenzin Legpa Dondrup (1645 to 1726), enhanced the size of Gangtey while keeping up good relations with Drukpas, and rebuilt the monastery in the form of a Dzong.
Phobjikha valley: It is one of the most beautiful and breath taking places in Bhutan The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space, and extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed.
A few kilometres walk down from the Gangtey Monastery, on the valley floor lies the village of Phobjikha. This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang and lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park. The valley boasts two beautiful meandering rivers, Nakay Chhu (Chhu Naap-black water) and Gay Chhu (Chhu Karp-white water).
According to a local legend, the two rivers actually represent a snake and a boar. The two animals once raced each other with an agreement that if the snake (Nakay Chhu) won, Phobjikha valley would be able to grow rice, but if the boar won, then rice could never be cultivated in the area. The snake lost since it had to meander all the way during its journey. Rice cannot be cultivated in the valley even today.
Gangey Natural Trail: Natural trail hiking from Gangety monastery to Phobjikha valley is one of the beautiful and easiest hikes climbing downhill, which will take about 2 hours.
This pleasurable walk provides opportunity to get nice feel of Phobjikha valley.from the small hilltop overlooking Gangtey Goemba, you will be passing through flower meadows towards village and through beautiful forests and into open valley. The trail ends at the local community school after passing Chorten and khewa Lhakhang.
Distance: 5 km. Time: approx..2 hours. Difficulty level: Easy.
Black Necked Crane Information Centre
Situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane information Centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes. The centre also offers display information that outline the natural and cultural history of the area. There is a small gift shop, which sells handicrafts produced by the local people.
Wangdue Phodrang: Located an altitude of 1300m, Wangdue Phodrang is the last district before the long stretch of highway leading towards central Bhutan and eastern Bhutan.
Wangduephodrang Dzong is located on a hilltop. It was a third Dzong built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyle in 1638 for administrative centre and monastic body of Wangdi District.The annual festival (Tsechu) takes place in the courtyard of this fortress.