Phobjikha valley is a conservation area recognized primarily for its ecological richness and prime winter habitat of the Black-necked Cranes (Grus nigricollis) with approximate of 300 cranes every winter. The area is situated at the northwestern periphery of the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. The area falls within the administrative boundaries of two Gewogs of Gangtey and Phobji under Wangduephodrang district.


Gangtey monastery

Phobjikha valley is also a cultural place with many temples, monasteries and festivities. Gangtey monastery is the highly revered as the seat of the Gangtey Trulku of the Pema Lingpa (Treasure hunter) lineage. It is a must visit for most Buddhist. The recently renovated monastery is also a testimony of the Bhutanese architecture and building skills. In addition, there are a number of temples, each with their own history and legend, scattered across the valley. Some of the historical temples include the Kumbu Lhakhang and Khewang Lhakhang. These religious and cultural sites are accessible to visitors throughout the year.

Hikes & Treks

A nature lover or hiker has the option to explore the natural and cultural aspects of the valley. Depending on time availability, visitors have the option of choosing from a number of day hikes in and around the valley. Some of the popular day hikes include Gangtay nature trail (2 hours), Aeko-Shasila-Moel (4 hours), Kilkhorthang -Tsikona – Khemdro (3 hours), Risu lam from Gangphey – Kingathang (3 hours).

The Black-necked Cranes

The Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) is the last species to be discovered among the 15 species of cranes in the world. It is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and migrates to lower altitudes, including several areas of Bhutan, in autumn. Phobjikha Valley is one of the largest habitats in Bhutan. Black-necked Cranes have a sacred identity in Bhutanese culture and often appear in folklore and arts. The local people refer to the cranes as Thrung Thrung. Situated on the edge of the forest and the wetlands along the main road on the west side of the Phobjikha valley, the Black-necked Crane Visitor Center is one of the hubs of tourism activities.

Local Festivals

Festivals are the major tourist attractions in Bhutan. Likewise, in Gangtey Tshechu and Black-necked crane festivals are popular among local people and national and international visitors. These festivals are held annually with ceremonial dances performed by the monks and lay monks of the community. In addition, the event also includes folk dances performed by local people. Apart from the above, the crane festival features a special crane dance depicting the graceful character of the Black-necked cranes that bring joy to the local people.

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