Haa is a small hilly town tucked in neatly in the south-western region of Paro. The administrative districts of Bhutan are known as Dzongkhags and Haa is the smallest of them. Yet, the natural bounty that you find in this small area can leave you spellbound for life. Bhutan is a country lesser known than the European ones but one that you must find time to visit in your lifetime. It has a lot in store for you than you can even imagine and Haa valley is just one of its mesmerizing corners. Since it is not so frequently visited by tourists, it retains the features of a virgin hilly forest area offering you pristine natural beauty.
Haa Valley is the ancestral residence of the Dorji family of Bhutan. It is also home to several nomadic tribes of Bhutan. Every year there is a summer festival upholding their traditions and culture. Haa Valley has several ancient temples scattered all over the area and each one of them has a specific mystical tale or tradition attached to it. These tales form an interesting part of Bhutanese history and culture.
How to reach
Haa Valley can be reached easily from many of the important tourist locations in Bhutan. If you are coming from Paro Airport, you can take a car or taxi to reach Haa Valley. The same can also be done from other important places like Phuentsholing.
Best time to visit
Bhutan can be visited any time apart from the rainy season. Visiting Haa Valley from October to February can give you clear, sunny weather with a chilly experience. March to June can be another great time if you wish to see the floral splendor of magnolias and rhododendrons.
Things to do and see
Haa Chu River
The Haa Chu river flows right through the middle of the hilly valley turning it even more picturesque. Take long walks along the river admiring its beauty and hearing it gurgling and flowing over the rocks and pebbles. Views get spiritual and spectacular, especially during sunrise and sunset.
Haa Valley lies at the foot of three small mountains called Meri Puensum. Nature can be found in her most beauteous form here as the lofty hills are covered with dense alpine forests enveloping the valley in a pall of greenery. It is the ideal place for hiking for nature and adventure lovers.
Black and White Temples
At the foothills of the Brother Hills are located the sacred Black Temple and the White Temple. They are believed to have been built in the 7th Century AD. Both these temples have mystical tales associated with them.
Haa Gonpa Temple
Another temple that was built out of mystical sightings is the Haa Gonpa Temple. It is said that a local farmer once saw mysterious fires on several nights and heard trumpet sounds coming from this site. On coming here, he found a lame pigeon which is believed to be a meditator in disguise. Such mysterious sightings led to the building of the sacred Haa Gonpa Temple here.
Shrine Of Guru Padmasambhava
It is said that Guru Padmasambhava came to Haa Valley in the 8th century and brought deity Chungdue under his control by subduing him. The imprint of this great Guru can be found in a shrine or chorten near the Black and White Temples.
Go For Hiking
Haa Valley is the ideal place for hiking for nature and adventure lovers. The lush green valley and the frequent Buddhist temples make this place perfect for a day of hiking. Hiking lovers should try hiking the Katsho Goemba route, the Jana Dingkha route and such others.
Rare Flora For The Nature Lovers
Spring and summer months bring you to a valley of rare flowers to admire. The trails along the mountains have fern trees, Magnolias, Rhododendrons and the rare White Poppies flowering here and there.
If you are visiting Bhutan in summer make sure you visit the famous Summer Festival of Haa Valley. The local tribes and nomadic herds of Bhutan celebrate their age-old customs, culture and tradition. You cannot help but fall in love with the local food, songs and dances of these indigenous people amidst the colorful Tibetan flags set up in this hilly terrain. Visiting the local Bhutanese villages and people is a must if you want to experience true Bhutanese culture. The characteristic houses and the warmth of the people will make you feel welcomed.
The land of Bhutan marked by hills and valleys is one of the most ethereal landscapes Nature can offer you. Visit the spectacular Haa valley and delve into its rich heritage and culture, get fascinated by the folk tales and rejuvenate your soul with the breath-taking scenery enveloping you on all sides.
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