Today was primarily a temple day. We visited 4 temples/monasteries – 2 private and 2 state funded. Most of the temples have their paintings refurbished fairly frequently. The first place we visted (one of the private ones) is an exception to that rule and has preserved the 15th century originals. They were really fascinating and we spend quite a bit of time examining them with Julie’s flashlight. We also visited one of the two oldest temples in Bhutan and another one of Guru Rimpoche’s commemorative temples (Tigers Nest being the other one) – at this one he defeated a demon, restored a kings “vital force” and left his body imprint on a stone ( which we saw).
Below is just an assortment from temple exteriors and courtyards, including a close up of a stone from a Mani Wall ( each stone spelling out Om Mani Padme Om in Sanskrit).
After lunch we visited the Bunthang Dzong for Bumthang.. called the Jakar (White Bird) and climbed to the top of the tower ( the tallest Dzong tower). At the top we looked down on the roofs of the buildings and there was an entrance to a male only temple with demon skins hung above the doorway.
Back at the hotel…..
..we enjoyed a traditional hot stone bath. Outside this pool room are people heating rocks in a fire and then using the rocks to heat water which they let into the tub on demand. They also float herbs in the tub. We had a great soak for about an hour before we cleaned up for dinner. It was great.