Wangdue Dzongkhag is a district (dzongkhag) located in the western part of Bhutan, a landlocked country in South Asia. Wangdue Dzongkhag is known for its picturesque landscapes, historic sites, and the impressive Wangdue Phodrang Dzong.

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Gangtey monastery & Phojikha Vally

The Gangtey Monastery, also known as Gangtey Goenpa or Gangtey Shedra, is a prominent Buddhist monastery located in Phobjikha Valley. It was founded in the 17th century and is an important religious and educational institution. The monastery offers stunning views of the surrounding valley and is a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists.

Gangtey monastery is located on a ridge above quaint looking village with traditional Bhutanese houses aligned beautifully along the road to the monastery. The monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery in the western region of Bhutan.

Phobjikha Valley is a picturesque valley located in the Wangdue Phodrang District of Bhutan, a landlocked country in South Asia. It is a glacial valley renowned for its natural beauty, biodiversity, and being the winter roosting ground for the endangered black-necked cranes.

Nature and Wildlife

Phobjikha Valley is known for its pristine environment and rich biodiversity. The valley is home to various species of plants, including dwarf bamboo, rhododendrons, and juniper trees. Besides the black-necked cranes, the valley is inhabited by other wildlife, such as Himalayan black bears, red foxes, and several species of birds.

Black-necked Cranes

Phobjikha Valley is famous for being a winter habitat for the endangered black-necked cranes. Every year, from late October to mid-February, these majestic birds migrate to the valley from the Tibetan Plateau. The arrival and departure of the cranes are celebrated with the Black-necked Crane Festival, a popular event that showcases local culture and raises awareness about wildlife conservation.


Wangdue Dzongkhag is situated in the central part of Bhutan, bordered by Punakha Dzongkhag to the east and Gasa Dzongkhag to the north. The district is characterized by deep valleys, terraced fields, and high mountains. It is located at an average altitude of around 1,300 meters (4,300 feet) above sea level.


Wangdue Dzongkhag offers opportunities for visitors to explore its natural beauty and cultural attractions. In addition to the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, there are several monasteries and temples worth visiting, including the Gangtey Monastery and the Phobjikha Valley, known for its scenic landscapes and being the winter roosting ground for the endangered black-necked cranes. The district also offers trekking and hiking routes, providing opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.


Wangdue Dzongkhag has a rich cultural heritage. The Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, also known as the Wangdue Dzong, is a significant landmark in the district. It was built in the 17th century and served as an important administrative and religious center. Unfortunately, in 2012, a fire destroyed a major part of the dzong. Reconstruction efforts have been underway to restore its former glory. The district also celebrates various religious festivals (tshechus) that showcase vibrant masked dances and religious rituals.


Agriculture is the primary economic activity in Wangdue Dzongkhag. The fertile valleys and terraced fields support the cultivation of crops such as rice, wheat, barley, and potatoes. Livestock rearing, including cattle and poultry farming, is also practiced. The district is known for its production of oranges and cardamom. Tourism is a growing sector, contributing to the local economy.

Trekking and Hiking

Phobjikha Valley offers opportunities for trekking and hiking enthusiasts. There are several trails that lead through the valley, allowing visitors to explore its scenic beauty, encounter local flora and fauna, and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.