The Royal Botanical Trail takes you along the important religious route the clergy used since the 17th century. They shifted their headquarters biannually between their winter residence in Thimphu and their summer residence in Punakha. The entire entourage of the central monastic institution would travel this trail on foot, taking about a week to reach each seasonal residence. The practice continues to this day, however, now the entourage travels by vehicle on Bhutan's "major highway."
The trail begins at Dochula Pass, near the spectacular sight of 108 stupas framed by distant Himalayan peaks. On a clear day, these include Masangang, Table Mountain, and Tiger Mountain, which lies on the northern border with Tibet. You may also visit the temple at Dochula pass, in whose dedication a Druk Wangyel Festival is held annually in December since 2003.
It takes about 45 minutes of easy downhill hiking immersed in a pristine natural environment that features a wide variety of rhododendron, magnolia, oak and birch trees. Clear streams tumble down the hillside and bursts of melodious birdsong occasionally ring through the forest.
A highlight of the Royal Botanical Trail is that 28 of 46 different species of rhododendron line the trail. As a tribute to this gift of nature, an annual Rhododendron Festival is held at the Royal Botanical Garden sometime between April and May, at the height of rhododendrons in full bloom.
After a walking tour of features of the Botanical Garden, such as a visitor center and rhododendron demonstration garden, scenic little Baritso lake provides a perfect spot for a picnic.
If you are a birder, you won't want to miss the opportunity to camp at the garden for some early-morning birdwatching. We will help you spot some rare Himalayan birds, such as monal and blood pheasant.
You might be lucky enough to see a red panda munching on a bamboo shoot if you visit in April. Other rare species like musk deer and leopards are always a possibility. Speaking of big cats, the park has even recorded the presence of Bengal tigers via a camera trap. Of course, leeches will pester you during the rainy season.
This trail falls within Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park, one of the protected areas in Bhutan, and is managed by their office at Lamperi. Though maintained by the park, the trail and its surroundings bespeaks of minimal human interference.
As a local narration goes, the name Lamperi means "paradise of the lama" and was supposedly coined by Zhabdrung when he encountered a beautiful meadow. Zhabdrung in an important religio-political figure in Bhutan who unified the country in the 17th century. (Will visitors see Lamperi during this experience? If not, this last paragraph seems unrelated to the rest of the trail and garden description.)
This Royal Botanical Trail and Garden is a botanist's dream, but you certainly don't have to be an expert to appreciate all that it has to offer.
For concerns of our information being lifted off without permission we are not able to provide the details here online. Kindly contact us at Email us or Call us at +975-17131430 or 2 328 978 if you need a detailed information