Jigme Dorji National Park is one of its kind in all over Bhutan where Takin – the national animal, Blue Poppy – the national flower, Raven – the national bird and Cypress – the national tree, flourish in perfect unity. With more than 300 avian species, the park acts as home to animals like serow, Indian leopard, sambar deer, barking deer, pika, marmot, goral etc. Thanks to the relentless conservational efforts, several endangered species like snow leopard, clouded leopard, Himalayan blue sheep, Bengal tiger, red panda, spotted linsang, Ussuri dhole, black musk deer, and Himalayan black bear thrive here.
Basic Facts About Jigme Dorji National Park
Location: Covers the entire Gasa district along with northern parts of Paro district, Punakha district, Wangdue Phodrang district, and Thimphu district
Jigme Dorji National Park entry fee: 150 INR
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM (Monday through Friday)
The Jigme Dorji National Park in Thimphu, Bhutan also shelters over 300 medicinal plant species along with 39 butterflies and 5 reptiles. As monitored by World Wildlife Fund, the park is the first place where Bengal tigers share a habitat with snow leopards over an altitude of 4000 meters with varied topography.
Established in the year 1974 and named after Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, this is the 2nd largest national park of the country. It is a trekking paradise and also a safe abode for over 6500 Layap, who are semi-nomadic people living within the park, practicing animal husbandry and agriculture.
How To Reach Jigme Dorji National Park
When you are thinking about how to go to Jigme Dorji National Park, you will be offered both on air and on road options.
By Air: Now, as you know the Jigme Dorji National Park is located in which country, you can take a flight to Paro International Airport and then take a bus or taxi according to your convenience. There is no other airport near the park, so you have to opt for the bus or car trip that will take around 5 hours depending on the traffic.
By Road: The best way to reach the park is by road and the route from Thimphu to Jigme Dorji National Park is the most convenient. It will take around 4 hours in case there is no traffic disruption, but it is better to keep one hour or half at hand as a buffet to account for traffic on the roads. You can also avail the regional price for the taxi service if you take the taxi from North Bengal in India.
Best Time To Visit Jigme Dorji National Park
With more than 4316 square kilometer area, the Jigme Dorji National Park tour can be planned any time of the year, but you have to keep track of the monsoon rains on the varied topographical sector within 1000 to 7000 meters of elevation. The park is a popular hotspot for trekkers from round the world and most of them choose the safe period during March through October for the wildflower bloom. Besides, for snow leopard sighting, September is considered to be the best time.
The Jigme Dorji National Park in Bhutan covers three climatic zones prevalent in the country with its high elevation difference. There are ice fields which remain freezing throughout the year while the broadleaf forests too have warm and cold sub-categories. While the alpine meadows have a moderate temperature, the medicinal baths and hot springs at high altitude perfectly complement the chilly climate at higher altitudinal gradients.
Places To Visit In Jigme Dorji Park
With the Jigme Dorji National Park travel guide you can enjoy trekking through the broadleaf forest or enjoy a wildlife safari through the alpine meadows and even higher altitudes in search of the Bengal Tigers, Satyr Tragopan or Snow leopard. Here are some places you can visit in the park:
1. Mt Jomolhari
Dubbed as being the bride of the Khangchendzonga, the 7326-meter peak stands on the borders of China, Tibet, and Bhutan. It gives rise to Paro Chu and Amo Chu from the southern and northern sides respectively. A sacred peak for Tibetan Buddhists, there is Jomolhari Temple on the southern slope, Gyalwa Lorepa, Milarepa and Tsheringma ‘spirit lake’ accessible with the moderate trek.
2. Mt Jitchu Drake
With dual summit and varied elevation from 6714 meters to 6989 meters, Jitchu Drake stands by Mt Chomolhari and is a sacred peak dedicated to the Tutelary Deity who looks after Paro and the surrounding regions. It is a popular mountaineering site.
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3. Tserim Kang
At a height of 6532 meters, Tserim Kang or Tserimgang on the Bhutan-Tibet border is one of the popular sites for Jigme Dorji National Park trekking. It stands by the Chomolhari with Jichu Drake flowing between them. Mo Chhu River also drains the eastern and southern flank of the mountain. On northern slope lies the catchment area of Duoqing Co.
4. Lingzhi Yügyal Dzong
The monastery of Drukpa Kagyu sects, this administrative center stands at an elevation of 4150 meters and is run by the head lama of the district monastic body. The fortress is of historical importance.
5. Gasa Dzong
Also known as the Gasa Tashi Tongmon Dzong, this administrative center on the north-western fringe of the country looks magnificent with the 17th-century architecture of whitewashed walls. At an altitude of 2850 meters, it overlooks the mountain peaks.
Suggested Read: 10 Best Places To Visit in Punakha, The Old Capital Of Bhutan
6. Glaciers and Alpine Region
For Jigme Dorji National Park safari, the glacial lakes and glaciers of Laya and Lunana Gewogs bordered by alpine meadows will be the best choice, as here you will find everything from Himalayan peaks, colourful lakes, grazing yaks and blue sheep, gurgling rivers, medicinal baths, hot springs, waterfalls and flowers like blue poppy, edelweiss, rhododendron and orchids. Under the mist and clouds, you can spot the elusive animals like leopards or trek a bit further to the warm broadleaf forest to sight Pallas’ Fish Eagle, Tawny Fish Owl, and White-bellied Heron.
Accommodation In Jigme Dorji National Park
Although there are no accommodation options inside the park, there are some Jigme Dorji National Park accommodation options nearby.
1. Zhingkham Resort
Boasting of Bhutanese architecture with large wooden frames, exposed stone walls and large wooden balconies, this 3-star resort has a bar-lounge area with restaurant and business center. Pets are allowed here. Tea/coffee maker and newspaper service are complimentary.
2. Khuru Resort
Those looking for budget hotels in a countryside location can choose the 3-star Khuru Resort offering free WiFi, free parking, laundry facilities, and a business center. Spa service is also included.
3. Dhensa Boutique Resort
This 4-star boutique resort at Nepal stands on top of the hill overlooking the misty mountain ranges. With rooms accommodating up to three guests, you will get attached balcony, free internet, free breakfast, minibars, sitting areas, and flat-screen TVs.
So, when are you visiting the Jigme Dorji National Park? Book your Bhutan trip with TravelTriangle for an exciting and memorable journey.
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