One of the most notable sites in the district is Phobjikha Valley. It is the habitat of the rare and endangered Black Necked Cranes that roost during their annual migrations. The residents of the valley have garnered much acclaim for their conservation efforts to preserve the habitat of these beautiful birds. Every year the Black Necked Crane Festival is held in Phobjikha in an effort to protect and spread the awareness of these cranes. The festival includes songs, masked dances and plays performed by local school children. This event is one of the most unique and popular festivals in the country.
Wangdue Phodrang district has a rich tapestry of ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries that are sure to enrapture any visitor. The following are a few of the most significant religious sites:
Situated atop a hill at an altitude of 2800m, Gangtey Monastery (also known as Gangtey Sanga Choeling Goemba) provides a stunning view of the Phobjikha valley. This venerable monastery was founded in 1613 by Je Kuenga Gyaltshen.
This monastery was built in the spot where the Divine Madman, Lam Drukpa Kuenley, first met Ashi Genzo, who was renowned for her beauty. When it was first constructed, the monastery was a simple Drubdey or meditation center. The Divine Madman is widely considered to be Bhutan’s favourite and most iconic saint due to his unorthodox method of teaching Buddhist values.
With its diverse climates and rich natural resources, Wangdue Dzongkhag is home to many rare and exotic animals like the Red Panda, Barking Deer and Red Fox. There are also large numbers of rare birds such as the Black Necked Crane, White-Bellied Heron and the Spotted Eagle. It is an important wildlife preservation site in the country.