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Tshalunang to Buddha Dordenma

Activity Level
Ascent & Descent
1,285 m
Max Elevation
3,934 m


This day-hike from Tshalunang will lead you through forests and meadows, enjoying stunning views of the Thimphu Valley as you descend. Your trek will end at Buddha Dordenma, the world’s largest sitting Buddha, which famously guards the entrance to the Thimphu Valley.


The journey today will rise from Tshalunang climbing 950 metres to above the treeline, taking you through forests of fir, blue pine, dwarf rhododendron forests and alpine yak pastures until Pumola. The trail offers spectacular views of the mountain ridges in all directions. Pumola was the summer pasture land for natives of Punakha because the summer weather conditions in Punakha were unsuitable for their cattles. From Pumola, you will embark on a trail that meanders through meadows. The Trail descends gently following the long ridge offering you stunning views of Thimphu Valley. From Pumola, if you are up for it, you can also make a side trip to Phajodhing. The Trail will eventually lead you to Buddha Dordenma, the world’s largest sitting Buddha.

We recommend you carry packed lunch for this trail as there aren’t restaurants along the way.

Buddha Dordenma

The Buddha Dordenma is located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and overlooks the Southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. The statue fulfils an ancient prophecy dating back to the 8th century A.D that was discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa (Religious Treasure Discoverer) and is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. This massive statue of Shakyamuni measures in at a height of 51.5 metres, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues also cast in bronze are placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue. The throne that the Buddha Dordenma sits upon is a large meditation hall.

Distance in km: 19.2 kilometres (11.93 miles)
Elevation Gain: 1,285 metres (4,216 feet)
Starting Elevation: 2,774 metres (9,101 feet)
Ending Elevation: 2,659 metres (8,724 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 3,934 metres (12,907 feet)

Meals Included: No Meals

Additional Activities

Looking for something more? These activities are examples of excursions or activities that are available to travellers that are not included in this trip fee. These activities can be subject to availability. Contact us with any questions regarding these additional activities.