Jigme Dorji National Park
Jigme Dorji National Park in Bhutan covers the entire district of Gasa and includes the areas of Thimphu and Paro districts. Jigme Dorji is the largest sanctuary in Bhutan; it is home to many exotic species of mammals and birds, as well as an ancient monastery. The Cheri Monastery located in the Jigme Dorji was built in 1620 and has the distinction of being the first monastic body in Bhutan. On one side of the monastery there are forests of oak, rhododendron, maple and walnut trees and on the other side conifer forests of spruce, fir, and Himalayan hemlocks. The Thimphu Chhu river originates in this beautiful park and in the summer can be seen rushing through park forming torrential white water rapids and glistening emerald green pools.
The park boasts the country’s most active geothermic region. Trekkers love to visit this park for the active hot springs, known as Gasa Tsachhu. These hot springs are famous for their therapeutic effects. Herbs found in this area are used for traditional Bhutanese medicines and are known to help aid a number of ailments.
Sacred peaks such as Jomolhari, Tsherimgang and Jichu Drakey are some of the most significant landmarks in the park, as are its glaciers and glacial lakes that form some of Bhutan’s main rivers. In the alpine region of Jigme Dorji, you can see the rare blue poppy, edelweiss, orchids and rhododendrons and it is perhaps the only place in the world where you can find snow leopards and the Royal Bengal tiger existing together.