Bumthang District (Dzongkha: བུམ་ཐང་རྫོང་ཁག་; Wylie: Bum-thang rzong-khag) is one of the 20 dzongkhag (districts) comprising Bhutan. It is the most historic dzongkhag if the number of ancient temples and sacred sites is counted. Bumthang consists of the four mountain valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor ("Bumthang"), although occasionally the entire district is referred to as Bumthang valley.
Bumthang directly translates as "beautiful field" – thang means field or flat place, and bum is said be an abbreviation of either bumpa (a vessel for holy water, thus describing the shape and nature of the valley), or simply bum ("girl," indicating this is the valley of beautiful girls). The name is said to have arisen after construction of Jambay Lhakhang.
The language spoken in the Bumthang district is known as Bumthangkha. It is a Tibeto-Burman language closely related to Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan. Bumthangkha is partially comprehensible to speakers of Dzongkha, which originated in valleys to the west of Bumthang. Each of the four valleys of Bumthang has its own dialect, and the remnants of the Kheng kingdom, near and in Zhemgang District to the south, speak Khengkha. Historically, Bhumthangkha and its speakers have had close contact with speakers of Kurtöpkha to the east, Nupbikha to the west, and Khengkha to the south, to the extent that they may be considered part of a wider collection of "Bumthang languages."
Most of Bumthang is part of Bhutan's extensive protected areas network. The northern two-thirds of the district (Chhoekhor, Tang Gewogs) belong to Wangchuck Centennial Park, buffered by pockets of biological corridors. Southern Bumthang (Chhumig, Tang, Ura Gewogs) is part of another protected area, Thrumshingla National Park. Bumthang is known for its important population of black-necked cranes migrating in winter.
Bumthang also contains several notable towns:
Tandindang school was started on 17 July 2010, to benefit the children going to school.
- Membar Tsho (Burning Lake), where sacred scriptures hidden by Padmasambhava in the 8th century and later recovered by Pema Lingpa in the 15th century
- Kurjey Lhakhang
- Jakar Dzong, adjacent to the main town of Jakar
- Jambay Lhakhang, one of the two most ancient temples of Bhutan, built in the 7th century by Songtsän Gampo, founder of the Tibetan Empire
- Tamzhing Monastery, the most important Nyingma institution in the country
- Padtshaling Gonpa, The monastery was established by the first Padtshaling Tulku Siddha Namgyal Lhendub in 1769, according to the prophecy of Lhasa Jowo.
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