Haa Valley

Haa District is one of the 20 dzongkhag or districts comprising Bhutan. Haa’s major feature is the Haa Valley, a steep north-south valley with a narrow floor. The name Haa (pronounced “hah”), as well as the more ancient name, Has, connotes esoteric hiddenness. An alternative name for the district is “Hidden-Land Rice Valley.” The Haa chu (river) flows through the valley. The Haa Chhu originates in a valley glacier on the south facing slope of the main Himalayas. The source area is located to the south of Jomolhari.  A number of smaller streams flowing from glaciers in hanging valleys join the mainstream. The Ha Chhu then flows in a general direction, south south-east to join the Wang Chhu at Chukha. The main crops grown in the valley are wheat and barley, although some rice is grown in the lower reaches of the valley. Potatoes, chilis, apples and other cash crops are grown by farmers on the valley floor, along terraced hillsides, and in some of the more accessible side valleys.

Legend: Local historians maintain that two important temples in Haa District, the Black Temple and the White Temple, were built at the same time as Kyichu Temple in Paro in the 7th century AD. The two temples can be found near each other at the sacred site known as Miri Punsum, or “The Three Brother Hills”. A third temple, Haa Gonpa, was built further up the valley at the site where a lame pigeon, actually a bodhisattva in disguised form, was found by a local farmer who was drawn to the spot by a mysterious fire seen on several successive nights and by the unexplained sounds of oboes and trumpets. Also near the Black and White temples is a special Chorten marking the site where an imprint of Guru Padmasambhava’s body and hat may be found in a large rock. In the Samar- side-valley is a bridge known as Has Samarpudung. Below the bridge is the lake of a wishing cow whose stone udders can be seen in the lake.

*(All the above information are from Wikipedia.)

Transport:

Airport: Haa Valley is served by the Paro International Airport which is located at a distance of 65 km.

Road: Haa Valley is connected to Paro by the artery road running across the main cities in the country. A bridge is under construction that will cut short the travel time from Haa valley to Chukha and Phuentsholing.

Local: Haa Valley being a small town transportation facilities are limited and can be availed through the tour operators and vehicles provided by the Hotel. It is advisable to arrange transport from major cities of Thimphu or Paro.

Tourist Interest:

White Temple: Also known as the Lhakhang Karpo is a large compound with the white coloured temple housing the monastic order of Haa.

Black Temple: Also known as the Lhakhang Nagpo is a small black coloured temple near the white temple that follows the tantric rituals of Buddhism

The other places of attraction in Haa are Haa Gompa, Haa Dzong, a small Chorten near the black and white temple and the Has Samarpudung.

Hotels: There are just a couple of hotels in Haa Valley and a few homestays. The guides and the drivers come to great help while looking for hotels. During the off-season, the rates can also be negotiated.

Read my experience in Haa Valley.

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