Phobjikha Valley

Gangtey Monastery, also known as Gangtey Goenpa, is a prominent Buddhist monastery located in the Phobjikha Valley of central Bhutan. Situated atop a small hill overlooking the valley, it is one of the main religious institutions in the region.

Historical Background:

  • Foundation: The monastery was established in the early 17th century by Gyalse Pema Thinley, the grandson of Bhutan’s unifier, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
  • Purpose: Gangtey Monastery was built to uphold the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and to serve as a center for religious studies and practice.


  • Design: The monastery features traditional Bhutanese architecture with whitewashed walls, red roofs, and intricate woodwork.
  • Location: Positioned on a ridge overlooking the Phobjikha Valley, the monastery offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Layout: Gangtey Monastery consists of several temple halls, living quarters for monks, and administrative buildings.

Religious Significance:

  • Nyingma Tradition: Gangtey Monastery is affiliated with the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, one of the oldest and most revered traditions.
  • Monastic Community: The monastery is home to a community of monks who engage in daily prayers, rituals, and religious activities.
  • Religious Festivals: Gangtey Monastery hosts annual religious festivals, including tshechus, where masked dances and religious performances are conducted to honor Guru Rinpoche and other deities.

Cultural Importance:

  • Phobjikha Valley: The monastery is situated in the picturesque Phobjikha Valley, known for its natural beauty and as the winter habitat of black-necked cranes, making it a significant cultural and ecological site.
  • Cultural Heritage: Gangtey Monastery contributes to the preservation of Bhutanese cultural heritage through religious teachings, rituals, and festivals.

Visitor Experience:

  • Scenic Beauty: Visitors can enjoy the stunning scenery of the Phobjikha Valley and surrounding mountains from Gangtey Monastery.
  • Cultural Immersion: Tourists can observe daily life at the monastery, attend prayers and rituals, and learn about Bhutanese Buddhism and culture.
  • Trekking: The area around Gangtey Monastery offers opportunities for trekking and exploration, allowing visitors to experience the natural beauty of the region.


  • Founder: Gyalse Pema Thinley
  • Location: Phobjikha Valley, Wangdue Phodrang District, Bhutan
  • Affiliation: Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism
  • Annual Festivals: Hosts religious festivals and tshechus
  • Ecological Significance: Located in the winter habitat of black-necked cranes

Gangtey Monastery, nestled in the serene surroundings of the Phobjikha Valley, is not only a religious center but also a cultural and ecological treasure of Bhutan. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and spiritual ambiance, it offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the heritage and natural beauty of the region.