Hike to the Sacred Chumphu Nye
The sacred Chumphu Nye lies ensconced in the north eastern frontiers of the Paro valley (2250m). Owing to the 14km of hiking and the off-the-grid aspect there are multiple occasions when you have the entire trail for yourself amidst the tranquil forests, the trail is accessed by a 30 minute drive from Paro center followed by a 4 hour hike through foliage of pine, oak and rhododendrons. The trail is dotted with multiple sacred sites and runs parallel to the crystal clear dho chu river, the crystal clear waters from this river nurtures the fertile rice fields of the Shari and Doteng communities. The walk is flat with minimal gradient until the last section of the trail at a bridge located at the base of the hill on which Chumphu sits.
From the bridge, the climb meanders across multiple sacred caves, rocks and waterfalls associated with the patron saint Guru Rinpoche, Dakinis and Saints who had graced this power spot meditating and practicing dharma. Some of the sites along the way include the gate to heaven, throne of Guru Rinpoche, imprint of Guru Rinpoche, ceremonial robe of the Guru on a rock, stone vase containing the elixir of Immortality, imprints of dakinis/ saints and rocky cliffs said to contain hidden treasures which will be revealed in degenerated times.
The pilgrimage circuit is considered to be holy and many luminaries have made this journey on their pursuit of enlightenment and practice of Dharma. The main statue inside the Chumphu temple (3191m) is the levitating statue of Dorji Phagmo ( Sanskrit : Vajravarahi) which continues to imbibe a sense of awe and reverence to the pilgrims who come to pay their respects at this sacred site. The statue is also acclaimed for its wish fulfilling blessings to those who make wishes. The temple also has some exquisite wall murals depicting the pantheon of saints and buddhist masters.
From the temple a 20 minute uphill takes us to a sacred waterfall (3246m). It is a popular practice among devotees who visit this area to take with them bamboo pieces from the vicinity of the waterfall, which is used for fashioning amulets and talisman.
The pilgrimage to chumphu takes 4 hours on ascent and 3 hours on descent and is most worthy of a weekend hike, pilgrimage or a day trip in a travel program while in Paro.