Discovered and blessed by Great Saints, hot springs in Bhutan are sacred. Called as Tshachu in Dzongkha, hot spring is also a component of traditional healing and wellbeing. Bhutanese hike for days to weeks to soak in hot springs especially winter after a busy summer.
Hot springs are miraculous as the water comprises hot blazing fundamental characteristics of fire on its wet and liquid nature. The main component of hot spring, according to the Bhutanese Traditional Medicine, is coal. Additional content are Calcium, Sulphur, mineral pitch and realgar.
Hot springs, in general, helps treat neural disorders, rigidity of limbs, adenitis, muscular spasms, wounds, spinal deformity, serum and wind disorders. Following are the 10 discovered hot springs in Bhutan.
1. Gasa Tshachu
Situated in Gasa near the bank of the Mochu at an elevation of 2100 meters above sea level, Gasa Tshachu is the most popular hot spring in Bhutan. The hot spring has of 4 pools of which one is used solely taking a shower prior to getting into the other pools.
2. Gayza Tshachu
This hot spring should not be confused with Gasa Tshachu. While both are in Gasa, Gayza Tshachu is located in Laya at the elevation of 3826 meters. This hot spring becomes inaccessible in winters due to harsh climate conditions. Therefore, it’s the only hot spring that is advised in summer.
3. Chubu Tshachu
Chubu Tshachu is located in Punakha. It is located at 1737 masl. Chubu Tshachu is believed to be discovered by Gury Rinpochey in the 8th Century. Today, there are two ponds: the Upper and the Lower. The Upper pond is 40°C while the Lower is 44°C.
4. Koma Tshachu
At an elevation of 1839 meters, Koma Tsachu is also located in Punakha. Though the temperature of the hot spring has decreased over decades, people’s faith has not declined for its healing effect. This Tshachu has 3 pools.
5. Khambalung Ney Tshachu
Considered as part of Baeyul, the hidden land, Khambalung Ney Tshachu is located at 2472m in Lhuntsi. It was discovered by Tertoen Pema Lingpa in the 15th Century. The hot spring is believed to be blessed by Guru Rinpochey and protected by deity Terda Zora Rakey. It has three pools: Guru Tshachu, Tshepamey Tshachu and Khandro Yeshey Thsogyal Tshachu.
6. Yoenten Kuenjung Tshachu
Again, associated with Guru Rinpochey, and situated at 2761m, Yoenten Kuenjung Tshachu is also located in Lhuntsi. Guru gained extra wisdom to tame local demon after soaking in the hot spring. This hot spring has 2 ponds. Visitors are restricted for 3 months from 10th till 12th Month of the Bhutanese Calendar for spiritual reasons.
7. Pasalum Tshachu
Pasalum Tshachu is also located in Lhuntsi and blessed by Guru. The hot spring is located an elevation of 4795 meters. Beside healing properties, the Tshachu is believed to lengthen life and save one from taking rebirth in the lower realms.
8. Dhur Tshachu
Dhur Tshachu in Bumthang is located at 3522 masl. It has 7 pools: Chenrezi Tshachu, Zekham Tshachu, Dangwa Mochu Tshachu, Dangwa Phochu Tshachu, Guney Tshachu, Guru Tshachu, and Beken Menchu Tshachu. Each pool is believed to possess its own healing properties.
9. Duenmang Tshachu
Situated on the right bank of Mangde Chu River in Zhemgang at an elevation of 385 meters, Duenmang Tshachu was also blessed by Guru Rinpochey. It is believed that the hot spring was initially located in Kamjong, but moved to its present location as people have dumped waste and animal corpses in its area.
10. Gelephu Tshachu
Gelephu Tshachu in Sarpang is the lowest hot spring in Bhutan at 332 meters above sea. It is the only Tshachu in Bhutan that does not require hike. This Tshachu was inaugurated by Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1968.