7th Jomolhari Mountain Festival Showcases Unique Culture Of The Highlanders


The festival has become an important event where the highlanders get to showcase their unique culture and traditions.

(Source: Facebook/Jomolhari Mountain Festival)


By Pema Tshewang BBS

Hundreds of people including tourists attended the two-day Jomolhari Mountain Festival which concluded today in the Soe Gewog (village) of Thimphu. 

The people from Soe, Lingzhi and Naro Gewogs as well as those from the Yaktsa and Nubri villages of Paro district also took part in the annual festival.

In its 7th edition this year, the festival has become an important event where the highlanders get to showcase their unique culture and traditions. It has also helped the locals by boosting their economy.

About the Jomolhari region

The Jomolhari region is one of the most scenic trekking destinations in Bhutan and forms part of the famous Snowman Trek.


 Photo: Facebook/Jomolhari Mountain Festival


The region encompasses the area under the administrative jurisdiction of Soe Range, within the Jigme Dorji National Park.

This area includes the popular Jomolhari trek, Mt. Jomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drakey, the Tsophu lakes, the Jomolhari Lhakhang (Monastery) and the communities of Yutoed, Yaksa and Nubri.

Benefits which the Jomolhari Mountain Festival brought to the locals

“Since we do not have road connectivity, the festival creates an opportunity for highlanders to sell their dairy products. Moreover, we are able to generate income by providing pony porter services to guests,” said Kencho Dorji, the Gup of Soe.


Source: Youtube/TheHappiestPlaceFilm


“With such an annual festival organised in our community, we can preserve our culture and tradition. It entertains people here since there was no such festival in the past. We get the opportunity to interact with people from other districts as well,” added Chenchom from Soe.

Apart from cultural programmes, horse racing, highlander yak and horse shows were also organised.


Photo: Facebook/Jomolhari Mountain Festival


Since last year, the Soe Gewog, in collaboration with the Lingzhi Dungkhag has been organising the festival.

Origin of the Jomolhari Mountain Festival

The festival was first started in 2013 by the Jigme Dorji National Park with an aim to raise awareness on the importance of conserving the elusive snow leopard – a highly endangered cat species. The park, under Soe Gewog has an area around 400 square kilometres.


Photo: Facebook/Jomolhari Mountain Festival


“As per the information from highlanders, they say that the population of snow leopards have increased over the years. So when we get such news, we believe that we have a good habitat for the snow leopards,” said Dagay, the Soe Park Range Officer of the Jigme Dorji National Park.

An ambitious countrywide estimate of the snow leopard population carried out in 2017 found 96 snow leopards living in Bhutan and the district of Lingzhi is home to more than 24 of them, according to the 2016 Snow Leopard Survey.


This article first appeared in BBS and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.



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