Haa- Home of Ap Chundu, the omnipresent local guardian deity


Haa is one of the smallest districts in the country and is highlighted by the Wang chu Lo Dzong which is the administrative centre of the distrct. Dobjidzong also adds colors to the distrct. Perched atop a ridge, one side of which is flaked by a hair raising ravine descending to the basin of the Pachu-Wangchu, the five storied fortress was used mainly as one of the main centers of Drukpa Kuenly teachings.

In its fertile valleys, the people of Haa grow high altitude crops such as wheat, potatoes , barley and millet.Other cash crops such as potatoes, apples and chilli's  are also grown by farmers on the valley floor, along terraced hillsides and in some of the more accessible side valleys. A series of picturesque temples graces the valley of haa. Nature lovers will find HAA Valley to be a paradise of beauty as its diversity in flora and fauna is unparalleled. 


A few unique customs and traditions set the people of Haa apart from Bhutanese in other parts of the country. For instance , Haaps, as the people of Haa are known celebrate their new year much earlier than people in other parts of the country. The New Year in Haa arrives on the 29thday of the 10thmonth of the Bhutanese Calender. Perhaps because it arrives sooner than the other converntional new years, the Happ New Year is known as lomba, a phase that means ‘to carry the year’. The local song Lolay is sung and the deties are thanked for their protection and wishes made of the New Year.

A small ceremony is performed in each home to ward off evil spirits and usher in health, happiness and prosperity. The houses are made squeaky clean. The signature food of Haa, Hoentey is served.

As in the other high altitude regions of the country, the yak is a significant contributor to the traditional economy and a dried variety of yak cheese called the “Habi Ruto” is a famous specialty of the region. Haa is home to a number of nomadic herders and hosts an annual Summer Festival that showcases their unique lifestyle and culture. The festival is an ideal occasion to immerse yourself into the traditions and unchanged lifestyles of nomadic Bhutanese herders, as well as to sample some delectable Haapi cuisine. 

Alongside Buddhist practices, the haap also continue their old shamanistic traditions, the most notable honor the guardian deity of the valley Ap Chhundu. Haap  celebrate and observe the “Ap Chhundu Soekha,” which is considered as the holiest day in the Haap calendar .

Landmarks in Haa


Wangchuk Lodzong

Built in the year 1915, It’s an interesting place. Standing in the midst of lush greenery this beautifully painted building is worth of spending a few hours walking and admiring the very presence of it.


Lhakang Karpo & Nagpo

Also known as White Temple is one of the oldest temples around. As per the legend King Songtsen Gampo released a black and white pigeon in order to build temples. The white pigeon landed on mountains of Chenrizi of towering Rigsum. On the other hand black pigeon landed on north – that is Lhakhang Nagpo.

Today the temple is called Nagpo or black built on the site where black pigeon landed. Both the temples are much revered and must visit. The annual festival HAA TSECHU is celebrated here in these temples on the 8th – 10th day of Bhutanese month.


Experience Farmstay/Home Stay 


To experience the authentic local lifestyle of Haap, you should stay overnight at farmstay. There are more than 20 plus registered homestay in Haa however not all of them are operational. 

Some of the homestays are dates back to ancestral home. For instance, Ugyen Homestay is considered one of the popular homestay in Haa. The homestay is located 100 m south of the Lhakhang Karpo. The homestay is said to date back to 200 years ago. 


  • Meri Phunsum Trek
  • Nob Tsonapata Trek
  • Sagala Trek 



Related Posts

Convertible currency earnings hit

Bhutan was set to have one of the best years in tourism after the Lonely Planet in October 2019 recognised Bhutan as the...

May 19, 2020 08:32

Lhops of Bhutan- one of the country’s aboriginal communities.

Among the ethnic group who lived in lowlands before the twentieth century is two closely related groups known to other...

May 17, 2020 08:03

Evolution of Languages in Bhutan

Small country like Bhutan has more than twenty different languages. Most children in Bhutan grown up speaking multiple...

May 15, 2020 09:00

Remembering The Father of Modern Bhutan, His Late Majesty the...

On this day, people take out time to pay tribute to His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo and to the respective teachers and...

May 02, 2020 07:19

Digital Content Creators and Its Relevance

Everything under the sun, you name it, can be discussed! And therefore, the relevance of BLOGGING in our everyday lives!

Apr 01, 2020 01:22

Gangkhar Puensum – World’s Highest Mountain Forbidden To Climbers

The Bhutanese also believe that the Gangkhar Puensum is home to the mythical Yeti and other legendary creatures.

Mar 23, 2020 23:28



Employment opportunities amid crisis - Tour guides opts farming

A tour guide could earn a minimum of Nu 30,000 per month during the peak tourist season in Bhutan. The income made was sufficient to support...

May 19, 2020 19:53

Covid-19 response must address gender-based violence, other rights of women and girls

“The social and economic stress that Covid-19 pandemic brings upon households places women and girls in vulnerable positions, burdening them...

May 12, 2020 16:46


Haa- Home of Ap Chundu, the omnipresent local guardian deity

Haa is one of the smallest districts in the country and is highlighted by the Wang chu Lo Dzong which is the administrative centre of the...

May 20, 2020 18:24

Convertible currency earnings hit

Bhutan was set to have one of the best years in tourism after the Lonely Planet in October 2019 recognised Bhutan as the number one travel...

May 19, 2020 08:32


Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08


Celebrating Bhutan’s Entrepreneurs: Namkhar Gyaltshen Of Transcend Artisan

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 06, 2020 11:48

Centre Of Excellence For Software Engineering Launched By Bhutan’s Thimphu Techpark

The purpose of establishing this centre is to fulfil His Majesty the King’s vision of using technology to solve problems.

Feb 24, 2020 23:58


Wangdue Phodrang - The gateway to the far-flung corners of Bhutan

Known as Sha or east to the Bhutanese, Wangduephodrang district is an important gateway to the far-flung corners of Bhutan. The region, the...

May 27, 2020 08:47

Reasons Why Dagala Trek is Every Trekkers Dream

May 13, 2020 11:30


Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!