Tsachu - the Natural Hot Springs of Bhutan

 

After long-ago battles, Bhutanese soldiers recovered from their wounds by soaking in tsachu, or hot springs. The tsachus' curative powers were so highly regarded that people would trek for weeks to bathe in them to treat joint and muscle pain, headaches and a host of other ailments.

Many of Bhutan’s inhabitants enjoy the blissful waters of natural hot springs for healing and relaxation.

Here are two of our favorite Tsachus in Bhutan:

Children at Gasa Tsachu

Children at Gasa Tsachu

  1. Gasa Tsachu, Gasa

Gasa Tsachu stands out for its extraordinary beauty and prime location. Nestled in the foothills of a majestic Himalayan peak, Gasa Tsachu offers naturally warm, wonderfully mineral-rich bathing to soothe one’s body and soul.

Gasa Tsachu

Gasa Tsachu

Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel bathed here on the way from Tibet to Bhutan, supposedly adding extra blessings to the spring water. Pilgrims to the site camp in tents or stay in the guesthouses above the hot springs.

Burning incense to appease the local deities

Burning incense to appease the local deities

From early morning to late in the evening here, old ladies sit and chat, monks chant and children play happily. Several times a day they soak in the hot water to heal their ailments. A hot soak at Gasa Tsachu provides relief for a variety of health conditions, and promises contented hearts and tranquil minds to those who seek its nourishing waters.

A somber moment at one of the ponds

A somber moment at one of the ponds

2. Dur Tsachu, Bumthang

While the Dur Tsachu is more accessible than it once was, it still requires a tough four-day trek from the nearest road head along a trail known as the Dur Hot Springs Trek.

At a campsite en-route to Dur Tsachu

At a campsite en-route to Dur Tsachu

The reward after a long and arduous trek

The reward after a long and arduous trek

Those who make it out here will be rewarded with steaming, clear water flowing into wooden tubs covered with a simple wooden shelter and a nearby campsite — a welcome chance to refresh and revive feet and muscles aching from the walk.

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StoryKarma Yonten