Bhutan Mountain Biking
1. KHURUTHANG – SAMDINGKHA – PUNAKHA
The proposed biking journey will be over 17 Km. It is suggested that journey take off at Khuruthang and stay following the feeder road until Samdingkha where footpath suspension bridge exists.
From Samdingkha the new trail follows mostly along the footpath at an average gradient of 10% until Punakha Dzong where the trail connects the asphalt road. The terrain topography of the new trail is generally steep exceeding 100% in some stretches. However, the trail is an up-gradation of the footpath which the terrain topography is therefore not much of a concern.
After reaching Punakha Dzong, keep following the asphalt road along Mochhu until Khuruthang Town, a place to stretch the arms and spend a night at the cosy hotel.
Flora and Fauna:
Chir pine is the dominant forest with very little undergrowths. These forests are poor in terrestrial birds. However, along river courses plenty water birds could be spotted especially during winter. Some water birds spotted during survey are; Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Mallard, Crested Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Great Cormorant, River Lapwing and Ibisbill.
Socio – Culture:
Punakha is the ancient capital of Bhutan and the winter residence of Central Monastic Body. Punakha Dzong is the most impressive of the all Dzongs in Bhutan, built at the confluence of two rivers Phochhu and Mochhu. It has survived many natural disaster even the most recent flood due to glacial lake outburst, upstream of Phochhu. The trail passes through several villages such as Jimthang, Manakha, Jara, Samdingkha, Jangkhorlo and Tempakha.
2. BAJO – JANGSABU – TSOCHAGSA:
To make a loop, it is suggested that biking start at Bajo via Jangsabu then to Tshochagsa and end at Bajo junction making about 40km. the terrain topography is very mild not exceeding 70%.
From Tshochagsa, there is also an option of either going to visit Lingmukha village which is 6Km away or descend towards Bajo following a farm road. The terrain the average gradient of farm road is recorded at 12%. The last two hairpin bends of the farm road before reaching Bajo is rather very steep with an average gradient recorded at 18%.
The trail falls between the altitude of 1200 and 2000 meters above sea level.
Flora & Fauna:
From Bajo – jangsabu, the vegetation is mainly scrub forest. Water birds such as Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Mallard, Crested Kingfisher, White – throated Kingfisher, Great Cormorant, River Lapwing, Ibisbill, etc are spotted along Punatsangchhu.
From Jangsabu, chirpine forest begins with very little undergrowths. Patches of broadleaved forests mainly dominated by oak is also visible around Tshochagsa and along streams. Birds spotted in the forest are Kalij Pheasant, Rufous – bellied Woodpecker, Oriental Turtle Dove, Eurasian Jay, Scarlet Minivet, Blue Whistling Thrush, Spotted Forktail, Green-Backed Tit etc. Wild animals spotted are Barking deer and wild Boar.