The Bumthang region encompasses four major valleys: Chokhor, Tang, Ura and Chhume. Because the dzongs and the most important temples are in the large Chokhor valley, it is commonly referred to as the Bumthang valley.
There are two versions of the origin of the name Bumthang. The valley is supposed to be shaped like a bumpa, the vessel of holy water that is usually found on the altar of a lhakhang. Thang means 'field' or 'flat place'. The less respectful translation relates to the particularly beautiful women who live here – bum means 'girl'.