Kila Nunnery

Western Bhutan

Established as a meditation site in the 9th century and reputedly the oldest nunnery in Bhutan, Kila Nunnery is reached via a dirt road and short walk from the road between Paro and Haa. Around 50 nuns pursue higher Buddhist college studies in a series of buildings that are pressed dramatically against the cliffs.

Combine a visit here with the scenic hour-long downhill hike from the Cheli La, passing chortens, prayer flags and a delightful stretch of forest en route.

There is some talk of relocating the nunnery to the main Paro valley, to avoid the hardships of living here in winter, so check the latest with your guide beforehand.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Western Bhutan attractions

1. Juneydrak Hermitage


About 1km north of Haa, just before the main bridge, a paved road branches east 1km to Katsho village, from where you can take a lovely 40-minute hike to…

2. Tengchen Goemba

3.23 MILES

A dirt road to this atmospheric but somewhat rundown monastery runs from the side road that leads to the Nak-Sel resort from near Kyichu Lhakhang. An easy…

3. Dranjo Goemba

3.36 MILES

This monastic school looks deceptively new but there are some fine darkened murals inside. Of note here is the mask-like statue of Tsering Ngodup, the…

4. Haa Dzong

3.48 MILES

Haa's small dzong, known formally as Wangchuck Lo Dzong, is one of Bhutan's newest, built in 1915 to replace a smaller structure. It is inside the Indian…

5. Lhakhang Kharpo

3.61 MILES

Haa's 100-strong monk body is housed not in Haa's dzong (fort monastery) but in the recently renovated Lhakhang Kharpo (White Chapel) complex, just south…

6. Lhakhang Nagpo

3.76 MILES

A 10-minute walk or short drive behind the Lhakhang Kharpo is the grey-walled Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Chapel), one of the oldest temples in the Haa valley…

7. Dzongdrakha Goemba

3.79 MILES

The visually splendid but little-visited cliffside retreat of Dzongdrakha Goemba is one of several local sites where Guru Rinpoche did battle with local…