Hot springs (known as Tshachus) are found in many places in Bhutan and have been used for centuries to cure the Bhutanese of various ailments ranging from arthritis, body aches, to even sinuses. Come winter and it is a tradition for the Bhutanese to visit the well-known hot springs.
Gasa Hot Spring
The hot spring at Gasa in western Bhutan is situated close to the banks of the Mo chu river and is the most desired for. The Gasa hot springs are frequented not just by people but even wild animals such as the Takin (national animal of Bhutan). Gasa hot spring is about ten hours trek from Punakha district or one can choose to travel half way by vehicle till a village called Damji. From Damji the six hours trek through beautiful hills of pine and oak forests takes us to Gasa hot spring. The route also passes through small villages, bamboo forests and small streams. On reaching a pass one can see a beautiful view of Gasa dzong (fortress) seated below snow covered mountain.
The Chubu Tshachu in Punakha is located by the banks of the Pho chu river and can be reached within a day’s journey from Punakha town.
In central Bhutan, we have the Dur Tshachu in Bumthang. Located in the village of Dur, this tshachu also has medicinal value and is known to cure body aches. Then we have the Duenmang tshachu in Zhemgang. Situated by the banks of Mangde chu, Duenmang tshachu is frequented by the Khengpas and also the rest of the Bhutanese population.
In southern Bhutan, we have the Gelegphu Tshachu situated yet again next to a stream. During winters, this tshachu is frequented by the local residents and other Bhutanese people, who take trips to cure themselves of diseases.
A tradition of heating up stones and then soaking it in cool water which then gets heated up by the stones. This is also a curative method used throughout the country.