Goen Tsephu Nye

The Guru Rinpoche Caves (Goen Tsephu) is a twelve kilometer drive from Punakha followed by a four hour hike.

A steep four hour walk from the small community of Mitesgang. There is a small temple at the caves where pilgrims can lay their bedding. Otherwise the pasture just below provides space for camping (though leaches are common in the summer).

It is said that Guru Rinpoche visited these caves after his retreat at Maratika in Nepal, and it was here that he was able to fully see the form of Amitayus, the Buddha of Long Life.

As is common at many Bhutanese sacred sites, there are self risen characters in rock and places to scramble through while making dedications for the benefit of other beings and to remove one's own defilements. Ponies for carrying baggage can be rented for a small fee from the house across from the suspension bridge in Mitesgang. While the walk is not overly arduous, paths are not easy to follow, and so the pony handler also acts as a guide. Mitesgang is around 12km from Punakha.