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Haa, located in the western region of Bhutan, was once a gateway to the country in the olden days. It is the only district in Bhutan that shares a border with both India and China. With a population of less than 15,000, it is the second least populated district in Bhutan after Gasa. The dominant language spoken in Haa is Dzongkha, which is also the national language of Bhutan.

Geography & Climate in Haa

  • The Haa Valley One of the major features of dzongkhag is the Valley, a steep north-south valley with a narrow floor. The valley is known for its hiddenness, which is reflected in the name Haa (pronounced “hah”) and the more ancient name, which connotes esoteric hiddenness. An alternative name for the district is “Hidden-Land Rice Valley.”
  • The Haa Chu River Another notable feature of Haa is the Haa chu (river) that flows through the valley. The river stems from Mount Jomolhari, which is located in the Himalayas and is considered a sacred mountain in Bhutan.

The climate in dzongkhag is typically cool and humid. The valley receives heavy rainfall and snowfall during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September.

Culture and Traditions

  • Language As mentioned earlier, the dominant language spoken in Haa is Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan.
  • Religion Like the rest of Bhutan, the majority of the population in Haa follows Buddhism. There are several monasteries and temples located in the valley, including the Dzong, which is a fort monastery built in the 17th century.
  • Dzongkhag is known for its annual tshechu, a religious festival that is celebrated in honor of Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, who is considered the second Buddha and the founder of Buddhism in Bhutan. The tshechu features traditional dances, music, and other cultural performances.
  • Agriculture and Livestock Agriculture is the main source of income for many residents of Dzongkhag. The valley is known for its rice cultivation and also produces other crops such as wheat, maize, and barley. Livestock such as yaks and cows are also important for the local economy.

Haa is a unique district in Bhutan that is known for its hiddenness, beautiful valley, and rich culture and traditions. With its cool climate, beautiful landscapes, and diverse culture, it’s a great place to visit and explore.

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