Phaktshoding Lake – An Oasis for Fishes at Gedu Jungle Hills


Last updated on May 14th, 2020

There are times when you wonder reasons as to why Earth is being so unfair. Some places are blessed with scenic landscapes and breathtaking views offering great moments for its visitors. But some places are just gloomy to the extent you regret traveling to it. This is how you would feel when you’re in Gedu – a small town in Chukha.

In almost throughout the circle of a year, weather in Gedu would be boringly foggy. During summer, the moment you step your foot on fresh grass, blood-sucking leeches will be crawling to feast on you. There are no good places to visit in Chukha Gedu. I have been to Gedu several times. However, there never came a reason for me to love it.

Gedu town

However, during my last travel, I was with a thought to end this relationship once and for all. So I searched for something that would make me fall in love with Gedu. It was during that, I discovered Phaktshoding Tsho – a small lake hidden amidst the silent jungle.

Where is Phaktshoding Lake – Its Location

When you are in Gedu town if you go on following the road to Gedu Hospital below Gedu College, you are actually on the road to Phaktshoding Lake. After driving for about 15 minutes from Gedu zero point, you’ll reach a detour off the trail leading to this lake. There is one big wooden signboard which indeed would make it hard to miss.

Holy lakes of Bhutan

It was mentioned that from the road, it would take 1 hour to reach Phaktshoding lake. But trust me, that is only for snail-pace walkers and tourists. I am also quite a slow walker. Yet I could reach Phaktshoding lake in about 35 minutes.

The hiking trail goes through a thick jungle with occasional open space stop points. If you have experiences of going to some pasturelands in the past, you can say hiking to Phaktshoding Lake is also quite a similar experience. However, since the hiking trail goes through gentle slopes, you’ll feel less tired.

Phaktshoding Lake – Fish pond in mountain

The lake is located on a point where tails of small hills end. Therefore, anyone can argue that it is actually a pond of accumulated rainwater flown from those high-gradient hills. It’s narrowly rectangular and goes to a length of about 300 meters.

Bhutan lakes travel

However, this lake proved itself to be an oasis of aquatic lives in such mountains. The moment you are closer to it, you’ll see so many fishes enjoying its pristine environment and hospitality. It’s quite a hard-to-believe for fishes to survive in such altitude. Yet they seem to be thriving.

Therefore, that part of the forest along with the lake has been declared as Phaktshoding Forest Heritage. Neither fishing nor logging activities is allowed within its territory.

This protected area stretches to about 42 hectares across that pristine mountain. I also felt that it’s the right move. Fishes on such mountains and their environment deserve protection for studies.

Phaktshoding Forest Heritage – Things to Do

In an onlooker’s perspective, there are not many things you can do at Phaktshoding. The only thing you can do is take a walk around the lake taking photos and sometimes feeding fishes. Fishes there love Zaw (burned rice). The moment you throw Zaw, fishes come rushing. In a way, you get to watch them.

Feeding fishes in Phaktshoding Lake

Phaktshoding Forest Heritage will be a good place for wildlife photography enthusiasts. You get to see reindeers, hornbills, deer, and other seasonal birds. But you’ll need a camera that is suitable for wildlife photography or a camera with a lens that can capture subjects from quite a distance.

If you want to go for an outdoor picnic or camping trip with family or friends, an open space near the lake appears to be a very favorable place. And moreover, you don’t have to pay for it unlike in Lampelri Royal Botanical Park. However, you must be there during a favorable season.

When to visit Phaktshoding Lake – Seasons?

Summer will be rainy and foggy in Gedu, you know about it. So don’t visit the lake during the summer. Moreover, you might have to fight blood-sucking leeches. Winter would be quite cold and the environment would be dry. So winter is also not a recommended season to visit Phaktshoding especially to for a picnic or glamping trip.

Tourist attractions near Phuentsholing Road

But during early spring, the climate would be cool. Vegetation would be growing anew with fresh looks. Therefore, if you visit Phaktshoding in spring you’ll not only enjoy walking around the lake but sure will also enjoy outdoor camping near the lake.

Therefore, when you are in Gedu next time don’t remain stuck blaming its gloominess and have-nothing-to-do character. Instead, stretch your limbs and hike to Phaktshoding Heritage Forest.

Gedu Photography

I cannot guarantee you’ll find it beautiful and worth-visiting. But to change how you’re feeling about Gedu, I can only recommend it. You can also visit it when you’re traveling Phuentsholing from Thimphu or vice versa.

Recently I came to know that there is yet another wonderful lake in Chukha i.e above Gedu College. In a distance of about 8 hrs walk at about 3300m altitude, Shaw Gay Latsho (Lake) of Chukha also seems worth exploring. Let me know if have experience hiking to this lake.

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