Bhutan-: Land of pulchritude.

Bhutan flag

Reaching the land of the thunder dragon-:

The journey to Bhutan was thrilling itself. We took a flight to Paro international airport. The landing was a ‘life-time’ experience. Our plane experienced a lot of turbulence and took a 180 degree turn to land. The runway was also very short making the land breathtaking.

Paro airport

Thimphu-:

Day 1- After getting off at the airport we hopped on to the car we had hired for the entire trip. The drive to the town was beautiful. The cool breeze seem to hit my face at every turn and the views very spectacular. We were riding on a road parallel to the Paro river. After covering some distance we got out of the car to view the meeting point of the Paro river and the Thimphu river. It was amazing to see 2 streams of water becoming one and flowing down 1 path. It resembled that even though you start divided at some point of life you unite to continue as one.

Paro river

Day 2-

Buddha Dordenma-: The monument is 15 minutes away from the city center. It has beautiful large Buddha statue. After the construction is completed, this statue will be the largest sitting Buddha statue in the world! Also the compound has statues of the Taras( goddess in Buddhism) placed around it. A small memorial resides under the statue. The memorial has beautifully carved pillars each seeming to depict a story of their culture.

Buddha Dordenma

The memorial is on quite high altitude and so cool winds were blowing throughout. Even though the sun was out the weather was quite pleasant.

Also the authentic Bhutanese cuisine has fancied me so we visited the folk heritage restaurant to taste authentic Bhutanese cuisine. A delicious lunch of red rice, meat dishes, datsi, Buckwheat pancakes and Suja( butter tea).

Authentic Bhutanese food

After lunch we visited the folk heritage museum. The museum showcased the simple yet happy living of Bhutanese people. It had artifacts which date back to almost 200 years. Photography is not allowed inside and therefore these marvels can only be experienced in person.

Folk heritage museum

Day 3- Tango hike

We hiked the Tango hill on day 3. It was a very serene and amazing experience. Due to light showers in the morning the entire trail smelled very fresh and enriching. During the trek we were surrounded by lush green trees clustered together. The only audible sound was the melodious chirping of birds. The rest was absolute silence. The silence was so prominent, it could be observed. The Tango monastery is located at the top of the hill. Also the University of Buddhist studies is present. During our visit due to renovation the monastery was shut, only parts of it were open for visitors.

Tango monastery

Good food options-:

  • Folk heritage restaurant (Authentic Bhutanese food)
  • Spices (Indian food)
  • Food Ball

Punakha-

Day 1- We visited Dochula pass; the highest point in the area. The entire place was very foggy as clouds had lowered and the temperature was quite low. The main viewing point and Chortens were quite crowded, so we walked down a trail in the mountain forest nearby. Every treetop was stolen away by the clouds and mesmerizing chirps completed the silence. Deeper, the forest had meditation caves. The entire trail was surrounded by lush green trees. The trees and atmosphere around felt so spectacular that I felt they were symbols of real and natural beauty. The remaining day got covered in travel.

Foggy Dochula pass

Day 2- Today we visited the Punakha dzong. The dzong has heavy prominence in Bhutanese culture and the country’s history. The Punakha dzong is made by the builder of all 21 dzongs in Bhutan. A very interesting story is hooked to this dzong. While all the other dzongs took about 3 years to build the Punakha dzong was built in 1 year. This is sid to happen due to the presence of angels. This dzong was built in 1637 and till now it has been destroyed twice by flood and fire. In recent years it has been reconstructed. The dzong has 3 inportant buildings in it’s premises. The coronation room, the wedding room and a watch tower.

Punakha dzong

At night after dinner I strolled out of the hotel for a walk. I had already fallen in love with Bhutan and at that moment I was indulged in the serenity out there. I just felt so peaceful with the sound of flowing water and humming of the wind. Even though it was pitch black outside I felt like I had experienced all colors of life.

Paro-

Day 1- Tiger nest is a major tourist attraction in Paro. This is a must-visit destination in Bhutan. It also has an interesting story linked to it-: Guru Rinpoche came to know that few demons were hiding in that mountain. To punish them he became his most formidable form; tiger and garuda. He landed there on a tiger and therefore it’s name Tiger nest. Also while meditating there he became thirsty. Seeing this the angels created a waterfall for him. To reach Tiger’s nest you have trek an amazing trail for about 3 hours. 60% of the trail goes through the forest. The remaining 40% are steps. The forest trail is purely spectacular. You are surrounded by trees and curious explorers throughout. The forest trail is quite nostalgic with the sunlight evading through dense treetops. Also cool winds blowing make you feel fresh and enlightened. At about 1/3 distance from the base there is a cafeteria. Till that point horses are available. On the forest trail there is a main trail and a side trail. The side trail is quite steep, so if you are not a ‘mad trekker!’ stick to the main trail. While on the steps you get clear views of the monastery. Also at a point the waterfall is visible. Walking sticks are recommended as they are quite useful in the descend. They are available at the base camp for rent. The total trek is about 5 hours so be sure to carry lot of water and couple of food items as well. I think the Tiger nest trek was one of the most memorable moments of my trip.

Paro, Taktsang Goemba (Tiger’s Nest)

Good food options-:

  • Authentic Pizza (Italian food)
  • Brioche Cafe (Dessert)

After going on such trips and experiencing such emotions I can definitely recall in my mind that travel is another addition of joy in my life!!!

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