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55 Places to visit in Bhutan

Paro Bhutan

Buddha Dordenma, Thimphu

 

Overview

A 51-meter-tall gold-plated monument of Buddha Dordenma, built completely of steel, stands in the charming town of Thimphu. This statue is wonderfully illuminated at night, making it an even more magnificent sight to behold. Around 125,000 beautiful miniature Buddha figurines fashioned of bronze and gilded in gold, each resembling the Dordenma, are housed within the statue.

 

It marks your arrival in Thimphu and is built among the remains of Kuensel Phodrang. The golden gilded statue is a sight to behold, particularly at night when it gleams against the dark sky. A meditation hall is located at the base of the three-story statue. It is one of the world’s largest Buddha stupas.

 

Architecture of the Buddha Dordenma

 

The statue of Buddha Dordenam, as magnificent as the Almighty himself, was not built in Bhutan. Instead, it was constructed in China and then transported in pieces to Bhutan. The pieces were then pieced together to create the massive artwork that we see today.

The meditation chamber at the base of this great statue is where people come to reflect and pray. The statue itself contains 125000 smaller Buddha statues, all of which are made of bronze and gilded in gold. A hundred thousand of these statues are 10 inches tall, while the rest are 12 inches tall.

History of the Buddha Dordenma

 

The Buddha Dordenma, one of the world’s largest Buddha statues, was created in 2015 to commemorate the 60th birthday of Bhutan’s fourth king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The great monument is also thought to be the fulfilment of an ancient prophecy given by Terton Pema Lingpa in the 8th century. It was predicted that a massive statue of Buddha will be constructed to provide world peace and harmony.

 

How To Reach Buddha Dordenma

 

A cab may be booked from any part of Thimphu to reach the Buddha Dordenma, which is located near to the Memorial Chorten and Simtokha Dzong.

 

Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Paro

 

Overview

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Taktsang Monastery, is located in Bhutan’s Paro province. The monastery is one of the Himalayan’s most revered pilgrimage sites. Taktsang is perched on a cliff 800 metres (2,600 feet) above the valley floor, at a height of 2,950 metres (9,678 feet). The hike to the monastery from the Ramthangkha road, 12 kilometres from Paro town, takes around 2 to 3 hours (depending on your fitness level).

 

Geography

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Taktsang Monastery, is located in Bhutan’s Paro province. The monastery is one of the Himalayan’s most revered pilgrimage sites. Taktsang is perched on a cliff 800 metres (2,600 feet) above the valley floor, at a height of 2,950 metres (9,678 feet). The hike to the monastery from the Ramthangkha road, 12 kilometres from Paro town, takes around 2 to 3 hours (depending on your fitness level).

 

History

Guru Padmasmbhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) picked a cave on a steep rock face to meditate and, adopting a wrathful avatar, Guru Dorji Drolo, astride a tigress to subjugate the bad spirits in the area, the tale of Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) began in 747 AD. According to legend, the tigress was Yeshi Tshogyal, Guru Rinpoche’s spouse, who had turned herself into a terrifying beast to subdue spirits. Yeshe Tshogyal is also supposed to have turned into a tigress in order to transport Guru Rinpoche from Singye Dzong in Eastern Bhutan to Taktsang on her back.

 

Legend

Guru Rinpoche disclosed the Pelchen Dorje Phurpa Mandala and gave beautiful teachings to his pupils at Taktsang. Before subduing the malevolent spirits, he pondered in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days, and hid deep riches for the benefit of sentient people.

 

Tips to visit

  • If you want to escape the crowds and the heat, get there early.
  • Bring a hat and sunscreen, and wear suitable walking shoes to protect your ankles.
  • If needed, a walking stick may be rented at the base of Tiger’s Nest.
  • Drink plenty of water and take your time. Although the hike acquires a height of 700 metres and is below 3000 metres, it is prudent to pace yourself to avoid overexertion and altitude sickness.
  • Avoid panting by controlling your breathing. If you pant, you will spend more energy.
  • When visiting the temple, bring a warm jacket because your body cools off quickly.

 

How to reach 

At a leisurely pace, the climb to the monastery takes around 3 hours. It takes around 2 hours to finish for regular hikers and gym goers. The overall walking distance is around 4 kilometres one way, with an elevation gain of 700 metres. Those who are unable to climb can rent a horse and ride up to the midway, where there is a café. However, descending the mountain must be done on foot, as horseback riding is not an option. The cafeteria is the halfway point of the trip (it’s roughly a 2km hard climb from the beginning point), and it’s where you’ll be able to take a break, refresh yourself, and fill up your stomach before carrying on.

 

 

The Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong), Thimphu

 

Overview

 

Tashichho Dzong is a fortress in Bhutan that is about 2 kilometres from Thimphu. It was built in 1641 and has been restored many times since then. Nowadays, it serves as a monastery and the current government’s central secretariat together. It is located on the banks of the Wangchhu River and is also known as the “stronghold of the wonderful faith.”

 

The ancient construction of the Tashichho Dzong was destroyed in a fire in 1216, and the current dzong structure was built in its place. Visitors to the stronghold are greeted by a magnificent rose garden in front of the fortification. The well-kept landscape that surrounds the structure is very lovely.

 

Tashichho Dzong Architecture

 

The Tashichho Dzong’s architecture is based on a style that was popular in ancient Bhutan, as well as areas of Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet.

 

Tashichho Dzong was built in the traditional Bhutanese style, without using nails. The valuables kept inside, such as statues and paintings, are preserved by the whitewashed walls. It stands two floors tall, with three-story towers on each of the dzong’s four corners. The building’s woodwork is beautiful and awe-inspiring. The well-kept gardens that surround the dzong are serene and offer visitors a spectacular vista.

 

The king’s office, the administration block, and the spiritual area are the three principal sections. Beautiful artworks are housed within the dzong, which receive constant praise from art aficionados. The wall carvings are elaborate and Buddhist in nature. The dzong is more than merely a brick-built edifice. It is Thimphu’s identity and the pride of Bhutanese.

Tashichho Dzong’s main building is surrounded by high stone walls that dissuade trespassers and curious bystanders.

The walls enclose a large plaza and gardens, as well as the government’s administrative wing.

The monks’ quarters are kept separate on the fortress’s northern flank.

The entryway is a large door composed of masonry and iron that has been integrated.

The lower level offices have no windows, but the upper half of the walls have distinguishing red and gold stripes.

 

Best Time to Visit Tashichho Dzong

 

Tashichho Dzong is best visited between March and May. Many tourists, however, choose to travel in the fall months of September through November.

 

 

Tips for Visiting Tashichho Dzong

 

Inside the Tashichho Dzong, photography is strictly prohibited, however visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras to capture the breathtaking scenery outside as well as the illuminated photographs of the stronghold at night.

Tourists are not permitted to access the premises dressed casually. T-shirts, shorts, skirts, and sleeveless tops are strictly forbidden.

When travelling by hired car, it is best to bring a supply of food and water with you, as landslides frequently produce roadblocks, forcing tourists to stay in remote regions for hours away from habitation.

 

History of Tashichho Dzong

 

Tashichho Dzong is one of Thimphu’s most distinctive features, visible from afar. It was first constructed in 1216 AD as a blue stone structure known as Dho-Ngon Dzong. After conquering Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa’s adherents in the 17th century, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal seized command.

 

It was completely reconstructed after then and given its current name. The Dzong is divided into two sections: upper and lower. The dzong was originally built on the Dho-Ngon hill (bluestone), but it has since been expanded into a massive structure.

Desi Tenzin Rabgye, Bhutan’s fourth secular ruler, expanded the stronghold in 1694, making it more capacious. It was, however, destroyed by fire four years later and had to be rebuilt. In 1741, Chogyal Sherab Wangchuk, the 13th Desi (secular ruler), added to the structure, making it more aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, fire devastated the structure once more under the reign of the 16th Desi, who ordered the entire stronghold to be transferred to its current location.

 

How To Reach Tashichho Dzong

 

The Tashichho Dzong is located in Chhagchhen Lam, on the right bank of the Wangchhu River. It is easily accessible from any region of Thimphu. Local buses go from Thimphu to Tashichho Dzong for visitors on a shoestring budget. Unfortunately, because the buses stop frequently along the trip, it takes a long time. When visiting Bhutan, most people choose to hire vehicles or minibuses for sightseeing. A vehicle ride to Tashichho Dzong costs ₹ 500, while a minibus trip costs roughly ₹ 3000 and is best for group visits.

 

 

 

Chele La, Paro

Overview

Bhutan is connected by a series of passes due to its mountainous topography. Chele La Pass, located between the valleys of Paro and Haa at an elevation of roughly 13,000 feet, is Bhutan’s highest motorable road pass. The pass is known for its breathtaking Himalayan views, including Mt. Jhomolari, Bhutan’s most sacred peak at 22,000 feet, the Tsherimgang mountains, Jichu Drake, and views of both the Paro and Haa valleys.

 

Chele La Pass, shrouded in virgin forests and home to rich flora and fauna, is only a two-hour drive from the valley level in Paro. There are various historic routes in the area surrounding this pass that are ideal for hikers.

 

 

Hiking at Chele La Pass

 

Chele La is noted for its hike paths, which are the most popular pastime. Many travellers opt for the one-day Chele La Ridge climb, which is lined with thousands of prayer flags and boasts a thin atmosphere.

 

Distance from Paro to Chelela Pass: 39.8 km (one and half hour drive)

Trek time: 9 hours and 44 minutes by foot

 

The nine-hour trip begins with an elevation hike among Himalayan blue poppies and other flowers, followed by a steep descend through meadows to Kila Gompa Nunnery. After that, you can either return to the pass or go to Haa town.

 

Distance from Haa Valley to Chele la Pass: 27 km (48 mins drive)

Trek time: 8 hours and 2 minutes if walking.

 

Best Time to Visit Chele La Pass

 

The greatest time to visit Chele La Pass is from May to September, when the weather is beautiful and ideal for a one-day picnic. However, because these are monsoon months, you should absolutely consult with the locals about the weather before arranging a journey here. Because of the Haa Summer Festival, which takes place in July, this is an excellent time to come. It includes traditional Bhutanese performances, food booths, sports, and other cultural activities that bring together residents, known as the nomadic Haaps, and some tourists. Every year, in the month of July, it takes place over two days.

 

How To Reach Chele La Pass

 

To travel to Chele La Pass, take a car or a motorcycle from Paro or Thimphu. It takes around one and a half hours to get there from Paro, and two and a half hours to get there from Thimpu. The scenery along the journey to Chele La is stunning in both directions. In Paro and Thimpu, many tour businesses hire automobiles and motorcycles.

 

Punakha Dzong, Punakha

 

Overview

 

Punakha Dzong is the country’s second-oldest and second-largest dzong. The first national legislature was held in 1953 here. It inhabit the headquarters of the Bhutanese government until 1955. This dzong is not only a Bhutanese architectural marvel. But it is also culturally significant because it houses precious relics of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred remains of Ngawang Namgyal, the Tibetan Buddhist teacher and Bhutan’s unifier.

 

Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 by Ngawang Namgyal at the confluence of the Pho Chuu and Mo Chuu rivers in the Punakha Valley. Six towers encircle it, which is over 180 metres (590 feet) long and 72 metres (236 feet) wide.

 

Architecture of Punakha Dzong

 

The Zhabdrung erected 16 dzongs during his reign, including Punakha Dzong. It contains three courtyards rather than the normal two courtyard arrangement found in other Bhutanese dzongs. The first courtyard, which features a big Bodhi tree and a white-washed stupa, is utilised for administrative purposes.

 

It was built in 1638 by the Namgyal, who had been prophesied by Padmasambhava that he would discover an opportune location for the castle to be built. The Zhabdrung, who laid the temple’s foundation stone, discovered the location.

 

Punakha Dromche Festival

 

Punakha Domche is a renowned festival that draws visitors from all around the district to the dzong. In the dzong, an image of Avalokitesvara is maintained and shown for five days. This festival, which takes place in late February or early March, shows the audience many imagery from Buddhist literature and Bhutanese history, including a theatrical re-enactment of the 1639 Tibetan invasion of Bhutan.

 

At the conclusion of the performance, a relic is mock-thrown into the Mo Chuu river. On the last day, photographs of the Zhabdrung are shown in the main courtyard, accompanied with dance performances by groups of up to 100 dancers. “Cham” is the name given to these dances.

 

Legend of Punakha Dzong

 

The Zowe Palep legend

According to local mythology, Ngawang Namgyal, the 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, instructed the architect Zowe Palep to sleep under a modest structure containing a Buddha statue known as Dzong Chug or “little Buddha.” He had a vision of this palace during his times of resting around. Without a pen or paper, he had a clear image in his head and began construction on the dzong in 1637 with Ngawang Namgyal’s consent.

 

Padmasambhava’s mythology is a story about a monk named Padmasambhava

In another tradition, the guru Padmasambhava predicted that a man named Namgyal would “arrive at the hill that resembles an elephant.” Ngawang Namgyal was the one who discovered this peak, which resembled an elephant’s trunk.

 

How To Reach Punakha Dzong

 

It is situated on the banks of the Puna Tsang Chhu, which is formed by the confluence of two rivers. To get to the Dzong complex, one must cross the Bazam bridge.

Punakha Dzong is located in Punakha valley, near the junction of the Pho Chuu and Mo Chuu rivers. Paro International Airport is the nearest airport to the valley. It takes about 3 hours to drive northeast from Paro airport to Punakha via Thimpu.

 

Punakha is around 70 kilometres from Thimphu (2 hours). For this travel, one can hire a car or use a taxi.

 

Rinpung Dzong, Paro

 

Overview

 

The Rinpung Dzong, commonly known as the Paro Dzong, is one of the best specimens of architecture and has a profoundly spiritual environment. The dzong, which is beautifully lit up at night, features several pictures depicting Buddha’s life. A trek to the top of the stronghold rewards you with a breathtaking view of the surrounding valleys. The dzong also hosts the vibrant yearly festival Paro Tshechu, which adds to its already great stature.

 

Paro Dzong is located in the middle of the city and is known for its magnificence, which grows rather than fades with each passing day. A holy site brimming with faith and opulence is all that is required to refresh the mind.

 

 

The Architecture of Rinpung Dzong

 

In terms of architectural, the Paro Dzong is one of Bhutan’s largest and most magnificent dzongs. It is well-known for its old Buddhist shrines and artefacts. With its extravagant woodwork and sculptures, the dzong’s Watchtower is respected as one of the most beautiful. The Paro Dzong is a seven-story structure in Paro, Bhutan. There are 14 shrines and chapels devoted to various god figures inside the complex. Additionally, the National Museum of Bhutan is furnished within the watchtower.

 

History of Rinpung Dzong

 

The Buddhist lama Drung Drung Gya is said to have built the Paro Dzong in the 15th century. It was first constructed as a temple, and then additional complicated features were added to turn it into a massive fortification. In the 17th century, the Drukpa family was offered the dzong.

 

Drung Drung Gyal created a tiny temple on the same spot before the Rinpung Dzong was built in the 15th century. He was a Lama and a Pajo Drugom Zhigpo descendent.

 

 

How To Reach Rinpung Dzong Paro

 

To reach Paro Dzong from hotel or other major sightseeing spotsl, you can rent a cab (if the service is provided from that region). The tour guide may aid with vehicle to the Dzong. A Degyankha Shrine is as sacred as any other temple in Bhutan. It is located right outside the Paro Dzong. Then there’s the cantilever bridge that spans Paro Chhu and provides breathtaking vistas.

 

Punakha Suspension Bridge, Punakha

 

Overview

 

Punakha Suspension Bridge is Bhutan’s second-longest suspension bridge. It spans the Mo Chhu and Po Chhu (rivers) and measures 160-180 metres in length. Punakha Dzongkhag is furnished to the whole of the valley by one of the world’s oldest suspension bridges. The bridge, which is thought to have been erected by Thangtong Gyalpo, has been renovated for several years. The kings of Wangchuk built it to connect the villages of Samdingkha and Wangkha, and it is an important element of Bhutan’s architectural heritage. The bridge is adorned with prayer flags and is an excellent location for bird observation and photography.

National Museum, Paro

 

Overview

There is no better way to learn about a place’s culture and history than to visit its most important museum. The National Museum of Bhutan is located in the Paro district, above Paro Dzong. It is a fascinating destination to visit regardless of whether or not you are interested in history since the vistas are breathtaking. Furthermore, in comparison to other ancient sites in Bhutan, the structure of the building is distinctive.

 

The gorgeous structure has six stories, each of which is dedicated to a distinct type of collection. In addition, this museum houses remarkable collections of armaments, ceremonial  artefacts, clothing, jewellery, religious goods, scroll paintings, and much more that educate visitors about Bhutan’s history, culture, and traditions.

 

Geography

The museum is situated on a hill overlooking Paro Dzong. The Paro Dzong is about a 15-minute drive from the Paro market.

 

Fees

Adults pay ₹150 for the experience. The entrance is free for monks, nuns, and children under the age of 10.

 

 

Jigme Dorji National Park, Gasa

 

Overview

 

This park was established in 1974 and is surrounded by beautiful and serene surroundings where tourists from all over the world come to see a variety of species such as the blue floppy, the national flower, the Takin, the national animal, the national tree, the national bird, the Raven, and many other animals, reptiles, birds, and butterflies, all of which contribute to the park’s magnificent views and landscape.

 

Things to do & see

 

While visiting this National Park, you may encounter the following activities:

 

Jomolhari, Snowman, Lunana, and Gasa-Laya Trekking

Jigme Dorji National Park offers hiking opportunities.

Jigme Dorji National Park offers a Jeep Safari.

In the Jigme Dorji National Park, observe the flora and fauna (Snow Leopard, Takin, Tiger, Black Bear, Blue Sheep, and Red Panda in fauna, and Orchids, Rhododendrons, Blue Poppy, and other flora).

 

Best time to reach

 

The finest time to visit the National Park is in the spring and early summer, specifically from April to May, when the flora and wildlife are at their most active, capturing the attention of all visitors.

 

Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu

 

Overview

 

Punakha Suspension Bridge, Bhutan’s second-longest suspension bridge, spans the Mo Chhu and Po Chhu (rivers). The river measures 160-180 metres in length. Punakha Dzongkhag is connected to the rest of the valley by one of the world’s oldest suspension bridges. The bridge, which is thought to have been erected by Thangtong Gyalpo, has been renovated for several years. The kings of Wangchuk built it to connect the villages of Samdingkha and Wangkha, and it is an important element of Bhutan’s architectural heritage. The bridge is adorned with prayer flags and is an excellent location for bird observation and photography. Even though it is well-built, it shakes when heavy gusts blow, which adds to the excitement.

 

The Architecture of the Simtokha Dzong

The dzong is three floors tall and covers an area of 60 metres square. There is just one entrance gate on the southern side, which contains numerous beautiful murals. The sacredness of the prayer wheels is mesmerising. Inside the dzong, chapels devoted to Bhutan’s patron deities have been erected. It has been renovated several times throughout the years, which explains why the dzong appears to be so new and flawless, despite the fact that it is hundreds of years old.

 

History of the Simtokha Dzong

Simtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, was one of the earliest dzongs built by Ngawang Namgyal during his rise to power in Western Bhutan. It is one of Bhutan’s oldest dzongs, and one of the few that has maintained its original integrity. Legend has it that the dzong protected people from a local monster hiding in a nearby rock, particularly those who slept there at night.

 

The territory on which the Simtokha Dzong stands is at the crossroads of three of Western Bhutan’s most important regions: Thimphu, Paro, and Wangdue Phodrang. There used to be a temple on this site before the dzong was built, and it was given to Ngawang Namgyal after his triumph. The Lama who had given it to him had requested that a dzong be built here, and this famous dzong was built to fulfil that request.

 

How To Reach Simtokha Dzong

Close to this dzong are Chu Dzong, which serves as a student prayer hall, Buddha Dordenma, and Thimphu Chorten. To go to the Simtokha Dzong, you can rent a taxi from any section of Thimphu.

 

Tango Buddhist Institute, Thimphu

 

Overview

 

Tango Monastery is a Buddhist monastery in Bhutan, located on the outskirts of Thimphu Valley. Tango Monastery, perched on a hill, was founded in the 13th century by Phajo Drugmo Zhigpo. “Tango” means “Horse” in the original tongue.

 

Tango Monastery is one of Bhutan’s most religiously significant sites. Tango Monastery has long been a must-see destination in Bhutan, as well as a popular tourist attraction in Thimphu, because to its teachings and breathtaking hiking trails.

 

History

 

The foundation of Tango Monastery was constructed in the 13th century, but the current structure was remodelled in 1688 by Tenzin Rabgye, the 4th Temporal Ruler.

 

Zabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is supposed to have visited Thimphu in 1616 and meditated in the cave near Tango Monastery, according to some accounts. The cave where Zabdrung meditated was named ‘The Monastery Tango’ because it resembled “The Head Of Horse” or “Hayagriva” in the native language. Tango Monastery’s meditation caverns were famed in the 12th century among revered saints for performing miracles.

 

Things to do

 

Tango Monastery Hiking

Tango Monastery monks are meditating with me.

gaining knowledge of Buddhist philosophy and the Kagyu Drukpa lineage

 

Things to see

 

Tango Monastery is a monastery dedicated to the art of tango. Monks from the Hiking Tango Monastery are meditating with me.

understanding Buddhist philosophy and the Kagyu Drukpa lineage

 

How to reach

 

Tango Monastery can be reached through a three-hour climb from Thimphu. Tango is perched atop a hill, so visitors can expect an uphill climb. Thimphu is 14 kilometres away from Tango Monastery.

 

 

Dochula Pass, Thimphu

 

Overview

Bhutan is a country surrounded by breathtaking mountain ranges. Dochula Pass is one of the nicest of them. From Thimphu to Punakha, Dochula Pass is a part of Himalayan ranges. Dochula Pass, at 3100 metres, is 30 kilometres from the capital city, Thimphu. The eldest Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, constructed 108 memorial stupas here, which are well-known.

 

There is also a notable monastery here that was erected to honour Bhutan’s fourth King. The Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival is held there every year. himalayas Dochula Pass is one of Bhutan’s most famous tourist destinations due to its appeal among both locals and visitors.

 

Best time to visit

March to May and September to November.

 

Gangtey Monastery, Wangdue

 

Overview

Gangtey Monastery is the country’s largest and only Nyingmapa monastery, located in the Wangdue Phodrang area of central Bhutan. It is also known as Gangteng Monastery and is very important to Bhutanese people. This monastery, founded in 1613 by Gyalse Pema Thinley, is located on a pinnacle hilltop at an elevation of 2800 metres above sea level, affording a spectacular view of the Phobjikha Valley. In addition, the monastery has long been a popular tourist destination due to its fascinating history and unique features.

 

History

This majestic abbey, which goes back to the eighth century, has a rich history. Gyalse Pema Thinley, the grandson of the renowned saint Pema Lingpa, created it. He had a psychic dream in which Guru Rinpoche revealed the wealth he had buried in 108 treasure coves all throughout the land. Pema Lingpa then set off on a journey and returned with a plethora of riches, including Buddhist pictures and scriptures. This monastery is surrounded by a big community, which is home to around 100 Buddhist monks. They currently preserve and administer the entire monastery, as well as giving tours to visitors about its significance and history.

 

How to reach

Bhutan only has one international airport, which is situated in Paro. The distance between Paro’s international airport and Gangtey Monastery is 166 km (103 miles).

 

-By Car: Taking a cab is the quickest and most convenient method to get to the monastery. Outside the airport, taxis are available for hiring, and the journey to the monastery will take around 4 hours 30 minutes.

 

-By Bus: From the airport, there are regular trips to Gangtey Monastery. Buses are a good option to the monastery after landing.

 

Best time to visit

-Autumn: September-November is the greatest season to visit Gangtey Monastery and see the exciting Phobjikha Valley, owing to the Black Necked Crane Festival in November. Although the appearance of the endangered crane is anticipated with bated breath, other lovely birds have been spotted in the valley.

The Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu festival is also worth seeing if you visit in the autumn. The Wangdue Phodrang area, which is famous for the Raksha Mangcham, hosts this event in the first week of October. It’s a dance in which sixteen dancers wear masks made of wood. It exemplifies Buddhism’s colourful and dynamic culture.

 

-Spring: Gangtey is especially beautiful in the spring (March-May) because of the remarkably consistent weather. Visiting during the rainy season (June-September) is not recommended since the grandeur of Phobjikha Valley cannot be completely appreciated.

 

-Summer: While on tour at Gangtey Monastery, guests can participate in a variety of activities, which are especially enjoyable in the summer. Summer is defined as the period between June and August.

 

-Winter: Winters (December-February) may be bitterly cold, with temperatures as low as -10°C at their worst (mid-January).

 

Things to do

  1. Trek down the Gangtey Nature Track: This trail leads from the monastery at the top of the hill to the Phobjikha valley below. The hike goes downward towards the Semchubara town, which is nestled among magnificent flowers and unique gardens, with the monastery in the backdrop. After travelling through Kuenzang Chholing Shedra (the school for young monks) and Khewal Lhakhang, the route comes to a conclusion.

 

  1. Take a walk through Ten Khor Yuet Hse: This hike is longer than the Gangtey Nature Trail and should take around 3 hours to complete. It’s a peaceful route that climbs from Semchubara hamlet to Jangchu Kemba village by crossing a gravel road.

 

  1. Black-necked-Crane Information Centre: The black-necked crane is a magnificent bird that migrates between Tibet and Bhutan in the fall, and it is a sight to see. The centre is a lovely site for an unmissable pastime, especially for ornithologists and bird-watching enthusiasts, thanks to this bird. There are also other publications available here that assist in the learning of the art of bird-watching. The (RSPN) Royal Society for the Protection of Nature is in charge of the monastery.

 

Architecture of Gangtey Monastery

The monastery’s compound is surrounded by five towers that encircle the main hall, known as tshokhang. It is supported by eight massive wooden pillars that are said to be the country’s biggest.

 

The monastery was substantially reconstructed in 2008, with massive renovations overseen by Kunzang Rigzin Pema Namgyal. 104 new pillars were meticulously built by local artisans while leaving the historic masterpiece’s architecture, paintings, and carvings intact.

 

The monastery presently has 100 monks who work to maintain the grounds and accompany visitors through different Buddhist rites. The monastery’s main buildings are surrounded by their living quarters.

 

Mo Chu River

 

Overview

 

The Mo Chhu (River) cascade from Gasa Dzongkhag district along the Tibet-Bhutan border to Punakha in Bhutan’s centre area. It then joins the Po Chhu, which originates in Bhutan’s northeast. The Punakha Dzong is located near the junction of the two rivers, which provides a wealth of experiences through activities such as rafting and kayaking. The ‘Puna Tseng Chhu’ is formed by the confluence of the ‘Mo chhu’ and the ‘Po chhu,’ and flows through Wangdue Phodrang, as well as the districts of Dagana and Tsirang.

 

Rafting and Kayaking in Mo Chhu River

 

Rafting Distance and Time: 5.6 miles, 10 rapids, 1.5 hours Price: River rafting costs roughly Rs. 3500 during peak season and Rs. 1500 during off-season.

The rafting adventure begins at the Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten’s bridge.

The trail comes to an end just below the Punakha Dzong.

Level of Difficulty: I-II

Greatest Time to Visit: October through April is the best time to see some of the world’s rarest birds.

 

If you enjoy swimming, you may also take an optional open float around the valley on the lowest portion of the river, with modest rapids, which will give you a 360-degree perspective of the lovely environment surrounding you.

 

Haa Valley

 

Overview

 

Haa Valley, known as Bhutan’s smallest Dzongkhang (district), is one of the most beautiful regions in the country, located to the south-west of Paro. For passionate hikers and trekkers, the magnificent forested forests and routes are excellent. This is also the only spot on the planet where the cream-colored bloom of the Blue Poppy may be found (Meconopsis Superba).

 

Although remote and devoid of tourist attractions, the Valley has some of Bhutan’s most incredible vistas.Ha Valley is home to nomadic herders and a specifically small Bhutanese troop. Haa valley is also known as the “Hidden-Land Rice Valley” because rice, barley, and wheat are the most common crops farmed in the area.

 

Ap Chundu – The Guardian Deity or God of Haa

 

The terrible animistic rites used to please the guardian deity in Haa Valley are still reflected in their rituals and festivities. Before the eighth century, shamanic rites were frequently practised.

 

Tantric culture is also present in the area. The region currently follows Buddhist practises and traditions with certain traditional rituals, thanks to Guru Rinpoche’s influence, who lessened the deity’s potency. The Gyechu Lhakhang, dedicated to that same god (Ap Chundu), is said to have tantric ties.

 

The Haaps (those who live in Haa) believe in avoiding upsetting or challenging the deity who is claimed to be the source of earthquakes, landslides, floods, and other natural calamities.

 

Things To Do

 

Chele-La Pass is number one on the list.

 

On the way to Haa Valley through beautiful forests, one must pass via the Chele-La Pass, Bhutan’s highest motorable road at 3988 metres above sea level, from where one can see Mt. Chomolhari and Jichu Drake. It’s a lovely site to behold, and it’s the ideal location for a little walk and perhaps a hot beverage while taking in the scenery.

 

Lhakhang Karpo and Lhakhang Nagpo are two Lhakhangs in Tibet.

 

 

The White Temple and the Black Temple, sometimes known as the White and Black Temples, are two of the valley’s most popular tourist attractions. King Sonsten Gampo is said to have unleashed two pigeons to build the temples. The White Temple was built where the White pigeon landed, whereas the Black Temple was built where the Black pigeon landed. Both temples are regarded to be extremely fortunate.

 

A chorten bearing the imprint of Guru Rinpoche’s body and hat is also nearby.

(A word of caution: when visiting temples and other religious institutions, tourists are advised to dress respectfully and modestly.) Inside religious buildings, shoulders must also be covered. Because shoes must be removed before entering a sacred structure, it is best to dress comfortably.

 

Best Time to Visit Haa Valley

 

The greatest time to explore Haa Valley is between October and November, when the most beautiful views of the snow-capped Mt. Jomolhari and Jichu Drake can be viewed from the Chele La Pass, which connects Paro and Haa Valley.

 

The summer monsoon season runs from June through August. The average maximum temperature ranges from 25 to 27 degrees Celsius, while the average lowest temperature ranges from 12 to 17 degrees Celsius. The Tourism Council, in partnership with the Bhutan Olympic Committee and the Haa District Administration, organises the Haa Summer Festival over a few days in the summer.

 

From September through November, the weather is pleasant, with bright sky and ideal conditions for trekking and hiking.

 

Commuting within Haa Valley

 

Haa Valley is 65 kilometres from Paro. It is possible to travel by bus or vehicle. There are no flights or railroads connecting Paro and Haa Valley. Traveling by automobile is the most convenient alternative because it takes only two hours and the times are variable. It is possible to take the bus. However, between these two districts, there is only one bus, and the scheduling is inconvenient. The roads, on the other hand, are beautiful.

 

 

Dagala Thousand Lakes

 

Overview

The Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek is one of Bhutan’s most prized treks, allowing participants to explore the country’s hidden high altitude hikes. This walk takes you to the most remote and unspoilt sections of Bhutan, away from the people.

 

On this journey, you’ll pass through beautiful valleys, walk along river streams, camp beside glistening lakes, see age-old monasteries, and take in vistas of the Himalayan peaks, including Mt Everest. Stunning vistas of Mt Everest, Mt Kanchenjunga, Tshering Gang, Jichu Drake, Jomolhari, Gangche Ta, and other peaks will meet you along the walk. The trek’s difficulty level ranges from moderate to challenging, and it is appropriate for beginner trekkers but only for those who are physically fit.

 

About lakes

The Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek is one of Bhutan’s most popular paths, providing an unbroken retreat into the magnificent region of the Himalayas. Indulging in this somewhat difficult trip is a terrific opportunity to push yourself to improve your trekking skills in the hopes of being rewarded with something special.

 

Naturally, you won’t see a thousand lakes on this walk, but you will get the opportunity to explore some of the country’s most magnificent alpine lakes with crystal clear waters.

 

The natural treasures along the way, such as bubbling streams, high altitude lakes, alpine greenery, velvety meadows, and the majestic Himalayas, combine to make the Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek Bhutan a once-in-a-lifetime journey.

 

Not only does the trip pass through some of the most spectacular Himalayan camp sites, providing participants with numerous picture possibilities, but it also allows you to find peace and explore your soul in the pristine beauty of nature.

 

 

Chomolhari

 

Overview

 

Chomolhari trip, one of Bhutan’s most famous treks, is ideal for adventure seekers seeking something off the beaten road. If you’re thinking about going trekking in Bhutan, the Chomolhari trek will take you through the most gorgeous and spectacular Bhutanese environment, which is not only a feast for the eyes but also for the spirit of every trekker. Our 11N/12D schedule has been meticulously planned to provide you with the finest trekking experience of your life. Chomolhari Trek, one of Bhutan’s top trekking sites, will begin from a Taktsang Monastery and continue with Drugyel Dzong to Shana camping, then to Soi, Thangthangkha, and Jangothang.

 

Highlights

 

A visit to Taktsang Monastery, a prominent pilgrimage location. Take in the sights of untouched peaks. While walking to Jangothan, Chomolhari and Jichu Drake When walking to Linghshi, take in the beautiful views of the Nyele La Pass. A trip to Yale La Pass, the highest point of the Chomolhari Trek. At Thimphu chu river, see the rhododendron, juniper, and pine forest. In Thimphu and Paro, sightseeing and visits to major tourist destinations are included.

 

Royal Manas National Park

 

Overview

 

The oldest national park in Bhutan, Royal Manas National Park is also one of the country’s largest. It is the greatest example of tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems in Bhutan, and is known as the “conservation showcase of the Kingdom.” It is located in south-central Bhutan and bounds its southern borders with India’s Manas Tiger Reserve. It is a nature’s miracle that shows the particular flora and fauna of Bhutan and the Himalayan Region. It is rich in animal species, including several endangered species.

 

The Royal Manas National Park was established in 1966 as a wildlife sanctuary before being transformed to a national park in 1993. It encompasses the districts or dzongkhags of Zhemgang, Sarpang, and Pemagatshel in Zhemgang and Sarpang in Pemagatshel in Pemagatshel in Pemagatshel in Pemagatshel in Pemagatshel in Pemagatshel in Pemagatshel in Pemagat

 

Flora & Fauna at the Royal Manas National Park

 

Royal Manas National Park, a refuge for animals, birds, and plants, is home to a diverse range of wildlife and plant species, including several rare and endangered species.

More than 180 species of butterfly, 558 species of flora, 65 species of animals, 489 species of birds, 60 species of fish, and 558 species of flora have been documented.

The diverse animal species present here include the Royal Bengal tiger, golden langur, clouded leopard, Asian elephant, Asiatic water buffalo, dhole, and Asiatic gaur, among others. The national park is home to endemic and internationally vulnerable species such as the Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog.

 

The existence of such diversity and richness reasons for the Royal Manas National Park’s worldwide popularity. The national park also has the distinction of containing over 70% of the country’s bird population inside its borders.

The White-bellied Heron, White-rumped Vulture, and Red-headed Vulture all fall under the Critically Endangered Species category. Many more species are classified as near threatened or fragile.

 

Things to Do at the Royal Manas National Park

 

While visiting the Royal Manas National Park, you may participate in a variety of activities. Here are a few examples:

The Rufous-Necked Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Pied Hornbill, Great Indian Hornbill, Pigeons, Swifts, Bustards, and other bird species may all be found at the Royal Manas National Park.

Mountain Biking: Because of Bhutan’s geography, mountain biking is a popular pastime not just in the Royal Manas National Park, but across the country.

Take a Hot Stone Bath: One of Bhutan’s most unusual and popular pastimes is taking a hot stone bath. These baths have several medical and recreational benefits, allowing your body and mind to relax to new levels.

 

Royal Manas National Park Area

 

The Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan comprises most of the Sarpang District, the Western part of Zhemgang District, and the Western Pemagatshel District, with a total size of 1,057 square kilometres.

 

Tips on Visiting the Royal Manas National Park

 

Carry a sufficient number of water bottles.

Do not disturb the animals and birds; otherwise, they may get aggressive.

Littering is not tolerated in any way.

Many portions of the park are off-limits to visitors.

Bhutan’s Royal Manas National Park

 

The Royal Manas National Park’s immense ecological and biological variety is astonishing, making it one of Bhutan’s must-see destinations.

 

 

Best Time to Visit Royal Manas National Park

 

The ideal time to visit the Royal Manas National Park is from November to February (winter season). Except for the monsoon season, all seasons are suitable for visiting the national park.

 

How To Reach Royal Manas National Park

 

Only a few portions of the Royal Manas National Park are open to the public, and they are prominently marked within the park. You must go to the South Bhutanese town of Gelephu, which is located on the Bhutan-India border, to see the Royal Manas National Park. To get to the park from Gelephu, you must first pass the Indian border into the Assamese town of Kokrajhar, then go to the Bhutanese border settlement of Panbang.

 

Alternatively, you can go via Trongsa and then through Zhemgang to Gomphu. From Gomphu, a four-day environmental trip will take you to the Royal Manas National Park’s north-west entrance.

 

Weekend Market

 

Overview

When you travel to a new nation, you must undoubtedly bring something back as a memento of your visit, a small mark of remember that will remain with you forever.

 

That is exactly what the weekend markets in Thimphu are about in Bhutan. Right from Thrussday night, tourists begin coming & stay until the end of Sunday, making it a bustling tourist destination throughout the day.

 

Ingredients, keepsakes, and diverse aspects can be collected, leaving your fragrant sense in a state of ecstasy. With no single ounce of doubt, it’s one of the nicest spots to visit in Bhutan.

 

 

The Folk Heritage Museum

 

Overview

 

Folk Heritage Museum protects and displays Bhutan’s folk tradition under one roof, providing an insight into the country’s culture. The museum, which opened in 2001, is housed in a three-story building with the most sombre front, which adds to the place’s uniqueness. Bhutanese food, essential trees, agricultural implements, and other household items Everything is on show at this magnificent museum.

 

The National Folk Heritage Museum, Bhutan’s oldest historical site, contains the finest and most complex features of Bhutanese culture within its walls. Tourists are given information on Bhutan’s rural life, and the entire setting is designed to make visitors feel as though they are a part of this unique culture.

 

Architecture of the National Folk Heritage Museum

The museum’s residence is built in the traditional Bhutanese style. The three-story structure is built of rammed earth and wood. There is a classic water mill on show for tourists to observe that has been conserved for years. This location’s authenticity is enhanced by the kitchen garden, wheat, and paddy fields. The house’s courtyard is large and enclosed.

Museum of Folk Culture

 

During the hard winter months, the cattle are housed on the bottom floor. It’s also where the agricultural machinery and cereals are kept. Only one of the rooms on the bottom level is used to store livestock feed, medications, and other items.

 

Tips for Visiting the Folk Heritage Museum

Inside the museum, no photography or videography is permitted.

Traditional antiques have been conserved for a long time, and it is recommended that you do not touch them.

 

How To Reach Folk Heritage Museum of Thimphu

Because the Folk Heritage Museum is such a popular destination in the city, a cab may be hailed from any location in the city to go there.

 

Bhutan Post Office Headquarters and Clock Tower Square, two prominent tourist sites in Thimphu, are both within walking distance of Folk Heritage Museum. Following a tour of these locations, a visit to the museum is possible.

 

Philatelic Bureau

 

Overview

The pastime of collecting and analysing stamps is known as philately. The main post office in Thimphu, Bhutan, serves as a one-of-a-kind philately centre that will wow you with the variety of gifts you may offer yourself for a small fee.

 

All you need to bring is a photo of yourself or have a portrait taken on the spot. The staff will then turn your photo into a personalised stamp for you, and they will even give you a whole sheet of these stamps. All of this for 200 Bhutanese ngultrum (Nu).

 

Motithang Takin Preserve

 

Overview

 

Motithang Takin Preserve, Thimphu’s crown jewel, is a protected region where Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin, is safeguarded. A half-hour walk here will reveal a variety of exotic birds and animals that roam the area freely and in their natural habitat. The fauna in this area is spectacular and is a must watch.

 

Located in Thimphu’s Motithang district, The Royal Takin Preserve was formerly a mini-zoo before being converted into a wildlife preserve. The king thought it was wrong to confine the country’s animals within certain bounds, so he declared the area a nature preserve, allowing the animals to roam freely.

 

 

The Takin

 

In 2005, the takin was designated as Bhutan’s national animal. Takin’s origins can be traced back to the 15th century, when Drukpa Kunley, a Tibetan saint, mystically created an animal with a goat’s head and a cow’s body. These creatures were so tame that when they were released into the wild, they simply strolled the city streets looking for food before being caged in a protected area. They can only be found in hilly areas, such as the Himalayas and Western China.

 

Habitat of the Motithang Takin Preserve

 

Mountain goats and deer, in addition to Takin, live here. These diverse creatures coexist peacefully and feed on the vegetation of alpine meadows. The Himalayan Monals, a colourful bird, can also be seen here, adding to the splendour. Their bright colours are enough to brighten anyone’s day for the rest of the day.

 

How To Reach Motithang Takin Preserve

 

 

To go to the Motithang Takin Preserve, which is close to the Royal Botanical Garden, a cab may be booked from any section of Thimphu.

 

Choki Traditional Art School

 

Overview

 

 

Choki Traditional Art School demonstrates the passion of small children to art. Thrimdep Choki Dorji, who was passionate about teaching arts to rural and economically disadvantaged students, created the school in 1999. These children wanted to learn about the arts but were unable to attend the National Painting School. Dorji’s enthusiasm in and desire to preserve the art led him to start Choki Art School.

An expedition here will show you all kinds of traditional Bhutanese art talents, including wood carving, painting, and clay art. Thimphu, a tiny town in the Kabesa Valley, has school corridors embellished with the work of young artists.

 

 

Tashichho Dzong

Overview

 

Tashichho Dzong is a fortification in Bhutan that is around 2 kilometres from Thimphu. It was built in 1641 and has undergone numerous renovations since then. It now serves as both a monastery and the current government’s central secretariat. It is located on the banks of the Wangchhu River and is also known as the “stronghold of the wonderful faith.”

 

The ancient construction of the Tashichho Dzong was destroyed in a fire in 1216, and the current dzong structure was built in its place. Visitors to the stronghold are greeted by a magnificent rose garden in front of the fortification. The well-kept landscape that surrounds the structure is very lovely.

 

Tashichho Dzong Architecture

 

The Tashichho Dzong’s architecture is based on a style that was popular in ancient Bhutan, as well as areas of Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet.

 

Tashichho Dzong was built in the traditional Bhutanese style, without using nails. The valuables kept inside, such as statues and paintings, are preserved by the whitewashed walls. It stands two floors tall, with three-story towers on each of the dzong’s four corners. The building’s woodwork is beautiful and awe-inspiring. The well-kept gardens that surround the dzong are serene and offer visitors a spectacular vista.

 

Best Time to Visit Tashichho Dzong

 

during the months of March and May Many tourists, however, choose to travel in the fall months of September through November.

 

Tips for Visiting Tashichho Dzong

 

Inside the Tashichho Dzong, photography is strictly prohibited, however tourists are encouraged to bring their cameras to capture the breathtaking scenery outside as well as the illuminated photographs of the stronghold at night.

Tourists are not permitted to access the premises dressed casually. T-shirts, shorts, skirts, and sleeveless tops are strictly forbidden.

When travelling by rented car, it is important to have food and water with you, as landslides frequently produce bottlenecks, forcing visitors to remain in isolated regions.

 

History of Tashichho Dzong

 

Tashichho Dzong is one of Thimphu’s most distinctive features, visible from afar. It was initially constructed in 1216 AD as a blue stone structure known as Dho-Ngon Dzong. After conquering Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa’s adherents in the 17th century, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal seized command.

 

It was completely reconstructed after then and given its current name. The Dzong is divided into two sections: upper and lower. The dzong was originally erected on the Dho-Ngon hill (bluestone), but it has since been expanded into a massive structure.

 

 

How To Reach Tashichho Dzong

 

The Tashichho Dzong is located in Chhagchhen Lam, on the right bank of the Wangchhu River. It is easily accessible from any region in Thimphu. Local buses go from Thimphu to Tashichho Dzong for visitors on a shoestring budget. Unfortunately, because the buses stop frequently along the trip, it takes a long time. When visiting Bhutan, most people choose to hire vehicles or minibuses for sightseeing. A vehicle ride to Tashichho Dzong costs ₹500, while a minibus trip costs roughly ₹3000 and is best for group visits.

 

 

National Library

 

Overview

 

The National Library of Bhutan, was opened in 1967 in the centre of Thimphu, holds Bhutan’s national archives as well as Tibetan and Bhutanese writings and manuscripts. On the wall are photo frames depicting historical events, which are also pretty intriguing. The atmosphere is peaceful, and you may lose yourself in reading about Bhutanese history.

 

All truths, good or bad, of Bhutan are maintained at the National Library, from religious to socio-political. Every topic is covered in books that are easily accessible to the general population. Photo frames from the past adorn the inside walls of the library, giving it a pleasing feel.

 

 

Books and Archives

 

Several publications in the library provide a thorough account of Bhutan’s ancient history and political life.

There are also several religious and spiritual literature as well as inscriptions. Padma Karpo’s Collected Works is a noteworthy feature in the religion part.

The library also houses some of the world’s most influential literature.

 

History of the National Library of Bhutan

 

The library was the first in a utse of Tashichho Dzong, having been established in 1967 under Queen Ashi Phuntso Choden. The current four-story structure was completed in 1984, and it has since housed a diverse collection of religious, educational, and historical books and documents.

 

How To Reach National Library of Bhutan

 

In Thimphu’s Kawajangtsa neighbourhood, the National Library is situated over the Royal Thimphu Golf Course. The National Institute for Zorig Chusum and the Folk Heritage Museum are both within walking distance of each other.

 

Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory

 

Overview

 

The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory maintains Bhutanese traditions by producing authentic handmade paper known as “Dehsho” using traditional Bhutanese processes. It provides a wealth of knowledge about the paper-making process as well as a selection of handcrafted goods. A tour of the complete facility will show you the full paper-making process, from boiling the tree’s bark to pressing and drying the paper. Souvenirs may be purchased at a small shop at the factory’s conclusion after the tour.

 

Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan

 

Overview

 

The Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan, housed in a stunning edifice in Thimphu, was established in 2005 to conserve the cultural art of weaving textiles. Young Bhutanese kids are taught weaving here for no monetary gain. Here, you may see adorned garments and lovely fabrics that provide you an insight into Bhutanese customs. While you’re here, you may also go to the Bhutan Textile Museum.

 

 

Thimphu Chorten (Memorial Chorten)

 

 

Overview

 

One of Thimphu’s highest monuments is the Memorial Chorten, also known as Thimphu Chorten/ Memorial Stupa. The Stupa, which is located in the city’s southern central district of Doeboom Lam, attracts tourists from all over the world with its magnificent architecture. The Chorten, with its magnificent artwork, wall carvings, and sculptures, is a location where you may learn about Buddhism. This old landmark celebrates Buddhist culture and is a wonderful spot to roam about while taking in the atmosphere.

 

It was constructed in memory of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Bhutan’s third king and the father of modern Bhutan. It is embellished with sculptures and murals honouring the king’s magnificence.

 

Things to Do while at the Memorial Chorten

 

The gallery on the top level has a breathtaking perspective over Thimphu’s whole town. It’s a fantastic pleasure to walk along there and capture the lovely landscape in the camera frame.

Circumambulate the chorten in a clockwise motion. Rotate the enormous prayer wheels and take in the amazing scenery.

 

Architecture of the Memorial Chorten

 

The Thimphu Chorten is a traditional Tibetan construction that is one of the most holy in the entire town. The white stupa is crowned with a golden spire. The appeal of this historic chorten is enhanced by a lovely and well-kept garden in front of it. The main gate of this three-story chorten has three slate sculptures, and three Bodhisattvas are built on the front entryway.

 

These Bodhisattvas embody compassion (through Avalokiteshvara), wisdom (via Manjushri), and strength (via Manjushri) (through Vajrapani). The massive prayer wheels at the main entrance gate are impressive in size, and spinning them is a thrilling experience in and of themselves.

 

 

History of the Memorial Chorten

 

Thinley Norbu is said to have conceptualised the Thimphu Memorial Chorten, according to Nyingma tradition. On the command of Ashi Phuentsho Choden Wangchuck, the queen mother of honourable Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, it was later constructed in 1974. It was His Majesty’s wish to have a chorten that could represent Buddha’s mind, so it was built in memory of Jigme Dorji.

 

The Chorten, which is a popular tourist attraction, received substantial renovations in 2008. Unlike other stupas, it does not contain human bones, but rather a photograph of Druk Gyalpo dressed in ceremonial garb.

 

How To Reach Memorial Chorten

 

Nearby are the National Folk Heritage Museum and the Bhutan Post Office Headquarters. The chorten can be visited in the evening after seeing any of these attractions. From any section of Thimphu, a cab may be rented to take you to the Memorial Chorten or other nearby sights.

 

 

National Folk Heritage Museum

 

Overview

Folk Heritage Museum protects and displays Bhutan’s folk tradition under one roof, providing an insight into the country’s culture. The museum, which opened in 2001, is housed in a three-story building with the most sombre front, which adds to the place’s uniqueness. Bhutanese food, essential trees, agricultural implements, and other household items Everything is on show at this magnificent museum. The National Folk Heritage Museum, Bhutan’s oldest historical site, contains the finest and most complex features of Bhutanese culture within its walls. Tourists are given information on Bhutan’s rural life, and the entire setting is designed to make visitors feel as though they are a part of this unique culture. Everything has been conserved to the best of its ability, from indigenous plants and animals to ancient hot stone baths. Here you will find tables, benches, a hardwood floor, traditional utensils, and other Bhutanese items.

 

Architecture of the National Folk Heritage Museum

The museum’s residence is built in the traditional Bhutanese style. The three-story structure is built of rammed earth and wood. There is a classic water mill on show for tourists to observe that has been conserved for years. This location’s authenticity is enhanced by the kitchen garden, wheat, and paddy fields. The house’s courtyard is large and enclosed. During the hard winter months, the cattle are housed on the bottom floor. It’s also where the agricultural machinery and cereals are kept. Only one of the rooms on the bottom level is used to store livestock feed, medications, and other items.

 

The second story serves as a storage area for grains, food, and other supplies. There is something fresh and distinct to view on each each level.

 

Tips for Visiting the Folk Heritage Museum

Inside the museum, no photography or videography is permitted.

Traditional antiques have been conserved for a long time, and it is recommended that you do not touch them.

 

How To Reach Folk Heritage Museum of Thimphu

Because the Folk Heritage Museum is such a popular destination in the city, a cab may be hailed from any location in the city to go there.

 

Bhutan Post Office Headquarters and Clock Tower Square, two prominent tourist sites in Thimphu, are both within walking distance of Folk Heritage Museum. Following a tour of these locations, a visit to the museum is possible.

 

 

Clock Tower Square

 

Overview

 

Clock Tower Square, located in the centre of town, is an architectural marvel and a visual delight. It is essentially a tower with four clock faces, which distinguishes it from any other construction or building in Bhutan. People frequently come here in the evening to see the exquisite paintings and sculptures, making it one of the most popular sites among visitors. This tower is close to several restaurants, souvenir stores, and hotels, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in town.

 

Live music is occasionally performed in the area, which contributes to the atmosphere of the clock tower square. You may buy for souvenirs from your relatives and friends at one of the numerous retail malls in the area.

 

Architecture of the Clock Tower Square

 

The tower is an excellent example of Bhutanese architecture. This tower has a clock on each of its four faces, as well as magnificent sculptures on the walls. The dragon and flower paintings and woodwork are stunning and magnificent. The three-story commercial malls and buildings that surround the tower are built in traditional Bhutanese design. The overall structure is consistent due to the sloping roofs and whitewashed walls.

 

Places to Eat

 

There are many of good eateries in the vicinity of Clock Tower Square. The restaurants serve delectable Bhutanese food, with some also serving Indian specialties. Some of the good hangout spots to dine at low pricing are Zombala, Ambient cafe, The zone, and others.

 

How To Reach

 

The Clock Tower is located in the centre of Thimphu, beneath Norzin Lam. It’s easily reachable from everywhere in town. The Bhutan Post Office, Memorial Chorten, and Folk Heritage Museum are all within walking distance of this location.

 

National Institute for Zorig Chusum

Overview

 

The National Institute for Zorig Chusum, popularly known as the painting school, not only maintains but also passes on traditional Bhutanese art to future generations. It’s fascinating and motivating to see young kids work with complete focus. Sewing, ornament-making, painting, and carving are just a few of the thirteen crafts offered. A few international visitors to Bhutan are also taught traditional Thangkha painting.

 

All of the activities that are taught are taught in a different faculty. Integrity and the dignity of labour are only two of the many wonderful values that are preserved here, a testament to the people of Bhutan and the government’ attempts to preserve their culture.

 

 

Courses to do

 

Painting, carving, woodturning, weaving, ornament making, and other crafts require four to six years of study. There is also a large playground where students may engage in outdoor activities such as football, volleyball, and other sports. The institute features a contemporary computer lab with the most up-to-date technology. Students and faculty members have easy access to a modest library.

 

How To Reach National Institute for Zorig Chusum

 

To go to the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, rent a taxi from any section of Thimphu.

 

Handicrafts Market

 

Overview

 

The Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar is another name for Thimphu’s handicrafts bazaar. The bamboo stores are neatly lined up in a mile-long row, selling colourful and stunning traditional Bhutanese handcraft. In the market, there are almost a hundred stores selling a variety of souvenirs, original handcrafted clothes, purses, masks, and other products.

 

The merchants, who are largely Bhutanese women, greet you with a warm grin. All of the items are sourced from the surrounding communities. The market strives to promote Bhutanese customs and handicrafts while also preserving Bhutanese culture. It’s a market where you may go shopping for hours.

 

Highlights

Look for embroidered garments, souvenirs such as carved wooden objects, scroll paintings, bamboo-woven ornamental items, and gorgeous jewellery made of gold, silver, and valuable stones.

 

Changangkha Lhakhang

 

Overview

 

 The Changangkha Lhakhang is an old temple located around 1 km from Thimpu’s downtown area. The temple was established in the 12th century on land chosen by Phajo Drukgom Shigpo, the founder of the Drukpa Lineage in Bhutan. This is a classic Bhutanese monastery perched on a ridge overlooking the central Thimpu mountain ranges like a castle.

 

Large prayer wheels, colossal Tibetan scriptures, and exquisite interior paintings may all be seen at this historic temple. Tamdrin is the temple’s patron god, and families from Thimpu come here to name their newborn newborns since it is regarded as the spiritual home for children born in the Chang valley.

 

Sightseeing at the Changangkha Lhakhang

 

Upon entering, there is a large, wonderfully crafted image of the king. As a sign of respect, everyone is expected to bend down in front of it.

A prominent attraction here is an ornate statue of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The sculpture is exquisitely sculpted and a sight to behold.

Another centrepiece of this hallowed shrine is a figure of Chenrezig with 11 heads and a thousand arms. It’s amazing how well it’s carved.

 

 

The Architecture of the Changangkha Lhakhang

 

A stronghold located on a ridge above downtown Thimphu, the monastery is a fortress. The infants are blessed by a ritual dagger phurba and given a holy thread during the naming ceremony, which takes place in the inner sanctuary. The major figure within the temple is Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion, who stands tall with his manifestation of a thousand eyes, hands, and eleven heads. The statue is constructed of bronze and has a gold finish.

 

The entrance to the Lhakhang is marked by metal prayer wheels with black and golden script. It is positioned like a castle on a cliff overlooking the valley. It’s broken down into three sections.

 

History of the Changangkha Lhakhang

 

Changangkha Lhakhang is one of the country’s oldest monasteries, dating back to the 12th century. Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo, a respected saint who came to Bhutan from Tibet’s Ralung, picked the location for it. Parents bring their children here to receive blessings from Tamdrin, the protective deity, as well as to give them auspicious names. Although the construction of the foundation began in the 12th century, Shigpo’s son continued the project till the end of the 13th century.

 

How To Reach Changangkha Lhakhang

 

The Changangkha Lhakang is located near the Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan and the National Folk Heritage Museum. To get there, take a taxi from any section of town.

 

Wangchu River

 

Overview

 

Bhutan’s strong rivers provide excellent opportunities for a variety of water activities. The Wang Chhu River is a Himalayan tributary of the magnificent Brahmaputra River. Bhutan river excursions are intended to allow you to participate in the adventure sports of kayaking and rafting in Bhutan’s rivers. Thimphu, Bhutan’s busy capital, is situated on the banks of the Wang Chhu River.

 

The imposing SAARC building can be seen on the river’s east bank. The king’s residence, Samtenling Palace, may also be seen from the river. The scene of fluttering colourful flags on the riverbank is lovely.

 

Soi Yaktsa Trek

 

Overview

Trekking is without a doubt one of Bhutan’s most popular adventure sports. A testament to this is the abundance of hiking routes and tours available in the area. The Soi Yaksa Trek, which includes climbs up to heights of 4700m, is one such fantastic way to extreme adventure.

 

The breathtaking view of the Jumolhari Peak and Jichu Drake from up close might be considered the trek’s USP. Starting in Paro, the walk offers incredible hiking experiences to Soi Thangkha, Jangothang Basecamp, where you can see the mountains Jichu Drake and Jumolhari, Tshophu Lake, Bhonte La Pass, and the Drugyal Dzong.

 

Druk Path

 

Overview

 

The Druk Path Walk, Bhutan’s most popular trek, is a six-day journey through the gorgeous countryside, blue pine woods, high mountain ranges, and crystal-clear lakes in Bhutan’s Paro and Thimphu districts. The walk begins in Paro and continues all the way to Thimphu, with breathtaking vistas of the kingdom’s highest mountain, Mount Gangkhar Puensum.

 

Bumdra

 

Overview

A hundred thousand angels dropped from the mountains 800 years ago, leaving footprints on a rock. Now, a group of horses, yaks, and tour guides are anxious to transport tourists 3800 metres above sea level to experience the mythology of Bhutanese history, custom, and culture.

 

The journey itself demands some fitness because some parts can be challenging, but because yaks and horses carry all of your baggage save your personal backpack, it only requires a medium level of athleticism. The walk might include the luxury of a bed or simple sleeping bags, according on your preferences, both of which provide a new perspective on the overall experience.

 

Drukgyel Dzong

 

Overview

 

Drukgyel Dzong is a stronghold in Bhutan that was erected in 1649 to commemorate Bhutan’s triumph over Tibet. It is now in ruins. This is the site to visit if you want to view the beautiful stone craftsmanship of the former Dzongs. Climbing to the top of the ruins rewards you with a breathtaking view of the valley, making the effort worthwhile.

 

The Drukgyel Dzong, located in the top section of Paro district, was consumed in flames by a fire that broke out in 1951, leaving it in the current state. The government has commenced steps to repair it and restore it to the vitality and splendour that it deserves.

 

 

Original Architecture of the Drukgyel Dzong

The Drukgyel Dzong was a huge edifice that showcased Bhutanese architecture at its best before it was destroyed by fire. Its approximate height is 80-90 feet. It was surrounded by thick double walls that kept it safe. The windows on the wall were intended to keep track on the enemy’s activities near the dzong.

Drukgyel Dzong is a Buddhist monastery in Drukgyel, Bhutan.

 

The dzong had a number of structures, each of which was notable in its own way. The rectangular-shaped stone houses encircling the dzong’s courtyard, known as Shabkhor, were a major draw. Ta-dzongs, which were erected beside the dzong’s entrance, acted as a watchtower and protected the dzong’s lone entrance.

 

 

History of the Drukgyal Dzong

 

Drukgyel Dzong, which means “victorious stronghold,” was built in 1649 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate Bhutan’s triumph over Tibet in the 1644 Tibetan invasion. The dzong was of tremendous assistance to Bhutanese soldiers in forcing Tibetan forces out.

 

In the dzong, there is a fake entry gate that gives adversaries the mistaken impression that they are entering. There was just one entrance to the dzong in actuality. In truth, there are secret tunnels that allowed the soldiers to move from one location to another without risk.

 

Present Day Condition of the Drukgyel Dzong

Due to a fire in 1951, most of the original building of the Drukgyel Dzong was destroyed. However, the basic masonry may be seen from the remains. The core structure is still in place.

 

It’s a photographers’ dream come true because the place is ideal for taking pictures. It’s great to capture the essence of Bhutan in this fascinating area.

 

How To Reach Drukgyel Dzong

Although the Drukgyel Dzong is in a remote region, the famed Tiger’s Nest Monastery is close by. The Taktsang Palphug Monastery, which is around 4 kilometres away, is also worth seeing. To go to Drukgyel Dzong, rent a taxi from any of the local sites.

 

Champaca Café

 

Overview

Nothing beats a cup of coffee to wind down after a long day. And there’s a reason you’re seeking for a cup of coffee when you’re wandering the streets of Paro, one of Bhutan’s most beautiful cities.

 

When you need a break from all the touring, the Champaca Cafe in Paro is a terrific location to go.

 

This South Indian café is extremely attractively furnished and provides some of the greatest coffee, sandwiches, and lunches in the neighbourhood. Paro is proud of this modest café located on the Paro river, as it is one of Bhutan’s most popular tourist destinations.

 

Kila Nunnery

 

Overview

 

Akanksha Siwach took this photo of the Kila Nunnery in Bhutan. The Legends of the Lost Trails

Kila Gompa Nunnery, which originates from the ninth century and is tucked in the Chalela woods, is a hidden gem. This nunnery, perched on a towering rock cliff with breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayan Ranges and the Paro Valley, is a trekker’s and rider’s dream. When I last visited the nunnery in 2016, there were a total of 60 nuns living there. Some of their tales are both unbelievable and inspirational. Kila, Bhutan’s oldest nunnery, is an off-the-beaten-path place with few tourists.

 

Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang

 

Overview

 

The Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang, at a height of 2285 metres, is quite a remarkable architectural composition in Bhutan, with its distinctive golden chorten summit in the shape of an umbrella. Chorten, which means ‘Stupa’ in Tibetan, is a prominent religious structure created to depict Lord Buddha’s actual presence.

 

This Tibetan Buddhist temple is located on the mountainous border of the Paro and Dopchari valleys, over the Paro Chhu bridge. It creates a “geometric promontory” between Do Chhu and Paro Chhu, and the confluence of the rivers may be seen easily on way to Bhutan’s National Museum. Against the brown hillside backdrop, the shrine serves as the Drukpa Kagyu School’s repository.

 

Architecture of Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang

 

The temple, designed like a mandala, has three levels connected by steep vertical staircases. The ground level, which depicts ‘hell,’ features five Buddha meditation rooms in the shapes of Rinpoche, Thangton Gyelpo, and Avalokiteshvara. The second level, which depicts ‘earth,’ a condition in between rebirth and death, contains Bardo on the inner walls and Mahakala on the outside wall, as well as various wrathful and calm deities. Tantric deities such as Kalachakra, Guhyasamaja, Mahamaya, Vajravarahi, and others are depicted on the outside wall of the third story, which depicts ‘heaven.’

 

History of Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang

 

The stupa monastery was established in c. 1421 (either 1421 or 1433 according on accounts) by ‘Chagzampa’ Thangtong Gyalpo, a prominent Tibetan monk known as the ‘Leonardo da Vinci of the Himalayas’ who built roughly 8 iron bridges in the nation. According to legend, his motivation for erecting such an unusually shaped chorten atop the ‘frog-shaped’ snout of the hill was to declare Buddhism’s victory while immobilising demons (Sadag) or the wrathful serpentine energy (Lunyen).

 

Pilgrim’s Valley

 

Overview

The pilgrim’s valley is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bhutan. The Pilgrim’s Valley trip spans the monasteries and Dzongs from Paro to Bumthang and contains all of the rural beauty of Bhutan’s countryside in one route.

 

The walk begins in the Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, at a height of 10,000 feet above sea level, and concludes at the Tang Chhu river’s holy Burning Lake.

 

Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge

 

Overview

 

The Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge, also known as the Iron Chain Bridge, connects the Paro Chhu and the Dzong. Thangtong Gyalpo, who is reported to have built 108 bridges throughout Tibet and Bhutan, created this 600-year-old bridge in the late 1300s. This is the first bridge ever built in Bhutan, and it is made of wood and iron. Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge welcomes visitors with a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.

 

Samtengang Trek

 

Overview

 

The Samtengang Winter Trek is a very straightforward trekking trip taken out at lower altitudes that takes you through some of Bhutan’s most gorgeous trails. This 54-kilometer path connects Punakha and Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag, passing through picturesque hills, oak and rhododendron woods, and the quaint tiny towns of Sha and Chungsakha.

 

The Samtengang Winter Treks are designed specifically for beginning trekkers and include several stops at some of Bhutan’s most popular sights. The hike takes you to the remains of Drukgyel Dzong, Paro’s National Museum, and Bhutan’s longest footbridge.

 

Participants on the Samtengang Winter Trek are accommodated in 3-star hotels in major Bhutanese cities including Paro and Thimphu.

 

Talo

 

Overview

 

Bhutan is home to some of the world’s most stunning monasteries. It is a country dedicated to peace, and monasteries serve as a symbol of that commitment. Talo Goenpa Monastery in Punakha is perched on a Bhutanese hilltop and serves as a symbol of old spirituality. This lovely monastery is located at an elevation of around 2733 metres (9100 feet) in the Talo hamlet, which is famed across the Punakha Valley for its cleanliness and sanitation. Furthermore, the lush forest and tranquilly that surrounds the area make it one of Bhutan’s most popular tourist sites.

 

Limbukha

 

Overview

 

Limbukha, a scenically beautiful and tranquil village on Punakha’s Dochula Hill, is famous for its therapeutic red rice. The hamlet is one of Bhutan’s must-see destinations due to its fascinating history and picturesque surroundings. There are various aspects of this Punakha attraction that once you learn about, you won’t be able to stop yourself from visiting Limbukha.

 

To begin with, the residents of this town served as Peace Negotiators throughout the Medieval Era’s battle. When Punakha’s yearly celebration, Serda, is held, the villagers, also known as Limpua, are seen holding peace flags instead of swords. This assures that once you arrive, you will be surrounded by peace and tranquilly.

 

Chimi L’hakhang Temple

 

Overview

 

Ngawang Chogyel, the 14th Drukpa Hierarch, designed and erected this temple or monastery. The monastery’s meditation hall, or stupa, was built by the eccentric yogi known as the “Divine Madman.” It is well-known across Bhutan as a site that encourages fertility in all guests who come here hoping to have a family. Several pilgrims, including new parents, come to seek the blessings of the saint who is supposed to possess the Magical Thunderbolt Of Wisdom.

 

Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

 

Overview

 

Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten is a fantastic destination to visit because of the beautiful perspective of the surroundings it provides. It is located after a 45-minute climb from a tiny hill with a gorgeous prayer wheel. It has a fascinating history as to why it was created, which you may learn about from one of the local guides. This chorten is embellished with magnificent murals of Sakyamuni, making it a must-see.

 

Hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

 

The climb to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten takes around 45 to 50 minutes. Punakha is the starting point, and the monastery is the destination.

 

Best Time: A trek to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten may be done at any time of year, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Hiking Path: To get to your destination, the trail leads you past magnificent green meadows, huge mountain streams, and across the suspension bridge above the Mo Chhu River. On your way back from the Chorten, you may take an alternate riverbank path that follows a historic track through village dwellings, farmlands, and ultimately near Punakha.

 

Architectural Brilliance of the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

 

The Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten is a sight to behold, and it was built with great care. The construction of this Chorten in Punakha, Bhutan, took nine years because Bhutanese craftspeople (including painters, carpenters, and sculptors) examined numerous Holy Scriptures rather than regular technical guides.

The architecture of the monastery is heavily inspired by the monastery’s concentration on angry deities, which is an unusual notion. A large, 15-foot-tall statue of the Vajrakilaya, one of Kagye’s eight gods, stands in the monastery’s main chamber on the first level.

 

History of the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

 

The Queen Mother built the Chorten or Stupa in 1990 to ward off evil forces and aid in the restoration of peace in Bhutan and the world. The Punakha Valley’s stupa is supposed to have the potential to provide peace and prosperity to all living beings.

 

The Chorten was constructed in full conformity with all of Bhutan’s ancient teachings. This location is an important component of Bhutanese culture since it is dedicated to bringing peace and community harmony to Bhutan and the rest of the globe. It may also be referred to as a school or a monastery that provides spiritual calm, protection, and harmony.

 

Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery

 

Overview

The picturesque and calm Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery, perched atop a hill, boasts a panoramic view of the Punakha and Wangduephodrang valleys. This temple, which stands among the thick pine trees, is a stunning example of Bhutanese excellent architecture and heritage.

 

Richly carved timbers painted in black, scarlet, and golden colours and embellished with famous motifs compliment the sparkling white washed walls. A 14-foot bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara stands in the temple. Inside the temple, there are a number of additional sculptures. A nuns’ meditation centre is located within the compound.

 

Highlights:

The temple offers a beautiful perspective of the surrounding area as well as a peaceful atmosphere for meditation and calm. You may also go bird watching and see river smoke, which is a fascinating and unique natural phenomena.

 

Phobjikha Valley, Wangdue

 

Overview

The bowl-shaped Phobjikha valley, set against the western slopes of the Black Mountains in Wangdue Phodrang, provides spectacular vistas of huge stretches of green fields. During the winter, it is home to the endangered black-necked crane, which migrates to this area. The Phobjikha Valley, also known as Gangtey, is one of Bhutan’s few glacier valleys.

 

The valley, which borders the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, is 3000 metres above sea level and hence significantly colder. It is the winter home of black-necked cranes that migrate from Tibet to avoid the severe winters, as well as one of Bhutan’s most important conservative places. The valley’s usage of electricity began just a few years ago, mostly unnoticed by outsiders.

 

Apart from a few cultural visits to Lhakhangs and Goembas, the Phobjikha valley has a plethora of trekking and hiking paths with some of the best vistas in the region. There are also a few villages where one may go and see rustic life. The carefully patterned handmade carpets from the famed factory in Gangtey, as well as handicrafts from the local stores, might be taken home.

 

Places to visit

Gangtey Goemba

Gangtey Goemba is perched on a hill with a spectacular view of the Phobjikha valley. It is a sacred spot associated with Saint Pema Lingpa, the reincarnation of Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to the land and discovered its resources. It also houses one of Bhutan’s largest halls. The Black Cranes are supposed to circle the monastery three times upon arrival and three times upon departure. The Gangtey Tsechu and the Black Necked Crane Festival are two of the most well-known festivities (in which young children dress up as the cranes to welcome their arrival).

 

Black Necked Crane Information Centre

This location may be ideal for ornithologists or anyone with a great interest in birds. The Himalayan Black-necked Crane is a native bird of the Himalayas. Every year in late October, they travel from Tibet to Bhutan. The Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN) runs the Black Necked Crane Information Centre, which contains an observation room with high-powered telescopes and an excellent scope for observing the famed Black Necked Crane that migrates to the region throughout the winter. It also includes information on the region’s history.

 

Keunzang Cholling Shedra

It is located north of Gangtey. The Kuezang Chholing Shedra (Buddhist school) in Goemba is a Buddhist college that educates roughly 300 monks. Visitors are not permitted throughout the day; if you like to visit, please notify us in advance.

 

Kumbhu Lhakhang

It takes roughly 10 minutes to walk from Kuenzang Chholing Shedra to Kumbhu Lhakhang through a dirt path. It is dedicated to Sipey Gyalpo, a divinity of the ancient Bon religion, and is located north-east of Gangtey. The church at Kumbhu (meaning 100,000 statues) Lhakhang is regarded spiritually rejuvenating because it also serves as a meditation centre. In the case of rain, though, the dirt track may become inaccessible for cars. Following basic clothes etiquette is recommended.

 

 

How to reach

The best method to go to Phobjikha Valley is to take a taxi or a cab. However, the following choices are also available:

 

Kurje Lhakhang, Bumthang

 

Overview

Khurje Lhakhang is a temple complex consisting of three majestic temples in the Bumthang Valley, separated by a mountain river. The oldest temple is regarded the holiest because it includes the granite that has the imprint of Guru Rinpoche’s body. On the spot where Guru Rinpoche had meditated, another temple was built. The third was created by the Queen Mother, Ashi Kesang. The three temples are encircled by a 108-chorten wall. During the summer, the Kurjey Tshechu festival is held at the Kurjey Lhakhang.

 

Tips to visit

When visiting temples and other religious institutions, tourists are encouraged to dress respectfully and modestly. Inside religious buildings, shoulders must also be covered. Socks are recommended since shoes must be removed before entering a religious place. It’s also possible that photography isn’t permitted anywhere. It’s a good idea to check with the authorities ahead of time.

 

Drametse Goemba

 

Overview

Bhutan is a must-see destination for culturally inquisitive travellers from all over the world because of its rich culture and well-preserved Buddhist temples. Drametse Goemba is unrivalled among Bhutan tourism attractions. This monastery is not just the most venerated, but it is also the largest in eastern Bhutan. The monastery was founded in 1511 by Pema Lingpa’s granddaughter.

 

For history aficionados, this 5 century old abbey is also an excellent alternative. It is famous for being the birthplace of the Nga Cham drum dance. Though the monastery is a little difficult to find because it is 18 kilometres off the main road, it is well worth a visit because of the precious relics, chapels, deity pictures, and other treasures it possesses.

 

Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, Trongsa

Overview

 

Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, one of the country’s largest national parks in terms of area, is a beautiful illustration of peacefulness in nature. It is a prominent birding location in Bhutan, located in Trongsa and also encompassing sections of neighbouring districts such as Wangdue Phodrang.

 

Biodiversity of Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park

Bhutan’s largest protected area is Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park. It is a shelter for the many birds who migrate here each year from all over the world. It is not just a haven for birds, but also for animals and flora.

 

The Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Black Bear, Blue Sheep, and Takin are among the magnificent Himalayan species that call it home. The biodiversity is nearly astounding, attracting hundreds of visitors each year.

 

 

Flora and Fauna of Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park

Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, a shelter for animals, birds, and plants, is home to a diverse range of species, including several rare and endangered species. 270 species of birds have been documented at this famous birding spot.

 

Eight of these are classified as Globally Endangered Species, while many more are classified as Critically Endangered Species. During the winter, migratory birds such as black-necked cranes visit. Some of the species that may be found in abundance surrounding the national park are the Rufous-necked Hornbill, White-bellied Herons, Woodsnipe, and others.

 

Trekking at Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park

 

At Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park, two winter trekking pathways have been specially created for tourists to get the most out of nature:

 

  1. The path between Nabji and Korphu (6 days and 5 nights trek)
  2. Trail of Adha-Rukha (5 days and 4 nights trek)

 

The paths are reasonably straightforward, and the hiking excursion includes sleeping under a blanket of stars while listening to the locals’ stories. They are low-elevation hikes that show you Bhutan’s rich flora and fauna as well as its distinct culture.

 

Rivers Within Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park

Not only does the national park have animals and vegetation, but it also features several of Bhutan’s most important rivers running through it. From Trongsa to Tingtibi, the Mangde Chhu River flows across the park’s eastern edge. Punatsangchu River runs through the park’s mid-western section.

 

Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park Ecology

 

Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park is located in central Bhutan and contains six primary natural habitats that vary in height.

  1. Ecoregion of Himalayan Subtropical Broadleaf Forests
  2. Ecoregion of Himalayan subtropical pine forests
  3. Ecoregion of Warm Broadleaf Forests
  4. Ecoregion of Cool Temperate Broadleaf Forests
  5. Ecoregion of Eastern Himalayan Subalpine Conifer Forests
  6. Eco-region of Eastern Himalayan Alpine Shrub and Meadows

 

Best Time to Visit Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park

The greatest time to visit Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park is in the spring, when the flowers and greenery are in full bloom and a variety of animals may be seen. Except for the monsoon season, all seasons are suitable for visiting the national park. During the winter, numerous migrating birds flock to the area, making for a spectacular spectacle. However, owing to the terrible weather, it is not a suitable time to visit.

 

How To Reach Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park

 

Both the Trongsa and Wangdue Phodrang Districts are covered by the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park. It is easily accessible from Trongsa. It also has an ecological corridor that connects it to the Royal Manas National Park.

 

Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary

 

Overview

Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary is a 1,545-square-kilometer wildlife sanctuary in Bhutan’s northwestern region, with a 420-square-kilometer buffer zone containing sections of the Trashiyangtse, Lhuentse, and Mongar districts. This charming refuge shares a border with China’s Tibet area and India’s northeastern regions. Because of one of the endangered animals it protects, the red panda, the sanctuary has been outfitted with additional security measures.

 

Flora & Fauna

The red panda is said to be a lethargic and tranquil beast. They are said to spend 14 to 18 hours each day on trees, mostly eating twigs. Seeing one of these lovely critters is always perplexing.

Every year, from mid-November to early March, black-necked cranes use this protected area as a migratory and nesting habitat. The Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary is a butterfly’s paradise. Almost 130 kinds of lovely butterflies are known to live here, and it’s always amazing to see them hovering around flowers.

 

Best time to visit

The optimum time to visit this magnificent location is from March through August.

 

Phuentsholing

 

Overview

Phuentsholing, Bhutan’s second biggest town, shares its borders with the Indian state of West Bengal. It is a major economic hub of Bhutan, serving as an entrance point for travellers from Kolkata and Siliguri. This city is more developed than other of Bhutan’s towns while still maintaining a incredible balance of natural beauty. It provides an experience unlike any other. It’s a must-see in Bhutan since it’s home to several communities.

 

Phuentsholing, a town on Bhutan’s southern border famed for its contemporary architecture, is a popular tourist destination. It is a significant trading centre in Bhutan, where Indians, Nepalese, and Bhutanese coexist together to live and trade.

 

You must see Zangto Pelri Lhakhang, Karbandi Monastery, Bhutan Gate, and Kharbandi Goemba during your tour to Phuentsholing. Guru Rinpoche is honoured in Zangto Pelri Lhakhang, a little temple devoted to him. Bhutan Gate is the principal entrance point from India and is an amazing example of traditional Bhutanese architecture. The Crocodile Breeding Centre, or Amo Chuu, nurtures almost extinct species including Ghariyals and alligators. The Karbandi Monastery, also known as Karbandi Goemba, is a temple in Karbandi, Bhutan, that has massive sculptures of Shabdrung Ngawang, Guru Rinpoche, and Shakyamuni Buddha. The temple has a long history and a breathtaking outlook.

 

Phuentsholing’s market is fairly strong, selling a wide range of things from electronics to footwear to food. Torsa riverfront is the spot to go if you want to take a relaxing and calm walk. There are no vehicles allowed on the riverbank, and the vista and natural splendour will leave you speechless. If you want to spend a day or two in unity and serenity, this town is a must-see.

 

How to reach

From Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport, daily buses to Phuentsholing are accessible. Haa Base, Tsirang, Dagana, Bumthang, Tshimasham, Samdrup Jongkhar, and Trashiyangtse all have direct bus routes to Phuentsholing. Those crossing the Indian border can reach Phuentsholing through West Bengal’s Siliguri.

 

Best time to visit

The spring season, from April to June, is the greatest time to visit Phuentsholing since the weather is lovely. At this time of year, you may discover a wide variety of flowers, and the temperature ranges from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.

 

Autumn is also an excellent season to come since the breezes are mild and the temperature is neither too hot nor too chilly. The summer season in Phuentsholing lasts from June through August, and the area receives a lot of rain during this time.

 

The temperature can reach 37 degrees Celsius, with the days being hotter than the evenings and mornings. Winters at Phuentsholing (December-February) are not an ideal time to visit since the winters are harsh and much of the flora is missing. However, if you want to experience some harsh winters, now is the time and location to do it.

 


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