Bhutan is a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge. On the east you will find soaring villages and on the west traditional Bhutanese fortress monasteries. Bhutan is rich in culture, history, adventure and trekking trials. Bhutan is a once a lifetime experience…
TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
1.TAKTSANG – TIGER’S NEST MONASTERY
The monastery first constructed in the late 17th century is not only one of the most revered pilgrimage places in the Himalayan province but also the most-photographed and legendary in the entire Himalayas. You can get to the monastery by donkey or walking up the trail crosses a chapel of butter lamps and descends to a waterfall by the Snow Lion Cave. The white building with golden roof is surrounded by lush green hills and spectacular views. The monastery is also the place where Guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism into Bhutan, arriving on the back of a tigress.
It is not only the second oldest and largest Dzong in Bhutan, it is also the country’s most gorgeous and majestic example of ancient architecture. Golden, red and black painted woods add to the charisma of this striking architecture. The Dzong is also of historical importance to Bhutan, and it also preserves the remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and holy artifact Ranjung Karsapani. Nestle between two rivers, Pho Chu and Mo Chu that has noticeable color differences between the rivers’ water. The mainland and Dzong is joined by an arched wooden bridge which contains many precious relics of the kings reining the kingdom.
3.DOCHULA PASS - THIMPHU
The pass is one of the most renowned destinations for tourists. Located more than ten thousand feet above sea level, while going from Punakha to Thimphu. The surrounding snow laden mountains, colorful flags fluttering in the wind and 108 Chortens offer a spectacular view. The chortens and Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple with beautiful ornate details against the lush green forest backdrop make this spot famous among locals and tourists alike.
4.RINPUNG DZONG - PARO
The Dzong was originally constructed in 1644 on and order of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, but was largely rebuilt in 1980 in the traditional architecture of the region. The Paro sits nestled in the heart of a wide valley at the western end of the Bhutanese Himalaya. It is also home to the whitewashed rises of the great Rinpung Dzong. Part monastery, part fortress, the citadel of timber-topped walls is one of the finest examples of military-religious architecture in the country. Hidden in an old watchtower on a hill tourists can found the National Museum of Bhutan.
5.TASHICHHO DZONG – THIMPHU
The Dzong was originally built in 1641 by Zhabdrung, and rebuilt in 1869 and 1968 after it caught fire. The remarkable structure is currently the throne room and seat of the government. The Dzong with it’s white washed walls, golden, red and black wood and lush gardens on a backdrop of blue sky and lush green valleys, emanates a look of splendour.
The Trongsa was the original ancestral seat of the Wangchuch dynasty, today King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuch are the ruler of Bhutan. The Trongsa with it’s of half-timbered halls and high-perched prayer rooms can be located above the Mangde River. The great palace holds great political and religious importance, and displays a mosaic of gorgeous 15th and 16th century architecture typical of the region.
7.GANGTEY MONASTERY – WANGDUE
Perched on top a hill and surrounded with Villages of Hermits surrounding the monastery, it is overlooking the stunning Phobjikha Valley, the monastery was built in 1613 by Gyalse Pema Thinlay. The history of the monastery traces back to 17th century during the period of Pema Lingpa who was a treasure finder. It is one of the main centers of Nyingmapa School where Buddhism is being taught.
8.JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
The park is the second largest park in the country and was built by the third king of Bhutan, King Jigme Dorgi in 1974. Many endangered animals such as snow Leopard, Himalayan musk deer, Asiatic wild dog, Red Panda can be seen here. The magnificent spread of flora makes the park an ideal place for trekking. The park is also the dwelling of the Semi Nomadic Community, Layap. Four rivers originate from the park, Mocchu, Pocchu,Wangchu and Pachu.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
The best way to get around Bhutan is by Taxi, bus or car. If you are prone to car sickness, make sure to take some tablets with you.
The best time to visit Bhutan is from October to December when the air is clear and fresh with sunny skies. January and February are colder, but from then until April the climate remains dry and pleasant and in late spring the famous rhododendrons bloom spectacularly, flooding the valleys with color.