Travel To Bhutan
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Punakaha Dzong by Travel Jaunts
Bhutan travel experience
Its been a month since we returned from Bhutan and till date we keep singing Tandin…Tandin. The name of our driver there 🙂 . Interestingly his father’s name is Phunshuk Wangdu. Difficult to forget the country (so unique) and its simple & loving people.
Me,my son in orange and Tandin
It would be unfair on my part if I don’t write about and recommend Bhutan after having experienced the raw Himalayan beauty , the architectural eloquence and the hospitality by Bhutanese.So here I’m with whatever beauty I could capture through my camera lens …..even though a camera can’t really justify what eyes see.
Paro Dzong by Travel Jaunts
Bhutan- the kingdom of happiness
Bhutan, deeply rooted in its culture and traditions completely distinguishes itself from other countries. In fact one may feel like being transported into another era as soon as one enters the thunder dragon Buddhist land of north eastern Himalayas..
Trashi chhoe dzong by Travel Jaunts
At Thimpu,Bhutan by Travel Jaunts
I’ve been asked,’ Why Bhutan’?? Someone from Durgapur even said,’ Gangtok is the capital of Bhutan, right ,’?
Is it because of its(high value low volume) sustainable approach to tourism ? I wonder ! A few Indian tourists staying with us had expected Bhutan to be like Switzerland !
Wooden bridge at Punakha
We chose to visit Bhutan in May 14 because, before Mr. Modi ,we wanted to know the secret
behind a happy nation 😉
And ….Gangtok is not the capital of Bhutan ,my dear Durgapurwasi J
… Also people …its definitely not like Switzerland . You can’t compare Madhubala to Marilyn Monroe. Both have their own charm.
At Dochula pass by Travel Jaunts
Traveling to Bhutan from India
Anyway…., this time we flew till Kolkata and instead of taking Druk air till Paro to save on cost and life due to many thin air pockets ,we decided to go by road via NJP (New Jalpaiguri ) and Phuntsholing
Places to visit in Bhutan
We could do three places in our 10 days trip. Thimpu,Punakha and Paro though I would recommend the snowmen’s trek to be definitely pursued given enough time and less baggage. Bhutan is trekker’s paradise and it makes perfect sense to leave kids behind if interested in mountaineering.
View from Gangtey Palace at Paro
Huge snow capped mountains , streams ,water falls , deep Himalayan forests ,distinct jungle fragrance, pure oxygen ,pine cones, white yellow red and violet flowers ,Yaks & Takins to name a few during our travels…. Isn’t it a heavenly experience?
One of the few shots tried in the forest, Bhutan
Shot in valley of flowers
Tandin knew his country well and he made sure that besides India’s national animal, bird, flower etc we do remember their Takin, Raven,Blue Poppy and Rhododendrons forever.
Of course, Himalayan nation has very rich fauna and flora besides the number of dzongs and monasteries. That reminds me of the mesmerizing beauty of ‘Punakha Dzong’ which has become a part of our permanent memory.
Punakha Dzong ,second oldest and second largest of the Bhutan Dzongs
The Royal wedding of the present king and queen also happened here.
Other than this my son remembers the maggi & chocolates bought for him , the pine cones collected and the Bhutan flag as parting gift….all done by his Tandin uncle. My husband who considers Reinhold Messner, one of his Gods , loved the mountains.
and I …. I remember the peaceful moment that we have had at Gangtey palace looking up at the sky & the snow and down at the Paro town from the hilltop.
View from Gangtey Palace,Bhutan (there were clouds however during sun one could see snow capped mountains)
The only regret I have is that I couldn’t climb up the tiger’s nest (Paro Taktsang, approx 3000ft above Paro valley). My nuts and bolts need updation 🙁 and am proud of my husband that he could do the task in less than 4 hrs.
Tiger’s nest , Bhutan
This is where Guru Padmasambhav also known as Rinpoche who brought Buddhism to Bhutan from Tibet, meditated.
Question still remains …The secret of happiness in Bhutan . In my opinion it is simplicity ….being raw (in one’s true form …nothing made up) which comes by being close to nature, respecting the co existence & not just being proud of the Buddhist culture and tradition but enjoying the same.
I loved the fact that in the game of archery which we witnessed , all the participants danced together once any one of them hit the target.
Archery in Thimpu , Bhutan
Most marriages are love marriages and gender discrimination is not there .The culture is not conservative in that sense however Bhutan wants to be careful in adopting globalization, hence shopping for clothes even at Thimpu (the capital) may not be a good idea. Handicrafts ? of course !
To my astonishment ,part of their culture is also to paint penises on walls, wooden models of those are worshiped for fertility.
Now you see…how unique Bhutan is J
Tandin asked some questions time and again during our stay. Would you come back again? Would you like to stay here forever?
Tandin belonged to this beautiful small town of Paro, Bhutan
Of course I would go to Bhutan again to see the middle eastern side and do the snowmen’s trek as well someday but ….staying forever??
Unfortunately the Indian part of me loves crowd and can’t imagine staying in the only house on top of the mountain as lot of Bhutanese do though I wish I could be as bold as Mr. Rinpoche to settle in one of the most unthinkable & God forsaken places to invoke God .
So am back in my very own city Bangalore to wait at the traffic signal and spend min half an hour on road even to buy milk & Veges from the mall very near to my apartment building, for no immediate U turn planned.The cost we pay for our respective comfort zones 🙁