Why visit Bhutan, the Kingdom of happiness?

Travel To Bhutan

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Punakaha Dzong by Travel Jaunts

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.
Bhutan by Travel Jaunts

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

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

Trashi chhoe dzong by Travel Jaunts

Thimpu,Bhutan 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

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.

Dochula pass by Travel Jaunts

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.

Paro Bhutan by Travel Jaunts

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?

Bhutan flowers by Travel Jaunts

One of the few shots tried in the forest, Bhutan

Flowers in Bhutan by Travel Jaunts

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 by Travel Jaunts

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.
Gangtey Palace , Bhutan

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

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.
Thimpu , Bhutan

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.

Bhutan

Bhutan

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?

Paro, Bhutan

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 🙁
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2 Comments

  1. Ruchi Kumar June 17, 2014
  2. Ruchi Kumar June 17, 2014

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