The Land of Thunder Dragon- Bhutan
Bhutan is surely a one mystical destination which cannot be missed!
"The moment you enter Bhutan, you notice that there are no traffic lights. It is almost like you've stepped into a Shangri- La or a vortex of time 200 years ago. Those kinds of experiences are very much of the countryside of Bhutan, where people are truly happy in the sense of not creating and wanting more."- Karan Bajaj
Situated on the ancient Silk Road between Tibet, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, Bhutan is a mystical land with a distinct national identity. It is famously known as the "The Land of Thunder Dragon" due to its rich cultural history. Bhutan was hiding from the world till mid 20th century, after that it started welcoming the tourism from all over the world. The main cause of isolation was to protect its rich ecosystem and culture. The enchanting beauty of Bhutan has been luring people and as more and more people are visiting Bhutan, more people are falling in love with it. Bhutan is the epitome of serenity and natural wonder. It provides you with unimaginable adventures and a state of true happiness. Bhutan is also the first control to take account the happiness of its citizens, Gross National Happiness is calculated every year making the well being of the citizen their first priority. Although it's a very small country, the vast history and mesmerizing Himalayan Range makes it much bigger than its actual size. It seems like a place which needs to be explored fully.
Mere words are not enough to describe its sheer beauty. The countryside and the small cities are simply breathtaking. Since Bhutan is very eco-friendly and make sure that at least 60% of its land remains forested area, it has a system which attracts minimum tourism to keep their ecosystem intact. Entry is free for citizens of India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, but all other foreigners are required to sign up with a Bhutanese tour operator and pay a minimum $250 per day (which is a fixed rate) and includes accommodation, food, transport and an official guide. You don't have to travel in a large group and you can arrange your own itinerary. Budget backpacker style travel is not too common in Bhutan. The visit is totally worth every penny you spend there, from the pleasant weather to the delicious cuisine, you won't be disappointed.
Top 10 Places to visit in Bhutan
These places should be on top of your priority list to visit as soon as you reach there.
Recognized as Tiger's Nest in Paro is one of the holiest places in Bhutan. The monastery is situated on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800m and overlooks the Paro Valley and the rivers.
It is situated in the linear valley of the Raidak River which is also known as the Thimpu River. The culture of Bhutan is fully reflected in Thimpu in respect of literature, religion, customs and national dress code.
A must visit place in Bhutan, Paro is a gorgeous enchanting valley surrounded by lush green rice field. Paro is a historic town with many scared sites and historical buildings scattered through the area. Along with Jakar and Punakha, Paro forms the golden triangle.
Rinpung and Ta Dzong
In 1646 the Dzong (Palace) was reconstructed and established as the administrative and monastic centre and became known as Rinpung Dzong. In 1644, the Shabdrung dismantled the existing Dzong and laid the foundations of a new Dzong.
Phodrang Dzong which is also known as the Palace of Great Bliss was built in 1837 by the Zhabdrung. Dzong chung or the little Dzong, built in 1326 by saint Ngagi and it can still be seen opposite the main Dzong.
It is a very popular temple that lies on the periphery of the fertile valley of Lobesa. The temple is popularly considered to be the temple of fertility.
The National Memorial (Chorten)
Thimpu's Memorial Chorten is both a chorten and a temple in one. It occupies a prominent place in the center of the main road near the south entrance of the city. It was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd king, who wanted to construct a chorten to represent the mind of the Buddha.
It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress on the northern edge of the city of Thimpu in Bhutan. The office has been combined with the kingship since the creation of the monarchy in 1907, and summer capital of the country.
The valley is a wide, beautiful alpine wetland valley and is a conservation area and lies in the northern boundary of the Jowo Durshing range. Bjikha is a glacial valley on the periphery of the north western tip of the Black Mountain National Park at the altitude of 9,840 feet.
It is around 3150 m from sea level and it is mostly covered with white clouds. Most known pass in the Bhutan is just 30 odd km drive from the Capital City Thimpu on the way towards central Bhutan.
Culture, People and Food of Bhutan
T.V. was ban in Bhutan till 1999 to protect the people from modernization and forgetting about their rich and varied cultural heritage. After the globalization, Bhutan has still managed somehow to remain true to its identity which makes it even more beautiful. It is mandatory to wear the national dress for both men and women in formal events hosted by the government. It's the blending of the ancient and modern that makes Bhutan endlessly fascinating. Bhutanese are well educated, fun loving and well informed about the world around them. They believe in preserving their ecosystem, Bhutan is carbon neutral, it absorbs more carbon than it emits. Their untouched ecosystem is what makes Bhutan a magical land worth traveling to. Buddhism is the main religion there and has been there since the 7th century. Bhutan's aura is filled with happiness, peace, magic and kindness. The flora and fauna are stunning and rare there as Bhutan is a perfect environment for both of them to grow. The food in Bhutan is spicy and exotic. Bhutanese people cannot eat anything if it does not contain chilli, which they truly loves and red rice is a must have there.
Bhutan is also privileged to have the Himalayan peak Gangkhar Pnensum which is the highest in the world and still an unclimbed peak. Due to the mountain ranges, Bhutan is also well-known for mountain adventure trekking and hiking, Jhomolhari Base Camp Trek, Snowman Trek etc. are some of the popular treks.
Best Time to visit Bhutan
During the summer, the best time to visit Bhutan is from March to May and during the winter, September to November is the ideal and pleasant time to spend there.
Visa Requirements for Bhutan
All foreigners (except for citizens of Bangladesh, India, and Maldives) must obtain a visa before visiting Bhutan. If approved, they are given a visa clearance letter, and must present it at the port of entry. The visa is then stamped into their passport.
Indian nationals are required to carry any of the two valid 'Travel Documents' (a) Valid Indian Passport having validity of minimum 6 months; and/or (b) Voter Identity Card, issued by the Election Commission of India. No Visa is required to visit Bhutan for Indians.
Indians coming to Bhutan by road are required to obtain an 'Entry Permit' on the basis of valid Travel Document from the Immigration Office of Royal Government of Bhutan at Phuentsholing, located on the Indo-Bhutan border opposite Jaigaon, West Bengal.
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