Nestled in the Eastern end of Himalayas, Bhutan, officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country. Placed between India and China, this Buddhist country unwrapped itself to the world only in the 1960s. Surely not an ordinary place, it is an ideal destination to see the marriage of the traditions old and new worlds. Because of the same reason, Bhutan every year attracts a decent number of tourists from all around the world. It has to offer something for all- sightseeing opportunities including museums, dzongs, monasteries and more, exploring its beautiful flora and fauna, adventure activities like trekking, cultural delights like festivals and more. Inspite of being one of world’s smallest countries, Bhutan has rich profound culture that has been preserved and nurtured from generations. During Bhutan visit, one must savor authentic Bhutanese delicacies, high on spice-quotient. That is not all. There are around 13 forms of arts and crafts in Bhutan, which are its valuable possessions.
Fondly known as ‘The Land of the Thunder Dragon’, Bhutan is an astonishing country in South Asia. The country enthralls travelers with its unexplored mountains, forests, scenic valleys and exquisite Buddhist monasteries and temples. From snow-capped mountains to historical relics & monuments, Bhutan has a lot to offer its visitors coming from different parts of the world. It spellbinds travelers with its amazing natural & bountiful beauty. It is the only existing theocracy in the world and has many interesting things to do and see in the country.
The gateway to the south, it is a thriving commercial center on the northern edge of the Indian plains. Situated directly at the base of the Himalayan foothills, Phuentsholing is a fascinating mixture of Indian and Bhutanese, Phuentsholing a perfect example of the mingling of peoples and cultures. Being a frontier town, Phuentsholing is a convenient entry/exit point for visiting Bhutan and also the neighboring Indian states of West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam.
The capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu is the largest in the whole of the kingdom. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit while on a holiday in Bhutan. It is the modern city in Bhutan wherein you can find a large number of restaurants, internet cafes, nightclubs and shopping centers. The city retains its cultural identity and values amidst the signs of modernization. It is one of the few towns in Bhutan that have been equipped with ATM banking facilities and is a good place to stock up some currency notes.
One of the most salient features of Thimphu is that it is the only capital in the world that does not use traffic lights. The juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity make Thimphu an ideal location for tourists to break away from the hustle bustle of the daily life.
Situated in the Paro Valley of Eastern Himalaya, the town encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths & legends. Perched at a height of 7,218 feet, Paro is home to several old temples, monasteries, National Museum and Bhutan’s only airport. Paro is one of the most fertile valleys in the kingdom and produces a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its manicured fields. Make sure to visit Paro in the spring and brace yourself for a Kaleidoscope of beautiful colors this place presents.
The Bumthang region encompasses four major valleys- Chokhor, Tang, Ura and Chhume. It is also known as the spiritual heartland of India. Some of the most important dzongs, temples and palaces are located in the large Chokhor Valley, commonly referred to as the Bumthang Valley. The valley is supposed to be shaped like a bumpa, the vessel of a holy water that is usually found on the altar of a Lhakhang.
Located in the centre of Bhutan, Trongsa is the home to his majesty King Ugyen Wangchuk and his son king Jigme Wangchuk. The most important attraction is the Trongsa Dzong, an awe-inspiring and impregnable fortress. It has a series of temples, corridors and offices holding court over the local community. It is one of the most charming of all Bhutanese towns.
Located on the western slopes of the Black Mountains, bordering the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park, Phobjika is a bowl-shaped glacial valley and a well-known conservation area. The rare endangered black-necked cranes are found here in winters. Some other animals that are found here include barking deer, wild boars, leopards, red foxes and Himalayan Black Bear. The Satkeng Wildlife Sanctuary is also located nearby. Tourists can view their roosting places with permission from relevant authorities.
Punakha is the administrative centre of Punakha dzongkhag, one of the 20 districts of Bhutan. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. It is about 72 km away from Thimphu and having the population of 25,700. It takes about 3 hours by car from the capital Thimphu. Unlike Thimphu it is quite warm in winter and hot in summer. It is located at an elevation of 1,200 metres above sea level and rice is grown as the main crop along the river valleys of two main rivers of Bhutan, the Pho Chu and Mo Chu. Dzongkha is widely spoken in this district.
Wangdue Phodrang is the district of central Bhutan. This is also the name of the Dzong (built in 1638) which dominates the district, and the name of the small market town outside the gates of the Dzong. The name is said to have been given by the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal who was searching for the best location for a Dzong to prevent incursions from the south. The Population is 34,300. The word "Wangdue" means unification of Country, and "Phodrang" means Palace in their national language dzongkha.
Chele La Pass at over 13,000 ft Chele La Passto the west above the Paro Valley is the highest road pass in the country and has amazing views of the Himalaya and most significantly the magnificent Jhomolhari, Bhutan's most sacred peak at over 22,000 feet. It is a one and a half hour drive from the valley floor in Paro to the pass. It can be ridden on a mountain bike but the climb is a long one. It is great fun to free wheel down either into the Haa Valley on the other side of back to Paro.
Haa Dzongkhag lies along the western border of Bhutan. To the northwest it is bounded by the Tibet. To the southwest it is bounded by Samtse Dzongkhag, to the southeast by Chukha Dzongkhag, and to the northeast by Paro Dzongkhag. The Population is 13,401.
Local historians maintain that two important temples in Haa district, the Black Temple and the White Temple were built at the same time as Kyerchu Temple in Paro in the 7th century AD. The two temples can be found near each other at the sacred site known asMiri Phunsum, or "The Three Brother Hills." A third temple, Haa Gonpa, was built at further up the valley at the site where a lame pigeon, actually a bodhisattva in disguised form, was found by a local farmer who was drawn to the spot by a mysterious fire seen on several successive nights and by the unexplained sounds of oboes and trumpets (musical instruments closely associated with Bhutanese and Tibetan monasteries).
During the 10th day of the 11th month of the Bhutanese calendar (see Tibetan calendar) liturgical ceremonies worshipping Amitabha Buddha are held at Haa Gonpa temple.
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