“Bhutan” – A Kingdom on the Foothills of Himalayas
Bhutan – A picturesque country with its flora and fauna is flocked by tourists almost throughout the year. One can spend almost a week in the foothills of the Himalayas in tranquility and peace.
The places which are a must visit in this mesmerizing country are; Thimpu (the capital city of Bhutan), Punakha, Gangtey Valley, and Paro. I will traverse through each of them and share my experiences on how nature has embedded them with its green carpet.
Thimpu is the capital city of Bhutan. One can spend two days in this place with its majestic mountains rejuvenating the mind and heart along with its gorges and valleys. The Memorial Chorten is one of the prestigious cultural heritage sites of Thimpu. It is built in the memorial of the Third King of Bhutan Jigme Dorji Wangchuk by his mother. It is amazing to watch the locals encircling the stupa 108 times with a respect to the king throughout the day. The beauty of the stupa is affiliated with the golden spires and the lion shrines; securing the stupa from flying away to Tibet (as believed by the locals).
The cultural heritage journey in Thimpu is further enhanced by the “Buddha Dordenma”, the tallest Buddha in the world. The status is placed above a high mountain top and presents a royal and grand appearance as it overlooks the country. People around the world have been contributing small statues of Buddha inside the stupa as a mark of respect and there are more than 2000 statues already in the collections. The artistry inside the monastery is something to be appreciated specifically the skill of the artists and the precision in their work. One should also not miss out on the Takin Zoo, the archery tournament, and the living museum portraying Bhutan culture.
Punakha, the administrative center of Bhutan, is also one of the important travel destinations. Its magnificent valleys in between the Himalayas are a treat to the eyes. The Himalayan ranges seem endless engulfing one in its vastness and purity. The gushing sound at the confluence of the Pho Chu (male river) and the Mo Chu (female river) rivers with the water splashing on the stones shining on the banks looked as if an artist has painted a panoramic view of the landscape.
The most adventurous part of Punakha is the 164 m suspension bridge over the rivers. One can take a walk over the bridge and experience the soothing breeze and get enlightened. And finally one must not forget to visit the Punakha Dzong, a palace along the riverside built in the 17th century. The massive structure of the palace and the beauty of its architecture is amazing to watch.
Gangtey Valley is one of the rarest experiences a traveler can have thronged by the black-necked cranes during the winters. The valley stretches for miles like a widespread green carpet in between the mountains. One has to reach the valley after passing through dense forests and the beautiful rhododendron trees. It's indeed a treat to the eyes to watch around one of the plains opening up with its greenery; along with small artistic villages. One of the main attractions of the valley is the black-necked cranes; the migratory birds arriving in Bhutan in September and October.
The Royal Society for Protection of Nature in Bhutan is involved in protecting the birds from being extinct or being attacked by unknown predators or any major natural calamities. The valley is flanked by beautiful meandering rivers, wide varieties of mountain plants, and trees especially the Pine trees and the rhododendrons. The strawberry plants with little red juicy fruits pop up in between the green grasses. Bright flowers adorn up the valley with their colorful hues. The valley is also a great destination for hikers. One can see small groups of hikers, walking for long distances across the valley.
Paro, situated west of Thimpu, hosts Bhutan's only international airport and is a hub for the farmers. The city is famous for one of the sacred sites in Bhutan, the Taktsang or Tiger's Nest. Its believed that Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche flew to this particular location on the back of a tigress. Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days, and 3 hours in the 8th century. He is considered to be one of the pioneers who introduced Buddhism in Bhutan.
One can visit the Chele la Pass from Paro located at an altitude of 3810 m or 13,000 feet. It's the highest road pass in Bhutan. One can see colorful flags fluttering all along with the place. It's mostly chilled out there and one can experience a cold effect throughout the place. The drive to Chele la pass is worth the experience as you pass through the dense forests of tall trees, rivers, waterfalls, rhododendrons, and the yaks and the takins grazing in the fields.
The immense beauty of the mountains, valleys, and rivers and the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan is astonishing to watch. It's a place of a traveler's envy; like a magnet attracts and pulls one into its mesmerizing epicenter of beauty.
For a complete guide on how to plan for a Budget Trip from India to Bhutan; please do not miss to visit the link BudgetTravelBuff.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.
38 thoughts on ““Bhutan” – A Kingdom on the Foothills of Himalayas”
Anywhere there is water and views I want to be whether I know anything about them or not. Thimpu is a place that I have not heard of but it looks intriquing.
Thimpu is the capital of Bhutan and a must see, very green and serene
I have never heard of the Gangtey Valley, but it sounds like it would be a beautiful hike and my kind of place! I will add this to my bucket list to visit in September to see the black necked cranes!
wow please share your experience
Frankly speaking I also was not aware of. But our travel agent and guide gave a surprise when they took us to the valley and its just amazing.
I have never been there before, but the nature looks so beautiful and wild x
yes Laura, its really a wonderful place
Bhutan is a very mysterious country. I wanna go there for a long time. Bhutan has a lot of beautiful natural sceneries.
Please plan, you will love the country
So many great places to explore.. I always love the beauty of running water. Thanks for sharing these places to explore.
You will really love the place
Amazing photos! I have never been Bhutan but I definitely want to visit now!
You must plan
Please do. It’s an amazing place still alive in my memort
So much beauty and so many places to explore! I need to travel more to see things like this!
Thanks Bree. Sure please visit the place.
These views are amazing! I love your photos! I hope I can visit one day too
Thanks. Please do visit
These are all great ideas of beautiful places to visit. They all seem wonderful . Thanks for sharing..
Thanks. I am happy you like the article.
Being such a small country, I never knew Bhutan had so much to offer!
Even I was astonished when I visited the place
I would love to travel to this great place. Your images and description of this place in the Himalayas makes a visit there, very compelling.
Thanks. Sure you should definitely plan
Bhutan has been on my list of places to visit because of their culture and architecture.
The people in Bhutan are so religious and they love their culture. You are right
I have never heard of the Bhutan, but it looks like a beautiful place to spend time outdoors.
Its really beautiful and amazing place. Please plan a visit
I would love to see Bhutan. It seems like a great please to visit.
Yes please plan a visit.
Bhutan has the spirit! So lovely photos, definitely on my wish list ever since I’ve heard about it!
Thanks. Please plan a visit. I know of a wonderful travel guide too.
Gorgeous! Bhutan is high on my list of countries to visit, it looks incredible. I love everything about it and I haven’t even been there yet!
Thanks Amy. Indeed an amazing place
Thanks for sharing these useful recommendations for those wanting to visit Bhutan. It will be extremely helpful in planning the trip.
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