The land of monasteries, fortresses and dramatic topography ranging from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys, Bhutan is the world’s last remaining Buddhist Kingdom. Due to its pristine environment and harmonious society, the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan has been called “The Last Shangrila.”
Bhutan is the only Vajrayana Buddhist nation in the world, and the profound teachings of this tradition remain well preserved and exert a strong influence in all aspects of life. Besides the stunning natural scenery, the enduring image of the country is the strong sense of culture and tradition that binds the kingdom.
Bhutan often revered as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” or ‘Druk Yul’, is known for its remoteness, its spectacular mountain terrain, varied flora and fauna and its unique ancient Buddhist monasteries. The mountains are splendid, the forest are dense, the people are delightful, the air is pristine, the architecture magnificent, the religion inspiring and the art enchanting- what more can a traveler ask for?
Bhutan is one place which has a lot to offer and still you can never get over it. Its numerous ancient temples, monasteries and stupas which dot the countryside, prayer flags which flutter along the high ridges, wild animals which abound in dense forests, foamy white waterfalls which are the ethereal showers, and the warm smile of its friendly people will make you fall in love with this place completely. To me, Bhutan is the other name of peace, tranquility, serenity, holiness and it is the place where restless soul finds its purpose.
Ideal Stay: 4-5 days
Attractions: Dochu La pass, Thimpu, Tiger’s Nest, Gangtey Monastery, Tashicho Dzhong, Kurje Lhakhang, Chime Llakhang, Trongsa Dzong, Rukha, Phuentsholing, Haa Valley
Activities: Trekking and hiking
Festivals: Tshechu ( held in each district or dzongkhag of Bhutan on the tenth day of a month of the lunar Tibetan calendar)
Markets: Local markets.
What to buy: colorful masks, hand-woven bamboo items, wood carvings, stamps, silver, silk and bronzes. Handmade paper products, Buddhist paintings and religious thangkas.
Cuisine: Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often.
Delicacies to relish: Ema Datshi (chilies and cheese), Phaksha Paa (Pork with Red Chilies), Jasha Maroo or Maru (spicy chicken), Momos (Dumplings), Red Rice, locally brewed ara (a fermented drink made from rice, maize, millet, or wheat)
Here are some of the most beautiful pictures of Bhutan which will make you fall in love with it.
Dzong of Punakha, Bhutan (source)
Monks and mustard fields, Phunakha Valley, Bhutan (source)
Paro, Taktsang Goemba (Tiger’s Nest) (source)
Geography of Bhutan at midnight (source)
Monk in monastery
DochuLa Pass Bhutan (source)
Bhutan Jakar (source)