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Cruising Through Bhutan in 3 Days
When a country features on the Gross National Happiness Index, it becomes a much preferred tourist destination. The adjectives we normally use nowadays to describe a new place range from “beautiful”, “buzzing with life”, “picturesque”, etc. However, Bhutan is the land of peace and tranquility. The society is strongly hinged to its culture and traditions. People strictly adhere to laws and it is a highly disciplined community.
Bhutan has its own set of historical and cultural relics. Here’s a roundup of some of the places you MUST visit on a trip to Bhutan.
#DAY 1 – THIMPHU
Located atop a mountain; it houses a gigantic statue of Buddha made with gold and bronze. About 169 feet tall, it is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. A short drive from Thimphu city, the site provides a great view of the mountains and is extremely peaceful.
Folk Heritage Museum
This is no ordinary museum built within a glass building. The entire museum is designed like a typical 19th century house in Bhutan with mud and timber. But more importantly, they serve a traditional Bhutanese meal; something that should not be missed.
Ticket Price: 25 BTN
Mountains✔ Clouds ✔ Dreamy beauty ✔
This pretty much sums up the Dochula Pass. Nestled amidst the mountains, it has 108 memorial chortens (stupas) and stands at a height of 10, 130 feet. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see Gangkhar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan (7, 497m). Drink in the beauty of the Himalayan range.
# DAY 2 – PUNAKHA
Punakha Dzong, Punakha
The administrative center of Punakha district, it is the second oldest dzong in Bhutan. Blessed by verdant surroundings and two rivers, it has great military and religious significance. It is divided into separate sections, for monks and government officials. The prayer area is embellished extensively with murals depicting the birth and life of Gautam Buddha. It also has colossal statues of Padmasambhava, Gautam Buddha, Shabdrung Namgyal and other Buddhist masters.
Punakha Suspension Bridge
A short drive from Punakha Dzong, the suspension bridge may overwhelm some but it is totally worth a visit. Once you overcome your initial fear (if any), the view is absolutely scintillating. Soak in the beauty of mountains and the effervescent river flowing beneath you. The bridge is decorated with multicolored prayer flags.
The monastery is highly sacred and of great significance in Bhutanese culture. Childless parents come here to seek blessings from the current Lama and infants are often brought here for the naming ceremony. The road to the Lhakhang goes through a small hamlet which gives you a glimpse into the locals’ life.
#DAY 3 – PARO VALLEY
It is the national museum of Bhutan and is a great place to understand the environment of culture of the country. Yet again, it is nothing like the opulent museums in other countries but is, nevertheless, a treasure trove of knowledge.
Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest)
Paro is known for its scenic beauty but the view from Tiger’s Nest is just priceless. It is a 5-6 hour trek but the end product is absolutely worth all the effort. Legend has it that Padmasambhava came to Bhutan riding on a Tiger and this was his humble abode.
Local markets of Paro are perfect for picking up some souvenirs and soaking in the beauty of the place.
Bhutan accepts Indian currency so shop till you drop. Also, try local food as much as you can, it is diverse and delicious. Remember to absorb the essence of the place rather than just documenting it on your phones!
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