Bhutan is one of the brilliant countries as per the tourist. Glaciated mountain peaks with an extremely cold climate during winters and mild cold during summer is the tourist hotspot of the region. As usual the Himalayan peak borders its northern part with most peaks over 23,000 feet / 7,000 meters. Kula Kangri at an altitude of 24,780 feet / 7,553 meters is the highest peak of Bhutan. Black Mountains in central Bhutan divides a watershed between two major rivers called the Mo Chhu and the Drangme Chhu. Torsa, Raidak, Sankosh and Manas are the other rivers of Bhutan flowing through to the state of West Bengal and Assam in India. Bhutan is full of wildlife and is well protected by the Government. The national language is Dzongkha but English is also an official language and the population is concentrated in the central Bhutan highland. Paro, Thimpu, Tronngsa, Bumathang are few of the tourist hotspot. National sport is archery and the best part of their religious activities is centered round the Dzong / Monastery. They are a treat to watch. National dress is the Gho for men and the Kira for women. Currency is the Ngultrum and is nearly equivalent to the Indian Rupee. National Post Office is an institute by itself where internationally famous stamps are in display. Stamp collectors all over the world know that Bhutan is the first country to diversify and export quality stamps. The country currently does not have a railway system hence only roadways and airways are the means of transport. Bhutan is closer to Tibet culturally but politically and economically closer to India. The country is divided into four dzongdey and each dzongdey is further divided into dzongkhag (districts). There are twenty dzongkhag in Bhutan. Important cities and town of the kingdom and places of interest are Jakar, Paro, Phuentsholing, Punakha, Thimpu, Mongar, Samdrup Jongkhar, Gangtey and Haa.
This is a small establishment just 58 kilometers from Thimpu the capital of the Himalayan kingdom. Paro is bordered by Haa dzongkhag to the west, Tibet to the north, Thimpu to the east, and Chukha dzongkhag to the south. Paro has the only international airport and is the only entry point by air to Bhutan. There are Dzongs or Monastery in all the towns or villages of this kingdom but the Dzong of Paro is supposed to be the best of the lot. Rinpung Dzong is also known as Paro Dzong, is a fortress / monastery which is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag. The movie Little Buddha was filmed in and around this dzong. Places to visit are Taktshang, or Tiger's Nest, National Museum, Kyichu Lhakhang, which along with Jambay Lhakhang. Fast flowing rivers have carved out deep gorges in the lower mountain areas near Paro and with woodlands the place is an ideal tourist spot. The main market town in the dzongkhag is always booming due to an influx of tourist mostly from foreign countries. Comparatively Bhutan is bit costly for the tourist compared to Nepal and Bangladesh.
Places of Interests:
• Drukgyel Dzong
• Paro Dzong
• National Museum
• Druk Chodeing Temple
• Kichu Lhakhang
• Taktsang Monastery
• The Tiger’s Nest • Jambay Lhakhang
How to Reach
- Airways – Paro is the only International Airport in Bhutan with flights from Kathmandu, Bangkok via Bagdogra and other places. Druk is the Official airlines of Bhutan. Druk Air and Royal Bhutan Airlines have flights which operate in seven cities in six different countries.
- Railways – There is no railway network in Bhutan. Nearest major Rail station is Guwahati and New Jalpaiguri. Hashimara is also close to Phuntsholling in India.
- Roadways - Despite difficult terrain, mountains, steep slopes, low valleys Bhutan has a well developed network of roads and all major towns Bhutan are accessible by roads. Bagdogra in India to Phuntsholing is 185 kilometers and is 4 - 5 hours drive by national highway no 31. Phuntsholing to Thimpu by road is 179 kilometers and is 6 - 7 hours drive. Paro to Thimphu is 65 kilometers and Paro to Paro is 65 kilometers
Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan with a population of 80000; it is the most densely populated city / district in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. Thimphu is situated at an elevation of nearly 2320 meters / 7656feet. Though Paro is the capital yet Tashichoedzong in Thimphu, the fortress monastery on the edge of the city, built in the 17th century, has been the seat of Bhutan's government. An interesting fact is Bhutan is the second country in Asia without any traffic signal. There are Traffic Sergeant and they have a nice gesture to handle traffic. Norzin Lam the main thoroughfare is lined with shops, restaurants, retail arcades and public buildings. As per the norms of the government of Bhutan all buildings are required to be designed in traditional style with Buddhist paintings and motifs, hence guest will find the towns similar yet strange. Though off beat yet the weekly weekend market which supplies all types of meat, milk product, cereals, vegetables and tourist items and is one of the most dynamic site tourists can enjoy. Thimpu is surrounded by forests which make the city look even greener. The places of interest one can visit are Dechenphu, Tango and Cheri monasteries, and Dechenchoeling Palace, the official residence of the King. Festivals of the various tribes are a treat to watch and are one of the major tourist attractions.
Places of Interest
• National Textile Museum • National Library • Painting School • Folk Heritage Museum • National Institute of Traditional Medicine • Handicraft Emporium • National Memorial Chorten (Stupa) • Semtokha Dzong • Phajoding monastery • Excursion to Dochu La Pass • BBS Tower • Anim Dratshang • Traditional paper factory
Bumathang like any town of Bhutan is a unique blend of the old and new. Bumthang is situated at an elevation of nearly 2700 meters and is known as the spiritual region of the kingdom. Even its small local festivals are a treat to attend and to catch an insight of the culture and spirit of the people. Numerous monasteries, spiritual sites reflect the kingdom's culture and traditions. The town is in a scenic valley of beautiful houses, and fields of buckwheat, barley and apple orchards. Some of the places of interest are Kurjey Lhakhang, Jampey Lhakhang and the Jakar Dzong. Here is the town that is slowly opening up to the modern world in a fine balance with its ancient traditions. It is deeply spiritual and mystical experience and an adventure like no other destination. The festivals are colorful with traditional dances, sports and many other attractions. Another place of interest is the town of Jakar, the administrative headquarters of Bumathang District. It is said that this is the place where Buddhism entered Bhutan. The culture is closely related to that of Tibet though politically close to India.
Places of Interest
§ Jambay Lhakhang § Kurje Lhakhang § Jakar Dzong § Lamey Gompa § Tamshing Lhakhang § Mebartsho – burning Lake § Tang valley § Ura valley § Traditional Bhutanese archery
Trongsa is situated in central Bhutan. It is one of the upcoming tourist spot of Bhutan. It is special due to the Dzongs, which has the largest and the most magnificent of all the dzongs in Bhutan. One of the most beautiful places of Bhutan where the tourist are countable in number. The festivals of the region are a treat to attend and to catch an insight of the culture and spirit of the people. Monasteries, spiritual sites reflect the culture and traditions of the kingdom. Migratory birds, wild life, scatterd villages, colorful festivals and many other options are there for the tourist to enjoy the region. The area of Trongsa is bordered by Wangdue Phodrang dzongkhag to the west and Bumthang dzongkhag to the east and to the south it borders Tsirang, Sarpang, and Zhemgang dzongkhag. Entry to Bhutan is free for citizens of India but all other citizens are required to travel with a tour operator and pay around dollar 200 per day during their stay. Single tourists are discouraged in the country. Perhaps Bhutan is the only country in the world to have banned the sale of tobacco. It is the ancestral home of Bhutanese Royal family and literally means new village
Places of Interest
§ Trongsa Dzong § Traditional Bhutanese archery § Bhutanese Village § Short Trek § Mangde Chhu § Changangkha Lakhang § Ta Dzong § Dochu La Pass § Phobji monastery § Wangdue Phodrang § Gasa § Bumathang