Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas' eastern edge, is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. In the High Himalayas, peaks such as 7,326m Jomolhari are popular trekking destinations. Paro Taktsang monastery (also known as Tiger's Nest) clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley.
Bhutan is the last existing Buddhist kingdom, with more than 90% of its population living in simplistic terms of the Buddhist philosophy. The country is bordered by Tibet, Sikkim, North Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh. Bhutan is the place where the philosophy of Gross National Happiness exists. The country measures its progress on the basis of how happy its citizens are. The happiness is measured through 4 distinguished parameters like good governance, environment & cultural preservation.
History of Bhutan
Bhutan, prior to the advent of Buddhism, the locals followed the religion of Bom, which primarily revolved around animal sacrifices, and worshipping the forces of nature. Buddhism was introduced into Bhutan after Guru Padmasambhava entered Bhutan upon the request of a local ruler. During the 7th Century, the first two Buddhist temples of Bhutan were built in the valley of Bumthang. The religion gained enormous patronage ever since, and a majority of people converted.
Famously tied to a legend of the flying tiger, this monastery sits more than 9,000 feet above the sea level.
Painted stark white and topped with a golden roof, houses the sacred relics traced back to the Drukpa lineage.
Great place to catch up on local archery competitions & tournaments coupled with merrymaking.
Breathtaking views of Gangkhar Peunsum, the tallest unclimbed mountain in the world.
A serene park in Thimphu sitting beneath a golden, fifty-one meter tall Buddha in his Sakyamuni avatar.
A temple built around the cave where Guru Padmasambhava meditated, emanating enough energy to leave a body imprint in the cave wall.
Good To Know
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk
38,394 km2 (14,824 sq mi)
Places to Visit
This is the capital of Bhutan with the population of approximately 100,000 people. It lies at an elevation of 2,320 m. Thimpu became the capital in 1961 and the town is the largest in Bhutan. It is about 1.5 hrs from the airport in Paro. As you enter the valley you drive on Bhutan’s First four- lane expressway which takes you right into the heart of the town, over two dramatic flyover bridges.
Places to visit in Thimpu include the Textile Museum, The Folk Heritage Museum. The Trashichho Dzong, the National Memorial Chorten (A stupa dedicated to the third king of Bhutan, and the Centenary Framer’s Market – a colourful market full of local produce and handicrafts. Buddhists can visit numerous monasteries around the valley as well as a vibrant nunnery.
Paro is a valley town in Bhutan, west of the capital, Thimphu. It is the site of the country’s only international airport and is also known for the many sacred sites in the area. North of town, the Taktsang Palphug (Tiger's Nest) monastery clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley. Northwest of here are the remains of a defensive fortress, Drukgyel Dzong, dating from the 17th century.
Punakha is a town in the Himalayas of Bhutan. It's known for the Punakha Dzong, a 17th-century fortress at the juncture of the Pho and Mo Chhu rivers. The fortress hosts the Punakha Tshechu, a religious festival featuring masked dances and music. In the surrounding Punakha Valley, temples include the fertility-focused Chimi Lhakhang and the hilltop Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, which has river and mountain views.
Bumthang District is one of the 20 dzongkhag (districts) comprising Bhutan. It is the most historic dzongkhag if the number of ancient temples and sacred sites is counted. Bumthang consists of the four mountain valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor ("Bumthang"), although occasionally the entire district is referred to as Bumthang valley.the number of ancient temples and sacred sites is counted.
The valley of Wangdophodrang is situated ont the east west traverse and road beyond Thimpu, at the junction of the Mochu and Tangchu rivers. The higher reaches of the valley provide rich cartle pastures. Yak dairy research station has also been set up at Gopgona. The wangduphodrang Dzong is situated at the confluence of the Mochu and Tangchu rivers. For many centuries, it was seat of one of the Bhutan’s most powerful dzongpons.
Phuentsholing is the point of entry for travellers arriving by bus and cabs the town functions primarily as a place where Bhutanese and Indians do business. The architecture is modern, and there is no dzong, famous monastery or in fact anything of particular interest to tourists. However, like all of Bhutan, it does offer a clean, pleasant and safe environment.
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