Why Travel To Bhutan At All?

Its Beautiful

Why visit Bhutan “The Land of Thunder Dragon” at all?

Bhutan is one of the smallest and happiest country in the world with population of over 750, 000 sandwiched in between two giant countries, China in the north and India in the south. Also popularly known as Druk-yul, “The Land of Thunder Dragon”, the country opened its doors to international tourists in the year 1974. One could argue that Bhutan has set a very high tourist tariff of around $200 – $250 per day, there are so many reasons Bhutan is worth the daily fee.

TAKTSHANG MONASTERY (TIGER'S NEST MONASTERY)

Taktshang is one of the famous and most visited Buddhist sites in Bhutan. It is believed that Guru Rinphoche meditated in the cave after flying from Tibet on the back of a Tigress. The monastery has the Guru Rinpoche riding a Tigress as the main statue. Hike to the monastery takes round 5hours round trip. As one reaches Taktshang, the architectural wonder of the monastery will amaze you. Perched some 1000m on a cliff overlooking the valley, it would justifiably qualify as one of Bhutan’s wonder.

DZONGS (FORTRESSES)

Dzong is a distinctive type of fortress architecture found in Bhutan and is massive in style with towering exterior walls surrounding the complex of courtyards, temples, administrative offices, and monks’ accommodation. Dzongs in Bhutan server as the religious, administrative and social centers of their district. They are often the site of an annual tshechu or religious festival. Thimphu, Punakha, Paro and Simtokha Dzongs are most visited, there are more than twenty dzongs in the country with different architectural designs.

TSHECHUS (FESTIVAL)

Bhutan is rich in cultural diversity and this richness is further enhanced by the wide variety of elaborate and colorful religious festivals that are celebrated throughout the country. Every village is known for their unique festival though the most widely known is the annual Tshechu, meaning a religious festival.

As the Tshechu begins, the villagers and the general populace dress in their finest clothes and congregate at their local temples and monasteries were these festivals take place. Tshechus are usually occasions to mark important events in the life of the second Buddha, the Indian/Pakistani Tantric master known as Guru Rinpoche or the Precious Gem. Various mask dances are performed together with songs and dances for three days.

These religious celebrations are lively, high-spirited affairs during which people share meals of red rice, spicy pork, Ema Datshi and Momos (pork dumplings) whilst drinking the heady traditional rice wine known as Ara. These occasions provide the villagers with a respite from the hard labor of their day to day lives and gives the community an opportunity to catch up with family and friends.

TRAIL OFFERS

Bhutan has lot to offer when it comes to trekking routes. There are a total of 23 large walkway that visitors can choose to discover in about 3-25 days. One can choose the trekking routes varying from very easy routes to most difficult routes. The untouched and pristine environment in Bhutan has lot of offer as you trek. One would encounter with varieties of wild life, even the endangered species.

HIGHEST UN-CLIMBED MOUNTAINS

Bhutan has the highest unclimbed mountains in the world. Mount Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake, etc. Climbing of mountains higher than 6,000 metres has been prohibited since 1994. The rationale is based on a combination of the Bhutanese government and people’s respect for the local customs that consider this and similar peaks to be the sacred homes of protective deities and spirits and the lack of high-altitude rescue resources from any locale closer than India. Since 2003, no mountaineering of any kind has been allowed within Bhutan.

MUSEUMS

Bhutan is home to numerous museums that showcase the rich traditions, history, culture and art and folks foms of the Bhutanese people. The museums also showcase the ancient history from over a 1500 years and also the recent history of the Wangchuk dynasty. Bhutan also has rich traditions of herbal and traditional forms of medicine that the museums highlight. Bhutan Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, National Museum of Bhutan, Institute of Traditional Museum and Ta Dzong Museum are few of the most visited museums in Bhutan.

UNIQUE ARTS & CRAFTS

Bhutan has one of the most unique arts and crafts in the world, known as Zorg Chusum, “The Thirteen Traditional Crafts” which include woodwork, stonework, carving, painting, sculpting, wood turning, black smithy, ornament making, bamboo work, paper making, tailoring and weaving. It is believed to be introduced by Pema Lingpa, the treasure discoverer in 15th century.

SPICY FOOD

Bhutanese dishes are very spicy. One of the most common dishes, sometimes considered as national dish is “Ema Datsi” – Chilly with Cheese. Every Bhutanese enjoys the spicy “Ema Datsi”.

GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS

Bhutan pursues one of the unique philosophies “Gross National Happiness”, in the world to measure the country’s growth. GNH is given more importance than GDP. GNH has been the guiding philosophy for developmental activities in Bhutan. GNH is a holistic approach in measuring the country’s development that considers the spiritual and mental wellbeing of its people. Lately, GNH is getting more and more acceptance all over the world.

SPIRITUAL PLACE

The lives of Bhutanese are deeply influenced by Buddhist practices and cultures. Buddhist Principles and Values are incorporated in schools which may be the sole reason for Bhutanese being so calm and peaceful.

Are you still not convinced why you should visit Bhutan? Let us know. We will try to provide you with some more facts about Bhutan.