For my trip to Bhutan I decided to maintain a Bhutan Travelogue on Instagram. The nature of the service meant that I could at regular intervals, post highlights of my trip as it happened. This also gave me a nice timeline of my journey, thru the land of happiness.
The journey started out with a early morning flight from Bangalore. This picture was taken from the tramac as we boarded our flight.
We reached the Indo Bhutanese border after traveling by flight from Bangalore to Bagdogra via Delhi. Then we took a taxi to Phuentsholing. For Indians entering Bhutan requires a permit that can be acquired at the immigration office right next to the Border. You will need to produce an identification document(Passport, PAN card or the like)
A Tibetan breakfast in Bhutan. Had this delicious Thukpa for breakfast at Phuentsholing. The next week and half was a tango for the palate, with experimenting with Bhutanese, Tibetan & Chinese cuisines.
The drive from Phuentsholing to Thimphu was scenic beyond words. The moment you enter Bhutan, you leave the flatlands of India and encounter the mighty Himalayas. As the roads snake thru the lush forests, you are welcomed to the Himalayan kingdom.
Thimphu is the capital and the largest city of Bhutan. It is located in the banks of Wang Chuu river (also called Thimphu Chuu). If you are loooking to visit Punakha and Haa Valley(and other places in Bhutan) you will need a permit from the immigration office in Thimphu. The above picture is of one of the roads that lead to Thimphu
Simtokha Dzong located near Thimphu was the first of its kind Dzong to be built in Bhutan. Built in 1629 it is a place with huge historic significance. The decorations just outside the monastery is beautiful with its bright colors among the Buddhist paintings.
Tashichhodzong is monastery that doubles as an administrative block in north Thimphu. It is the seat of the Bhutanese government and tourists have limited access to it(1 hr in the evenings). The above picture was taken using Google Camera’s circular Panorama feature.
Thimphu is full of lovely tiny eateries that make stopping by for a cup of coffee a lovely experience. Do check out places like Ambient Cafe, Karma’s Coffee & Mojo Park.
Our next stop was Punakha, where we stayed at the Damchen Resort. Right by the river is is a great place to unwind and feel the peace & quiet of Bhutan.
The Punakha Dzong is easily one of the most beautiful and scenic Dzong we visited on our stay in Bhutan. Built at the confluence of Pho Chhu(father) & Mo Chhu(Mother) rivers, the Dzong is must visit for anyone visiting Bhutan.
The drive from Punakha to Paro goes thru Dochula Pass, one of the most beautiful mountain passes in Bhutan. On clear days, one can see a 360* panoromic view of the himalayas. Unfortunately for us, the thick monsoon clouds stood in our way.
The top destination in Bhutan is the Tiger’s nest in Paro. This Buddist Temple complex is perched on the cliffs of a mountain. The trek to the complex takes between 1.5 – 3 hours and is a must experience journey.
Watching flights take off and land at the Paro Airport was another experience of a lifetime. With the Airport placed right in the valley, there are many vantage points to sit back with a cup of tea and watch the beautiful metal birds.
The scenic beauty of Bhutan is simply breathtaking. With beautiful mountain roads and abundant greenery and flowers, driving thru the country was an absolute pleasure.
Our final destination in Bhutan was the beautiful Haa Valley. This scenic valley attracts lesser tourists and is a day trip from Paro. The drive to Haa passes through Chelela Pass, another beautiful pass that leaves you breathless
With a heavy heart we packed our bags and headed back home. Almost as if bidding us goodbye, the skies cleared up to give us a final awe-inspiring view of the Paro Valley as we boarded our flight out of Bhutan.