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Published on : Thursday, April 20, 2017
Once here, the first impression that Bhutan leaves on its visitors is its strong sense of culture and well-preserved traditions. Being the only Vajrayana Buddhist nation in the world, Buddhist values and aesthetics are present in almost all aspects of daily life in Bhutan and this is also why local monasteries are some of the top attractions for visitors where history and culture come alive in the brightest of environments.
Sitting atop a cliff, overlooking the enchantingly green Paro valley and river, the Taktsang Monastery (also known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery) has a breathtaking aura, to say the least. The 900m climb to the monastery is an amazing experience, while sights like the Chapel Of Butter Lamps and the waterfall by the Snow Lion Cave are a treat for the senses, making the trip to the holiest place in Bhutan even more worthwhile.
The Paro valley is a gorgeous valley that is intrinsically linked to Bhutan’s history in many ways. With its amazingly clean and pure air, a couple of days in the valley will make your energy levels soar, while surrounding you with serenity. The Paro valley scores brownie points with its popular spots like the Rinpung Dzong and National Museum of Paro.
A testament to the beauty and elegance of ancient Bhutanese architecture, the Dzong is known to host the Paro Tsechu, a colourful and magnificent festival of masks. On the other hand, the National Museum is home to a rich collection of stamps, slate carvings, Thangka paintings, prehistoric items, jewellery, traditional weapons and many more artefacts reflecting Bhutan’s rich history and culture.
Phobjikha and Gangtey Valley
Another favourite amongst tourists is the Phobjikha and Gangtey Valley. Both are glacial valleys with a stream flowing through their open grasslands, forming some of the most surreally beautiful landscapes in all of Bhutan. Gangtey treks are a popular tourist attraction in the Phubjika Valley covering the Gangtey Gonpa. The grand Tsechu festival at the Gangtey monastery is also a must visit.
For those wishing to be closer to nature, the famous Black mountain national park in the region is the perfect location to witness the diversity of local flora and fauna in all its glory.
Amongst all the breathtaking places around Bhutan, the capital city of Thimphu still manages to remain the star attraction for tourists visiting the country. Nestled high up in the Himalayas with the serene Chuu River flowing through it, Thimphu has magnificently preserved its cultural essence and old-world charm. This is attributed to the fact that modern development is closely monitored and modern buildings too follow Bhutanese architectural styles. To capture various facets of this beautiful old world city, landmarks like Tashichho Dzong, National Memorial Chorten and Motithang Takin Preserve should be on your bucket list.
Viren Batra, CEO & Co Founder of nirvana excursion said, “Bhutan is the last great Himalayan kingdom, and as such, it’s an extremely historic and magical place.While the culture is still old-world and seeped in traditions, it still endeavours to embrace global practices, and that’s what makes it such a special place.”