Bhutan is a Himalayan country so during your flight there, you'll see amazing mountain views. On a clear day, you may also catch glimpses of Mt. Everest. Gangkar Puensum is the highest peak in Bhutan and Dochula Pass is the perfect place during this trip to view several mountains. Besides mountain peaks, this tour is full of beautiful views of forests, dzongs, temples, brightly colored houses, and prayer flags with beautiful landscapes in the backdrop.
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and there are several sites to visit which give an insight into the culture, history, and art of Bhutan. Tashichho Dzong is one of the most important ones as it houses the throne room and office of the king, secretariat building, and central monk body. Important festivals like Tsechu are hosted in these dzongs.
Another gem in this city is the National Library which holds a huge collection of ancient Buddhist texts. A visit to Arts and Crafts School lets you know about the process behind beautiful Thangka paintings. Memorial Chorten is considered the most visible religious structure in the city. It was built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck where several larger-than-life-sized images of tantric deities are kept.
It is the highest point on the road to Punakha at a height of 3080 meters. It is decorated by mani walls, prayer flags and a Chorten. On a clear day, mountains like Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m), Kangphugang (7,170 m), Zongphugang (7,060 m) can be seen including a table mountain and Gangkar Puensum.
The major attraction of Punakha is the Punakha Dzong, built at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. Its major function is to hold administrative and religious activities in the Punakha district. There are several sacred relics of Tibetan Buddhism and the remains of Ngawang Namgyal who also built this dzong. This dzong has lots of religious and historical importance and is also the second biggest and second oldest dzong in Bhutan.
Wangdue Phodrang and Simtokha Dzong
Wangdue Phodrang is famous for its dzong and local market. Several handicrafts, art pieces, statues, and other souvenirs can be bought from here. Simtokha Dzong is the oldest the biggest dzong in this Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. This old fortress is now used as a school for religious and linguistic studies.
The National Museum in Paro is also known as Ta-Dzong. It was built as a watchtower but now it’s used as a museum where the best art pieces, statues, Thangka paintings, and other artifacts are kept. There are about three thousand artworks there today. This museum is a major tourist attraction in Bhutan showcasing the culture, history, and art of Bhutan. Rinpung Dzong is another important place to visit that holds the monastic body, the office of the district administrative head, and the judge of Paro. The ruins of Drukgyel Dzong lie north of Paro which is considered the most beautiful archaeological site in Bhutan.
Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Another major attraction of Paro is the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Paro Taktsang. According to a legend, Guru Padmasambhava came to the cave to meditate on the back of a tigress. It is also believed that the tigress was one of his disciples in Tibet. He is also the one who brought Buddhism into Bhutan. Today, the temple lies on a sheer cliff. One can reach there only by hiking or on the back of a horse. It is also an amazing viewpoint to watch the beautiful views of the city.
People and Culture
People in Bhutan follow Vajrayana Buddhism. Representations of it, including monasteries, chortens, etc. dominate the cityscapes of Bhutan. Several exotic festivals that involve dressing up and music are celebrated by these people. Monks can be seen in red robes while men and women are seen in Gho and Kira. To feel close to these amazing people and cultures, you can also dress up in these ethnic dresses. The kind hospitality of Bhutanese people will make you feel at home.