Bhutan

– THE LAST SHANGRI-LA

Bhutan, the last great Himalayan Kingdom, is full of mysteries and surprises. The tiny Kingdom of Bhutan is also known as the "The Last Shangrila" because of its pristine environment and harmonious society. It transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk is its king and Tshering Tobgay is the prime minister. The philosophy of Gross National Happiness has been developed by them wherein development is measured by using a holistic approach of well-being and not just based on gross domestic product. Bhutan offers you a remarkable abundance of flora and fauna despite having a small landmass. Added to that it offers a peaceful environment to rest and revive, with sessions of meditation and a rejuvenating soaks in a mineral hot spring bath and their traditional medicine. So, Bhutan will provide you with just what you need to refresh your body and spirit rapidly moving towards becoming one of the top premier destinations. The adventure lovers will not be disappointed as well. They have wide range to choose from to feed their hunger for thrill from hiking to trekking to rafting

FAMOUS SPOTS IN BHUTAN

Rinpung Dzong :

The district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag are located here and is also listed in Bhutan's Tentative List for UNESCO.

National Museum of Bhutan :

This museum was established in 1968. There are over 3,000 works of Bhutanese art, covering more than 1,500 years of Bhutan's cultural heritage.

Dechen Phodrang Monastery :

This monastery is situated in Thimpu. It means “Palace of Great Bliss". In 1971 it became a monastic school. Today it has 450 student monks enrolled in eight-year courses. It has many of important historical Bhutanese artifacts including 12th century paintings monitored by UNESCO and there is a statue of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal on the upper floor.

Gangteng Monastery :

Located in the Wangdue Phodrang District in central Bhutan, this Monastery is one of the main seats of the religious tradition based on Pema Lingpa's revelations.

Drukgyal Dzong :

This monastery is located in the upper parts of Bhutan. It is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan's Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion.

CULTURE AND CUISINE

Bhutan is a mixture of ancient and modern that makes it fascinating and unique. The Bhutanese are educated, fun loving, extremely religious and well informed people. Bhutan is a small country but has a diverse and rich culture. Bhutan has opened up only recently for tourists therefore its natural environment and cultural heritage largely remains unspoiled and hence given the name The Last Shangri-la. Buddhism is the main religion followed in the country. Hinduism is also becoming popular which forms one third of the population and the remaining one percent is formed by other religions. Every village is known for their unique festival. The most widely known is the annual Tshechu. Festivals and important occasions are celebrated with utmost dedication, following strict rituals. Bhutanese have their traditional dress and garments. Men have to wear the Gho and women have to wear the Kira. The national language is Bhutanese or Dzongkha. Bhutanese love spice. All of their dishes contain a certain amount of spice. Their rice is red in color, which is considered good for health. Currently this rice is exported from Bhutan. Vegetarian dishes are available but they mostly prefer non-veg dishes. Ema-datshy is their most famous dish.

WHEN TO VISIT BHUTAN

SPRING

March, April & May make up the spring time for Bhutan. It is the most beautiful time of the year as the country at this time is immersed in colors. The valleys are green with varieties of vegetation and trees are blossoming with flowers and fruits. The whole place looks amazing and spectacular. Bhutan celebrates the famous Paro tsechu festival on this month so that will be like cherries on top of a yummy cake. Visiting Bhutan at this time would not be a bad idea.

MONSOON

June, July & August are the months that make up the monsoon season of Bhutan. Rainfall is heavy during this time of the year. These would not be the best months to visit Bhutan as even though the High altitude flowers bloom, boasting off their beautiful and vibrant colors, the leeches scare most of the tourists away. But it would still be a good idea to visit Bhutan during these months as the spectacular sapphire skies and comforting weather will give you the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with your family and friends while enjoying a cup of warm coffee, watching the rainfall from your hotel window. Or just taking a detour through the town will also give a whole new experience.

Autumn

September, October & November forms the autumn season for Bhutan. This is that time when it experiences the loveliest time of the year. The crisp and blue skies give you the chance to get the panoramic view of the majestic mountains around, which are the tallest and still unclimbed mountains in the world. The view of the willows shedding their golden brown leaves, the peaceful parks and the old monasteries will take you to a place unknown. This will also be an ideal time to visit Bhutan.

Winter

December, January and February form the winter season for Bhutan. The days are cold but warm and cozy. The east-west highway gets snowfall. So, the western parts are more preferred. You will see valleys with wide plains covered with bamboo shrubs. You might also get to catch the sight of the Black-Necked Cranes, elegant creatures that come to roost at the plain and then the extraordinary view of Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain peak in Bhutan. So, you will get to enjoy quite a bit of Bhutan if you choose to go during this period.

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