What to know before visiting Bhutan?

What to know before visiting Bhutan? 

Bhutan-The kingdom of Dragons.

Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes.  Paro Taktsang monastery (also known as Tiger’s Nest) clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley. Its capital is the Thimphu city. The currency accepted in the country is Bhutanese ngultrum, Indian rupee. The Bhutanese name for Bhutan, Druk Yul, means "Land of the Thunder Dragon". The major language spoken there is Dzongkha and the major religions followed are Buddhism (official) and Hinduism. Bhutan has continually been ranked as the happiest country in all of Asia, and the eighth Happiest Country in the world according to Business Week.


We visited the kingdom of Bhutan during summer holidays in May 2019 in India. Since it was our first international trip we decided to book it through the travel agency Cox&Kings.

The detailed itenay of the trip is provided here:-
We chose a package of 5 nights and 6 days for 3 people (2 adults and 1 child) . It vost 42,000 INR per person. However if you have a budget the packages start from 29000 INR per person. All of the packages provide a trip to 3 major and developed cities of Bhutan.




 Getting there:-
We had booked the tour starting from Mumbai to Paro aiport Bhutan. To reach Bhutan from Mumbai, there are two Mumbai to Paro flights operated by Druk Air. Mumbai to Bhutan Flight duration is on an average 3 hours 10 minutes. The flights are mostly nonstop.
You need a Bhutanese visa to enter and exit Bhutan. All visas are approved in the capital, Thimphu, and are only issued to tourists who have booked travel with a local licensed tour operator, either directly or through a foreign travel agent. Applications for tourist visas are submitted by the local tour operator.
However, Indian nationals intending to visit Bhutan are required to carry valid Indian Passport having validity of minimum 6 months.





Tour day 1:-

We reached Paro airport completed the immigration formalities and were provided a car to transfer to the hotel in Thimphuit was roughly a 1 hour 15 minutes ride. While the drive we saw many international schools and got a glimpse of the city life in Thimphu and of course there was a scenic views of the Himalayas covered with snow.

Day 2:-  On finishing breakfast we were supposed to go to the The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory but according to the government the tourists needed a pass to permit entrance. Unfortunately It was a government holiday on 2nd May and the passes required 4 hours to be generated. The whole process during the second day was poorly co ordinated by the tour guides which was disappointing. Later in the afternoon we visited the large Tibetan-style National Memorial Chorten and also the Buddha Dordenma Statue which is made of bronze and gilded in gold. It was as tall as a skyscraper!

Day 3:-  we checked out of the Thimphu hotel and proceeded to Punakha. It was a 3 hour drive which was approximately 90 kilometeres. We stayed at the KINGALING hotel in Punakha :
On the way we stopped at Dochula pass for refreshment.
One of the most spectacular panoramic views of the Himalayas. The Pass on a clear day offers magnificent view of the snowcapped mountains of the Himalayas. It is marked by an array of prayer flags and 108 chortens (stupas), known as the Druk Wangyal Chortens.
Later, in the evening, we visited the majestic Punakha Dzong, located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers which is the second most oldest dzong in Bhutan.

Day 4:- We checked out of the hotel in Punakha and proceeded to Paro. It was a 4 hour drive which was 130 kilometeres approximately. We stayed at the Udumwara resort, Paro. The rest of the day was at leisure for shopping.

SHOPPING:-  Thimphu, Paro and Phuntsheoling are the major centres of shopping in Bhutan. Tourists can buy Woven Bags, Stoles, Traditional Jewellery, Handmade Kira & Gho, Brassware, Yak-Bone Jewellery, Hand-Woven Bamboo Items, Carpets, Masks, Thangkas, Handmade Paper and finely Crafted Metal products.
Tourists can also shop at the wide spread Paro Bazaar. You can buy their traditional clothes such as Kira for women and Gho for men. 

Day 5:- After breakfast we visited The National Museum of Bhutan which is housed inside a revamped Ta Dzong, which was formerly a watchtower. Then visited Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, originally built in the 7th century. The temple complex is composed of two temples - the first was built to subdue a giant demoness and the second temple dedicated to Guru Rinpoche.
It is also called the fertility temple.
We also visited the Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), one of the oldest dzongs in Bhutan. Built in 1646 under the order of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, it serves as the administrative and religious centre of the valley. A prime example of Bhutanese architecture, the Dzong is an imposing square fortress with a central tower and courtyards housing the offices of the district administration and the court and a state monastic community of about 200 monks.


Day 6:-
 The day started with visiting  the Taktsang Lhakhang or the Tiger's Nest, the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage site and temple complex in Bhutan. Visible from afar, this stunning and highly revered the monastery is perched on a high granite cliff at an altitude of 10,236 ft., overlooking the northern Paro valley. According to the legend, this cliff side fortress was where Guru Rinpoche landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. It has been recognized as a sacred site ever since and many famous saints have travelled here to meditate. After having lunch in a nearby café called Champaca café we left for our hotel packed our luggage and left for the international aiport and boarded the flight back home to Mumbai. Thus, our tour concluded with memories full of this beautiful kindom of happiness!






Airline tickets:-   As there are only two ailines that operate from Mumbai to Bhutan you do not have plenty of options to chose from. Both airlines offer pretty much the same airfare. But if you want to book cheap airline tickets and want to spend more on stay and accomodation rather than airfare you can book your flight tickets from makemytrip during the time of sale as they provideyou with a discount upto 25000 INR approximately on your international flights and hotels. The link is provided below:-



And with this the blog comes to its end. I hope you will find this information somewhat helpful in planning your trip to the country. If you have any queries regarding the travel information feel free to ask in the comment section!




4 comments:

  1. Would definitely like to visit Bhutan atleast once

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bhutan is a lovely place. The life is so cool there not just due to low temperatures but otherwise also.

    ReplyDelete

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