Bhutan, a small country yet something where you will see new and whimsical world of the Himalayan Kingdom with so many marvels of Dzong architecture nestled in precipitous cliffs. Here are few places where one should explore the feudalism of a mediaeval age camouflaged in natural beauty:
This beautiful valley of Paro in Butan is nestled within the snow-capped Himalayan range and is very popular for its rich cultural diversity and scenic beauty. Here you will get to see few of the most beautiful temples and monasteries located in the colourful villages down the valley. You can seek the much solace at Rinpung DzongDzong, Drukgyel Dzong, Drukgyel Dzong and numerous other places displaying the uniqueness of Bhutan. Also, don’t forget to check out the terraced fields of red rice in Paro.
The city of Phuentsholing lies just next to the town of Jaigarh in Indian state of WB, it is a second largest town in Bhutan and offers clean and safe environment just like all of Bhuatn. The popular places to see in Phuentsholing are Amo Chuu which is the Crocodile breeding centre, Bhutan gate and scenic spots at the city outskirts.
The capital city, Thimphu holds few of the most intriguing destinations in the country and is also famous for 51.5mt bronze statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. Here you will find a lot of religious structures and Bhutanese art galleries which grabs most of the attraction of this captivating city. The National Memorial Chorte, Changangkha Lhakhan, Zangthoperi Lhakhang, Tashichhoedzong and Trashi Chhoe Dzong are few places that create the best chance to briefly break away from the tour itinerary.
4. Drukgyel Dzong
About 14km from Paro is stand the ruins of ancient Drukgyel Dzong from 1649,the popular attraction of the Dzong is the false entrance which was made to keep the Tibetan invaders away from entering the courtyard. Amazing views of Jhomolhari’s from Drukgyel Dzong makes this place ideal for bike riding.
5. Chelela pass
Bhutan’s very own Chelela Pass is the highest vantage point (13000 ft.) where you get beautiful views of Haa Valley from one side and Paro on the other. A two hour drive from Paro will get you here, and the route is just amazing with Yaks grazing in a distant horizon makes the Chele la pass so mesmerising that you are most likely to miss this place when you return home. Thousands of colourful flags waving, frozen rivers and Alpine Flowers everywhere deliver a soulful view of the sacred Jomolhari Mountain.
Jakar aka Choekor Valley being the trending centre of Bhutan will obviously be covered in a Bhutan trip, the valley is commonly referred as “Little Switzerland of Bhutan”. A lot of pilgrimage sites are scattered throughout the locality among which Kurje Lhakhang, Zangtopelri Lhakhang, etc. are considered to be most sacred where you can have a peaceful time photographing and buying locally made goods and handicrafts.
7. Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest)
Paro Taktsang aka Tiger’s Nest is a Himalayan temple complex situated in the upper Paro valley, it is basically a holy site for the Buddhists as it is believed that Guru Padmasambhava meditated at the caves here for three years. The complex comprises of 30 temples and several shrines to worship, also many locations to grasp the spectacular views of this alpine region.
8. Haa valley
If you are looking for some well-planned sightseeing and nature walks, then Haa valley is one stop destination in Bhutan where you can start your trek by visiting Taktsang Monastery further exploring the environmentally protected Haa valley. Other hotspots in Haa are Black, White and Haa Gonpa temples, and nearby special chorten or stupa with an imprint of Guru Padmasambhava’s body and hat which can’t be missed. Make sure to take a permit from Thimphu to visit the Haa valley.
9. Bumdelling Wildlife Sanctuary
The Bumdelling Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 1,520.61 square kilometres and is considered to be a very important bird area of the Himalayas which covers the alpine lakes and the Bumdelling Valley. The sanctuary is known for supporting Black-necked Cranes which is one of the rarest bird species; also here you can spot Takins which are found only in the Himalayan region which makes it the national animal of Bhutan.
10. Trongsa Dzong
The largest Dzong fortress of Bhutan, Trongsa Dzong is situated in the centre of the country near Mangde River, there are as many as 25 temples in this complex where listening to more than 200 Buddhist Monks chanting is just peaceful. The backdrop of Mangde Chuu Valley makes the locality even more scenic, this place is surely a must add to your travel diary.
Located along the river valley of Pho and Mo Chu, Punakha is visited by the tourists to check out the Dzong architecture of Pungthang Dewachen Gi Phodrang which is considered to be the most beautiful Dzong of Bhutan. When in Punakha don’t forget to visit the beautiful Rishta village where houses are pounded mud with stone foundations making them look very attractive surrounded by the rice fields.