Bhutan is a small nation tucked between India and Tibet. It is the last of the Himalayan kingdoms and is situated in the mountainous regions of the Eastern Himalayan range. Offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and ravines, Bhutan is peppered with dense forests, serpentine streams and lush valleys making it one of the most exotic destinations one can visit.
The predominantly Buddhist nation is a mesmerizing amalgamation of exquisite flora and fauna, ancient architecture, picturesque landscapes and rich, thriving culture. Bhutan is counted among the cleanest countries in South Asia and 72% of it is covered in forests, making it the only carbon-negative country in the world! While its natural beauty is well known, Bhutan is also wrapped in spirituality and the Buddhist culture that is represented in the serene monasteries and the grand architecture. Another impressive feature of Bhutan comes in the form of its wildlife reserves and parks. Home to all manner of animals and birds, Bhutan is famous for some highly elusive and rare species! As such, all these make the cornerstones of Bhutan’s tourism and anyone who visits can attest to an inspiring and fulfilling experience.
Bhutan’s unique landscapes and the enthralling heritage make it a haven for nature enthusiasts, travellers and couples. Steeped in mystery and a cultural diversity that can seldom be found, it is an enthralling destination that promises to charm and enrich all who visit!
What are some of the places to visit in Bhutan?
Well known for all its aspects, Bhutan boasts an unrivaled culture and offers a plethora of places to visit, explore and experience.
This border town of Bhutan is known for its perfect mix of Bhutanese, Indian and Nepalese communities. Home to numerous shrines and monasteries like the Zangto Pelri Lhakhang and Karbandi Monastery, Phuentsholing is a city shrouded in religion and exudes grace and beauty.
Popular as the gateway to Bhutan, Paro has the only international airport in the country. Well known for the regal architecture, Paro hosts numerous palaces and monasteries which resonate the city’s history. Paro is also reputed for its numerous treks and the Chele La Pass that visitors can explore.
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and a tiny metropolis in itself. Offering stunning views of the snow-clad mountain peaks and traditional wood houses, Thimphu is a must-visit. One of the most famous features of Thimphu is the Buddha Dordenma Statue, which is one of the largest in the world! This city is also one where you can experience Bhutan’s striking nightlife.
This cultural hub is located at the junction of two of Bhutan’s rivers, Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu. Punakha is famous for the Punakha Dzong, the second largest in Bhutan and the Punakha suspension bridge that swings even in the gentlest of breezes. A visit to this town reveals a striking world within a world and is well worth the trip.
Phobjikha Valley is a massive glacial valley in the shape of a bowl that flanks the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. Home to some of the most exotic wildlife that you can visit, this valley is also a cultural powerhouse with a range of attractions like Wangmo Hand-Woven Carpet Factory, Gangte Goemba and the White Chorten.
Trongsa is a small town located in Central Bhutan and known for its staggering historical significance. Home to the Royal Heritage Museum which is dedicated to the Wangchuck Dynasty, the museum has 11 galleries that display royal memorabilia, artifacts and depictions related to the establishment of Buddhism in Bhutan. Another important monument is the Chendebji Chorten which was built by Lama Shida in the 18th century.
What are some of the other attractions in Bhutan?
Apart from the various places to visit, Bhutan has a wide range of attractions that you can experience as mentioned below
Hike to Taktshang Goemba
Taktshang Goemba also known as ‘The Tiger’s Nest Monastery’ is sanctified as one of Bhutan’s most sacred religious sites. The Buddhist temple was built on a cliff 3120 metres above sea level and is a prominent symbol of Bhutan. Being on a cliff, the temple can only be approached by a two hour trek through the dense surrounding forests. According to legend, the monastery gets its name from the fact that in the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche came here on the back of a tigress from Eastern Bhutan!
Take Part in Adventure Activities
The hilly and rugged terrain in and around Bhutan is perfect for a host of adventure sports and activities. From cycling and mountain biking to trekking and rock climbing, adventure lovers and thrill seekers are sure to have enough and more to do. Moreover, for those looking for an adrenaline rush, Bhutan also offers white-water rafting and kayaking along Paro Chhu!
Visit the Famous Museums
The museums in Bhutan are very famous and some of the best places to visit. With intricate detail, they reveal the traditions, folklore, religion and history of this utopia. The numerous museums like the Institute of Traditional Medicine Museum, National Textile Museum and Folk Heritage Museum of Bhutan showcase the spellbinding culture and diversity.
What is the best time to visit Bhutan?
The best time to visit Bhutan is in spring (March to May). The temperatures during spring are a comfortable 11 to 25°C. The climate is less humid, landscapes are bright and colourful and this is also the ideal time to try out many of the adventure sports. The autumn months (September to November) bring with them mildly cool but also sunny weather and are again good times to visit the country. Both the spring and autumn months host a number of festivals that visitors can experience and enjoy.