BHUTAN - THE LAND OF GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS
Bhutan is an ecologically rich country that sits adjacently to India. It is popularly known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon, since the valleys of Bhutan experience thunderous storms during monsoon. The locals believe the rampage is unleashed by the dragon of thunder, popularly known as the Druk Yul. The country of Bhutan has ditched the monetary concept of GDP. It measures its qualitative growth through the unique concept of Gross National Happiness, that is measured through good governance, ecological sustainability, and preservation of culture.
AN ECOLOGICALLY RICH DESTINATION
Bhutan is also referred as the Last Shangri La, because it is one of the rarest exotic hotspots that have been meticulously preserved. Its culture and the ecological environment remain intact through continuous efforts over the years. Tobacco is banned in Bhutan. There were no vehicles running through the streets of Bhutan 50 years before. Nearly 70% of the country's expanse is covered in lush greenery, most of them being nationally protected ecological hotspots humans are prohibited to enter. Most of the towering peaks in Bhutan are not allowed to be scaled, believing that it will defile the sanctity of the deities who reside there.
WHERE SIMPLICITY IS THE WAY OF LIFE
All of these efforts made by the government and the locals to keep their country pristine and environmentally protected make Bhutan all the more alluring. The simple lifestyle of the locals lived amidst breathtaking mountains and valleys, poses the image of an ideal countryside lifestyle devoid of any stress, that most of the urban residents suffer from. This makes Bhutan an ideal location to land into and rejuvenate, meet and locals, hop through the monasteries and get the first-hand taste of simplicity at its finest.
YOUR BHUTAN BUCKET LIST
- Embark on a trek to the Paro Taktsang, which is a monastery perched at an elevation of nine hundred meters. It is an architectural marvel to behold.
- Walk into the Chamlingthang Archery Ground and try throwing an arrow or two. Analyze your finesse in the National Sport of Bhutan along with the locals.
- The Dochu La Pass commands great views of the world’s tallest unclimbed mountain, Mount Gangkar Peunsum. Also look out for 108 beautiful stupas.
- The Punakha Dzong is famous for its sheer display of breathtaking colors. Witness golden spires, whitewashed walls, purple shaded jacarandas & crystal blue waters.
- The Buddha Dordenma, a 51 meter giant effigy of the Shakyamuni Buddha welcomes you to the capital of Thimphu. The stark golden statue is worth being photographed.
- Every tourist should attend the Paro Tsechu in Bhutan. Witness exotic mask dances and cultural parades that are a melee of colors and every photographer’s paradise
DO YOU KNOW?
The patron saint of Bhutan is Guru Rinpoche, also known as Guru Padmasambhava (Lotus-Born). He is accredited for bringing Buddhism into the domain of Bhutan. Famous throughout the South Asian region as the demon hunter, Guru Rinpoche was invited to the valley of Bumthang by the local king Sendharkha. He was suffering from an illness inflicted upon him by a god named Shelging Karpo. When the king sought the help of Guru Rinpoche, he flew towards Bhutan on the back of a flying tigress and landed on Paro. He meditated inside a rocky cave in Paro, where the present Paro Taktsang stands. He then headed towards Bumthang and meditated again to prepare himself for the fight. It is said that his emanated so much of energy during his meditation inside the cave, the energy left an imprint of his body on the rock. The imprint still exists inside this cave, where presently the temple of Kurjey Lhakhang is built. Guru Rinpoche went on to fight Shelging Karpo. He subdued him and helped King Sendharka recover, and the prosperity returned back to his village. The King turned into a devout Buddhist ever since then and preached Buddhism throughout Bumthang, which later spread to the entire kingdom of Bhutan.
NEAREST CHECK-IN POINTS
- Nearest Railway Station – NJP Railway Station
- Nearest Airport – Paro International Airport
- Nearest Bus/Vehicle Stand – Jaigaon Vehicle Stand