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Bhutan


Bhutan is where tradition coexists peacefully with modernisation, a perfect melting pot of both elements. At first glance, you might think that Bhutan is rather slow in terms of development, but you will be surprised to find that the Bhutanese are actually well-educated, even fun loving and vibrant. Its capital, Thimphu, is the world’s only capital without traffic lights. Gesturing, white-gloved police continue to direct the ever-increasing traffic, and may well be the city’s most photographed spectacle.

The four main castles of Bhutan ~ TrashiChhoeDzong, RinpungDzong, DrukgyelDzong and the most beautiful of them all, the PunakhaDzong.

  • PunakhaDzong, meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss” is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. It was the administrative centre and the seat of the Government of Bhutan until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. The Dzong even houses sacred relics and sacred remains within it. It gained international fame when the current king of Bhutan solemnised his wedding here, thus showing to the world the beauty of Bhutanese architecture and craftsmanship.
     
  • TrashiChhoeDzong is a government building by day, a structure of impressive craftmanship with large, golden Bhutanese styled spires on top. It is also the nation’s largest monastery and on weekdays, is only open for a short time to the public.
     
  • RinpungDzong, which means “fortress on a heap of jewels”, is built on the foundation of a monastery and was once severely damaged by a fire in 1907. Much like other dzongs, it houses the Paro district’s monastic body and government administrative offices. It is also one of the most impressive and well known dzongs that even the Hong Kong actor and actress couple, Tony Leung and Carina Lau shot some wedding photos here.
     
  • The DrukgyelDzong (Druk=Bhutan, gyel=victory) was built in 1649 to commemorate the victory of Bhutan over Tibetan invaders in 1644. The building even had a false entrance to lure enemies into an enclosed courtyard! It was used as an administrative centre until 1951, when a fire caused by a butter lamp destroyed it. However, visitors are still able to admire the old Bhutanese architecture of what remains, and it is one of the best places to admire the snowy mountains of Bhutan.

A small monastery located far up on a cliff, ParoTaktsang is a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple complex. It is said to be one of the thirteen small monasteries that Guru Rinpoche, the one who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, meditated. Those who manage to climb the steps up to the temple will be rewarded with a stunning view of the Paro Valley.

Buddha Point, or KuenselPhodrang, is where Bhutan’s largest Buddha statue sits. The statue itself houses 125,000 smaller gold-gilded Buddha statues within, and is made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bhutanese monarchy.

A temple famous among the locals, many childless couples who wish to have children would come to ChimiLhakhang to pray to Lama DrukpaKuenley and seek for blessings from the monks. Many claimed they were able to bear children after a visit to the temple, even those who were thought not able to do so.

The national animal of Bhutan, takins look as they have the head of goats and the body of cows. They are herbivores and are not picky about their diet, eating almost any plants they find. According to legend, takins were created by the Divine Madman by sticking the head of a goat to the bones of a cow and breathing life into it.

Even the journey itself is very rewarding as during your flights to and from Bhutan, you will enjoy a bird eyes view of the stunning Himalayas and the magnificent Mt. Everest