Trip to Bhutan
WELCOME TO KINGDOM OF BHUTAN
Bhutan Package Tour at Best Price - VAGABOND.CO.IN
Where is Bhutan?
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a small landlocked country located in the southern foothills of the Himalayan mountain range, sandwiched between the People's Republic of China in the north and the Republic of India in the south.
It is a sovereign nation, with a total land area of 46,500 km² and a total population of 774,830.
Geography & Geology
Bhutan which is a small landlocked country, surrounded by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north, and the Indian territories of Assam and West Bengal to the south, Arunachal Pradesh to the east and Sikkim to the west. The valleys of Bhutan are traversed by the country’s four major river systems and their tributaries which ultimately drain to the Brahmaputra River in India. Approximately 73% of the land is drenched in wild greenery, the flag with dragon engraved on it, the rice that is born red, the place which is believed to be cursed by numerable demons and protected by multiple gods, the innocence of the locals that still believe on the existence of snowman and dragons spit fire, the land that has persevered the rarest of the nomadic tribes and fauna on the list of red-alert is what Bhutan is combine of.
Weather of Bhutan
The climate of Bhutan is influenced by altitude and is perhaps more diverse than that of any other similarly sized area in the world. The temperature ranges from -2.5 degrees Celsius in January. And 15 to 25 degrees Celsius in summer with a rainfall of 100mm in Thimphu, Bhutan. The climate is more seasonal with warm summers and cool and dry winters in the central parts of Bhutan.
History & Myths
Bhutan's early history is steeped in mythology and remains Concealed. It is one of only a few countries which have been independent throughout their history, never conquered, occupied, or governed by an outside power. Some of the structures, architectures provide evidence that the region has been settled as early as 2000 BC.
The country came to be known as Druk Yul or The Land of the Drukpas sometime in the 17th century. Initially Bonism (a pre-buddhist religion of Tibet) , was the dominant religion in the region that would come to be known as Bhutan.
Traditions & Culture
Bhutan’s cultural diversity and richness are profound. Bhutanese eating habits are simple and general. Before eating, a short prayer is offered and a small morsel placed on the floor as an offering to the local spirits and deities. A few decades ago arranged marriages were common and many married among their relatives. One of the most distinctive features of the Bhutanese is their traditional dress, unique garments that have evolved over thousands of years. The Haa summer festival is a lively & uplifting celebration of traditional living-culture, nomadic lifestyles, unique Bhutanese cuisine, traditional sports and religious performances.
The national language is Dzongkha and Two other major languages are the Tshanglakha and the Lhotshamkha. Tshanglakha is the native language of the Tshanglas of eastern Bhutan while Lhotshamkha is spoken by the southern Bhutanese of Nepali origin. Bhutan is linguistically affluent with over nineteen dialects spoken in the country. The richness of the linguistic diversity can be associated to the geographical area of the country with its high mountain passes and deep valleys. These geographical features forced the inhabitants of the country to live in isolation but also contributed to their endurance.
Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often. Vegetables commonly eaten include Spinach, pumpkins, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, river weed, onions and green beans. The most extraordinary characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillis are an essential part of nearly every dish and are treated so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy. Ema Datshi is the National Dish of Bhutan.
BHUTAN BEST TOURIST DESTINATION
The Kingdom’s capital city is home to approximately 100,000 inhabitants including the Royal family. Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan with an abundance of restaurants, internet cafes, nightclubs and shopping centers. However, it still retains its’ cultural identity and values amidst the signs of modernization. The city is spread out laterally in a north-south direction on the west bank of the valley formed by the Raidak River, which is known as the Thimphu Chuu in Bhutan. There are several attractions in Thimphu such as the National Post Office, the Clock Tower Square, the Motithang Takin Preserve, Tango and Chari Monasteries, Buddha Dordenma, National Memorial Chorten, Centenary Farmer's Market etc.
Emphasizing the natural beauty are the elegant, traditional-style houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills. One of the distinctive features of Paro town is that it is situated in a flat valley bottom and follows a grid-like pattern which extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom up to Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North. The country’s first and only international airport is also located in the region. The region contains one of Bhutan’s most iconic landmark, Taktsang Monastery, the Tiger’s Nest. The national museum, Ta Dzong, is also set in Paro.
Punakha valley has a pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. It is located at an average elevation of 1200 m above sea level. Punakha Dzong was built at the confluence of two major rivers in Bhutan, the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, which converge in this valley. In addition to its structural beauty. Domche is the annual festival held at the Dzong, which is largely attended by people from all villages and far places of the district.
Haa District lies along the western border of Bhutan. To the northwest it is bounded by the Tibet. Haa Valley, a steep north-south valley with a narrow floor. The name Haa, connotes esoteric hiddenness. The main crops grown in the valley are rice, wheat and barley.
The most distinctive feature of Chukha is the Chukha and Tala Hydropower projects. The two projects tap the fast-running waters of the Wang Chhu and Paa Chhu to produce more than 1,500 megawatts of power. These two dams are absolutely crucial to the country as they are still the largest providers of revenue for the Kingdom.
Bumthang is often referred to as the 'Switzerland of the East'. Its wide open valleys, its snow capped mountains, its green place. Bumthang Dzongkhag consists of four main valleys, Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor. Choekhor is the largest of the four and is widely considered as ‘Bumthang Valley’. Some of Bhutan’s oldest and most venerated temples are found in Bumthang, including Jambey Lhakhang.
Created Dochula Pass, Bhutan in honor of 108 Bhutanese soldiers who died in a 2003 military operation. Dochula Pass is a mountain pass in the snow covered Himalayas within Bhutan. Which is about 20 km from Thimphu.
It was first built in 1692 around the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave where Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Tiger Nest Monastery, is located in Paro, Bhutan. The monastery is one of the most venerated places of pilgrimage in the Himalayan. Taktsang Lhakhang is located approximately 10 km north of Paro town at an altitude of 3.120 m. and about 900 metres (3,000 ft) above the Paro valley. In order to arrive at the temple visitors must trek for around 2-3 hours. Beautiful, shady pine forests sightseen. A popular festival, known as the Tsechu, held in honor of Padmasambhava, is celebrated in the Paro valley sometime during March or April.
NATIONAL MEMORIAL CHORTEN
The Memorial Stupa, Thimphu, also known as the Thimphu Chorten, is a stupa in Thimphu, Bhutan. It is located close to the center of Thimphu city and is one of its most iconic monuments. Chorten literally means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha’.
BUDDHA DORDENMA STATUE
Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue in the mountains of Bhutan. Height of 177ft (54m), making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue; 100,000 statues of which are 8-inches-tall and 25,000 statues of which are 12 inches tall.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TOURIST
Do’s in Bhutan:
- All the citizens, except India and Bangladesh, need VISA to enter in to Bhutan.
- VISA should be applied minimum 30 days before you plan to visit Bhutan.
- One needs Route Permits to travel in Bhutan and this is provided by the Immigration office at Thimphu.
- Either carry Nu(Bhutan’s currency) or INR(India Rupees). Both are accepted in Bhutan, though 500 and 1000 Indian rupee notes might not be as easily accepted.
- US dollars and pretty widely accepted in Bhutan, but you are still advised to exchange some of your currency to Bhutan’s currency i.e ngultrum (Nu) or India Rupee for buying small items and for the really remote places. There are not many ATM machines nearby except major cities like Thimphu. Where also international ATM/Credit cards might or might not work.
- Do bring MasterCard – NOT Visa or other credit cards. Banks, ATM’s will not give cash on a VISA Credit card in Thimphu or Paro and others areas as well and only a few merchants take credit cards.
Don’ts in Bhutan:
- Tobacco is absolutely prohibited in Bhutan: The tourists might use it, but extra care should be taken. Selling of giving to the locals is also a crime.
- Make sure you take off your footwear before you enter into any religious place.
- You are advised to dress discretely and modestly in Bhutan. If you’re visiting any Bhutanese temple(Tsechu) they’d admire you if you wear their national dress gho and kira. Also make some donation to Tsechu.
- Foreign nationals are not permitted to carry Indian rupees across the border to and from India.
- Buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden in Bhutan. In general, please observe the local traditions and customs, it is a place with many of those. Refer to the DO’s and DON’T’s of your planned destinations for more specific information.
Documents required to enter Bhutan:
- At Bhutan Immigration: Voter Identity Card/ Passport/ Adhar Card & Passport Size Color Photo (2 NOS)
- In case of not holding the above document, you need to approach to the office of Consulting General of India. India Embassy for getting permission for entry into Bhutan. The following documents are required at the office of Consulate General of India. India Embassy for identification of India citizenship.
- Driving License / Pan Card / Ration Card / School / College Identity Card with Photo for those who are less than 18 years. Marriage Certificate / Bank Passbook with photo attested.
How to get permit for Bhutan:
- Indian nationals do not require any VISA for Bhutan. A permit will be issued at the entry point on production of a Passport of Voter ID and 04 Passport size photographs. We can also arrange the permit ahead of travel provided all documents are submitted 15 days prior travel to our registered office.
- Restricted Are Permit for PUNAKHA/ WANGDUE: Restricted Are Permit is required visit Punakha/ Wangdue from Home Ministry of Bhutan. Please bring 02 passport size photographs and Voter ID Card or Passport of each person including child. This special permit is given only after guest has entered Thimphu. Permit are not issued on Saturday and Sunday and any Govt. Holidays.