5 reasons why Bhutan is on every traveller’s wish list this August
Unexplored landscapes. Breathtaking beauty. Dzongs and monasteries steeped in history. A legacy of culture and tradition like no other. This August take a break from the fast-paced routine of daily life and soak in the history of the Eastern Himalayas as you traverse through the land of the Thunder Dragon. Read on, as we give you five reasons to visit picturesque Bhutan this August.
A visit to Punakha Dzong
True to its location, Punakha Dzong, translates into the palace of great happiness. Constructed in the 15th century, Punakaha Dzong is today Bhutan’s second largest Dzong and one of the most majestic structures in the country. The splendid dzong houses the sacred relics of the southern Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred remains of Ngawang Namgyal and the tertön Pema Lingpa. The six-storied structure was constructed as an embodiment of Buddhist values and today visitors can walk through its corridors, admire the exquisite murals that adorn its walls and marvel at the original volume of the Kanjur, the holy book of the Drukpas that is stored in the Dzong.
Trek to Dochula Pass
One of Bhutan’s most popular tourist spots, the Dochula pass is located at an altitude of over 10,000 feet. Situated on the way from the capital city of Thimphu to Punakha, the snow-clad mountain pass is known for the 108 stupas that stand tall in the center of the pass. Built by Her Majesty the Royal Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, the stupas honor Bhutanese soldiers killed in battle. One can visit the ancient trail to witness the country’s most spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayas.
Discover peace at Paro Taktsang
A trip to Bhutan is incomplete without a trek to Paro Taktsang, more popularly known as Tiger’s Nest. Located in the upper Paro valley, the temple complex was the site where Guru Padmasambhava meditated for over three years in the 8th century. Today the sacred site is among Bhutan’s most visited tourist destinations.
Sneak-peek into Bhutan’s culinary heritage
A visit to the Folk Heritage Museum gives you a glimpse into rural Bhutanese life. For an authentic Bhutanese meal, unwind at a patio table set amidst fragrant fruit trees at this restored three-storey, timber building and indulge in traditional Bhutanese delicacies such as ema datshi (chillies in cheese), ezzy (red chilli chutney) and jasha maru (minced chicken curry with chillies).
Mountain Echoes Literary Festival
Each year, the best literary minds across the world descend in Thimphu for one of the most awaited events in the literary calendar, the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival. This year is no different as Bhutan’s picturesque capital gears up for the eighth edition of the distinctive literary arts and culture festival. With an aim to celebrate Untouched Beauty, Unexplored Ideas and Unstoppable Voices, the three-day festival will focus on globally relevant issues such as environmental conservation, natural history, spirituality, and the global evolution of textiles and design traditions.
Headline names set to appear at this year’s edition are Markus Zusak, His Eminence Kyabje Khedrup Rinpoche Ugyen Tenzin Thinley Lhendup, Padma Lakshmi, Pranay Lal, Devdutt Pattanaik, Francesca Beard, Phuntsho Namgyel, Lopen Sonam Bumdhen, Imtiaz Ali, Prayaag Akbar, Rebecca Pradhan, Palden Tshering and Neel Madhav.
For more info visit www.mountainechoes.org