Bhutan, world’s last Shangri-La

Towards India’s eastern side lies Bhutan, a small yet significant place tucked quietly in mountains and emanating natural beauty in bounties. Bhutan lives on happiness and a trip to Bhutan is nothing short of happy memories. We have gathered places that as a tourist you must visit in Bhutan to explore the known as well as the unknown side.

Punakha Dzong

Bhutan’s most majestic Dzong and the second oldest and second largest Dzong, Punakha Dzong is rightly termed as the Palace of Great Happiness. It is easy to reach this place by road and the journey is a scenic delight.

Placed between two rivers of different colours, Punakha Dzong is joined to the mainland by an arched wooden bridge. There are various marvels here from the olden days.

Tiger’s Nest Monastery

This is a dream. The cliff on which it hangs is rather a popular picture we see in magazines or travel portals. The Paro valley is seen from this place. This place holds religious significance as Guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism into Bhutan, arriving here on the back of a tigress.

This monastery overlooks captivating forest of blue pines and rhododendrons. People have to climb up to see it and the climb is rather steep but it is worth it. The track goes through a chapel of butter lamps and goes right to a waterfall by the Snow Lion Cave.

Gangtey Valley

Himalayas has several mesmerizing treks and passes and the valley of Gangtey is one of the most stunning valleys. This place is also called the Shangri-La of Bhutan. Why this valley is visited is due to its wide expanses unlike the other Bhutanese valleys that are narrow. The trek towards this valley passes through beautiful fields and forests and spring flowers.

The valley has forests where rhododendron and magnolia grow and depending on the season changes to ferns and dwarf bamboo. The historical Gangtey monastery and the blacked necked crane information centre is another place that must be visited.

Dochula Pass

While going from Punakha to Thimpu comes the Dochula Pass, which is a fine spot.  This place enjoys being one of the most frequently visited destinations of Bhutan. Tourists get to see snow peaked mountains, chortens, different colours with nature at its best. It is simply stunning to be here.

Drukgyel Dzong

There are several tales associated with this place. The path to Drukgyel Dzong also connects Tibet and Paro valley. Way back in 1951, the Dzong was shattered by fire. The remains are still visible in a charred state. There are big towers, Chorten, chapel and others ruins that takes you back in time.

Zuri Dzong Hike

To get a glimpse of the entire Paro valley, the peak of the Zuri Dzong Trek is simply the best. Being the oldest Dzong in Bhutan, this place has a cave from the eighth century where Buddha meditated. The hike indeed is full of surprises and has amazing side view.