Happy in the Land of Happiness-The Concluding Part

“Exploration is really the Essence of the Human Spirit” – Frank Borman

   Dear Readers,

                           The last article ended with our trip to Punakha,the next morning we were all packed up to leave for Paro and we were excited that we would be crossing the Dochula Pass once again.We clicked  lots of photos of the beautiful Puensum Resort. We started at about 9 am it would take roughly about three hours to reach Paro.We reached Dochula pass at about 10 am,we had a brief washroom stop, the entire pass was foggy, even the Stupas were not visible so our luck ran out once again, as we couldn’t enjoy the beautiful view of the Himalayas.We reached Paro at about 12pm.

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On the way to Paro

                Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom upto Mt.Jomolhari at theTibetan border to the North at an altitude of 2200 m This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered with fertile rice fields and has a beautiful,crystalline river meandering down the valley.Its home to the only International Airport of the country.

Paro 

We decided to lunch at the Mountain Café which is located in the main town.Here you can choose from a variety of salads,soups,Pizzas,Burgers even Pav- Bhaji and the Indian Thali from their elaborate menu.For drinks there is a good choice of Mocktails and Juices.They don’t serve Non-Veg and Alcohol.

Mountain Cafe

They have free Wi-fi too.The ambience is pleasant and service is good.The food is good but a bit expensive.After lunch we walked around the street. At the designated time we reached the bus and we were on our way to the Paro Dzong which is a short distance from the town.

paro rinpung Dzong
The Paro Dzong

           The Paro Dzong is commonly referred to as the Rinpung Dzong,is a fortress-monastery commanding the view of the Paro valley, as though pondering over its long,tumultuous history.

The Beautiful Entrance door of the Dzong

Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche initially built a monastery here towards the beginning of the tenth century, the size of which was increased in 1644 by Ngawang Namgyal on the old foundations to an imposing five-story structure. This served for the following centuries as a clever and effective defence point against invasion attempts by the Tibetans.

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Below the Dzong, a traditional wooden bridge called Nyamai Zam spans the Paro Chhu, a reconstruction of the original, which was washed away in a flood in 1969. This bridge also served important defence purposes as earlier versions of it were removed in times of war to protect the Dzong. The most picturesque views of Paro Dzong are taken from the west bank of the river.

The Colourful designs of the Dzong

The Paro Dzong’s alternative name comes from the fact that it is built with stones instead of clay, as Rinpung literally translated into ‘heaps of jewels’.The structure survived the 1897 earthquake but the fort and all its jewels, however,succumbed to a fire in 1907, leaving only one Thangka, known as Thongdel, intact.The Dzong was then rebuilt by Penlop Dawa Penjor after the fire.

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Paro Dzong as Viewed from the Highway

            Today, it houses fourteen shrines and chapels within its premises. The courtyard inside the fortress is used for Paro Tsechu,one of the most important Bhutanese festivals.

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Child Monks of the Monastery

The Dzong also has a priceless collection of sacred masks and costumes and the incredibly beautiful prayer wheel Some relics preserved here date back several centuries, while others were contributed by Dawa Penjor and his successor Penlop Tshering Penjor recently.Like most Dzongs, this one too houses both members of the monastic body (about 200 monks) as well as government offices.

 

The Monks going to their Quarters

The Rinpung Dzong also houses the Ta Dzong a seven storeyed watch tower which is converted into a museum, is now the home of National Museum of Bhutan since 1967. Several scenes from Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1995 film Little Buddha were filmed here,Timings are 9-5 pm.Tickets Rs 300 per person.A strict dress code is followed.(Refer Bhutan Part-I)

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Steps to the Dzong

We reached the Dzong at about 2 pm.We deposited our bags in the locker and entered the museum.As we entered we found a room where different types of masks were displayed on the walls.These masks are used during the dance festival  Paro Tseshu held in the Dzong.We were enthralled to see the different dance forms on the television screen, it must be very fascinating to watch them live !!

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Entrance to the Museum

On the ground floor near the exit are a number of large vessels lining the walls as well as items for farm use.The first floor exhibits both modern and traditional weapons which include guns, cannons, swords, and bows and arrows.The second floor contains some preserved specimens of animals as the Takin(Bhutan’s national animal), snow leopards, deer, a crocodile, butterflies, and birds. Be sure to note the Bhutan Glory, a species of butterfly found only in Bhutan.On the third floor is the collection of coins, historic jewelery, and traditional costumes. On this floor the visitor can see the initiation of currency in Bhutan which began with small coins.The floor also features the evolution of traditional dress for both men and women from the 16th century to the present.On the fourth floor is a small collection of prehistoric items ranging from adzes(a kind of cutting tool) to earthenware pots collected from different parts of the country. The items represent an important source of information demonstrating the existence of people in Bhutan since the Stone Age.The fifth floor houses “The Chapel of the Wealth Deity” and Thangkas (Scroll paintings on cloth)The sixth Floor houses The “Chapel of the Tree of Merit” and Bhutanese Stamps.Photography is prohibited inside the Museum.After touring the Museum we came down to the Dzong

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Prayer Wheels an essential part of any Dzong or Monastery.

The first courtyard of the Dzong houses the administrative offices.We can see the Utse which is five storeys tall and an example of impressive wooden architecture.The entire Dzong has a colour combination of brick red and butter white.The beautiful floral designs surprisingly are hand painted with vegetable dyes. Rinpung Dzong has fourteen shrines and chapels.

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The Beautiful Courtyard

               The Fourteeen shrines are the following: 1) KungarwaMonks’ assembly hall 2)Sandalwood Stupa 3) Protector’s shrine 4) Temple of the Guru’s Eight Manifestations 5) Chapel of the head lama 6)The Clear Crystal shrine 7) Chapel of the Eleven faced Alvalokiteswara 8) Chapel of Amitayus 9) Apartments of the Abbot, 10) Chapel of Akshobhaya 11) Temple of the Treasure Revealer 12) Apartments of the King (Gyalpo’i Zimchung) 13) Apartments of the King (Gyalpo’i Zimchung) 14) temple of the Bursar

Outside the main Dzong is the Deyangkha Temple.What impressed me were the murals and the paintings particularly the painting of the life cycle.To explain the meaning of the entire painting would need another blog, the meaning is so deep and profound,however I will try to tell you the essence of the painting.

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Life Cycle Painting

The Bhavchakra,the wheel of life is a mandala a complex picture representing the Buddhist view of the Universe.To the Buddhist,existence is a cycle of life,death,rebirth and suffering that they seek to escape together.The wheel is divided into six realms or states into which a soul can be reborn.It is held by a demon.Around the rim are depicted twelve stages of dependent origins.The frightening figure holding the wheel is the Yama,the Lord of Death he has three eyes and is wearing a crown of skulls.In the middle of the wheel are the three causes of all sufferings.These are known as the three fires.They are greed,ignorance and hatred represented by a rooster a pig and a snake.Then we have the realms of humans.After that the realm of Gods at the bottom are the angry gods lingering around, at the bottom of the edges are the Hungry gods or Pretas are in the grip of their unfulfilled desires.This is in the symbol of bellies and hungry mouths which are unsatiated.Then are the realm of animals .Animals are used by humans and lack the necessary awareness to become enlightened. According to Buddhist belief humans are the only being who can be enlightened.At the bottom of the realm is the hell, people here are tortured till their bad karmas are worked off.

four friends
The Story of the Four Friends

Another interesting painting is the story of the four friends This story perfectly demonstrates harmony, interdependence, co-operation and friendship between four animals who become close friends. The story is a familiar Tibetan motif derived from the Jataka tales of Buddha’s former lives

In terms of a symbol understanding of this beautiful allegory: The elephant represents our body, the monkey represents the restless mind, the rabbit represents emotions, and the bird is the soul. Once in a forest in Varanasi, four animals: An elephant, a rabbit, a monkey, and a partridge disputed about the ownership of a tree where all of them had fed. The elephant claimed, “Well, this is my tree because I saw it first.”

To this the monkey replied: “Now, elephant do you see any fruits on this tree?”The elephant agreed that the tree was without any fruit.The monkey continued: “That’s because I had been feeding on the fruits of the tree long before you ever saw it.”Next the rabbit spoke up: “I fed on the leaves of this tree when it was just a small sapling before the monkey ate its fruit and way before the elephant ever saw it.” Finally the partridge who had been watching the argument, came forward and asserted: “The tree belongs to me because the tree wouldn’t have grown if I hadn’t spit it out as a seed. I helped plant the seed that grew into this huge tree before the rabbit fed on it, or the monkey ate its fruit, or the elephant saw it.”The elephant, monkey, and rabbit, conceded that the partridge was the first to know the tree. So all of bowed to the partridge and regarded it as their elder brother.The four animals became friends and decided to share the tree together in peaceful harmony, enjoying the beauty of the tree’s fragrance, the nourishment of its fruits, and the bounty of its shade. They worked together to obtain fruits: The fruits on the ground and on the lowest branches, the partridge and rabbit found by working together. The monkey climbed the tree and dropped the fruits for everyone to share but only the elephant could reach the highest branches with his trunk. The four animals worked co-operatively and with their combined strength, each one benefited and no one went hungry. Lesson humans can take from this story of brotherhood and friendship.

              After touring the Dzong we walked down about 10 minutes to the wooden cantilever bridge.

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The Wooden Cantilever Bridge

We left the  Dzong at about 4 pm and headed for some shopping in Paro market.All of us made a bee line to buy the delicious wine we had tasted during the Pink Night.(Refer Bhutan Part-I) The wine is available in a super market on the main road.The brands are Takin Red Wine and ZumZin Peach White Wine.We bought two bottles because that’s what is allowed to bring into the country.The prices are very reasonable we paid Rs 450 for two bottles.After carefully offloading our bottles in the bus,we set out shopping, there are innumerable Souvenir shops selling Shawls,Stoles,Trinkets,Curios and artefacts.I bought a wind chime,(Rs 200) fragrant air freshener(Rs 150) and a warm jacket(Rs 1200) which was very useful the next day for the trek to Tigers nest.I didn’t buy much as I was worried about excess baggage.

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Boutique Shops in Paro Market

There are boutique shops as well as the ordinary shops but I found the prices a bit high.You can use your bargaining skills as some of the ladies did quite well on that front.Here I would like to add that the Bhutanese currency is Nu and is par with Indian currency so you can just carry Indian Currency, Rs.2000 notes are not accepted otherwise all denominations are accepted.After almost two hours of feverish shopping we were back in the bus at 1745 hrs and thereafter headed to the Hotel Tenziling Resort.

Tenziling Resort

The rooms were comfortable but the food and service was not so good.We had an early dinner, as next day was the much awaited Trek to the Tigers Nest.We packed our backpack and carried the prayer flag we had bought in Thimpu during our visit to the Changangkha Temple for Rs 110 each.

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Paro Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest

 We all assembled at 6 in the morning (outside the temperature was 1 degree).All of us were excited and yes all were on time ! My hands were freezing for I had lost one of my gloves during my Thimpu adventure,here our bubbly buddy, who was up and about took me,out of my misery by lending me a pair.She was not coming with us as she was accompanying one of the member who, was not joining the trek but opted to go to Chalela pass. After collecting our packed breakfast and bottle of water we set out to the car parking which is also the base of the trek.After a short 25 minute drive we reached the car parking from where the trek starts.After a photo session we set out to the challenging trek.

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Group Photo before starting the Trek

The timings of the monastery are 8 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 6 pm.The entry fees is Rs 500.

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On the Edge of the Cliffside hanging precariously is the Paro Taktsang

Paro Taktsang or more popularly known as the Tiger’s nest is a sacred Buddhist site that precariously hangs on the cliff side of Upper Paro valley, at an height of 10,240 ft.A temple complex was first built in 1692 where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks,three days and three hours in the 8th century.The legend has that a former wife of a Tibetan king became a disciple of the Guru and she transformed herself as a tigress and carried the guru on her back from Tibet to the present location of the Taktsang. The only way to reach the monastery is trekking for those who cannot manage, horses are allowed one way only, till the steps start,there are 750 of them.The charges are 600 Nu.You can hire a horse at the car parking.We didn’t see any since,we were very early there was no one except our group.On an average it takes 3-4 hours to ascend and 2 hours to descend.The trek can be divided into three stages.The first stage is through the forests and till you reach the cafeteria.The second stage is the steep ascent and the third stage are the steps.We all started in groups the younger lot was fast and were in a hurry to reach the monastery.Then there were the average and the slow lot.

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All set for the  Hike

From the parking lot is the trail which climbs into a pine forest where you will pass by several Chortens buildings with water-powered prayer wheels inside. These buildings are surrounded by prayer Flags.

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The Water powered Prayer Wheels inside the Chortens

The sun was now shining bright.

 We had walked for an hour through the dirt trail in the forest when we reached the promising bench, where we sat down and had part of the breakfast, the smarter ones had it in the bus itself, they didn’t want to carry the extra load and waste time eating !

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Benches for the Trekkers to rest

It was about 7.30 when we resumed our journey.

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Before Resuming the Hike

We took some excellent shots of the monastery which looked far away.

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A shot taken of the Monastery which looked Far away

We crossed a path where there were small prayer wheels and prayer flags tied all along the path.

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The Prayer Wheels and the Prayer Flags

We reached the place from where there was the diversion for the cafeteria we walked past it, as we would be stopping there while descending.The cafeteria is the half way point.Our guide was running up and down sometimes with the faster lot and sometimes giving company to the slower ones. Stake our driver was bringing up the rear while Sajan leading the gang.At some point a member had a bit of chest pain but nothing to worry as the symptoms were not of what we were fearing!  Sajan and Stake gallantly carried bags of some of us who were finding it difficult to manage.

Tying the Prayer Flags

At 08.15 we reached the place where we had decided to tie the prayer flags,after tying the flags I decided to finish my breakfast which was eyed by a dog ,so I let him have the boiled egg.In most of the treks that I have done invariably dogs give us company.We resumed our trek at about 08.45 hrs and after 30 minutes we reached the steps there are railings all along the steps.

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The Most Photographed Place

Here you would get the mot spectacular view of the Monastery and is the most photographed place.Since we were early we found all the viewpoints to ourselves and took photographs to our hearts content.

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Spectacular View

The steps trail plunged into a  bridge across a thunderous waterfall that was cascading into a sacred pool.

The Waterfall

The time was 0915 hrs after crossing the bridge,we had to again climb up the stairs.

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The Bridge over the Waterfall

Although we had walked so much and the sun was up, still we were not sweating and continued wearing our jackets and gloves the temperature must have been around 4-5 degrees.I clicked innumerable shots of the monastery and the snow clad Himalayas from every possible point.I must thank Stake for being patient and clicking so many photos.

Green Pine Trees and Snow Clad Mountains

After making a brief stop and clicking some photos we resumed our journey. The Monastery looked very close but there were about 100 steps still to be climbed.

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Almost There !

The first group had reached around 9 am the second and the third group along with both Stake and Sajan were now together and we all reached at 9.30 am.The actual trek started at 6.30 am.It took us about 3 hours with all the stops and photo sessions.

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The Steps

We handed over our belongings to Sajan (You cannot carry your backpack,mobile or camera inside the monastery) which he kept in the locker.One has to do entry in the register kept at the entrance.This was taken care by our guide.Also a security check is done at the entrance.We sat down for a while soaking in the ambience of the place,the fumes of the incense sticks and the chants has a calming effect on you as you enter the monastery.Inside the monastery there are several shrines and temples.The ground was very cold and as advised by the guide we wore double socks or thick socks which kept our feet protected. The complex has white buildings with golden roofs. Paro Taktsang Monastery consists of 4 main temples and several dwellings.

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Dwellings and the  Paro Taktsang

All buildings are interconnected by staircases with steps carved into the rock. Almost every single building of the monastery complex has a balcony with a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. The main shrine of the monastery – the prayer wheel is located in the courtyard of the temple. Every morning at 4 a.m. it is being rotated by monks to mark the beginning of a new day.

The interior design of the temple impresses one with its beauty gold-plated dome and flickering lights that are illuminating the golden idols. In the hall of Thousand Buddhas, which is carved into the rock, a large statue of a Tigeress is installed.The Tigeress is respected as the symbol of Paro Taktsang because of the legend, according to which the location of the Monastery was chosen by the Tigress. The Tigress brought here on her back the founder of Bhutan’s Buddhism guru Padmasmabhava.

The cave where Padmasmabhava is believed to have entered first, on the back of the tigeress, is known as “Tholu Phuk” cave and the one where he meditated is known as the “Pel Phuk”. Monks of the monastery are supposed to live and meditate in these caves for 3 years. They rarely visit the adjacent Paro valley. We sat down and meditated for a while in one of the shrines. In the third shrine there is a triangular shaped hole,10 meters below is a print of the Spiritual Dagger of Guru Padmasambhava(Guru Rinpoche) from early 8th century. History says that after meditation on the granite cliff, the Guru threw his spiritual dagger to subdue the evil demon.Subduing him from that place,the print of the dagger was naturally formed.So we drop  money and make wishes..and it is considered  holy and good luck if the money falls  directly on the print.Some of us tried but the money didn’t land directly on the print.Better luck next time !

After this we tried the thumb print on the rock.The whole rock is considered as a treasure stone where we can see the thumb print of the guru’s consort.The local folklore says,if you make a wish and aim using your thumb from at least 3 meters away from the print,there after closing both the eyes you walk in towards the rock print with your thumb pointing,and if you can place your thumb on that print !Your wishes would come true. All of us attempted and most of us were successfull. After this we visited the meditation room of the Guru,the inner actual meditation cave was closed.It is opened only once a year in one of the most auspicious date in Bhutanese lunar calender.Thereafter  we visited the cave or den for the Tigress,where the guru preserved his Tigress while he was meditating.

The place gave me an inner peace and tranquility. To earn this  bliss one must make the ardous climb. For this is the reason, why any kind of transport is not allowed.

Paro Taktsang was burnt in the year 1998 and with great difficulty it was restored.After a tour of the Monastery and experiencing the spirituality of the place.It was time to start our descend.We collected our belongings and I had a quick photo session with our guide Sajan and driver Stake.

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With Sajan and Stake

We started our descend at about 11-30 am, when I realised my roomie had mistakenly taken my bag, as we had similar ones.It was getting warm and we had to shed our layer of clothing, the caps and gloves also went into the backpack.After climbing the bridge I found my roomie waiting for me ,it was time for a  group photo. 

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The Descend

You will be tempted to click photos everywhere in this beautiful ,picturesque land.The descend was much faster and as decided we had to meet at the cafeteria two us got separated, from the group and were a bit confused, about which route to take to the cafeteria, there were many locals ready to help us, and then we found our man in shining armour Stake, who then guided us to the cafeteria.

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The Cafeteria

The route down to the cafeteria is quite tricky, thanks to my trekking boots I made my way safely.We met many people going up and wondered when they would return, and thanked Sajan for the decision to start early.We found my roomie and others waiting at the cafeteria,soon Sajan and Stake joined us,and we were served piping hot cups of coffee and biscuits(complimentary)

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Refreshing Coffee and Biscuits

The cuppa was refreshing and energising.The first group opted out and didn’t stop at the cafeteria.The washrooms are not so clean but then you don’t have a choice. The coffee energesied us and we started our onward journey fully charged.On the way we met students collecting the trash in bags, which really impressed us.

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Students picking up Trash

Walking through the pine trees I found many pine cones and collected   some (I have decided to paint them 🙂 )

The Return Journey

We reached the car parking at about 2.15 pm and were delighted to find a kind of flea market, the hawkers displayed many curios and artefacts all at a much lesser price, compared to the main Paro Market.Surpisingly I was not very tired maybe because I did the hike leisurely, but I was famished.Some of the girls wanted to go the hotel as they were very tired but some of us wanted toyummyThankfully the bus dropped them to the hotel, and we continued to the market area, as recommended by our guide we lunched at Sonam Trophel restaurant.Although the service was a bit slow (because they prepare everything after the order is placed) the food was good and the prices absolutely pocket friendly.We left at about 5 pm and after reaching the hotel there was an interesting session awaiting us. Kiras(Bhutanese traditional dress for Women) were arranged, we picked up one according to our size, a hotel staffer helped us to wear it and after that umpteen number of photos were taken.

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All Dressed up in Kiras

After dinner we packed and carefully packed the wine bottles.We were heading home the next morning.We left for the airport at 9 am our flight was at 11.30 am.Group photos were taken before we left for the airport,thus a wonderful holiday came to an end we bid our farewells and took with us memories to cherish for a lifetime.

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Group Photo before leaving for the Airport.

Our flight was  delayed for more an hour and to add to our worries it was via Kathmandu. We landed at Kathmandu at 1.30 pm and the plane was further delayed, we finally landed at Delhi Airport at 4.15 pm and five of us had a connecting flight to Mumbai at 6.15pm ! I thank the Buddy for assisting me for a faster immigration.We just made it on time after rushing through all the counters, as you know one has to walk quite a bit in T3 of Delhi Airport.We landed in Mumbai on time and bid our goodbyes for one last time with promises to remain in touch.I thank Wow for the excellent arrangements and thoughtfully prepared itinerary,special thanks to Sajan ,he is an excellent Guide and the Wow Buddy.The trip was from March 9th- 15th.

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The Bus in which we Travelled

Since Wow made all the arrangements we didn’t have to bother about permits and tickets everything was arranged.Visa permit is not required for Bhutan you can either carry your Voter-id card or passport for immigration purpose.However I will give you a few tips regarding how to travel to Bhutan if you are planning to travel on your own.If you are a solo Woman Traveller I would recommend WOW CLUB.

Ending with this beautiful poem which sums up the trip by Hemangi my roomie in trip.

If journey of  life is taking different turns,

Feeling low or change you yearn,

It’s the right time of life girls,

To run away from the madness,

Head to East,Bhutan,

It’s a land of happiness.

Understand that the world sails smooth without you,

  Children grow and others do the job that’s due,

   Still if you feel you are too important,

   For your family, job and business,

   Head to East, Bhutan,

   It’s a land of happiness.

Ah ! the fresh air, green mountains,

Clear water and  pious people,

Just walk,raft or trek around,

Become strong from feeble,

So don’t waste more time,

Shrug off your laziness,

Head to East,Bhutan,

It’s a land of happiness.

               Listen to the stories of Sajan,

              Of Buddha, madmen and wine,

             How the people were transpired,

              From wild nomads to divine,

            Marvel at the Mandala paintings, prayer flags,

            And pictures of his Highness,

           Head to East, Bhutan,

          It’s a land of Happiness.

               If what you will get you wonder

                Let me show you,the treasure,

                 Sits in the arms of mighty hills,

                  This tiny country will give you thrills,

                   Surely fellow travelers,

                   You’ll vouch for their goodness,

                    Head to East, Bhutan,

                   It’s a land of Happiness.

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Tips for Travel

Traveling to Bhutan from India.

By Air: Flying to Bhutan from India is quite easy. There are two direct airlines, namely, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines that operate flights from Delhi, Gaya, Bagdogra, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati to Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport. Indian travellers can be offered special fares in Drukair, if the airline is contacted through email.

By Rail: One of the cheapest ways to reach Bhutan from India is by rail. Hasimara is the nearest railway station to Jaigaon, an Indian town on Indo-Bhutan Border. It is situated at a distance of 17 kms from Jaigaon. There are trains to Hasimara from Kolkata (690 kms), Delhi (1663 kms), Ranchi (749 kms), and Kanpur (1197 kms). Another station that offers a decent connectivity is situated in New Jalpaiguri. The tickets and timetable is available on Indian Railway’s IRCTC Website. Though trains take longer but are quite cost efficient and are ideal for budget travellers.

By Road: The most common way to enter Bhutan from India by road is from Jaigaon town in West Bengal. It is only 4.3 kms from the border town of Bhutan, Phuentsholing. Private cabs are available between the two places. People getting down at Bagdogra (by flight) or at New Jalpaiguri (by train) can also avail cab services. The airport at Bagdogra have prepaid taxis as well. However, for those travelling on budget can hire the cab by directly cracking a deal with the cab drivers.

How to get Tourist permit in Bhutan
The Immigration Office in Phuentsholing issues permit (for SAARC nations). There are few documents that need to get verified before the tourist permit is handed out. Those travellers flying directly to Paro can get their permits from Paro International Airport.

List of Documents:

  • A duly filled form
  • Copy of Voter’s ID or Passport
  • An Itinerary on an A4 Sheet
  • Booked Hotel’s Voucher (It is mandatory to show hotel booking confirmation of at least one hotel in Thimphu/Paro)
  • Passport Size Photo
  • An Undertaking Letter (In case you are travelling solo)

Things to Remember:

 Be clear about what you fill in the occupation section, merely writing ‘Service’ or ‘Private Job’ will not be sufficient. Mention the sector you work in as well as your designation.

1) Go early in the morning, 8 –8.30 AM, this way you will be able to dodge a long queue.Also, you will get free early,and shall have the chance to reach Thimpu/Paro before evening, as both the places are at a good 5-6 hours long drive from  Phuentsholing.

2) In case you forgot to take photocopies of the required document, there are shops just opposite the Immigration Office for photostat.

             Through this Tourist Permit, you can go to Thimphu, Paro and Punakha. Please note that in order to visit Bumthang and other tourist places in Bhutan a separate permit is required.

   This Tourist Permit is free of cost, however, if you are seeking help of an agent apart from the tour operators), you might have to pay him some amount for his services.            

You can book Hotels online according to your budget , for sightseeing get in touch with Sajan on this no+97517779500  or any of the local tour operators like Heavenly Tours and Travels, Bhutan_tenpa_travel. You can also contact Sajan to plan your tour.He is a very honest and reliable person and has a great deal of love and respect for the tourists visiting his country particularly Indians.

I would like to add that you cannot enter the Dzongs and Monasteries without a Guide so hire one as soon as you reach Paro/ Thimpu.I would like to clarify that the names and phone number given of tour operators is to assist  you to plan your trip dear readers I don’t benefit from it in anyway.

Source : Wikipedia & Mr Sajan 

Happy Travelling 🙂 🙂 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Happy in the Land of Happiness-The Concluding Part

  1. Very informative

    Like

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