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A Visual Treat: The Dragon Kingdom: Bhutan

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Sitting in the flight of Drukair, Royal Bhutan Airlines, we are looking forward to experience one of best countries and to witness that there exists a Heaven on earth.

While in the flight we witnessed the mesmerizing Himalayas, In Sanskrit it means for ‘abode of snow’.

At the airport we saw the beautiful picture of the His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Her Majesty Queen Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck of Bhutan.

Bhutan, is a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge.

It is known for its magnificent monasteries, dzongs and landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. The Bhutanese name for Bhutan, Druk Yul, means “Land of the Thunder Dragon”. Bhutan is the happiest country in Asia and the citizens are very content due to the landlocked Himalayan kingdom’s beautiful mountain scenery, isolated culture and strong sense of national identity.

 

We spent six wonderful days traveling around the country, exploring the life and culture here in the self-proclaimed Dragon Kingdom.

Here’s a visual treat from my eyes to yours, through one of the most unique, inimitable and beautiful countries we have ever experienced…….

From the Paro Airport we travelled to Thimphu which is the Capital of Bhutan.

In downtown Thimphu, the streets were a little more hectic than in the serene Paro. The air was fresh, pollution free and the atmosphere was pleasant and hospitable.

 

At the Local Market in Thimphu we saw the antiques being sold, they were all so impressive ranging from various bronze idols of Lord Buddha to various Gods, beautiful masks and jewelry. We purchased a lot of them for our home, as we would carry them along with the cherished memories of this country.

I caught these little trouble makers trying to tie each other with a jute rope to a pole. I believe in that Children look at everything and see the magic, feel it and breathe it.

I learned to give, not because I have many, but because I know exactly how it feels to have nothing.

My Soulmate spins the prayer wheels as we pray, let everyone’s prayers be answered.

 

“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path”. –Lord Buddha

Immense love for the Divinity.

We stopped to see the world’s largest Lord Buddha statue that is the Great Buddha Dordenma. The statue houses over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues, each of which, like the Great Buddha Dordenma itself, are made of bronze and gilded in gold.

At 51.5 meters high, the towering bronze-and-gold Buddha Dordenma statue sits on a southern hill above Thimphu.

The statue of Lord Buddha looks spellbinding in the morning light, or at night when it is illuminated.

From the giant bronze and gold structure, we had a great view of the King’s offices.

Near the Kings office I found these beautiful pine cones from the pine tree

Near the Kings office I found these beautiful pine cones from the pine tree

The Bhutanese love smoked sausages and smoked fatty pork too.

We saw the dried yak cheese hung on string for sale on road to Dochu La pass.

Gateway to heaven The Dochula Pass at BhutanHigh on the top of a mountain pass on the road from Thimphu to Punakha, overlooking the abode of snow The Himalayas”, is a concentration of 108 chortens (stupas) built in memory of Bhutanese soldiers killed in the war of the year 2003 against revolutionaries from India. The Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, commissioned the monument after King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was victorious in the struggle to extricate the rebels who were using Bhutan as a base to raid India.

Punakha Dzong is also known as Pungtang Dewa Chhenbi Phodrang.

The most beautiful and awe-inspiring dzong in the country, especially in spring when the lilac-colored jacaranda trees bring a lush sensuality to the dzong. The woodworks seen here are of the highest standards.

Situated at the confluence of the Mo (Mother) and Pho (Father) rivers, the large fortress with its temples, courtyards, hall and towers overlooks the town and provides admirable views stands as the symbol for a unified Bhutan. All of Bhutan’s kings have been crowned here. The dzong is still the winter residence of the “Dratshang” (The official monk body).

At the entrance of Punakha Dzong I saw a Layap nomadic tribal woman in distinctive conical hat at Punakha Dzong (temple) in Bhutan.
The villages of Laya and Lunana in the Bhutanese Himalayas are some of the highest and most remote human settlements on earth. The people who live there, the Layaps and the Lunaps, are semi-nomadic yak herders who spend time between the villages and the high altitude yak herding camps. The villages and yak camps cling to the sides of massive river valleys and reach altitudes of 6,000m where resources are few for survival. In Lunana the people have no contact with the outside world for seven months of the year, isolated by a combination of harsh winter weather and traitorous High Mountain passes.

Inside the Punakha Dzong….

 

At Paro I met this lil Angel I believe that “Every child you encounter is a divine appointment.”

On the way to the Tiger’s nest….. We saw small reliquaries or “Tsa-Tsas” containing the ashes of the dead on the ledges in the Purlieu of Tigers’s Nest.

You will find thousands and thousands of prayer flags on the way to the Tiger’s Nest.

Paro Taktsang Monastery (also known as Tiger’s Nest) clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley. It is a small monastery hung far up on a cliff overlooking an enormous valley and stands above a beautiful and dense forest of blue pine and rhododendrons. The monastery is located 10 km. (6.2 mi) to the north of Paro and hangs on a precarious cliff at 3,120 metres (10,240 ft.), about 900 metres (3,000 ft.) above the Paro Valley, on the right side of the Paro Chu (‘chu’ Bhutanese means “river or water” .Tiger’s Nest Monastery was blessed and sanctified as one of Bhutan’s most sacred religious sites.  It is also one of thirteen small monasteries or “tiger’s lairs” where the Guru Rinpoche or “Precious Master” also known as the “Second Buddha” of Bhutan is said to have meditated. We started the trek, were so full of energy to see it and once we reached there I was awe-struck by its beauty. For those who live at sea level they can face difficulties to breathe comfortably while exercising vigorously at 10,000 feet, so a relaxed pace with plenty of rest and small breaks , a little sitting and then walking, will definitely help making this walk and trek a memorable one.

Did I mention that it was our privilege that my husband, my soulmate Uday B. Kugaji and I could witness this marvelous country and we were indeed fortunate to seek the Divine blessings of Lord Buddha on our 15th Wedding Anniversary…… 12th February 2003

 

 

 

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