Popular Places in Bhutan
Situated at 2285m above the sea level, Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan. It is Just over 30 years old. This Himalayan city was built by late King Jigme Dorje Wangchuk in order to replace the ancient capital of Punakha. Serene and peaceful with its streets dotted with traditional shop fronts. Beautiful textiles in wool silk and cotton, basketwork, silver jewellery, thangkas and other traditional crafts of the kingdom are available in various Handicrafts Emporiums.
In the winter capital of Bhutan is 52 km far away from Thimphu. With patchwork fields willow glades, murmuring trout-filled streams and scattered hamlets, Paro is one of the most attractive of Bhutan’s valleys. Bursting with color and tradition, this tiny town is overlooked by dramatic dzong while hamlets and isolated farms dot the countryside. The houses here are considered to be among the most beautiful in the kingdom.
The valley of Trongsa and Bumthang has its own unique geographical feature that separates it from all other regions. Composed of four smaller valleys, deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in religious legend. The valley is home to the sacred Jampa and Kurjey monasteries. Bumthang Tsechu (festival) along with the Paro and Thimpy Tsechu are the most popular festivals in Bhutan.
This is the last town before we make entry into Central Bhutan. Sitting on the top hill, the formidable dzong is the town’s most visible features. The town itself is the little more than enlarged village with well-provided shops and hotels. The drive from Wangdue to Trongsa is one of the most scenic in Bhutan while passing through streams, forests and villages before climbing the Petela pass on the Black Mountain ranges into the Trongsa valley. A few kilometers past the Gangtey Gompa is the village of Phobjikha, one of the winter homes of the Black Necked cranes which migrate to Bhutan from Central Asia.
Gangtey is the name of the valley which is considered one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. It is a wide, and flat valley without any trees but after walking and hard climb we come across dense forests and of course it is extremely rare experience in Bhutan to find such as a wide valley. Gangtey boasts its own important religious site such as the Gangtey Goempa Monastery, situated at the head of the valley, from where we can enjoy exceptional views.
Phobjikha is a bowl-shaped glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains, bordering the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. It is also known as Gangteng Valley named after the impressive Gangteng Monastery of the Nyingma sect in central Bhutan, where the graceful black-necked cranes in Bhutan from the Tibetan Plateau visit the valley during the winter season to roost. This valley is popular for its scenic splendour and cultural uniqueness.
Taktsang ,also known as the Taktsang Palphug Monastery and the Tiger’s Nest, is a very popular Himalayan Buddhist sacred site. The temple complex of Taktsang clings to the rock towering over 800 meters above the Paro valley, and is located 2,950 meters above the sea level. It takes about 2 hours walk to reach the monastery from the road at Ramthangkha, 12 kilometers from Paro town. From Taktsang we can enjoy the views of surrounding majestic mountains and emerald green valleys.
Also known as Pungtang Dewa Chhenbi Phodrang, is just the administrative centre of Punakha district. In 1955, it was the capital of Bhutan but later on the administrative centre of Punakha was relocated and made Thimphu as the capital of Bhutan. The first King of modern Bhutan was crowned in Punakha Dzong. However, it is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan’s Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion.
Trongsa (2,200m), previously called Tongsa is a town, and the administrative headquarter of Trongsa District in central Bhutan. Trongsa was built in 1644, used to be the seat of power of the Wangchuck dynasty before it became rulers of Bhutan in 1907. The town of Trongsa has been developing since 1980’s, with many of the shops being owned by Bhutanese of Tibetan decent. This small town is located on the face of the ridge and at the cross-road junction of lateral east-west highway, and the road leading south to Shemgang.