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The 5 Most Instagrammed Places in Bhutan

Interesting Things to Do In Bhutan

Located in South Asia at the Eastern end of the mighty Himalayas, Bhutan is rated to be one of the happiest countries in Asia and the world. The actual history of Bhutan starts with the arrival of the Zhabdrung Rinpoche, Ngawang Namgyal who was also the military leader fleeing from Tibet around the 17th century. The region was mostly comprised of some minor warring overlords who were all united by the Buddhist leader. Located on the slopes of the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan experiences a monsoon influenced climate which varies according to the elevation of various regions. It is home to several lakes, glaciers, rivers and to some of the most challenging, snow covered peaks of the Himalayas. Being under absolute monarchy which has now changed under a constitutional monarchy, Bhutan�s culture is deeply rooted around Vajrayana Buddhism and it is famous for its cuisines and festivals. If you�re planning a trip to Bhutan, there are a few interesting things that you should try.

1.       Visit The Quaint Capital City Of Timphu

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Photo by Thomas Wanhoff, CC BY-SA 2.0

The largest city of Bhutan and also the national capital, Timphu is unlike any other capital city you might have ever visited. 60 percent of Timphu is maintained as a forest and a dominant agricultural economy. According to the government law, industrial and economic developments in the city have been limited in order to maintain a harmony between nature and human development. The buildings in Timphu mostly comprise of monasteries and palaces built in a typical Bhutanese style which mixes elements from Tibetan and Indian architectural styles. The tourism corporation in Timphu is a government owned agency that is responsible for the encouragement of tourism in the city. The climate in the city remains cool and moderate throughout the year and never exceeds 25 degrees.

2.       View The Marvelous Himalayan Peaks Like Never Before

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Photo by shankar s., CC BY 2.0

You get to see two of the world�s highest mountain peaks right before you land at the Paro International Airport. If you get yourself seated at the left side of the airplane you get to witness Mt. Everest and Mount Kanchendzonga during the landing. Bhutan contains some of the most breathtaking and challenging trek destinations across the world. The best time to visit Bhutan to enjoy trekking is in April or in October. The official season is limited however the terrains are great to trek in most seasons. The marvelous peaks of the Himalayas and the refreshingly clean air provide a trekking experience like no other place in the world.

3.       Visit Taktsang Monastery

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Photo by avinash singh, CC BY 2.0

Also known as the Paro Taktsang or Tiger�s Nest, the monastery is one of the most iconic landmarks in Bhutan. The monastery started during the 8th century in the mountain caves used by the monks for meditation and was later built in the late 17th century. The Buddhist temple fortress is located at a scenic and adventurous location atop the cliffs in the upper Paro valley. Situated at around 3,120 meters above sea level, the monastery has access from various directions used by trekkers, hikers and devotees. The building consists of 4 main temples and residential areas built in a typical Bhutanese style.

4.       Visit the Marvelous Dzongs of Bhutan

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Photo by Arian Zwegers, CC BY 2.0

Dzong is a typical Tibetan fortress that can be found in almost all inhabited areas in Bhutan. The Dzong architecture reached its golden period during the 17th century in Bhutan with the construction of several Dzongs under the 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, and has a vast collection some of the largest specimens of Dzong architectural style in the world. The Dzongs in Bhutan mostly feature a red stripe pattern and a gilded or copper roof. Trongsa Dzong is the largest Dzong fortress located in central Bhutan. Punakha Dzong, Simtokha Dzong, Rinpung Dzong are all the other famous Dzongs located around Bhutan.

5.       Centenary Farmer's Market

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Photo by Nagarjun Kandukuru, CC BY 2.0

If you want to overdose yourself with some organic farm produce then you must visit the Centenary farmer's market in Bhutan. The market is located at the banks of the Wang Chhu River and is a 2 storied market with farm, and meat which is neatly stacked in around 400 stalls. Several of the farm produce might appear as exotic food to most visitors and contains a variety of rice, mushrooms, fruits, and meat produce from fresh and dried fish to beef, pork and yak meat.

6.       Enjoy the Delicious Bhutanese Cuisine

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Photo by matyas X, CC BY-SA 2.0

Most of the Bhutanese dishes make a liberal use of the red rice which is usually typical of highland areas. Buckwheat and maize is also used in several dishes with a generous serving of meats like lamb, pork, beef, yak and chicken. The cuisine mostly comprises of stews and soups which are cooked with cheese and spices. Ema datshi, Jasha Maru, Jasha Tshoem, Suja, momo, Paksha Paa are some of the dishes one must try in Bhutan. Most of the Bhutanese dishes are spices with special red chilies which are at many times used as main ingredients in the dishes.

7.       Drive in the Nature's Lap at Dochula Pass

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Photo by Ratan Sebastian, CC BY 2.0

Situated at around 3,100 meters above sea level, Dochula Pass is a high mountain pass set in the eastern Himalayas that lies on the road between Timphu to Punakha. The pass is also home to 108 stupas killed during a war against Indian insurgents from Assam, India in 2003. The backdrop of the snowy peaks of Himalayas provides a feeling of total escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Due to the deeply rooted Buddhist influence, there are several colorful flags along the way that make it an even interesting and spiritual journey.

With numerous attractions, the small country of Bhutan is indeed a traveler�s paradise and offers some of the most exquisite attractions for the visitors. Being surrounded by India (states of Sikkim, Assam and West Bengal) and Tibet, Bhutanese culture can be considered to be a fine mix of the Tibetan culture and the South Asian Indian culture. Make sure you visit the mentioned places and try the various activities for a fun trip in Bhutan.

Author Bio:

Rohit Agarwal is a traveler at heart and likes to visit the various historical and unspoilt locations across the globe. He also writes for transindiatravels.com which is a great place to know about the various tourist hotspots in India.