The kingdom of Bhutan remained an isolated country till 1974. Known as the land of the Thunder Dragon, the tiny Himalayan kingdom called Bhutan was shrouded with mystery and mysticism for the outside world.
Breathtaking view of Jhomolhari in Bhutun
When Bhutan finally opened its doors to tourists, the few travelers who gained entry into Bhutan likened it to Shangri-La—a mystical, happy place, accessible to few outsiders; Bhutan had adopted a strict policy of high value, low impact tourism, which mandated that foreigners visit through a tour operator and pay a minimum of US $250/200 per day per person, which includes accommodation and transport. However, Bhutan does not require Indians, Bangladeshis, and Maldivians to spend this minimum amount.
The past few years have seen an unprecedented number of tourists visit Bhutan from these destinations, especially India, which is getting the government officials to rethink new rules so as to maintain a balance between tourist influx and preserving the natural environment of Bhutan.
Visit this beautiful country for a unique cultural experience.
Bhutan: a paradise for tourists
The landscape of Bhutan, coupled with monasteries, temples, and other Buddhist places, exude solace and tranquility.
Bhutan’s landscape ranges from lush plains and captivating valleys to high passes and rugged snow-capped Himalayan Mountains. The peaks that lie in Bhutan tower more than 23,000 ft high. Most of its peaks are closed to mountaineering. Bhutan has a total of 71% forest cover.
For the tourist seeking to enjoy the beauty of Bhutan, the country offers a number of trekking routes, hiking trails, cycling paths, picnic spots, and rejuvenating hot springs. Spring (early March-mid-June) is the best time to visit Bhutan when the valleys are filled with flowers.
Visit Bhutan for a wonderful experience
For those seeking adventure, Bhutan has some thrilling activities such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, fishing, and more.
As a Buddhist kingdom, Bhutan has a number of monasteries, chortens, and Buddha statues. Some of the well-known monasteries in Bhutan include Paro Taktsang, Phajoding Monastery, Choedrak Monastery, Tango Monastery, and Gangteng Monastery. Punakha Dzong, Lhuntse Dzong, Trongsa Dzong, and Tashichho Dzong are some extraordinary dzongs (fortresses) in Bhutan.
The best time to visit Bhutan for cultural experiences is during festivals. Listed below are some interesting festivals to attend in Bhutan.
Matsutake Festival, Bumthang, Bhutan
Held in the beautiful Ura Valley, this is a festival for foodies, more specifically for those who love mushrooms. This festival is aimed at spreading awareness about the sustainable harvesting of local mushrooms and promoting organic harvesting. On display are indigenous mushrooms and organic food. There are delectable delicacies you can try as well. A highlight of this festival is a mushroom picking excursion. This festival is held in August in Bhutan.
Haa Summer Festival, Haa Valley, Bhutan
This colorful festival of Bhutan is a cultural treat for those visiting Bhutan to gain insight into traditional Bhutanese culture. Set in the scenic Haa Valley of Bhutan, the festival celebrations cover dances, songs, sports, and local cuisine. The main attraction of this festival is a photography contest and mountain biking. This festival takes place in July in Bhutan.
Sakteng Festival, Sakteng, Bhutan
This festival is celebrated by the Brokpas, a semi-nomadic settlement. The Brokpas of Bhutan have remained untouched and have managed to preserve their centuries-old traditions and practices. Visitors can look forward to enjoying local folk music, dance, and free-flowing ara (local wine). A highlight is the performance of the popular yak dance and Ache Lhamo dance. This festival takes place in the month of June in Bhutan.
If you’re planning a trip to Bhutan the best time to visit is between March-May and November-mid February.
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