For an Indian tourist looking for a summer vacation, the neighboring countrylocked kingdom of Bhutan, located in the southern slopes of the Eastern Himalayas, is an easy accessibility to happiness.
And it is not only because of the lack of a visa, the acceptance of the Indian Rupee as a legal means of payment and the upcoming discounts at shops in Paro and Thimphu. But the pure calm offered by the rich biodiversity hotspot (home to 770 bird species and 5,400 plant species) helps to achieve mental balance. The eco area, dotted with chortens, dzongs, monasteries and lhakhangs, truly lives up to the international plea for its high gross national happiness.
For a country whose roads were built by Indian contract work, the royal military service of which was trained by the Indian Army, it is based on the Indian Air Force for air relief and whose Ema Datski national dish is cooked in highly imported Indian cheese, Bhutanese warmth for Indians is tangible. An incident at a craft shop in Thimphu speaks for itself. An Indian tourist, part of Doe's Eco Tours, asked for the seemingly Indian designs on the Bhutanese Kira (national dress). "Bharat se bahut kuch lete hain ... Indian beer Indian TV series, Dono Bahut Acche Hain ..." said the shopkeeper took a small break from the Ekta Kapoor fare on his small screen.
In fact, each store has an open dual charge system, the cheap slot for Indians and the high-end rates for Americans or Europeans (pay $ 200 a day).
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A polite culture
In general, the Bhutans are spoken mildly and softly. The Buddhist religious influence also reflects in their daily lives. The pace of life is relaxed and retains peculiar old world innocence. Petty Thieving, pocketing, fraud, bribery are the burdens that have not yet touched the local Bhutanese population (670,000). Tourist guides do not ask excessive tips, hotel staff do not mislead and no driver is on the road but badly the jam. By the way, Thimphu is the only world capital without traffic signals. The traffic police agent in the central square is therefore a sight to look at. Another view that is silent from Bhutan is Paro's only international airport. It is built on a plot (smaller than Shivaji Park), located in the deep Paro valley, surrounded by peaks as high as 18,000 feet. It is considered to be one of the most enigmatic airports in the world, because flights in Paro are only permitted under visual meteorological conditions and limited to daylight.
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The Bhutanese identity
The Bhutanese law requires that all Bhutanese citizens wear national dress in public areas and formal wear - that is the knee dress for men (gho) and the single-length keera for women. Social status and ranking determine the texture, colors and decorations that go with the garments. Multicolored scarves and scarves are also social barometers. For Indians, Bhutanese culture, cuisine, music and couture seems to be an extension of the northeastern states of India. For example, the keera goes very close to the unpainted clothes worn by the women of Khasi, Garo and Jaintia in Meghalaya. Parts of Paro can easily be deposited like those in Shillong or Aizwal. However, for those who are not exposed to Eastern cultures, the physical characteristics of Bhutan appear as just exotic, special elements such as the flying phallus symbols that fall on the fertility doors. As Doreen D'Sa, who has conducted Bhutan tours over the past ten years, he says: "Bhutan is unspoiled and unlike other holiday homes. Yet, only in the past five years, Indians have put Bhutan on their tourist map. Japanese and Europeans and, of course, the Americans chose Bhutan. "In 2010, more than 27,196 tourists visited Bhutan.
A role model in maintenance
Bhutanese respect for nature translates into two-way ecological conservation in effective efforts. The kingdom has protected more than 65 percent of the territory under the forest cover. It has designated more than a quarter of its territory as national parks, reserves and other protected areas. Their efforts to protect his national animal - Takin - are also exemplary. The love for its botanical reserves is seen in the rapid maintenance of a great variety of magnolias, rhododendrons, the primulus, the blue poppies and other epiphytic orchids. Bhutan is a natural pleasure.
Bhutan also takes care of its history, as evidenced by the Paro Museum, the National Library and the Folk Heritage Museum, Thimphu. Bhutan's philatelic collection traces the impressive history of relations between India and Bhutan. Tell the seals of Mahatma Gandhi.
There are many must-sees in Bhutan, especially the less visited Bumthang Valley of Central Bhutan. But for those who confine themselves to West Bhutan, two places of worship are distinguished: the Punakha dzong and the Taktsang monastery. The Punakha Dzong, built in the confluence of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers in 1637, is damaged by four fires, an earthquake and flood water. But the Dzong has been completely restored to its original glory and has a compelling presence. For Thimphu, Punakha was the capital of Bhutan.
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The journey to Taktsang is a spiritual experience in itself. The monastery is 10 km north of Paro and depends on a rough steep cliff about 900 meters above the valley. It is said that Guru Rinpoche, the father of the Bhutanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism, came to the back of a legendary tiger in more than a millennium ago in Paro Valley. He meditated for three months in a cave where a monastery was later built and called Taktsang Lhakhang or Tiger's Nest.
Visitors to Paro reach the monastery by walking around Tiger's Nest on foot (about 3000ft) in about 3 hours or riding a horse. The clear view of Mount Jhomolhari is a one-off rise of life. But more than reaching the summit, it's the pull that electrifies spiritually … a personal victory.