bhutan trip

Bhutan: A Land Of Happiness

A trip to Bhutan, one of the smallest countries on this planet can prove you that it is a powerhouse of natural and cultural heritage. It might interest you to know that it is one of the few remaining biodiversity hotspots in the world. With almost 72% of its land consisting of forest cover, experts believe that almost 60% of the country is identified as a protected area.

Trip to bhutan valley
The view capturing the valleys of, in and around Jigme Dorji National Park. One of the largest National Parks in Bhutan.

The Bhutan Government actively takes steps in order to preserve the biological diversity and the heritage of this country. It is for these reasons that Bhutan hosts an unspoiled natural environment that harbors some of the rare and endangered species of Earth. Bhutan can boast of being an only nation that’s green cover has increased over the years. This has been possible due to the sincere dedication and efforts put in by the kingdom.

Gross National Happiness

While the world over is fighting through the daily struggles to procure more money and luxuries of life, people of Bhutan strive for happiness. By setting a new trend, Bhutan establishes that Gross Domestic Product cannot define the prosperity and success of a nation. It is the happiness quotient that matters. Quite rightfully they said that while a rich man may not be happy and satisfied with his life, but a happy man is more likely to consider himself rich and content.

Buddhist monk paro bhutan
A Buddhist Monk in the city of Paro.

The concept of Gross National Happiness contends that true development of a society can only take place when both material as well as spiritual development occurs side by side. They not only complement each other, but also reinforce each other which makes a long-lasting impact on the society.

So, who would not like to visit a place which has smiling faces and content hearts!

thimpu jigme dorji national park
Situated near the capital city of Thimpu, the Jigme Dorji National Park is an ideal place for adventure lovers. It offers trekking trails to the top of the cliffs, to reach an old monastery.
Bhutan Thimpu trekking trails
“Leave Nothing But Footprints, Take Nothing But Memories”
These are the words which welcome any visitor to the Jigme Dorji National Park, situated near Thimpu. If you are lucky enough, then you may catch a glimpse of Takin, the national animal of Bhutan and also see Blue Poppy. An extremely rare species of flower, which is also the national flower of this mountain kingdom.
buddhist monk bhutan thimpu
A Buddhist Monk caught unaware of our inquisitive eyes. The calm and serenity on their face is quite amazing to observe.
Related Reading: Trekker's Paradise - Jigme Dorji National Park

Travel To Bhutan – Visa Requirements

Like any other country, Bhutan also stipulates any visitor to obtain a prior visa before travelling. For this, the Bhutan Government suggests planning your itinerary through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator, or through their foreign travel agent.

The procedure to obtain visa clearance for Bhutan is quite simple:

  • Submit the Photocopy of your passport to your travel agent for submission of an application for the visa.
  • Once the payment for the holiday has been made to the Tourism Council of Bhutan, along with the visa application fee of USD $40, the visa gets processed within 72 working hours.
    You are being issued a visa clearance letter which has to be produced at the point of entry to Bhutan.
  • On successful completion of these steps, the visa is stamped into the passport.

NOTE: These stipulations are not applicable to the citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives. They may simply obtain a visa at the port of entry by producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity.

Indian citizens have a further advantage of travelling to Bhutan without a passport. They may simply gain entry by producing their Voters Identity Card at the port of entry.

buddhist monastery

So, if you are planning to visit Bhutan in 2017, then these tentative festival dates might come handy:

  • JOMOLHARI MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL – This 2-day annual festival is celebrated at the base ofbhutan jomolhari festival Mt. Jomolhari, in honor of the communities that are living in the close proximity of the habitat of endangered Snow Leopard. Basically, this festival is dedicated to the Snow Leopards, which is one of the most revered species of animals on this land.

 

  • nomad festival bhutanNOMAD FESTIVAL  (23rd FEB.) – This festival gives any visitor a golden opportunity to come in contact with the local communities and learn their way of life and culture. The locals would gladly make the visitors a part of their family, help in dressing like one and feed the local delicacies. This festival is a gateway to their lives which has remain unchanged almost for a few centuries.
  • PARO TSHECHU (7th to 11th APRIL) – This spring festival is a great attraction. The paro festivals bhutanmajestic thangkha (embroidered painting) and massive Guru Throngdel, the scroll. These scrolls are considered to be so sacred that a mere glance is believed to purify your soul.

 

 

  • nimalung festival bhutanNIMALUNG FESTIVAL (1st to 3rd JULY) – This festival witnesses local monastery getting decorated in a traditional manner. Along with this, Thongdrol, a nine-meters long and twelve meters wide gigantic scroll is put to display. It is believed that just looking at it washes away sins and makes us pure.
  • MATSUTAKE FESTIVAL (4th Weekend of AUG.) – Ura is famous for its harvest of matsutake mushroom festival bhutanMatsutake Mushrooms, which is one of prized gourmet in the culinary world. During this time of the year, one can accompany the natives in the hunt for this prized fungi and learn some tips of the trade.

 

Apart from these, there are several other festivals and events which have been listed on the official website of Bhutan Tourism. Visit it here.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!

    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you
    for sharing!

  2. Having read this I believed it was very informative. I
    appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this content together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and
    posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

LEAVE A REPLY