Sikkim & Bhutan – 15

Today we visited Druk Wangyal Chortens and other Thimpu attraction and headed to Paro

Planning & Research Courtesy : Insignia

Before leaving Thimpu for the day one last attraction was remaining to be seen which we saw on the way out. This place was Thimpu Chorten, where ceremonial atmosphere was there for few days because of Royal ritual and prayer being offered by masses.

Thimpu Chorten!

Thimpu Chorten!

After spending half of the day in and around Thimpu, we headed for Paro which is also nearest International Airport and gate way to Bhutan for many people choosing to come Bhutan by Air.

We took taxi to Paro and reached there by same day evening covering around an hour journey. Rest of the evening spent in checking in hotel, roaming around local market and watching practice session of National Game of Bhutan – Archery

National Game of Bhutan - Archery!

National Game of Bhutan – Archery!

Followed by visit to Rinpung Djong, Paro along side banks of Paro Chu.

Next day was big day because of Trek to Tiger Nest

but more about that in next post.

Keep Smiling, Stay Happy!

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Lake!!

Well, I hope you all knew there are few water bodies in Delhi and here it is one of them.

Naini Lake!

Naini Lake!

I was surprised to see a lake in Delhi and thought the residents around it must be fortunate one. Well, only resident can say about that but this shot, I thought, was worth a chance.

Other Related Post:  SymbolsAn Evening!!

interesting!

Two Monks discussing something in Tashi Dzong!!

Two Monks discussing something in Tashi Dzong!!

Visual Delight -8, Visual Delight -7, Visual Delight – 6, Visual Delight -5, Visual Delight -4, Visual Delight -3, Visual Delight -2, Visual Delight -1, An Evening!!SymbolsFlags!!

Sikkim & Bhutan -14

We reached Thimpu and Visited Tashi Dzong.

Planning & Research Courtesy : Insignia

Weather in Thimpu was cool and for some it could be called cold though according to locals it was start of summer. Temperature hovered around 8 degree Celsius in Thimpu.

Office of SAARC!!

Office of SAARC!!

We started for Dochula Pass which is at altitude of 3050 m and offers 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayas. This place also have 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens and Druk Wangyal Lakhang beautifully built majestically in middle of the pass amidst tranquility of the  mountains.

Druk Wangyal Chortens!

Druk Wangyal Chortens!

It was peaceful experience to be there for some time and just stare at mountains, it feel enriching to one’s inner self.

We got back to Thimpu after this and went to under construction Buddha Statues which sits above the city and visible from anywhere in the city.

Giant Buddha Statue!

Giant Buddha Statue!

We visited Changangkha Lakhang after that and returned to our hotel in order to leave for Paro.IMG_2561

What happened in Paro?  For that keep watching! Stay Happy.

Symbols

This sign is predominantly can be seen in Buddhist painting on the walls of Monasteries

This sign is predominantly can be seen in Buddhist painting on the walls of Monasteries. However this picture has been taken off a door.

An Evening!!, Flags!!, Visual Delight -8, Visual Delight -7, Visual Delight -6, Visual Delight – 5, Visual Delight – 4, Visual Delight -3, Visual Delight – 2, Visual Delight – 1

Sikkim & Bhutan – 13

So far we had reached Bhutan, finished formalities and paper works and had sumptuous Bhutanese Dinner 

Planning & Research Courtesy : Insignia

Next day we headed to bus stand at Phuntsoling and boarded a bus to Thimpu. I was surprised to see Toyota Coasters as mode of transport as these are reliable and fairly comfortable. Later during my time in Bhutan I realised Toyota is one of most dominating automotive brand in Bhutan especially in category of personal vehicle

We started to move towards Thimpu and shown our permits at appropriate places. I felt really comfortable the way Bhutanese treat Indians. We can use our own currency in mostly all denominations ( however it is not advisable to carry bills/ notes in 1000s).

Chitin Lam, we had our hotel on this road. There are many other hotel situated on the same road like Le Maridian etc.

Chhoten Lam, we had our hotel on this road. There are many other hotel situated on the same road like Le Meridian etc.

After reaching Thimpu our first priority was to check into a hotel and head out again for visiting the city, which did not came out to be very time consuming as Thimpu virtually has no traffic. We reached Norjin Lam in some 20mins and talked to couple of hotel receptions, checked out prices and asked for suitable one for us,which we settled in really quick.

We headed to Tashi Dzong which was not far away from our hotel, after resting for some time. Tashi Monastery is Magnificent fortress and depicts how closely Buddhism has been part of Bhutanese life. Buddhism has been integrated in administration of the country and government offices are being run from Dzong which is head quarter of religious and administrative authority in every district out of total 20 district of Bhutan. Tashi Dzong is one of top most authorities in country after the King himself.

We saw the Monastery for more then two hours and I was overwhelmed so grandeur and serenity it offers at the same time. Visitors are not allowed all parts of Dzong and one can only see main campus.

IMG_2449We came back from the Dzong and on the way back one see this local craft market where many kind of relics and handicrafts like bags, keychains etc. can be bought. We surfed this market and saw many Bhutanese articles and then concluded the day with dinner.

What more Bhutan offer you?

Keep watching this place and stay happy.

Flags!!

Flags!

Flags!

This kind of flags are common sight in Bhutan! This sight caught my eyes when checking in the hotel room, could see it from aisle! These buildings were not specifically marked like religious or anything similar.

Sikkim & Bhutan -12

So far we roamed in Darjeeling, Checkout Gangtok

Explored North Sikkim District.

Planning & Research Courtesy : Insignia

We headed to local Bus & Taxi Stop to enquire about transport to Jaigaon ( India) /Phuentsholing ( Bhutan) and after gathering information about our next days plan, we came back and surfed the local market, prepared for the paper work for Immigration at Bhutan Border and called it a day.

Hotel’s front desk person Mr. Vishesh was very kind who woke us up and asked a shared
taxi to wait for us for some time while we get ourselves together along with our stuff and get loaded into the cab.

We reached Siliguri by noon and then there after took a bus to Jaigaon which is last village at India – Bhutan Border on Indian side. Many people may not find this bus journey very nice and it might be advisable to hire a cab for comfort tourists.

It took us around four and half hour & three different mode of transport ( Shared Taxi, Bus, Shared Tuktuk)  to reach Jaigaon and we were lucky to reach in time for immigration office, Phuentsholing. Phuentsholing is the town on Bhutan Side, separated by a concrete wall from Jaigaon, India.

Indian nationals can just walk in without any hassle and get their permit done at immigration office. It took us almost half an hour to get our permits and start to Hotel hunting

The Gate at Indo- Bhutan Border.

The Gate at Indo- Bhutan Border from Bhutan Side

Ahh! We are in Bhutan now and hell! We see it all around us. Roads, dresses, buildings, people, Vehicle registration plates everywhere. It was our turn to get introduced with Bhutan and we did it nicely with a Bhutanese dinner at a local restaurant.We had Datsi among other Bhutanese dishes of soupy noodles, which is made in Yak butter and potatoes. It was tasty and filling.

Before going for dinner we checked into a hotel had some rest (if you take a bus ride to Jaigaon you are definitely going to need it). I even had a bath to get fresh feeling which turned out to be great idea as we roamed around a bit in Phuentsholing after dinner to check for local bus stand to get going to Thimpu next morning.

After saying good bye to Indian border we slept to start for amazing journey ahead.

IMG_2429

To know more about Bhutan, keep reading , stay happy!!!

Sikkim & Bhutan -11

We reached back to Gangtok last time after spending two nights and three days in North Sikkim

Planning & Research Courtesy : Insignia

Next day morning we started for Nathula apprehensively as two days before it was closed for civilian and visitors. However driver of this cab was positive and assured us that we would be able to make it to Nathula!

On the way to Nathula it was decided that we will first go Nathula and then while retuning back will cover other places like Baba Mandir, Lake etc. Excitement is an understatement for the feeling I felt because of many reason, Seeing India – China Border was one them.

On the way we stopped at one place, small market, where we rented snow boots,glows, jackets etc to be ready to enter into snow, well, we did not realise by that time it was more then 4 feet at some places.

Lake!

Lake!

Taking pictures is not allowed at Nathula but I can paint picture for you. It was all snow and so much snow that whole barbed wire fence had gone into it and we were walking like we could cross the Border, had not there been Indian Army guarding the place and on the other side Chinese troops are deployed.

We could not see many Chinese soldiers but only one and he returned a favour of shaking hands with us. I tried asking his name but no response and We spent almost 20 mins at last point of Nathula.

We started climbing down as we started to freeze and we came to know, we can get certificates signed by Army Personal about visiting Nathula, of course we got it. We also got to know about cross border business/ markets and flag meetings and where do they takes place.

After coming down we headed to Baba Mandir ( Temple)  which is in the name of  a soldier of Indian Army who had been martyred on his duty. It is common knowledge in the region that spirit of the soldier still patrol the border and help army personal in their duty. The temple has canteen where food for Baba get ready three times a day and Army treats him as real soldier i.e. all regular uniforms, food etc goes to this temple. They have made one more temple which is rather on road for ease of reach of tourist, however we went to original temple.

We visited Elephant Lake after this and saw Bhutan ( which is distantly visible) on the way back to Gangtok. We saw many trained Yak and Tsongu Lake as well. We reached Gangtok by evening to get ready to start for Bhutan next day!

Keep Reading, Keep Sharing, Stay Happy