Planning & Research Courtesy : Insignia
Chimi Lhakhang was great experience after so much of sincere Buddhism for so many days in Sikkim & Bhutan. However we have not had once in life time experience of Punakha Dzong yet. The Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong, is the administrative centre of Punakha District in Punakha, Bhutan and one of the most beautiful Monastery I have ever seen.
We had to stop here, even before reaching the Dzong, just to stare at this beautiful thing and capture it. As usual they have built it on bank of river and there is a bridge way to cross the river and enter the Dzong.
We headed to the suspension bridge almost 1.5 kms away from the Dzong, walking there had become an experience as we had a small conversation we local ladies working in the vicinity and then asked way to school girls.
The bridge is about 200 m long and help you cross the river. We did cross the river just have fun of it and we saw this house at the end which is visible in the picture. I initially thought it might be a monastery as well but it turned out to be a house, where people were going about their daily chores.
We spent some time at the bridge and returned to the Dzong to resume the return journey as this was the point where we truly started to return to the place where we started but before that we have couple of more places to talk about which we will in next post.
Till then I hope you enjoy Punakha Dzong! Stay Happy!
Planning & Research Courtesy : Insignia
Next we visited the monastery which houses a school as well, we saw a lot kids studying there lessons there. It was pleasant sight when a couple of kids looked back and smiled or I felt so.
Chimi Lakhang was our next stop which is also known as “Monastery of Mad Monk”. This monk had its own way of showing traditional monks how is it to be liberated. Which shown something like this
In Bhutan, felic is consider sign of thunderbolt and is a holy symbol. It has been in tradition since Chimi Lakhang was built. One can find all sizes of felic here and many forms and cane kept in home for good luck.
To reach chime lakhang one has to walk around 2-3 kms from main road toward to Monastery and cross the village which is nest of many handicraft seller where you can buy souvenir. The walk takes less then half an hour but it is fun walk if you have already done Tiger’s Nest.
Next we are heading to Punakha Dzong, keep watching, Stay Happy!
After spending three hours trekking towards Tiger’s Nest we reached the Monastery and last one kilometre is quite interesting as its very narrow lane along side the mountain and at many points at a time only one person can pass.
We spent almost two hours in the Monastery being overwhelmed by the way Monastery was built and folklores associated with it, about the monk who rode the tigress, about how he reinstated Buddhism in the region.
One suggestion I would give to visitors is carry a small lock with you if you visit this place at your own as when you reach the Monastery, you are required to put your belongings like any leather article, cameras in the lockers at the entrance however you might not find locks there.
We started to descend after two odd hours and it took less then half of the time, when we reached starting point, it was time to shop for some trinkets and niceties, those were supposedly ancient and had been sourced from interior villages of Bhutan. I bought couple of things irrespective of I believe these claims or not.
On the way back we decided to go to 700 years old ruins of most powerful monastery of Bhutan and my god! Ruins sing glory of the older times.
Walking in these ruins one feels how is it to age and still be gracious about it. Every wall, nook and corner has thousands of words to say about time which has passed by. Magnificent or nothing at all, depending who looks at them and how.
We continue in next post.
Planning & Research Courtesy: Insignia
Next day we were supposed to trek to Tiger’s nest or Takshang Lakhang or Paro Takshang or Takshang Monastery. We started early from Paro and reached the start point in less then an hour.
When you reach there, you get to choose options to go up there the mountain. These options are by foot or trek, by pony. However ponies do not deliver you to the last point and last leg of the trek which is not really difficult.
We took almost three hours to reach to the Monastery with several short breaks ( few minutes) and one long break ( ~half an hour, at the cafe which is en route the monastery ) while following standard precaution of drinking water in regular interval etc. which all trekkers now a days and I am skipping on that part.
When you trek up the monastery there are several trails and you can pick any of them as most of them lead to the monastery. I happened to take one of those trails and came to know not all the roads lead to Rome. This trial led me to take a little detour and I reached to a house where few people were going about daily chores.
After having a chat with them I came to know these were residents and lived there and currently were in process to add some portions to their heights. These locals offered some more insights about local weather and their life style being on a mountain. They also happened to have something to do with local pony business. They very politely redirected me to correct trail towards Tigers nest.
To know further, keep watching this space.