Bhutan is a relatively small country wedged between two great countries, China and India. It is a destination that keeps both the young and the old enthralled by its extreme diversities. Its flora and fauna is unrivalled, its ancient attractions are mind blowing and its culture, purely fascinating. Its seclusion and isolation in the past is a bonus as its natural beauty remains unspoilt. Travelling from each destination in Bhutan is a once in a life time experience, high passes, dense forests, rugged cliffs, lush valleys, verdant paddy fields and mystic temples are some of the exciting sites to expect in Bhutan.
TIGERS NEST MONASTERY
Religious sites dot the lush valleys of Bhutan and the Tiger Nest Monastery is one of them. It is one of the most sacred places in Bhutan hanging on a cliff rising about 900 meters off the ground. It is stunning and stands magnificently above a luscious pine forest and rhododendrons. Its picturesque image has become a symbol of Bhutan on most travel sites and guidebooks.
The Tiger Nest Monastery is not just another religious site; it is rich in history, which spins back to its inception in 1692. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and spent time meditating in a cave believed to be enclosed in the monastery. Though a devastating fire almost destroyed the monastery in 1998, it has since been restored to its original form. Getting to the monastery requires breaking a sweat but the views from the top are rewarding.
Mongar is an interesting town perched on the side of a hill in Eastern Bhutan. It contrasts the Western towns of Bhutan as most of them lie on valley floors. It is a feast for the eyes with spectacular landscapes of deep gorges, towering cliffs, gushing waterfalls and stunning natural vegetation. It is a destination ripe for exploration and discovery with ancient historical treasures and hosts lively cultural festivities.
Some of the most exciting places to visit here include the Mongar Dzong, which is one of Bhutan’s most recent Dzongs built in 1930, the Yakang Lhakhang monastery, Drametse Lhakhang monastery and the immensely diverse Lhuntse District. Explore the weaving villages in this area and discover a treasured tradition passed down from generation to generation.
Geographically, Trongsa lies in the center of Bhutan and its strategic position allowed for effective governance of the kingdom. The Wangchuck dynasty ruled the country from Trongsa from the dominating Trongsa Dzong.
The Trongsa Dzong is a complex structure built in1648 consisting of temples, offices and corridors. It’s an impregnable fortress visible from every side of Trongsa on the side of the hill. The Ta Dzong is a living museum rising five storey and houses incredible historical and modern treasures. Kuenga Rabten is also another place of interest in Trongsa, it served as a winter palace for royalty and houses stunning religious statues. From the palace one can explore the neighboring villages and experience rural life and an insight into Bhutanese culture.
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