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BHUTAN

Tibet Tour
The Dragon Kingdom retains much of its mystery even today. Known to few people in the west, it is a secret land, the size of Switzerland and hidden between the giants; India and China. Isolated from modern civilization for centuries, Bhutan is one of the countries least affected by the trappings of modernization. It has a total area of 47,000sq.km. It is a land of Zhongs (monastic fortresses) built in isolation away from the prying eyes of ordinary citizens. As modernization creeps in, Bhutan struggles to preserve its culture and ancient traditions. The Bhutanese national dress is worn by all her citizens.

After centuries of resisting the incursions of tourists, Bhutan is tentatively opening up to tourism. But the caution shown by its rulers has helped in slowing down the erosion of culture much to the pleasure of visitors. This tiny Himalayan kingdom is known as the “Druk Yul” or Land of the Thunder Dragon.

Bhutan is a country of topographical diversity with altitudes ranging from 300m to 7000m. From the almost tropical southern border, the landscape changes dramatically within a short distance to the arctic conditions of the high Himalayas where the 7000m. peaks dominate the northern region.

Places to visit Thimpu, the capital is unsual when compared to capitals of other countries. The traditional architecture of the houses and building around here make it unique among the capitals of the world. The Memorial Chorten is dedicated to the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. The Traditional Medicine Hospital produces herbal medicines and is worth a visit. Ancient rare texts can be seen in the National Library. Dechenchholing is where gold and silver smiths can be seen at work. Ancient scriptures and thangkas can be seen at Changangkha Lakhang. Another place of interest is Simtokha Dzong, which is the oldest fortress in Bhutan and is today a school of Buddhist studies. Beyond Thimpu
In western Bhutan the most well known town is Paro, which is 65 km. southwest of the capital. Visit the Taktsang Monastery, which is famous as the location where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated to subdue evil spirits. The Paro tsechu festival is held at Rinpung Dzong. The National Museum is located within the Ta Dzong. The most interesting collection of religious paintings are found in Dungtse Lakhang.

The old capital of Bhutan, Punakha lies 77 km. northeast of Thimpu and is until present times the winter capital of the central monk body and is reached by crossing the Dochula pass (3,115m). Preserved within the Punakha Dzong are sacred artifacts and holy shrines. The biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan is the Gangtey Gompa. Another interesting Dzong is the Trongsa Dzong in central Bhutan. This is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s Royal family. Within the dzong are 23 temples and a watchtower known as a Dzong. In eastern Bhutan lie Mongar Dzong which is reached after crossing the highest pass in Bhutan, Thumshingla (3,800m). To see spectacular landscape one has to go to Lhuntshi where there are steep cliffs, gorges and dense forests. This district produces quality fabrics. In the east the most important monastery is the Dametsi Monastery. The Trasshingang Dzong overlooks the river Gamri. Here you will also find a chorten of Nepalese design.

Activities
While in Bhutan you can enjoy trekking in the mountainous regions or go for the real stuff; climb a mountain, as mountaineering is the other option.

Getting there: Bhutan is easily reached by air. Druk Air, the only airline of Bhutan flies to Paro from Kathmandu as well as from New Delhi. If traveling by land, the entry points are at Phuntsholing in the southwest and Samdrup Jongkhar in the southeast.

When to visit
The best times to visit Bhutan are from March to May and between September and November. Winters are pretty severe, hence heavy jackets are recommended.

The cost and tour details are available on your request.
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