Adorned with the prepossessing natural beauty of lofty hills, serenity exuding from the Stupas and monasteries and a booming wildlife, Bhutan is in every way a paradise for all sorts of travelers and there are many beautiful places to visit in Bhutan. Huddled between the Indian and Chinese border, this quaint country holds an irresistible charm that attracts millions of tourists from far off countries.
The most admirable character of this hidden jewel is its aloofness from urban influences, which is the reason this country is listed as one of the best places to travel in the world. The thick expanse of forest and lush valleys dominating the country is a thing to keep the visitors glued to this quaint country.
HOW TO REACH
Paro International Airport is the only airport which takes direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Gaya, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Kathmandu, Singapore, and Bangkok. The place is located at a distance of 65 km from Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. Taking a flight from Bagdogra Airport to Paro will get you to Bhutan in just thirty minutes. Flights from Kolkata to Paro take an hour and a half while from New Delhi International airport it takes four hours and thirty minutes to reach Paro.
Bhutan shares its border with Kolkata and Assam and one can take a taxi through one of the three entry points namely Phuentsholing, Gelephu, and Samdrup Jongkhar. The drivers have to obtain a permit from Bhutan Consulate office in Kolkata to drive inside Bhutan. The shortest route is from Guwahati to Samdrup Jongkhar which takes only three hours drive. You can also travel from Bagdogra to Phuentsholing in Bhutan which takes about five hours to reach in a car. This border town is just 165 km away from Thimphu which will take another five hours to reach the capital of Bhutan.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The fall season (September, October, and November) is the peak season for tourism in Bhutan. One can enjoy the golden hues of fields and valleys during these months as the crops become ready to be harvested. You need to book your air tickets at least three months prior to your intended journey date to avail best offers. If crowds prevent you from enjoying the beauty of a place, spring season would be the best time to visit Bhutan. The flowers and other fauna bloom at this time giving you an opportunity to wallow in the gorgeous views of the blooming valleys of Bhutan.
20 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN BHUTAN
- Pangri Zampa Monastery, Thimphu
Pangri Zampa monastery is the oldest monastery in Bhutan famous for its two temples – Pangri Zampa temple and Zhabdrung Lhakhang temple. Both these temples are four storey buildings with separate floors for prayers, meditation and astrological studies carried out by Buddhist monks. There is no entry fee for visitors and the best time to visit the monastery is during the day.
- Wangchu River, Thimphu
Wangchu River is the ultimate destination for anglers. The river course overlooking the scenic Jongkhar village is ideal for photography and water sports activities like kayaking and rafting. One can spot the mesmerizing sights of Samteling Palace and colorful flags marking the territory of the king’s residence from the river.
- Chele La Pass, Paro
Chele La pass is the highest motorable pass in Bhutan with an enormous range of sightseeing options for visitors. Situated at a height of 3988 meters on the western part of Paro valley, this mountain pass offers mind-boggling views of the majestic Himalayan range. Mount Chomolhari, the most sacred Himalayan peak in Bhutan can be spotted easily from Chele La pass. Winter is the best time to capture the views of snow covered mountains from the pass. To reach the Chele La pass, you have to take a taxi from Paro which will get you there in an hour.
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- Tango Buddhist Institute, Thimphu
Located just 14 kilometers drive away from Thimphu, Tango Buddhist Institute is a renowned tourist attraction in Bhutan which offers a chance to explore Buddhist religion in Bhutan. The institute houses several buildings where monks study Buddhism and practice meditation. Built by Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa the institute houses gold and silver statues of Lord Buddha, Avalokiteshvara and other deities. Perched on a scenic valley, the place offers lots of options like hiking, walking, and bird watching for visitors. The institute remains open from 8 am to 5 pm.
- Punakha Suspension Bridge
Walking through the dangling Punakha suspension bridge over Po Chu River is an adventure filled activity for tourists. This ancient 350 meters long bridge is surrounded by a lush valley bedecked by colorful flags dotting the bridge and the Punakha valley which will take your breath away with the magnanimous beauty the moment you enter the suspension bridge. Spring and Autumn are the best seasons to witness the stunning beauty of the valley drenched with blooming fauna.
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- Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory
The rich culture of Bhutan is attributed to the way the locals have kept alive the traditional art forms. Jungshi handmade paper factory in Thimphu is one of the best tourist attractions in Bhutan which gives an insight into the traditional paper making process. Established by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Bhutan to give exposure to the skills of domestic artisans, visiting the factory lets you witness the art of turning bark of trees into paper. One can also buy craft items made from handmade paper. You can visit the factory on all working days between 8:30 am to 5 pm.
- Haa Valley
Haa is a very thinly populated valley in Bhutan with an endless range of picture-perfect locations. The tranquilizing beauty of this secluded valley has a spellbinding effect on the visitors. Being an isolated region, it’s a tad difficult to reach this place. The valley is connected to three districts and it takes roughly an hour and a half to reach by car from Paro. Staying in the homestays in the valley is highly recommended to capture its serenity. Autumn is the best time to visit Haa valley when the mountains are in their finest form.
- Handicrafts Market, Thimphu
For an immersive experience in various art forms of Bhutan, visit the Handicrafts market in Thimphu is highly recommended in your Bhutan Tour package. Here you can explore the traditional art forms sourced from different regions in Bhutan like embroidery, wooden and bamboo craft, traditional jewelry and other items like handmade paper, bamboo huts, hand-woven silk clothes and silver ornaments showcased in the stalls.
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- Crocodile Breeding Centre, Phuentsholing
The crocodile breeding centre in Phuentsholing is the right place to catch a glimpse of the crocodiles and other reptiles of Bhutan. The breeding farm has several varieties of the creepy creatures some of which are endangered and have been bred inside the farm. The farm is just 10 minutes drive away from Phuentsholing and remains open from 9 am to 5 pm. To maintain the serenity of the place, only 50 people are let in inside the centre upon payment of the entry fee.
- National Museum of Bhutan
To dive into the history of this culturally rich land, a visit to the National Museum of Bhutan would prove to be an enriching experience for tourists. The six-story building houses several artifacts, arms, manuscripts, costumes, and epigraphs which beautifully exhibit the cultural diversity of Bhutan and its transition from the Stone Age to the time of the Mahayana Buddhists. The museum is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm and closes an hour earlier during winter months.
- Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
Sakteng wildlife sanctuary located in the Samdrup Jongkhar in Bhutan is a treat for the livers of nature and wildlife. The sanctuary houses several snow leopards, red pandas, Himalayan red fox, and black bear. The forest is covered with an expanse of rhododendrons which is also said to be the refuge of the snowman yet. One can also spot many wild species of flowers growing in the sanctuary. With so much greenery and wildlife, this natural reserve is an ideal destination for nature walks and treks.
- Bumthang Hidden Valleys
Bumthang hidden valleys are the most enchanting place you will get to visit in Bhutan with Best travel agency of India. Comprising if four valleys, Ura, Choekhor, Chumney and Tang, the place is the best destination for those who wish to experience unadulterated country life away from any modern influences. The valleys are best known for their organic produce such as apples, buckwheat, potato, rice, and dairy products. Spring and autumn season is the best time to relish the gorgeous views of the valleys.
- Jigme Dorji National Park
This is the second largest nature park in Bhutan spread over the Northern part of Thimphu, Gasa district, Punakha valley, Paro and Wangdue phodrang districts. There’s an immense variety of vegetation ranging from warm climate trees to wild blooms like poppy, orchids, and rhododendrons. Apart from the snow leopards, red pandas, and blue sheep, this sanctuary also houses the national animal Takin. For avid trekkers, the sanctuary proves to be the best destination in Bhutan where one can relish the panoramic sights of mountains and valleys.
- Dagala Thousand Lakes, Paro
One of the most enchanting treks in Bhutan is the Dagala thousand lakes trek. The route takes you through the most stunning lakes located in the Paro valley. You can rest at the banks of any of these lakes and try your hand at fishing. The lakes also serve as a perfect location for camping with pristine views of Mount Everest, Mount Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and many other mountain peaks to keep you company. Months of March, April, May June, September October, and November are ideal to go on a trek to the pristine lakes.
- Clock Tower Square, Thimphu
Clock Tower square attracts a large number of visitor’s every day owing to its proximity to other eminent attractions in the capital of Bhutan. The tower has an interesting design displaying dragons facing the clock. The tower was built to provide space to youngsters for dancing, games and other sports activities but has become the most happening place in Thimphu. The area is surrounded by many hotels, restaurants, and shops selling clothes and traditional craft items from Bhutan.
- Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Paro
Your visit to Bhutan will be incomplete if you do not pay a visit to the Taktsang Palphug monastery in Paro. This monastery has four temples with golden roofs and is located on an isolated region in the heart of Paro valley. To reach the monastery you have to trek your way up through one of the three routes leading to the monastery. The caves inside the monastery are the most interesting feature of this place. These caves are used by the monks for meditation. It is best to visit the spit during the day to understand all aspects of the monastery and its role in the Buddhist religion.
- Mo Chhu River
Mo Chu River is a popular tourist destination in Bhutan which lets you enjoy the pristine environment of Bhutan. The river is a famous venue for kayakers, rafters, and anglers. Rafting through this river gives the most enchanting views of mountains and life of herdsmen living near the shores. It is one of the best experiences that will rejuvenate your soul and freshen up your mind. The soft breeze wavering around the river is something that will leave you in awe of this gorgeous place.
- Bumdra Monastery Trek
The most exhilarating experience which acquaints you with the unadulterated beauty of Bhutan is Bumdra monastery trek. The monastery is also known as the cave of hundred thousand prayers and is adorned with vast stretches of scenic mountains and valleys. The trek starts at Sang Choekhor with a prayer and covers a dense area of shady trees. The whole path is dotted by prayer flags and a few temples. It takes around five hours to reach the monastery where you can stay in the tents and have your meals at the monastery.
- Punakha Dzong
Punakha Dzong is the most spellbinding dzong in the whole of Bhutan. The dzong used to be the seat if the local government and is still hailed as an eminent place in the history of Buddhist religion in Bhutan. Most of the kings in Bhutan were crowned at this place. The lilac hued patterns on the white walls of the building acquire a beautiful look in the spring season. The place remains open from 9 am to 5 pm in summers while in winters the dzong opens for a few hours from 3 pm to 5 pm.
- Phobjikha Valley
In simple words, Phobjikha valley is a heaven on earth that offers stunning views of the pristine flora and fauna eclipsed in layers of clouds. Trekking your way up to the Gangteng monastery is the best way to soak in the beauty this glacial valley. In winters, Phobjikha valley gets covered with snow in winters. As the winter season descends, black-necked cranes flock in and make the valley their home for winters which adds to the charm of this place during the months of October, November, and December which is also considered as the best time to travel to the valley.
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