Framed by China and India, the magical country of Bhutan (aka Kingdom of Druk Yul) is dotted with fluttering prayer flags, kaleidoscopic monasteries, candyfloss clouds and apple orchards. Even though Bhutan offers an array of things to do for travellers, sitting for hours on end, deluged by monastic hymns across the motley of beautiful monasteries is the way to go to really soak in the serenity that laces the air of this Himalayan kingdom. The capital city of Thimpu can be seen from the 12th century old Changangkha Lhakhang monastery, one of Bhutan’s many glorious attractions. The Buddha of Compassion or Avalokiteshvara is housed inside the main chapel of this monastery. The monastery of Trashicho Dzong, dating back to 1641 also attracts large numbers of tourists every year. A ginormous effigy of the Shakyamuni Buddha lies inside the monastery. But if you’ve travelled to Bhutan, seeking adventure then the country’s valleys and peaks offer biking, kayaking and rafting activities nearly all year round. You could trek through the spectacular Dochu La pass, at an elevation of 3,088m, where 108 stupas stand guard. This pass also greets you with a breathtaking view of the Eastern Himalayas, including Gangkar Punsum, Bhutan’s highest peak. Another very popular trek is the one to Paro’s illustrious Tiger’s Nest, wherein Guru Padmasambhava meditated for over three years in the 8th century. And while you are here, don’t forget to gorge on some Bhutanese delicacies, especially that of Ema Datshi, a spicy preparation of chillies and cheese and chhang, the local beer made from rice or millet.
Peak Season is from March to May and September to November. During March - May, Bhutan experiences spring, and from September to November, autumn. The eastern Himalayan peaks can be viewed clearly during the month of October.
For Budget Travellers: INR 2000 - 3000 a day
For Mid-range Travellers: INR 3000 to INR 5000 a day
For Luxury Travellers: INR 5000 and upwards
Indian nationals need to have any of the two valid travel documents – (a) Valid Indian Passport having validity of minimum 6 months; and/or (b) Voter Identity Card, issued by the Election Commission of India. Visa is not required to travel to Bhutan.