Trips and Itineraries for Bumthang
Bhutan – The Happy State
People from Bhutan are considered to be the happiest in the world; hence, if you want are seeking the same kind of happiness then head to Bhutan, a quaint country sharing its border with India....
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Top Places To Visit in Bumthang 9 Spots
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235 Kms from Bumthang
The land of the abominable snowman,they call it.Our first major destination in Lhasa was the Potala Palace.The entire site was as clean as it was touristy. We were limited to a visit of only 1 hour due to the integrity of the structure (it could risk collapse from the weight of too many visitors) but all in all it was absolutely gorgeous. The temples were just breathtaking and I enjoyed watching the monks walking from room to room continuing their daily tasks all the while examining the hundreds of different rooms, shrines and statues.After taking in the Potala Palace, we were set free to enjoy Johkang Temple and the surrounding vicinity that’s known as the Backhor Streets. It was quite interesting to see the layers of culture in such a small place. Lhasa was a much larger city than I had anticipated. Shops and stalls lined every corner and were filled to the brim with Tibetan prayer beads, necklaces, singing bowls, yak blankets and many other ornaments. Tibetan & Chinese restaurants filled the streets with an almost intoxicating smell of yak meat, bread & other cultural foods.We then explored both the Drepung Monastery & Sera Monastery. The Drepung Monastery, which happened to be the Dalai Lama’s old winter residence (up until the 5th Dalai Lama moved it to the Potala Palace), happened to house the largest amounts of monks in Tibet. We were very lucky to arrive just as many of them were gathered for their afternoon lunch and meditation sessions. The energy that protruded from them was nothing short of intense!Later, we passed through Gangbala Pass with a quick pit stop at Yamdrok Lake where we took some very scenic pictures of turquoise blue waters that were overlooked by snow-peaked mountains.Read More
The land of the abominable snowman,they call it.Our first major destination in Lhasa was the Potala Palace.The entire site was as clean as it was touristy. We were limited to a visit of only 1 hour due to the integrity of the structure (it could risk collapse from the weight of too many visitors) but all in all it was absolutely gorgeous. The temples were just breathtaking and I enjoyed watching the monks walking from room to room continuing their daily tasks all the while examining the hundreds of different rooms, shrines and statues.After taking in the Potala Palace, we were set free to enjoy Johkang Temple and the surrounding vicinity that’s known as the Backhor Streets. It was quite interesting to see the layers of culture in such a small place. Lhasa was a much larger city than I had anticipated. Shops and stalls lined every corner and were filled to the brim with Tibetan prayer beads, necklaces, singing bowls, yak blankets and many other ornaments. Tibetan & Chinese restaurants filled the streets with an almost intoxicating smell of yak meat, bread & other cultural foods.We then explored both the Drepung Monastery & Sera Monastery. The Drepung Monastery, which happened to be the Dalai Lama’s old winter residence (up until the 5th Dalai Lama moved it to the Potala Palace), happened to house the largest amounts of monks in Tibet. We were very lucky to arrive just as many of them were gathered for their afternoon lunch and meditation sessions. The energy that protruded from them was nothing short of intense!Later, we passed through Gangbala Pass with a quick pit stop at Yamdrok Lake where we took some very scenic pictures of turquoise blue waters that were overlooked by snow-peaked mountains.
282 Kms from Bumthang
Best time to visit - October- April
Often called as the "Queen of all Hill Stations", this is one of the most popular in the whole world. This place is wrapped by everything beautiful nature has blessed the Earth with. Darjeeling is located in the lap of the Mountain Kanchenjunga and crowned by the mighty Himalayas, there is tranquility everywhere you see. There is the bright red hue of blooming rhododendrons, the peaceful white of the magnolias and also the silvery white firs all spread over the hills and the stretches of hills covered with the emerald color tea bushes. If you are out during the early mornings, the clouds will cross across your face. This is a perfect place for a tourist, ornithologist, trekker, a photographer and children too. The famous toytrain of Darjeeling is now a Heritage of Bengal. The other nearby attractions are Mirik, Mall, Batasia Loop, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Dooars Valley. A trip to this beautiful place is sure to fetch you a lot of memories to be etched in your heart forever.Read More
We got ready by 4:30 in the morning , as we were scheduled to watch the Sunrise from the Tiger Hill. But the driver got very angry. As per him , 3:30 would be the best time to depart. And while our journey to we realized why. There were hundreds of vehicles were going from there to the same destination. The roads were filled up with cars. As we were already late, the only way to got there before sunrise was fastening our seat-belts and allow the driver to drive as fast as possible. That exactly what we did. That was heck of a driving. Never forget that. But despite of the furious drive, we actually thanked the driver when we reached at Tiger Hill 5:25 am.
"You need to come out from your comfort zone, for your career, for you traveling as well" It was a lazy morning , I got up really late. We were about to go for sightseeing at about 2:00. So, I was just enjoying the fresh morning. And then we got the news. Dipu's friend , who was told to book the returned ticket, failed to do so. There were no train for return. We were about to return on the next day. Nobody's data network was working except mine. It might not been happened if we planned it and executed it ourselves. Regarding train, there was no other option except returning in unreserved coach. But there is no point of thinking on the matters you don't have your hand. There's nothing we could do until next day. So , we moved out for sightseeing. The roads were full of cars. Most of them are narrower than the city's one way road. We forced to skip few places for traffic. We should have started in the morning. Some places we missed - Singallila National Forrest ( Famous for rear Red Panda), Tenzing Rock (offers rock climbling).What we enjoyed -
We have planned only half day for darjeeling but most of the points are to be visited early in the morning starting from sunrise at Tiger Hills, so we are hopeful that we will be able to do it.We are ready to travel while raindrops pouring down from sky. We are having only one rucksack with rain covers. Our raincoats are ready and we are planning to go slow on wet roads. Separate poly bags are packed for keeping wet clothes, wallets and mobiles. Shoes and tough to dry clothes are avoided. Gears are packed, tickets are booked and we are all set to have an adventurous, energetic and drizzling bike trip. See you on the other side of the journey. Bye Bye.
Shopping (if needed) must be done in the evening as everything shuts early night due to fog and low visibility.The best season to visit Darjeeling is from March to May or October to November. Monsoons offer wonderful experience but there are chances of landslides. Winters are chilly and it sometimes snows in Darjeeling.
Located in the lesser Himalayas at an elevation of 6700 ft, lies a town famous for its tea across the globe - Darjeeling. But Darjeeling is not just tea. It is a traveler's paradise. It is located in West Bengal, India.Darjeeling lies in the shadow of the worlds third highest peak - the Kangchenjunga. The Himalayan railway here is also a UNESCO world heritage site.This place was known as the summer capital of India during the British rule. The history records date back to the early 19th century when the British established a sanatorium and a military depot in the region.
Motorcycling is special and more when you have a brotherhood to ride along and even more when the destination is itself a spectacular. I love to travel on motorcycle because it’s the best way to soak in the experience, and all of it. But what if your calling surpasses your proclivity to tour, what if you escape stretches beyond where the roads will take you well that is when you quell your urge to dominate and pick something built to work with the elements.Bhutan - A Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas eastern edge, is known for its religious communities, fortresses otherwise commonly known as dzongs and sensational scenes that range from subtropical fields to soak mountains and valleys. The country is filled with mountains, monasteries, a treasure house of buddhist art, is a kaleidoscope of fluttering prayer flags everywhere and anywhere you go, magic, and HAPPINESS.In the year’s post world war II, Gross Domestic product or GDP became the gold standard for gauging a nation's overall health and productivity. But while most countries focused on industrial output, a tiny Himalayan kingdom created its own method to measure its worth using Gross National Happiness or GNH.It is a country that maps its progress via GNH (Gross National Happiness) bridges the gateway to the Himalayan Rhapsody, is well fabled for some of the highest bends per kilometre world over and rightfully features as a top riding destination. Once can submerge themselves into the purring symphony of pure motorcycling along deep broad valleys, rice paddies, orchards, specks of tiny villages along the roadside, just for starters this ride catapult itself into yet another unforgettable experience.Bhutan's perception as an idyllic wonderland is owed in part of it location. The small mountainous country shares its borders with India, Tibet, and China. The unspoiled nature and peaceful citizenry is why Bhutan is often seen as "a magic time machine and has long history of not accepting outside influence to protect its identity. It was said after defeating Tibetan forces and feuding warlords in 16th century, Bhutan's 4th king unified the country and cultivated a unique culture to differentiate itself from warring powers.A distinct Bhutanese identity emerged which emphasised a communal relationship with nature a lifestyle centred around Buddhism. Bhutan avoided globalization and preserved its society in isolation for centuries. As the rest of the world modernized, Bhutan still has no currency, hospitals, telephones, or even proper roads. As per the reports it wasn't until late 60's when Bhutan opened its doors to the outside world and started to focus on development and Indians were first to offer their help.But instead of hurriedly adopting western reform, Bhutan's beloved fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck invited GNH to guide his country's progress. GNH measures spiritual growth instead of rising incomes, and relies on four key pillars: GOOD GOVERNANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, CULTURE, and ENVIRONMENTAL CONVERVATION.Nevertheless, in the survey for Gross National Happiness survey, over 90% of Bhutanese still considered happy. Modernization hasn't shifted Bhutan's moral centre completely off balance, However, as democratic institutions are put in place, there could be more consequences if the talk of happiness persists over real progress.A special thanks to my FRIENDS Dr. Rutvik Vanamala, Abhishek Reddy, Karthigeyan Ram and Pradeep who made this dream ride come true. We are proud of ourselves and looking forward for the next adventure. Until next time ride safe and stay safe. 😊
Darjeeling the queen of the hills is famed for the splendid view of the Mt. Kanchenjunga and of course the heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Toy train ride. But a vacation to Darjeeling is incomplete without experiencing the mouth-watering food of some infamous local food joints. When you are in Darjeeling definitely give a treat to your taste buds from these delicious eateries. 1. Keventer’s You should not miss this place if you are fond of English breakfast and snacks and Keventer’s is my personal favourite. It is famous for serving traditional English breakfast with items like sandwiches, chicken salami, sausages & meat loafs, ham & pork sausages since the British colonial era. Accompany it with a pot of hot Darjeeling tea or foamed cup of coffee. The best part is enjoying the splendid view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and the mountains from the open terrace seating area while sipping your hot tea or coffee. If nothing, for the Keventer’s one can return to Darjeeling again and again. It is situated at the beginning of the busy Nehru road. 2. Glenary’s Bakery & Café Glenery’s is undoubtedly the best bakery and cake shop in Darjeeling. This British era cake shop and café which is owned by Edward family located on the ground floor of a two storied building in the Nehru road. You must try their mouth-watering cakes, pastries and patties. During the breakfast time they serve different types of sandwiches, pizza, burgers, pies etc. You will get refreshing Darjeeling tea and coffee also. The café has a wonderful seating area with the breathtaking view of the mountains and valley through the glass wall. Now they provide free wifi to the guests and also accept debit/credit cards. 3. Glenary’s Restaurant This heritage restaurant of Darjeeling which was established during the British era is situated on the first floor of the same building in which Glenary’s Bakery & Café is operating. The restaurant’s decoration and ambience is very elegant and charming. The wooden and glass windows give amazing view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and the valley during the day time. They have a bar with good collection of Indian and foreign liquors. Their specialty is in Continental, Tandoor and Chinese dishes. You must try their Grilled Chicken, Roasted chicken, Pork Steak, Pork Roast, Beef Steak etc. But they also make very delicious Tandoori, Kabab and Tikkas. The Chinese preparations are also no way less. So if you are in Darjeeling don’t miss this by any chance. 4. Kunga Kunga, a small and budget Tibetan restaurant located on Gandhi road below the hotel Dekeling just next to the taxi stand. You will get one of the best momo of Darjeeling here. You must try their delicious steamed chicken, pork or beef momo. You can also try their tasty soups and thukpas along with the momo. They serve very tasty noodles, fried rice and side dishes. The food is cheap and served in large quantities. You can accompany your meal with lemon ginger honey tea or a cup of black or milk coffee. This is a casual restaurant and very small, hardly can accommodate 15 to 20 guests. It is very difficult to get place here during a rush hour. 5. Sonam’s Kitchen Sonam’s Kitchen is a small eatery run by a Nepali couple Sonam and his husband Puran. The café is located on Zakir Hussain Road a few minutes uphill walk from the Chowrasta Mall. It is actually a garage space is used for running the eatery but now they have an extension just on the opposite side of the road. You should visit this for awesome pancake with fruits, hash brown potatoes, porridge, cheese toast, fried eggs, and sandwiches in breakfast. Sonam is really a great coffee maker, so don’t miss the coffee. They don’t serve lunch. In dinner you will get delicious pastas and different kind of soups. You can try their Nepali dishes also. 6. Golden Tips The Golden Tips tea lounge located on the Chowrasta Mall is run by the Golden Tips Tea Company. You can get the fresh and best Darjeeling tea here along with some veg snacks like pakoda. You can order Darjeeling tea of different variety & flavours from their menu card. The seating lounge offers an amazing view of mountains through the large windows. You also can buy some packaged Darjeeling tea for your home from the counter. 7. Gatty’s Café This is a comparatively newly made café on Zakir Hussain Road. The casual ambience with dim light and creative decoration gives a great ambience. The café is gifted with a magnificent view of the mountains. So you can enjoy your tea or coffee with a view of the mountain ranges. There is good stock of books in one section of the café for the book lovers. You will get pork and beef dishes in western cuisine or you can try fried dumplings, fish or chicken cutlet, crispy chicken etc. The café has a music room and bar also. Live music is performed in the evening. This café remains open until late night which is very unusual in Darjeeling. Note: Few images courtesy to Google
238 Kms from Bumthang
Best time to visit - September to December
Gangtok is the capital city of the north Indian state of Sikkim. Built up as a Buddhist journey site in the 1840s, the city got to be capital of an autonomous government after extinction of British principle, however it joined India in 1975. Today, it remains a Tibetan Buddhist focus and a base for climbers sorting out licenses and transport for treks through Sikkim's Himalayan mountain ranges. Settled inside higher crests of the Himalaya and relishing a year-round gentle calm atmosphere, Gangtok is at the center point of Sikkim's tourism industry. The accommodation business is the biggest business in Gangtok as the city is the main base for Sikkim tourism. Summer and spring seasons are the most prominent visitor seasons. Large portions of Gangtok's occupants are utilized specifically and in a roundabout way in the tourism business, with numerous inhabitants owning and working in Hotels. Ecotourism has risen as an essential monetary action in Gangtok which incorporates trekking, mountaineering, stream rafting and other practices. Read More
Travel from Gangtok to Lanchung which is 118k away and will take you 4 hrs 30 mins by road. Best to hail a cab or bus to Lanchung, enjoy the view of the majestic Teesta river that flows along the winding road. Lachung has a lot to offer in itself, so plan to leave early from Gangtok.
DAY- 4Exploring Gangtok ( East Sikkim)
3. Adventure Junkie- Experience for life time!Are you young and energetic looking for adrenaline rush. Sikkim offers you several adventure activities to test your limits and over come your fears. Recently during my visit I tried Paragliding and White River Rafting and was an experience for life time. Once you soar high up in the air you break free like a bird and forget all your sorrow. The adrenaline rush in the fierce chilling water of Teesta is refreshing which rejuvenates your mind body and soul. Apart from that Sikkim also offer other popular activities like Cycling, Mountain Biking, Trekking.
2. Monasteries- Into the land of Monks!Are you fascinated by Buddhist culture and Monasteries. Sikkim will fulfill all your wishes which you are mesmerized by those colorful ribbons and flags with OM MA NE PADME HUM mantras tied high up in the air. The believe attached with it that the more higher it is tied up in the mountains the more sooner the mantras will reach into the GOD's ear. The monks which you have always imagined to experienced it and those prayer bell which you have seen only virtually in movies. Here are the few clicks from my recent visit in Gangtok:
P.S. : However they will make you sign a document that you are responsible for any accident, its completely safe as you are accompanied by a certified and trained pilot.Happy Adventure!!! Happy Blogging!!! Happy Gangtok!!!
Our driver dropped us at this paragliding spot and found that they offer two types of Paragliding:Medium Fly- 5-10mins for Rs 2500/-High Fly- 20-30mins for Rs 5000/-One has to be physically fit and weight below or approx 90kg. Payment options are Cash, Debit Card and Credit Card. If you want to capture your moments they will charge Rs 500/- extra for video making. So make sure your phone memory has space to store the memory of your breathtaking flight. The whole process takes approx 2 to 3hour.Since this is my first paragliding, here I swiped my credit card and booked for the medium fly. After weighing your weight in the weighing machine, from office they will drive you to the nearest highest point through the villages which were serene and the cleanest village I experienced. The drive is for about an hour which was also an experience in itself with its mesmerizing views and adventurous roads.Once you reach the spot you will have to walk up a bit. The view from the top was awestruck. While your pilot is busy preparing the flight the other start giving you instructions of do and dont’s. And here you GO-RUN-FLY—-WoooohhoooooO!!!!Exactly that is how I screamed and my heart was beating faster than the normal and the feeling that you experience is for life time. The adrenaline rush, you forget all your sorrows in life for a few moment and feel free like a bird.The view during the fly, its picturesque backdrops, mystic mountains and the lush greenery paddy fields will leave you spellbound. One needs a brave heart to do this and soar high in the air. :)
If you are young and adventure junkie looking for life time experience then I would strongly recommend you for Paragliding in Gangtok Sikkim Northeast India.Recently this summer May 2017 I visited Gangtok Sikkim and I fell in love with the pleasant weather, welcoming locals and mesmerizing views. During my visit I tried paragliding for the first time.About Paragliding you need not have to visit any tour operator or book in advance. There is only one spot in Gangtok from where paragliding activity takes place i.e. SIKKIM PARAGLIDING ADVENTURE SPORTS – COOPERATIVE SOCIETY LIMITED. It is operated by the cooperative society of Gangtok. So book any cab they will drop you to spot.
Back to GangtokWith loads of beautiful memories and experiencing divine, we returned back to Gangtok.
How to GoUnlike rest of India, reaching North Sikkim requires a proper planning, permission and physical strength.To reach North Sikkim, first you have to reach capital city, Gangtok.How to reach GangtokBy BusBuses ply till Siliguri (West Bengal), 115 Kms from Gangtok. From here, you have to share a cab/Jeep (Rs. 300/person) or you can hire your own cab at Rs. 2,500/, which will take another 4 hrs to reach Gangtok in normal traffic.By TrainTrains will also stop at New Jalpaiguri, near to Siliguri. From here again, you have to take car/ Jeep.By AirThe nearest airport is Bagdogra which is around 15 Kms from Siliguri. Either you can hire a direct cab from Bagdogra to Gangtok (2500-3000/) or you can go to Siliguri Tenzing bus stand for shared taxis.
We began our tour around 9 am and covered some 7-8 cliched points in about 3 hours. These included Ganesh Tok, Sikkim state circuit house, flower valley, Tashi view point, ropeway and some other small points. The couple was on their honeymoon!! They shared all their personal stories with me and we bonded quite well.
256 Kms from Bumthang
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,August,September,October,November,December
Meghalaya’s capital, Shillong is quaint hill-station flanked by pine forests and a few hundred waterfalls scattered across the charming landscape. Also referred to as the Scotland of the East, Shillong is replete with remnants of its British legacy, that can be seen in its architecture and the cuisine found on most menus. The beautiful Umiam, is a manmade lake and locally known as Barapani, it’s one of Shillong’s most popular places to visit. The Wards Lake is another artificial creation and tourists flock to this destination mainly for the boat rides. The multitude of waterfalls crowding the city - Sweet, Bishop and Beadon, and Elephant falls play a significant role in Shillong’s tourism. The Don Bosco Centre of Indigenous Cultures, is a cultural repository for all the seven Northeastern states, boasting of everything from weapons to rare photographs. To witness a magnificent view of the entire city, the Shillong Peak at 1695 msl fanning out over the town is your best bet. While touring Shillong, don’t forget to incorporate the beautiful Golf Course, that is perched at an elevation of 5200ft. Read More
(Shillong-Scotland of the East):Neeraj was quick to respond and an arrangement for the bike to be picked up and repaired was made by him through the local Royal Enfield Service Centre. After handing over the bike, I left to explore Shillong. I was put up in a nice hotel in the main area of Shillong called Police Bazaar. I took a local cab, since my bike was getting ready for the road ahead. The day trip in Shillong consisted of certain places of importance. The first place I went to was the Shillong Peak also known as the Shillong Viewpoint. It is just a normal spot from where the entire capital city of Shillong is visible, In one glance. The peculiarity of this place is that it is located inside the Army Cantonment area, so there is thorough frisking of the travellers before entering. Also ensure that you have a photo identification proof ready for perusal. Next was the Elephant falls which is the shining star of Shillong. Divided into 3 separate areas of water flow, one has to descend a flight of around 50 steps for each area. It was just mesmerising. Some photographs and a steady climb up from the base area of the waterfall took me to the parking area. Then I set off to visit a lovely lake called the Ward's lake. This lake has it all. A big waterbody, clean grass all around, some beautiful flowers and above it all, a stunning silence. A silence in which you could hear yourself. Perks of travelling alone, ain't it? Moving on we halted at a zoo-park called the Lady Hydari park. Some unhappy Black Himalayan Bears and chirpy Geese was all that I could see. They were inside unclean enclosures. I hope that the entry fee that we pay, eventually is used for the actual development of these areas. The visit to the Cathedral Church followed. The silence and the serenity of the holy place was enough to freshen up and setup some really good vibes. It was now time to visit the Shillong Golf Links. This is a large area of lush green natural turf, where apparently golf is played on weekends by the locals. On seeing this place I was reminded of Khajjiar in Dalhousie and how Khajjiar is known as the Mini Switzerland of India. The Golf Course in Shillong was so much more clean than Khajjiar, which has now become a purely commercial place with lots of crap around. It clearly struck to me that Shillong is such an underrated hill station. It has a beautiful waterfall, a very calm lake, some lush green outfields, and a viewpoint just like any other hill station. Definitely Shillong doesn't receive the attention of a tourist like any other mainstream hill station in the north. I returned back to my room after having a light meal. Lots of good cafés around the Police Bazaar area, if you want to have an experience of the local culture. After walking down to another market area called the Barra Bazaar, I came back to my room and ensured that I get a good night's sleep before the drive next day to Mawlynnong-Asia's cleanest village.
Half confused and half worried, I am looking for a vehicle in the bustling streets of Bada Bazaar, an exit point in Shillong for Dawki, Cherrapunjee, etc. Dreaming about a vacation is super easy, but 'how to reach?', will exhaust your brain to the core - pan walas, shopkeepers, bus drivers, knocking doors and Google may have multi-directional opinion sometimes. This is enough to baffle and hence, delay the so-called planned trip.Call it lack of knowledge(read planning), but all those who want to travel will find a way(perhaps, discover a road not taken). After giving up on finding a direct public transport to Mawlynnong, I started reaching out to cab drivers. One would imagine that hilly areas would have big cars, but Shillong, in fact Meghalaya is a tiny cultural shock with the Maruti 800 prevailing as the main mode of transportation between cities – people overflowing through this miniature car of 90s. Having the basic knowledge of distance between places and what price cab drivers usually charge, did give me a platform(or basis) to bargain.
I kickstarted the next morning and we started our way through the beautiful roads of highway.. Stopped at a dhabba on the way, right before hitting the mountains which serves amazing bread omelette and some exotic fruits which they sell all over the way. The road trip from Guwahati to Shillong is blissful beyond words could explain. Stopped right after that at the umami lake .. It has this mesmerising view which one won't forget that easily ! Then we headed for the well known "Don Bosco museum" that showcases everything about northeast! Also it has a terrace that leads you and gives a view of The whole Shillong ! Evening was set aside for boat rides and some shopping at the police bazaar .. Bakeries here are real good!
Lucky us,it rained heavily in the night.So,we enjoyed the rainy weather,but also it didn't hamper our trip.So,in morning with fresh mind but tired legs,we set off for Shillong sight seeing.There are numerous waterfalls,each with its own unique beauty.Theres also a cave named Mawsmai Cave,where you can explore the cave system in its natural form.Its a unique experience as well if you can complete the whole cave system,but keep in mind,there are quite a bit narrow crevices & be ready to get wet below your knee in few areas.But,if you are adventurous,you must do it.Then there are Nohkalikai falls,with a wonderful scenic beauty as well as,a tragic history behind its name.
Guwahati- Shillong- Nongria Falls- Cherrapunji -Guwahati1) Guwahati-Gangtok-Tsomgo Lake- Baba mandir- NAthula pass- Gangtokor2) Guwahati-Gangtok-Lachung-Gurudongmar Lake- GangtokAs because we had time constraints and we planned to choose either of the options.We started from Guwahati at 9 am and planned to reached Shilong by 12 pm. However, once you enter those zones, time will cease to exist and your plans will go in dustbins. We took so many stops in between that we reached Shillong by 2:30.The way is absolutely breathtaking. Try having their local cuisines, chowmein (known as pan fried noodles in other parts of India) maggie, momos and lot more. Food in entire states of N.E is amazing.We reached police bazaar, Shillong at around 2:30. We bought raincoats for our journey and explored the tibetan market and tried the local golgappes or phuchkas.
Day 5We kept the last day to explore the main city Shillong. We visited Elephant Waterfalls, Shillong Peak and Local shopping markets. You can go for shopping at the local markets. You will find lot of handcraft items, stoles, woolens and what not.Elephant Waterfalls – It’s one of the prime attractions in Shillong and worth visiting as the falls can be viewed from three different steps. One has to climb down the steps amidst the greenery .This waterfall is pretty crowded as it’s located on the highway.Shillong View Point – It was a pleasant 20 minutes’ drive from the main city. You can hire local cabs and reach the destination in no time enjoying the lovely weather. At the entry you might have to wait till completion of the formalities by defense personnel as one has to pass the defense area. The view is definitely a treat to your eyes; you can see the whole city from the top. Do not miss having hot tea and Maggie there.Police Bazar - Certainly the place in town where everyone goes shopping and where you find everything. I especially loved the small roads going there with small markets along the streets. You can go for street shopping for funky clothes and shoes at a very reasonable price. Do not miss buying souvenirs.We had our last dinner at friend’s restaurant and enjoyed our walk to the hotel having ice-creams. With this we ended our trip with lot of unforgettable memories and a calmer self.
Meghalaya, the abode of clouds has lot to offer than just pine fresh mountains, beautiful waterfalls and rivers. We travelled to this city during the first week of September. We booked our morning flight from Delhi to Guwahati (Assam) and reached there around 1 PM. Our friend from Shillong had planned our itinerary for the next 5 days, which led us to the untrodden natural wonders.Day 1We landed Guwahati and traveled to Shillong which is 3 hours away. On our way, we visited Umiam Lake located in the hills. We reached there in the evening so the view was just amazing, we could see clouds all over, unending lake and lush green grass. The evening got more pleasing and alluring when it started drizzling and in bargain we felt calm and quiescent. You can go for a boat ride or try kayaking and water skiing, but make sure you try all these during day time. Next we headed to Shillong, we found little traffic on our way as it was raining throughout and there’s only one main road that connects to the whole city. We finally reached our hotel, we had ordered food from outside for dinner. We went out after dinner to explore the city and local markets. Don’t expect a shiny night because its more than that, it is peaceful beyond explanation.Day 2 and 3
This 53 km stretch caters a lot of things to offer the riders right from slight but soothing drizzles, to exquisite waterfalls and caves. This is one of the popular stretches as it is covered by natural and beautiful scenes throughout the road which is a treat for a bike rider.
123 Kms from Bumthang
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,October,November,December
One would assume that Thimphu is still settling into its role as the capital of one of the happiest countries in the world, Bhutan. Simple at heart, grappling with growing commercialisation, Thimphu is bustling with energy and is the heart of the country. Thimphu is a delight to explore if history interests you and also if you want a break from the quiet and serenity of Bhutan. Brimming with cafes, nightclubs and restaurants, the city welcomes people from all over the world with open arms. While here, do check out Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the National Folk Heritage Museum which offers a peek into the life of the Bhutanese people, especially the rural way of life. There are tons of parks, gardens and galleries in and around Thimpu and you cover most of these in a single day depending on your interests. The exhibits here range from archaic to contemporary and are definitely worth taking a look at. Read More
Next day, hail a cab and travel to the capital town, Thimphu. Aim to keeping this cab to get around in Thimphu, as it be a more convenient and cheaper option since cab fares are high there. Moreover, the cab drivers in Bhutan are very gracious and will always indulge in a conversation about His Highness, Bhutan, and Buddhism. Thus, you'll be learning a lot while you're in transit. You can contact Mr. Mangal Singh at +975 17607472 to book for a trip.** (Read Part 2 for Thimphu, Punakha and Haa Valley)Cover Image Credits: http://www.mountainechoes.org/
Day 2: Phuntsholing -> ThimpuWe woke up early on Day 2 and met our guide Sangay who took us for our immigration process. We took around 3 hours at the Department of Immigration to get our permits and then after lunch we were off to Thimpu. There was initially some concern about the weather but the rain wasn't heavy enough to spoil our plans.
Next day morning, we geared up as soon as the 5AM alarm went off to capture the first light hitting Thimphu, Bhutan. A small hike to a nearby monastery with frozen dew all around the place was totally worth it. Sunlight falling on the mountain range behind the Thimphu city was quite a spectacular sight to watch.
Thimphu city is spread out along the side in a north-south heading on the west bank of the valley framed by the Raidāk River, which is known as the Wang Chuu or Thimphu Chuu in Bhutan. It is also the third highest capital in the world in altitude. The ancient capital city of Punakha was replaced by Thimphu when it was established as capital in 1955, and in 1961 Thimphu was declared as the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan by His Majesty the 3rd Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Day 4: The way towards Thimphu started. The first stop to visit was kharbandi gonpa ( the monastery built by Royal Grandmother , Ashi Phuntsho Choedron in 1967). The beautiful and magnificent himalayan ranges were seen to the road which took upto the hills. The Toorsa river had its silent flow irrespective of the aura around. The small town of Chimakothi has its own culture maintaining its individuality. Finally the day or to be more appropriate the year ended with a theme based party in Bhutan.
Welcome to your 'Best of Bhutan tour'! On arrival at the airport in Paro, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Thimpu, the modern capital city of Bhutan. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city. Overnight in Thimphu. (Meals on your own)
Today, after breakfast, proceed for a full day sightseeing of Thimphu visiting places like National Memorial Chorten, Buddha Dordenma Statue, Motithang Takin Preserve, National Library, Folk Heritage Museum and Tashichho Dzong. The large Tibetan-style National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to honour the memory of the third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (the father of modern Bhutan). This whitewashed chorten, with its golden spires, features elaborate mandalas, statues and a shrine dedicated to the popular third king.
After breakfast, proceed to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Enroute visit Kharbandi Gompa -The Kharbandi Gompa monastery is located amongst garden of tropical plants and flowers. It was set up in 1967 by the Royal Grandmother, Ashi Phuntsho Choedron. Later, continue your drive to thimphu. Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. On arrival, check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Thimphu. (B)Request A Call Back
After breakfast, proceed on a city tour of Thimpu visiting places like The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, National Memorial Chorten and Buddha Dordenma Statue. The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory was established in 1990 to produce the authentic Bhutanese paper known as Deh-sho using traditional techniques that have been practiced for generations. The factory uses the bark of two tree species, the Daphne and Dhekap in the manufacture of the paper.The large Tibetan-style National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to honour the memory of the third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (the father of modern Bhutan). This whitewashed chorten, with its golden spires, features elaborate mandalas, statues and a shrine dedicated to the popular third king. The religious paintings and complex tantric statues inside the monument reflect both peaceful and wrathful aspects of Buddhist deities.Made of bronze and gilded in gold, the Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic Shakyamuni statue, the largest Buddha statue in the world at a height of 169 feet. Sitting upon a large meditation hall, there are 125,000 smaller Buddha statues, also cast in bronze and gilded, that have been placed within the main statue. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the local markets. Overnight in Thimphu (B)You can stay in-
138 Kms from Bumthang
Best time to visit - March,April,May
Bhutan has gradually become a popular tourist destination. And if you are visiting Bhutan, you can't possibly miss the lovely city of Paro. Considered to be one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan, it is definitely a must visit! A perfect mix of culture, beauty, nature and history, Paro offers you an experience unlike another. Do visit the unofficial Taktsang Monastery or Tiger's Nest, which is a delight for trekkers and explorers! Located on a hill, the trek to this monastery is something you'll always remember. Do carry water, wear proper shoes before you start your trek lest the number of halts increases your trek time. Another wonderful place to visit is the National Museum of Bhutan which is located in a former watch tower and hosts a collection of artefacts tracing the history of Bhutan. Among other places to visit, Rinpung Dzong and Drakhapo are definitely worth visiting. The Paro market is also a great place to explore and makes for a perfect location for an evening stroll. If you don't want to stay in the city, Paro is where you should head to. The lush valleys here are a delight to explore and the streams and meadows are nothing less than a postcard. Read More
Day 4: On our way to Paro. 2nd important city and in fact only city with airport in Bhutan.. 1.5 hr ride from Thimpu .. 50 kms.Bhutan major attraction - Tiger nest.. Have always been enticed by its wallpaper like pics.. Time to turn imaginations into reality..Taktsang, or the Tiger's Nest Monastery, is one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan. one of the most challenging monasteries to get to. Located at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, Taktsang is the birthplace of Bhutanese Buddhism.
After breakfast, drive till the base of the world famous Taktsang Lhakhang. Taktsang Lhakhang or the Tiger's Nest is the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage site and temple complex in Bhutan. Visible from afar, this stunning and highly revered monastery is perched on a high granite cliff at an altitude of 10,236 ft., overlooking the northern Paro valley. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Paro (B)You can stay at-
After breakfast, visit National Museum, Paro Dzong and Kyichu Lhakhang. The National Museum of Bhutan is housed inside the revamped Ta Dzong, which was formerly a watchtower. It showcases an intriguing collection that illustrates the rich and unique cultural heritage and tradition of Bhutan, including ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts.
This morning, drive to Paro, en route visit Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. Built in 1637-38, this massive architectural edifice is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan. In addition to its structural beauty, it is renowned for containing the preserved remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan as well as a sacred relic known as the Ranjung Karsapani, a self-created image of Avalokiteswara. On arrival, checkin to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the local markets. Overnight in Paro. (B)
Welcome to your 'Bhutan - Himalayan Kingdom' tour! On arrival at the airport in Paro, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Thimpu, the modern capital City of Bhutan. On arrival, check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city. Overnight in Thimphu. Meals on your own. Enroute Thimpu - 65km, approx 1.5 hour drive.
After breakfast, drive till the base of the world famous Taktsang Lhakhang. Taktsang Lhakhang or the Tiger's Nest is the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage site and temple complex in Bhutan. Visible from afar, this stunning and highly revered monastery is perched on a high granite cliff at an altitude of 10,236 ft., overlooking the northern Paro valley.On the way to town, visit Kyichu Lhakhang. The 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang (temple) is one of the oldest shrines in Bhutan. The temple complex is composed of two temples - the first was built to subdue a giant demoness and the second temple dedicated it to Guru Rinpoche. Overnight in Paro. (B)You can stay in-
After breakfast, drive to Paro, enroute visit Drukgyel Dzong and Paro Dzong. Drugyel Dzong is the best example of a fortified Dzong built in the 17th century to commemorate Bhutanese victory over the combined forces of Tibetan and Mongolian army, which attempted several invasions to the country. Though the fortress was destroyed by fire in 1951, the ruins remain an impressive and imposing sight, reflecting unique and intriguing design and construction techniques. On arrival, check in to your hotel in Paro. Overnight in Paro (B). Distance- 142km, approx 4 hours drive.
Bumthang Valley consists of 4 main valleys Ura, Chumey, Tang & Choekhor. Choekhor. The valleys are broad and gentle carved by the ancient glaciers. The wide and scenic valleys draws a large number of tourists each year. The name Bumthang has two probable origins; the first is that it is named after a Bumpa, a vessel for holy water which the valley resembles in shape. The second origin implies that it is the Valley of Beautiful Girls as Bum translates to ‘Girl’ and Thang means ‘flat piece of land’.These fertile valleys are covered in fields of buckwheat, rice and potatoes. Apple orchards and dairy farms are also common sights here. This serene region is one of the most peaceful places in the kingdomRead More
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Although we bypassed it, I could manage to catch a glimpse of the so called Switzerland of Bhutan as I had to fuel up. We regrouped at the Thurimshingla Pass ahead marked by a traditional welcome gate and a stupa.
Bumthang Valley consists of 4 main valleys Ura, Chumey, Tang & Choekhor. Choekhor. The valleys are broad and gentle carved by the ancient glaciers. The wide and scenic valleys draws a large number of tourists each year. The name Bumthang has two probable origins; the first is that it is named after a Bumpa, a vessel for holy water which the valley resembles in shape. The second origin implies that it is the Valley of Beautiful Girls as Bum translates to ‘Girl’ and Thang means ‘flat piece of land’.These fertile valleys are covered in fields of buckwheat, rice and potatoes. Apple orchards and dairy farms are also common sights here. This serene region is one of the most peaceful places in the kingdom