For me travelling is an escape from my monotonous life. The thought of going to somewhere excite me so much, it gives me immense happiness. I read somewhere “If you are happy, Travel, If you are sad, Travel” so basically just Travel and I really believe this.
Truly speaking, I do not consider myself a traveler, I am more of a tourist. Traveler, I must say they are brave, they discover new places by their own, they hitchhike, and they couch surf. They are some bold and creative creatures. But I love my way of travelling too, because it gives me peace and at the end, we all are looking for peace whether the person is a tourist or a traveler.
I have seen Travel Triangle posts many times in my Facebook wall, but I never opened it as I was not in favor of planning a trip through any Travel Company. So first I did a lot of research on myself to make itinerary and to find out what will be the expenses of my trip to Bhutan. Just to find out the difference between what I am expecting and what they are offering, I put my request in Travel Triangle. And Voila! They were offering me a trip on by budget with same itinerary and that to I do not have to think about Hotel bookings, Rental car, and Immigration work.
We started from Pune on the 2nd of March 2018 and reached Bagdogra airport at 4:30 PM. It was Friday. We booked our flight on Friday on excitement, unaware of the fact that immigration office remains closed during the weekend. So thinking of not to waste our weekend we directly headed to Gangtok during that day and reached there around 8:30. That ride was tough for me and I got scared that the situation will be same for all others days as well, but thankfully our driver for the Bhutan trip was awesome. I didn’t feel any motion sickness during all those days. On Saturday we left for Siliguri to finally meet our dream destination “Bhutan”. We entered Phuntsholing by crossing the India-Bhutan Border through a beautifully decorated gate. This is a time which will give you a hint that you have entered in a colorful and peaceful, totally different world. You will not hear any car honks here, less number of people having so much peace on their faces. Phuntsholing is a very small town in Bhutan, but you can get everything here.
The next day was a day to complete our immigration formalities, thanks to Travel Triangle it was completed in less than half an hour and we asked our travel agent to arrange Bhutan Sims. Indian network works in 10 Km range from Indian-Bhutan border. Our driver “David” asked us to wait in a hotel and he will pick us in 1-2 hrs. Instead of waiting we started roaming around the town and visited many shops. There are not many things in Phuntsholing. It is an entry point for tourists. That day we started a little late as David went to his home to pick his stuff and to say bye to his family. Around 2 PM we started for Thimpu, our first main destination in Bhutan. As we started late, we reached late in Thimpu so decided to eat and sleep. The weather was pretty cold at night there.
The next morning was beautiful, after breakfast we were ready for city tour and it started with a visit to Monastery “ChangangKha” which was at a small distance from our hotel. You will have a clear view of the Thimpu City from this place. Next we headed to the beauty of this place, to the Buddha point. This huge 51 meter tall Buddha Statue you can see from anywhere in Thimpu. This Status is at Hill top and the throne on which Buddha is sitting have 125000 small Buddha statues inside it. Photography is not permitted inside but you can take as many photos as you want with this gigantic statue of Buddha.
That day we also have Punakha in our to-do list. So after visiting Buddha point we directly headed towards Punakha. On the way to Punakha we passed through beautiful mountain pass named Dochula Pass. It gives you a 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. There are 108 Chortens created at Dochula pass in honor of 108 soldiers who died during the 2003 military operation. After spending a little time there we started for the place which I was so excited about, “Chimi Lhakhang” Monastery.You have to hike a little through muddy paddy fields to reach this place. On your way you will cross many souvenir shops and houses having colorful and artistic Phallus decorated on their walls.
This place is also known as Fertility temple where people come from all over the world to pray for the survival and good health of their children. This temple is dedicated to “The Divine Madman” who is known for his non-conventional and outrageous way of teaching.
After our lunch we went to Punakha Dzong. This one is the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. The Dzong is basically the center of the Administrative and Religious authorities of the city. The entry fee of this place is 300 Nu. Every main city in Bhutan has Dzong, but this one is the most beautiful one. From there we went to Suspension bridge. Oh My God! I have never seen such a big suspension bridge. It is built over the PO Chu River. Just enjoy the cool breeze here. This was our last point of the day. We came back to Thimpu at night as the next day was decided for our dream destination.
So the next day, we started early morning as we have to hike to Tiger’s Nest, most awaited place in our itinerary. We left Thimpu around 7 in the morning and reached the starting point of Tiger’s Nest trek at around 8:30. The fee is 500 Nu. It was a rough long hike, but you will see many people going there. Keep yourself hydrated and eat some dry fruits during the hike, it will give you energy to move on. The path is a little rough and you have to hike a mountain to reach there. The journey to reach there is beautiful. You can see green valleys all over. The weather was some time making me feel hot and sometimes chilling cold. After hiking for a good 2.5 hours we finally get a glimpse of Tiger’s Nest. This is the first point from where you can see this beautiful Monastery. I was so amazed how they built this big thing there at the sharp cliff of a mountain. We took some pictures as we were very excited to see this, but moving on we got more beautiful view of this place. After this point you have to go through stairs. Finally, after 4 hours of the journey we reached the place. You can take guide outside the Monastery, it is included in your fees, which you have paid at start point. Better to take a guide as they explain everything beautifully. I won’t tell you the secret behind the name, just go and reveal the secret by your own.
We talked with many tourists, some locals and guide during this trek. Bhutan is a beautiful place, air is clean and fresh, and rivers are so clean that you can see the stone bed lying at the bottom of the river. Have some local food and enjoy this beautiful country.