126 Kms from Biratnagar
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
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.
After our Journey of Darjeeling, we moved further towards Guwahati (Assam) as it is the major destination near Meghalaya. One can get majority of trains and flights to Guwahati easily. When we reached Guwahati and went out of railway station, shared taxi drivers were shouting "Shillong-Shillong" so we were somewhat relieved that we won't have to suffer in hunting for taxi/bus services. We then went to stay in a hotel for our stay at Guwahati for one day as we had decided to go Shillong next morning. The hotel was average but we stayed there as we had decided to save our money in Hotel costs so that we can spend more for tour.
We reached a cold and wet Darjeeling for Rs 200 per person in a shared jeep. After putting down our bags, we did a bit of Googling and decided to have dinner at the most popular bakery/restaurant in Darjeeling, Glenary's. But this highly recommended spot by Lonely Planet was a major disappointment. I would suggest eating at Shangri-La Restaurant instead, as we did on our second night.
The day before we had booked the cab for our other sight seeing for 1300 INR. The cab came at 4 am in the morning and we headed to Tigerhill for the sunrise.The view of the sunrise and the Kangchenjunga peaks are just breath taking but be prepared for the cold, its freezing out there. You have to go there as early at around 4 am to get a seat there and for a good view, if you are late it would be fully packed and you'll need to stand there for the sunrise.For a good view of the sunrise and if you don't want any one in front of you, you need to sit on east corner of the seating stand and enjoy the sip of hot coffee available there.The Kangchenjunga would be the right side of the sunrise, it was cloudy when we visited so didn't gt the view of the peaks .The next point is ghoom monastery which is sort of ordinary. After that we went to batasia loop,here you can see the toy train crossing by, but make sure you are reach here around 8 am in the morning. The is a must if you are visiting darjeeling. Our driver then took us to the rock garden which is also good, with all the waterfalls. Here we planned to have our breakfast.We had bread-omelette, coffee, maggi noodles and if you want to try something else try wai wai chicken noodles. Our next spot was Japanese Peace Pagoda and with all the darjeeling traffic it seemed to be, and was the most peaceful, calm and serene place in darjeeling. We just sat here for an hour enjoying the view and seeing the world pass-by and clicking some pics as this was our last spot in darjeeling.We came to our hotel around 12 noon and then went for shopping in the market you can get good jackets and other winter wear. And in the evening we left to NJP.NOTES:-1-Frankly, we went darjeeling with lots of expectation but we found it an average place with must-visit places being Tiger Hill Sunrise, Batasia Loop, Rock garden, Japanese Peace Pagoda and the Zoo for the panda.2- Site seeing cost depends on number of points. 3 points for 1000 5 points for 1500 and 8 points for 2000 INR. You can and you must bargain with the rates.3-Day starts early and the sunsets at around 5 at 6 its totally dark and so start your day as early as possible.
After days in the train we finally made it to New Jalpaiguri Railway Station at around in the morning 6 am.Just as you get out of the train you will get the travel agents asking for taxi and hotels.We had done our hotel booking in advance with deals from MMT(Hotel Broadway Annex), so we were just looking for taxi from NJP(New Jalpaiguri) to Darjeeling. We found one agent and he took us to his office outside the station but he was asking for 6000 INR for drop and sightseeing which was way high from our budget.We then went near the station for other options and booked a brand new Ford Figo for just 1600. Darjeeling is around 70-80 km from NJP with all the mountain route so people who get dizzy on such roads be prepared.The road to darjeeling is very scenic, you can see the tea gardens,mountains, good sunrise, toy train and even the Kangchenjunga range on a non-cloudy day. There was some problem with the tracks so the toy train started from kurseong to darjeeling instead of NJP to DarjeelingWe reached our hotel (Broadway Annex) in darjeeling and got fresh and had our breakfast and got ready. We did some local sight seeing on this day.1)Rope way - The ropeway costs you around 165 INR per head,there is a lot of crowd for it so make it early there as its functional till 3 pm. I'll rate the ropeway from low to avg, the carts are not well maintained,the ride is very slow and sloppy.But you can have a good view of the Tea Gardens and the mountain ranges. You can go down have a coffee or so in the cafe down with some photos around and return back up.2)Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park - Then we went to the zoo the attraction here would be the red panda ,bengal tiger and other animals there is also Himalayan Mountaineering Institute to visit.After that we visited the local market chauk bazaar. You can hire a cab for it but we took bicycle on rent from Off Road Adventure (+919832054944) they also have other activities like Paragliding.NOTES:-1-Fare from NJP to Darjeeling if you go by sharing would be 150 to 200 INR and private would cost you around 1500 to 2000 depending on the condition and type of car.2-In the map the distance from one spot to another is around 500M or 1 Km but the roads are full of uphill and downhill which would be tiring who are not used to.
Last year, 2016, we went on this soul refreshing journey to Darjeeling and Gangtok. That's when i knew i had to write. Write about this beautiful paradise, the people and lifestyle, which is a complete stark opposite of the place that i currently reside in, Bangalore. And i love Bangalore! I love the busy streets, the wonderful cafes, the punk pubs and rocking bars, the carnival malls and the buzz. I love it all. Yet, that is where the difference lies. Both Darjeeling and Gangtok have the same busy streets, pretty little cafes, their own hard rock pubs and in case of Gangtok (tax free) outlets, crowded markets and the buzz. A calmer one, an at-peace one. Maybe its the altitude, maybe the setting amongst those mystic hills but something helps you lay down that guard, that we (metro people) had taken years to build and fortify. And it all starts with the ride.Bagdogra Airport, is the only one that you can use to reach either Darjeeling or Gangtok. It takes about the same time to reach either of them from there, though we decided to visit Darjeeling first. Bear in mind we were the 'foolish' ones, to have decided to visit in August. Why foolish? Landslides. Incessant rain causes it and that makes traveling an ordeal. Bangalore has its own fair share of rain all through the year. So i thought, "Hey how bad could it be?". The ride to Darjeeling, didn't have landslides but when you're riding at the edge of a hill with zero visibility due to the rain and clouds (yes, clouds), one can't help but pray. Hence foolish. But were we?The exact reason of our foolishness made the whole scene so much better for photography and as a memory. Of course you had to wait till the rain stops and in all honesty apart from the first day, we were lucky not find any of it till the end of the trip in Darjeeling. The moist heavy air, the magical parade of clouds, the mysterious fog, the beautiful smell of earth and the green, Oh the green.You can easily find out what you want to visit in Darjeeling and they all are worth it. I'm not going to give you an itinerary. Once you make yours, you start making your own story. What i can tell you is that they are beautiful, all of it. The early morning rides for sunrise and Kanchenjunga sightings, the "tea bagan" visits, the Mall road strolls, the monastery visits. all of it is an experience. The food is healthy, the people are jolly and their smiles are infectious, as is the case in any part of the world.AstrophotographyIt gave me my first experience with something, i had dreamt as a kid even if i had no idea how to do it then. Remember i told you it rained the first day we were there, well that continued till 11 pm in the night and thanks to me, mucking around, i wasn't asleep by then even if it was cold as, well as one cozy sleep requires (important note to never stop mucking around, that's when the magic happens). So the rain was beating down and it was a kind of tranquility that you seldom experience. And then there was another. The literal one.Around 11:30 pm i notice the calm has changed its attire, its more unclad, more natural. I parted the curtains of my room and walked into the balcony. Into a sky that had the most number of stars i had seen in atleast a decade. I almost could tell without any instrument where the Milkyway was. Of course the camera does a better job at it, but boy, all alone walking to the bigger open balcony of the hotel room's floor, setting up the camera for the shot in that shivering cold, under a sky that was cleared, nay washed of its impurities by that blessed shower only to show the jewels it possessed. Unmatched.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway:
Having graduated from University of Calcutta, I’ve always had an enormous love for this place. Something about it continues to appeal to me and each revisit brings me some kind of joy. How can I possibly say ‘No’ to another revisit! If not for the emotional attachment I have for the city of joy, I could still learn something new. The workshop on Forced Migration helped me view issues with a new perspective; I made new friends from all over; I enjoyed the rides with splendid views of sprawling tea gardens as we headed Darjeeling- one more place off my travel bucket list! I loved the beautiful Cedar Inn we made our home for a few days; I loved the food, the people, the visit to the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre…just everything about Darjeeling, that reminds me of home in some splendid ways, and simply how the art of travelling has broadened my mind in ways more than one.Delhi (November 2012)
At 2042 metres, Darjeeling was more urbanised than I initially thought. The winding alleys, the vibrant people, open drains that sounded like waterfalls, tea shops in abundance, the overhanging electric wires, the whistling toy train and the missing Kanchendzonga. There were pockets of colonial era buildings with the best views of the valleys down below, and then there are pockets where it is really cramped and congested, where it did not seem like Darjeeling the hill station at all. Our base was Youth Hostel Kadambari, where we settled down on our assigned bunk beds – the dorm was okay with all the bare essentials. YHAI, which organises treks like these is a non profit organisation and perhaps the cheapest around that may take you to the Himalayas. The Sandakphu trek cost me Rs. 5775 including food and accommodation. Moreover, there’s always a chance of bumping into fellow trekkers who will narrate experiences that can last a lifetime.
176 Kms from Biratnagar
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
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.
Let's start with GangtokGangtok is the capital of Sikkim and is the starting point of Sikkim as you'll be able to book your trip, hotels and cab/taxi from Gangtok. Gangtok is famous for MG-road which is the main center of attraction due to it's European street style. See the magical Gangtok through the eyes of roadaviator.
Gangtok from here is a little over one hour away. We booked a hotel online on the drive from Siliguri to Gangtok, a decision that would reap a variety of rewards. First and foremost, Gangtok has A LOT of options. Hotels are spread all over the city, from budget to luxury; every place offers the best of hospitality. So, it is highly suggested that you pre-book before reaching Gangtok so precious time is not wasted scouting around.
Sikkim had always been the dream destination. The state intrigued me with it's unusual terrains, beautiful people and magnificent vistas. Sikkim is a landlocked state and has three international borders i.e. for China, Nepal and Bhutan. This fact makes travelling to remote corners of Sikkim a bit tedious and expensive but believe me, it's all worth it.Zuluk is an unorthodox destination in East Sikkim, it's a village with a population less than few hundreds. But those few hundreds are more than welcoming and most likely the kindest people you will meet on this planet.How To ReachOne can directly reach Zuluk from Bagdogra airport and Jalpaiguri railway station through a 7-8 hour road trip but due to the unplanned nature of our vacation, we decided to go for Zuluk after we reached Gangtok. And that was a blessing in disguise. The road trip from Gangtok to Zuluk is roughly 100 kilometres and takes 4-5 hours based on the number of stops you take.PermitsYou need to have permits for Zuluk from the local authorities. These permits can be taken from the help of tour operators or hotel staff. The latter came in handy for us and our permits were ready for the very next morning. If you are planning to take your own car, you will need to spend more time in getting your permits.TransportFrom Gangtok, the only option available to us was hiring a private vehicle. No shared cabs, bus or government vehicles. You can get a private vehicle for this trip anywhere between 6,000 and 8,000 depending upon how good you are at negotiating and how much time you have. Although, it was bit expensive, I wouldn't have it any other way. I stopped the vehicle at a number of occasions because of the incredible views and that wouldn't have been possible in a shared cab.Where To StayZuluk has plenty of home stay options that range from 600 to 1000 per person. And it includes all three meals. I haven't seen any online options for booking these home stays other than Airbnb which I would highly recommend during season. As it was off season, we were able to get a nice home stay for two people at 800 per person without prior booking.I believe I have shared all the information you will need to plan this trip and now I will let my pictures do the talking.
How many times has it happened that right in the middle of a long trip, one that is meant to encompass many destinations, we find ourselves unwilling to let go of the "home". A place, that somehow steals your soul and hides it in its surreal aura. A place that makes you wonder your priorities and has the ability to fix that small niggle, that hairline fracture in your heart. A place... Or sometimes it's the road, the journey, the flight of transit that lets you be.
Covered in snow, and surrounded by Christmas trees tingling with fairly lights, Gangtok is the perfect place to enjoy the winter cheer. Perfect for places to visit in January in India for travellers who enjoy snowfall, because Gangtok will have plenty of it. You can also go around to the Nathu La pass, or visit the Namgyal Institute Of Buddhism, which is considered to be the largest institute in India for Buddhism studies. You can also drive to the Tsongmo Lake, which might just be absolutely frozen and a mind-boggling sight!How To Reach: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, which is 120km away. You can also take a train to New Jalpaiguri and then take a taxi from there to Gangtok.
Next morning, when I woke up I had decided that this is not the time to remorse. I had come so far not to be disappointed or sad, happiness is always in our hands. I stood up in the line again hoping for a positive result and finally I withdrew cash. The next thing that I did was to file a complaint in the bank about my amount being debited. For a moment, I thought that my time was being wasted by visiting these banks and ATM. I had come so far not to do this....But this was a learning for me, I did discovered that in difficult times how did I react, what decisions did I take. I was left all alone in this situation and made to fight it, I had to be victorious.After doing all this work, I decided to do some local sightseeing. The first place I went to was Hanuman Tok.
Gangtok This honeymooners’ heaven is also the perfect place to let your wild side loose with your mad gang. Whether you go trekking, eating, or clubbing—Gangtok will assure that there’s a twist in the tale. The duty-free goods are just an added bonus. Don’t forget to make friends with a yak as you take a bumpy ride on its back through this amazing hill-station!
259 Kms from Biratnagar
It was day 1 i.e. 21st Jan, 2017, a flight from Air India at IGI Airport, Kolkata at 1.45PM. a flight of 1.30 hours which land u in between Himalayas...the view from the window seat was amazing just a minute before u land in Tribhuvan Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal.Read More
It was day 1 i.e. 21st Jan, 2017, a flight from Air India at IGI Airport, Kolkata at 1.45PM. a flight of 1.30 hours which land u in between Himalayas...the view from the window seat was amazing just a minute before u land in Tribhuvan Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Kathmandu is a city stuck in a time warp, it is a city with a mind of its own and an impenetrable one at that. With its medieval temples, ethnic groups, convoluted lanes, noisy bazaars and an overwhelming number of hotels, this place is several things at once. Travellers just can't get enough of the intoxicating cocktail that is Kathmandu and the locals are well aware of this fact. It is timeless and often akin to an exotic fairytale and a visit is therefore imperative.
Kathmandu is capital city and yet again full of surprises for an avid traveler . PashupatiNath temple was the main attraction of the city. Being a capital very Crowded place. One looking for peace has nothing to do there. It has some good clubs which play hard rock music.(As heard by locals). Other attractions of Kathmandu are:- 1)Durbar Square 2) ISKCON temple 3)Swayambhu Stupa 4)Muktinath temple
We spent rest days from 5th Sept. to 7th Sept. in Kathmandu. We stayed in Hotel Menang. It was near to Tamale. Tamale is good for shopping. On 5th Sept. we visited volunteer house where volunteers from Italy came to serve orphan children. We spent time with them. On 6th Sept. we visited Pashupatinath temple, Kumari temple, Hanumaan temple, museums. The last day of Nepal trip we visited Monkey temple, Patan, Local kathmandu bazaars etc. At 8 PM we moved to airport to take our flight.
Places to visit: · Thamel · Pashupatinath temple · Boudha temple · Nagarkot Keeping a local map handy is suggested so that you can efficiently plan your day as Kathmandu offers many places to see and visit. #Food Dinner at Bamboo shoot. I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant because Sangria here was shit and also because there are much better options available in close vicinity. Lunch at a hotel suggested by localites to try Newari food (specialty of Nepal: Buffalo meat). Here we were also offered a local drink. I had a sip of it. It tasted much stronger than even whisky.
We started for Kathmandu around 9 a.m. Today’s plan was to reach Last resort via Kathmandu, a distance of about 230 km. Note: This could have been changed in our plan to spend 1st 3 days in Kathmandu and the go last resort come to Dhulikhel and go to Ilam instead of going last resort first, coming back to Kathmandu and then again going until Dulikhel to go Ilam. The ride to Kathmandu was lush green. There were fields with rice growing and step farming being done. The roads were smooth with no glitches though needless to say that it was completely mountainous terrain. We reached Kathmandu around 6:30 p.m. Without entering the city, we took a right turn for Dhulikhel. After a ride of around 70 Km we reached Dhulikhel at around 9:30 p.m. and Last resort told us that it takes 3 more hours from Dhulikhel. So without wasting any more time, we continued riding. Initially the roads were good. Few Kilometers away from The Last Resort , an army check post asked us to open our luggage and show them all our stuff. After this post, the road was rough and it was pretty dark. Finally we reached the Last resort. As the name suggests, it is really a last resort.
Bouddhanath Stupa, one of the holiest Buddhist stupas and one of the largest in world is also located in Kathmandu, close to Pashupatinath temple. A two storey separate section for prayers overlooks the Stupa. Many shops selling beautiful Tibetan handicrafts and jewellery adorn the sidewalls.
285 Kms from Biratnagar
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
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.
The next day we had planned to leave as early as 9am but the car needed separate permits as well. So anyone heading there please get these things in place for a smooth trip. Nonetheless we got our permits sorted and left for Thimpu. It takes about 5 hours to reach the capital city.Thimpu even though a small capital has its own charm and there is a vast difference of culture in spite of being a road across India. This Himalayan kingdom has kept its traditions intact and is still ruled by a King. After lunch we did some sightseeing like the Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point), National Memorial Chorten and the Tashichho Dzong. We also went to the Takin Reserve to see the national animal of Bhutan which is like a goat - antelope and is only found in the Eastern Himalayan Region.
The next morning, we hired a car for Thimphu sight seeing. The city has several exciting tourist spots. The scenic view from the 'Budha Point' was stunning. The King's Palace on the bank of the Thimphu river, surrounded by colorful alpine trees looked picture perfect.
Thimpu - The most busy and populated city, where vehicles drive in a queue, people use walkways to walk and cobbled by-lanes surprisingly lead you to a staircase which lead to parallel lanes. The traffic is so organised, that the city is the only capital city in the world with no traffic signals. A traffic police mans the entire traffic from a single traffic booth standing at the central square.Walk down the entire town, stop and browse the local shops to buy souvenirs, sit at cafés, enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and end the day with a Bhutanese meal at a restaurant suggested by the locals.26 October, 2016We went to Thimpu Immigration office, for both ours and the car and the drivers pass further to Punakha and Haa. Time taken 3 hours.Started for Punakha from Thimpu at around 12 noon. Reached at 4pm.
Thimpu :Next morning, I took a bus from Paro to Thimpu, It is a beautiful ride. The road goes in parllel with the Paro Chu River. And there I was in the capital city of Bhutan. First thing I did, was extension of my permit to Punakha and Dochula Pass in the Immigration office.
With 2 days in hand, Thimphu turned out to be very eventful. We stayed at Hotel Riverview. A local city tour was organised by Royal Enfield riders of Thimphu. They took us to the National Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the 4th King), Kuensel Phodrang ( Buddha Dordenma or Buddha Point), BBS Tower (photographic view of the valley below), Motithang Takin Preserve (Takin is the national animal - half goat half yak), Chagri Dorjeden Monastery (also called Cheri) and Phajoding Monastery. The market has a lot of goods and handicrafts to offer and live music/nightlife can be enjoyed at places like Mojo Park and Space 34.
Being budget travellers, my friend and I researched about the country about a month before backpacking. We decided to travel via the road from Siliguri in West Bengal. We had to do tran shifts which was quite tiresome but totally worthwhile. The best part about taking the road was encountering the locals and the information kept pouring in. We could halt whereever and whenever we wanted, viewing the scenic beauty and letting the aura sink in. It took us an entire day. By the time we reached Thimpu, the capital city we were exhausted and so we decided to hit the sack early. It was early fall hence we were greeted by a chilly morning. In no time we got charged up to explore the city. A local friend of mine drove us around. In a single day we ran the latitudes and longitudes of the city, occasionally halting at places, tasting the local gourmet, sipping the local drinks, talking to the localites and juicing out as much information from them. My eyes and my camera both have captured absolute scenic beauty of the city. To name a few we stepped in to the Buddha park, the Buddha point, which is supposedly to be one of the wonders of the world. The second day was the most beautiful part of my stay in Bhutan. We started early on for yet another gorgeous city, Paro. A few miles away from Paro is where the world famous Tiger's Nest lies. It was around 3 hours of trek! There are horses and mules carrying people to the monastery, but what better way than walk the walk to the top! We started the trek from Taksang. Each step gave us an adrenaline rush! Must haves for the trek are a pair of shades, a hat, enough water and lots of sunscreen! As we came closer to our destination, we were awestruck by what we saw! The entire monastery was carved into the mountains! It was the most beautiful thing I had seen, and the view of Paro from the top, how I wish I could describe it in words! It was a gloomy morning with no suns hining through. It was our last day in Thimpu and the weather added fuel to the fire. I did not want to return so soon but we had got a pass of only three days. A city without the night life is an incomplete city and Thimpu was nowhere near to imperfection. We went club hopping and to my surprise the Bhutanese nocturnals shook their feet to Bollywood numbers too! I got to interact a lot with the teenage population of the city. They were the most friendly souls I've met. They made us feel at home. After the party was over they drove us to a view point which was at a higher altitude. What I saw from there will forever be etched in my heart. The entire city burned in sparkles just like a thousand fireflies, the sky, clear and starry, the moon shone high above, below were we with our new Bhutanese friends sipping the local wine while we looked on. I'm still amazed when I go through the pictures. The stay wasn't quite enough but I'm definitely packing my bags for a second visit and this time it will be during the fall.
Next morning we went for local sightseeing of Thimphu . First we visited the BBS Tower that offered us a bird’s eye view of the picturesque Thimphu city. We then paid a visit to the majestic Great Buddha Dordenma Statue, Folk Heritage Museum , Tashi Choo Dzong while other times cruising in and around Thimphu on our bikes. In the evening we strolled in Norzim –La, the main street of Thimphu and later in the evening hopped on to a nightclub –‘The Thimphu Club’.The environment inside the club was quite different from the traditional Bhutanese way of life, as it was buzzing with western- influenced music and dance.
269 Kms from Biratnagar
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
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.
The next morning we headed off for Phuentsholing.For any avid traveller this country no matter how small should surely be on the to - be - done list. The country has very friendly people and some beautiful architecture. The climate is clean and soothing and you can immediately feel the change of place in spite of it being so close to India.
Today we started off early since we wanted to do the trek to the Taktsang Monastery which is commonly referred to as the Tigers Nest. The whole of Bhutan is naturally striking but this trek and the height where the monastery is located is enthralling and surprising. The whole place is on an absolute cliff and looks like it might fall off with a single poke and yet there it has been for centuries. The trek is difficult as there is no road at all and also it was drizzling on and off so the path became even more tough. We did the first few kilometres on a horse but the horses only go half way. The last uphill everyone has to do on foot and it is one of the toughest treks i've done. We reached at around 2 pm which is the lunch time there so we had to wait outside till we could finally enter.
Thimpu has a few more sightseeing spots but since we had a time constraint we headed out for the Dochula Pass. This is 30km from Thimpu. It is a mountain pass on the way from Thimpu to Punakha and consists of 108 memorial chortens or stupas. It is a wonderful sight to look at and on a clear day, one can spot the snow clad peaks from here.
The next morning it was time to drive to Paro. Only 50 kms away from Thimpu, it took us barely 3 hours to reach our hotel in Paro.Paro is where the international airport of Bhutan is located. Naturally, it is more of a ‘touristy’ town than Thimpu. The city built around the Paro River, needless to say, is abundant with nature and scenic beauty. One can easily laze around the city and feel enriched. However, we had a to-do list. First on the list was to visit the oldest Buddhist house of worship in Bhutan, the Kyichu Lhakhang. Built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. The legends say that the temple is one of 108 temples that were built to defeat an ogress (demon) that was lying over the entire Himalayas. Most monasteries and other significant places of Bhutan have interesting transcendental stories and parables. A local tour guide will always have so many magical stories to tell you. The monastery was a very quiet place and people were in serious prayers. After the temple we went to the market and did some shopping which consisted of home décor, antique jewellery and kilos of red rice to name a few .
Finally, you enter Paro, where the river welcomes you. The city if personified would be called a very disciplined, organised city. Rows of buildings of almost the same height, lit in the same way on both sides of the road, which opens up to a ground and similarly planned and structured by-lanes.Go for a stroll around the city, and then plan a day to climb up the Tatkshang Monastery on the Tiger Hills.28th October, 2016:
Paro :Paro is the main center for any tourist who is visiting Bhutan. It had Tiger's Nest, the symbol of Bhutan. I learnt the language of Bhutan, Dzongkha a bit. Simple words. First thing I did was I found a hotel and freshen up and bought new Floaters. If you want to take anything home from Bhutan, you can buy a lot of things here. From Souvenirs to dress, You can eat Pork/Beef. The only bad feeling in Bhutan was that the constant smell of Ghutka/Betel Nut. I bought some things back from Bhutan.
Reaching Paro was a task as immigration took too long and a situation came up at Tanalung checkpoint. One of our rider’s permit got swapped with somebody at the previous checkpoint Kharbandi. Despite the delay, we managed to reach the same day.
Located in a scenic valley it is a historical town with sacred sites and ancient structures. It also has the only international airport of Bhutan.
246 Kms from Biratnagar
The well preserved ancient Newar town, known for its artistic excellence, splendid courtyard and palaces, pottery and weaving industries and rich customs and culture, is a ‘living heritage’ in itself. The literal translation of ‘Bhaktapur’ i.e. “place of devotees” is well justified by its magnificent temples, artwork, festivals and religious celebrations. It was enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The place is like an open air museum, best for aimless wandering and exploration. The ‘culture gem’ of Nepal, Bhaktapur is extremely picturesque and inspiring. So simply put on your best walking shoes and get ready to have a good peek into the famous Newar culture and tradition.
Bhaktapur is a "living Heritage" displaying the vibrant depth of Newari culture. The main square of the city, is a conglomeration of stone art, metal art, wood carving and terracotta art and architectural showpieces. The golden gates, siddhi laxmi stone temple, taumadhi square, Durbar square and peacock window are the main attractions of Bhaktapur. This amazing city is not only displaying you its century old fabulous art, architect and cultural heritages but also offer its unique eastern hospitality, delicious newari cuisines, luxurious accomodation, unforgettable handicraft souvenirs, various restaurants, hotels, guesthouses, home stays and curio shops respectively.
Bhaktapur city is located 14 Kms east from Kathmandu. Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon, is an open museum for everyone to see stand-still lifestyle & culture of ancient era. Entering the Durbar Square (palace square) through the Royal Gate, the sparseness of the temples is immediately apparent, compared to the profusion in the Durbar squares of Kathmandu and Patan. Many of the highly decorated buildings and shrines were destroyed in the 1934 earthquake. However, the main square still contains a few temples and other architectural show pieces; the Lion Gate, the statue of Bhupatindra Malla, the Palace of 55 windows, the Bell of the barking dogs, the Batsala temple, the Nyatapola temple and the replica of Pashupatinath temple. Bhaktapur is one the cleanest ancient city in Nepal.
256 Kms from Biratnagar
I liked the Patan Durban Square cultural heritage.Read More
I liked the Patan Durban Square cultural heritage.
238 Kms from Biratnagar
Best time to visit - March,April,May
Lying on the India-Bhutan border, Jaigaon is not a tourist place, but is frequented by tourists on their way to Bhutan. The border area is the location of the majestic Bhutan gate, which brings you face to face with Bhutanese architecture. The gateway is covered in beautiful illustrations of dragons and has authentic Bhutanese artwork all over it. The town has many small and big hotels, where you can halt the night before moving on to get the visa at Phuentsholing, on the other side of the gate. The border area has some street side food stalls, which sell momos and chowmein. The Jaigaon region is quite small and can be easily covered on foot. This destination also houses the very unique Dalsinghpara Buddist church, which is an amazing amalgamation of Buddhist engineering and Christian spirit. Read More
Lying on the India-Bhutan border, Jaigaon is not a tourist place, but is frequented by tourists on their way to Bhutan. The border area is the location of the majestic Bhutan gate, which brings you face to face with Bhutanese architecture. The gateway is covered in beautiful illustrations of dragons and has authentic Bhutanese artwork all over it. The town has many small and big hotels, where you can halt the night before moving on to get the visa at Phuentsholing, on the other side of the gate. The border area has some street side food stalls, which sell momos and chowmein. The Jaigaon region is quite small and can be easily covered on foot. This destination also houses the very unique Dalsinghpara Buddist church, which is an amazing amalgamation of Buddhist engineering and Christian spirit.
-The grilled wall running between the two villages is the Indo-Bhutan border.The friendship of the two countries is directly exhibited by the smooth traffic flow through the Bhutan Gate near Jaigaon. The Royal Kingdom Of Bhutan welcomes the Non- Bhutanese visitors with a stamp on their passports.
Gangtok to Thimphu via Phuentsholing Following the only plan we had, we took a shared cab from Gangtok and after crossing through a numerous tea garden on the route, we reached Jaigaon. Jaigaon is as 'India' as it can get. Excuse the adjective but what I mean is crowd, of thousands, traffic for over a kilometre and vendors on the streets, chilling like everything is just fine. And I'm too habitual to detest any of it.
As Bhutan immigration office was closed, I had to stay back at border town of Jaigaon. It is small place and mostly people who have come to visit Bhutan and are taking a day off for rest post their long journey stay there apart from locals. Interesting thing about this place is that they except Bhutanese currency. I suggest you take a Bhutan sim because if you have automatic network selected on your phone and get in Bhutan network you will be charged heavy roaming. I took Tashi sim. They have tourist sims of 1 month validity. Get it from their Phuentsholing office. Internet is really good throughout Bhutan on Tashi Network even at Tiger's Nest trail in Paro :D. Eat- Momos, Chowmein.