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Bhutan Trip – Vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth

9 mins. read

Until the 1970s, there were not many who had the privilege of exploring the culture and heritage of what people now call The Happiest Place in South-Central Asia. Bhutan or what Bhutanese people call Druk Yul, the Land of Thunder Dragon, is a name that stands true to the country’s character. Nestled amidst two powerful nations, and flaunting wide-ranging views of the gigantic Himalayan Mountain range, Bhutan and its unspoilt beauty spots are a reminder that all the best things in life you seek live inside you.

Someone famously quoted, “Gawa rang gi zon go zo; choem rang gi choen go choel" - Whatever joy and misery you seek, it can be found in the state of your mind - a Bhutanese proverb that people in Bhutan live by. As a country that estimates its progress using the Gross National Happiness score, a trip to Bhutan will offer you intimacy and space to get in touch with your emotions, thoughts and yourself. But there’s more to Bhutan beyond the Himalayan Mountains, dzongs, monasteries, and sparkling streams. The gentle and proud rosy-cheeked people of this small, isolated country live by the philosophy of welcoming travellers with open arms. Once you enter the country, the harmonious and calm atmosphere, blissfully isolated cities, the bond shared by locals, plush hanging valley, dark forest, paddy fields, houses made out of mud and stone and wood, every part of this Buddhist Kingdom hums with contentment.

A List of Must-Visit Places in Bhutan

Bhutan is a kingdom like any other. With its majestic landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a commitment to Gross National Happiness over GDP, Bhutan is a realm where tradition and modernity coexist in a harmonious embrace. If you are planning a trip to Bhutan from India, we have just the right destinations and tourist attractions to make your Bhutan trip a success.

So, fasten your seatbelts, and get ready to explore Bhutan, where happiness isn't just a destination; it's a way of life.

  • Buddha Dordenma Statue, Thimphu
  • Paro Taktsang or Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Paro
  • Punakha Dzong, Punakha
  • Jigme Dorji National Park, Gasa
  • Haa Valley

Known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and deep-rooted traditions, Bhutan offers a unique experience for travellers. To preserve its culture and provide employment opportunities for its people, the Bhutanese government mandates that tourists hire a local tour guide and driver.

Buddha Dordenma Statue, Thimphu

Buddhism has played a significant role in the lives of Bhutanese. Located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park in Thimpu, the capital city of Bhutan and commanding the entrance to the valley is the massive 177-foot statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. Counted among the top tourist attractions in Bhutan, your trip to the Land of Thunder Dragon is incomplete without visiting this gigantic statue. Unknown to many, this largest sitting statue is made of solid bronze with a coat of gold and is home to 125,000 smaller Buddha statues. At the base of the statue is a large meditation hall where hundreds of monks and tourists alike. What better place to sit down and reconnect with yourself! Truly, no other place holds more peace. Buddha Dordenma Statue is among the top must-visit places in Bhutan.

Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Paro

Popularly called the Tiger’s Nest Temple, Taktsang Palphung Monastery is the most picturesque landmark in western Bhutan. Dating back to the late 17th century, Taktsang Palphung Monastery is a popular Buddhist sacred site built on a cliffside overlooking the Paro Valley is a place of residence of a large statue of Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). Legend has it that, around the 8th century, Guru Rinpoche arrived at this location atop a disciple-turned-tigress and meditated in a cave for the span of three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours.

Three is a sacred number in Buddhism representing many things including the trinity or what Buddhists refer to as the 3 Aspects of Refuge: The Buddha, the Sangha or Community and the Dharma. Surrounded by a blanket of lush greenery, mountains and a peaceful atmosphere, the monastery is one of the most famous places to visit in Bhutan and holds much fascination for nature lovers, photographers and adventurers alike. You heard that right! Since the monastery is located about 10,240 feet above sea level and is precariously perched atop a hill, travellers often have to trek through the rugged landscape and reach the Monastery.

Punakha Dzong, Punakha

Though it is the second oldest monastery in Bhutan, Punakha Dzong holds a huge cultural significance for Bhutanese people. Also known as Pungthang Dechen Phodrang, The Palace of Great Happiness, the monastery holds sanctified relics and served as the capital seat of the Bhutan government until the 1950s. As the central monastic body of Bhutan, every King is crowned here before they can rule from their seat in Thimpu. Moreoever, this fortified monastery is where King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the current monarch of Bhutan got married to Queen Jetsun Pema in 2011. The monastery is located at the confluence of two sacred rivers, Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu and is lined with rows of Jacaranda trees, commonly known as Blue Gulmohar, which come spring turn a beautiful shade of pastel lilac that offsets the whole surroundings and are a striking contrast to the pristine white walls of the monastery. In fact, spring with its beautiful weather, glistening Himalayan peaks, and a blanket of first flowers blooming is the best time to visit Bhutan.

Jigme Dorji National Park, Gasa

After the Royal Manas National Park which is the largest and the oldest national park in Bhutan and is known to be a conservatory for rare and endangered flora and fauna, Jigme Dorji National Park is one of the most famous conservation jewels of Bhutan. It is also a UNESCO acclaimed second largest natural preserve and home to many endangered species such as the Royal Bengal Tiger, Snow Leopard, Himalaya Black Bear, Red Panda, Bhutan Takin, Spotted Linsang and many more. Set across a mountainous terrain in the Gasa district, and spread over some of the most captivating landscapes where you can view snow-laden mountain peaks, wide-spread beds of Blue Poppy, the national flower of Bhutan, cascading waterfalls and streaming rivers. A trip to Bhutan is incomplete without visiting the Jigme Dorji National Park and sightseeing herds of blue sheep grazing near hot springs.

Haa Valley

Haa is not your typical tourist destination. Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan's Haa Valley remains one of the kingdom's best-kept secrets. Also called the Hidden Land of Rice Valley, this unspoiled gem, is a tranquil oasis in a rapidly changing world, that offers travellers an enchanting experience like no other. Many believe that the valley holds the secret to whatever they are seeking. Despite a good number of travellers touring the valley, Haa has preserved its natural air of unspoilt beauty and is a true escape from the modern world. Haa is a hidden jewel of Bhutan nestled between mountains, surrounded by oak trees with Haa Chhu river flowing through the valley and is dotted with small gompas and temples built in prehistoric times. The food here is as exquisite as its beauty. Tourists can indulge in lip-smacking Bhutanese food such as red rice, ema datshi with its creamy richness of homemade cheese and chilly or savour the fusion of Zow Shungo, a mixed vegetable dish that makes use of a blend of spices and traditional Bhutanese cooking method.

Intrigued enough to indulge in first-hand experiences!? Whether you are drawing up an itinerary for a solo trip to Bhutan or are browsing through some of the Bhutan group tours from Veena World, we have the best Bhutan travel packages that will take you to some of the famous sightseeing places in Bhutan. A place where people do not hustle towards the chaos of life but embrace slow living. Before you go, check out our Bhutan tour guide for a detailed overview, and tips for your Bhutan trip from India.

Until next time, Log jay gay!

October 15, 2023


Ankita Joshi
Ankita Joshi

A history, culture and music enthusiast with tremendous love for travel! My love for writing comes from my love for reading and exploring various topics.

More Blogs by Ankita Joshi

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