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Places To Visit In Bhutan
Bhutan, the last Himalayan Kingdom, is a country where you would find happiness prevailing across! Sharing international boundaries with India and China, this picturesque piece of heaven is shrouded by the mystical Himalayas, cuddled with pictorial plains and magical sub-alpine mountains. Amidst all these miraculous beauties, one would find a range of scenic places to visit in Bhutan.
Thimphu – The Royal Capital
The capital city of the country, Thimphu (previously called Thimbu) is undoubtedly the first place to visit in Bhutan. Situated towards the western-central region of the country and on the banks of gushing Raidak River, this city is dotted with scenic vistas and mountain peaks that reaches 2,000-3,800m.
A city that showcases the indigenous cultures and traditions of Bhutan in the most splendid ways, Thimphu also boasts of being the commercial centre of this happy kingdom. The official residence of Bhutan’s royal family, this beautiful city has an abundance of luxury stay options, tourist attractions, places to see in Bhutan, and other modern facilities.
Best Time to Visit: March to May
Tourist Attractions: Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang), Tashichho Dzong , Memorial Chorten, Centenary Farmers’ Market, National Library of Bhutan, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, The Folk Heritage Museum, Changangkha Lhakhang, Dechen Phodrang, Dochula, Takin Preserve, Zangto Pelri Lhakhang
Nearest Airport: Paro Airport (54km)
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal, India) (302km / 8 Hours)
Weather: Summer (September to November), Winter (November to March), Monsoon (June to September)
Paro – The Last Shangri-La
A city studded with glorious history and numerous sacred sites, Paro Valley is often revered as the ‘Last Shangri-La’ on earth! One of the most wonderful places to visit in Bhutan, this district is a vibrant mix of natural beauty, rich cultures, semi-modern lifestyle, and colourful traditions.
Flaunting its meticulous beauty from the confluence point of Paro Chuu and Wang Chuu rivers to the towering Mt Jomolhari, Paro is the home to the much-acclaimed Taktsang Monastery or the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. To mention here, this valley is also famed for its famous terraced farming and ‘red rice’ cultivation.
Best Time to Visit: September to November
Tourist Attractions: Taktshang Lhakhang (Tiger’s Nest), Ugyen Pelri Palace, Rinpung Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang, Jangsarbu Lhakhang, Haa Valley, Chelela Pass, Kila Goemba, Druk Choeding, Dungtse Lhakhang, Ta Dzong, Drukgyel Dzong.
Nearest Airport: Paro Airport
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal, India) (297km / 8 Hours)
Weather: Summer (June to August), Winter (December to May), Monsoon (September to November)
Punakha Dzong – The Lost Capital of Bhutan
The once a capital of Bhutan, Punakha Valley is one of the most scenic year-round places to see in Bhutan. Home to Punakha Dzong – The Palace of Great Happiness or Bliss, this Himalayan marvel is seated at a height of 1,200m, and proves to be a serene tourist attraction in the entire country.
Tucked away amidst Pho chu and Mo Chu rivers, the Punakha Valley is around 3.5 hours’ drive away from Thimphu and can be easily reached from across the country. Pleasant climate, bountiful beauty, warm locals, and the diverse Buddhist culture and traditions make this valley a must visit place in Bhutan.
Best Time to Visit: Year-Round Destination
Tourist Attractions: Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lakhang, Jigme Dorji National Park, Rishta Village
Nearest Airport: Paro Airport (122km / 3 Hours)
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri (376km / 10 Hours)
Weather: Summer (July to September), Winter (October to April), Monsoon (May to June)
Trongsa – The Balcony of Bhutan
Positioned on an elevated hilltop, the town called Trongsa is known for its scenic beauty and panoramic views. Owing to its topology, this pictorial place to see in Bhutan can also be called as the ‘Balcony of Bhutan’! Magnifying the enchanting charm of this town, there is its rich history, traditional white-washed buildings and colourful plants spreading all across its perimeter.
Visitors often throng this place to enjoy panoramic views of its surrounding valleys and the magical mountainous glimpses. Among the many attractions in this quaint town, the Trongsa Dzong that resembles as a flying dragon, serves as a major attraction. To mention here, the dzong is estimated to be built in 1648!
Best Time to Visit: Year-Round Destination
Tourist Attractions: Trongsa Dzong, Ta Dzong, Chendbji Chorten, Kuenga Rabten, Chökhor Raptse Dzong, Thruepang Palace, Trongsa Tower
Nearest Airport: Paro Airport (230km / 6 Hours)
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal, India) (484km / 12 Hours)
Weather: Summer (April to June), Winter (September to April), Monsoon (July to September)
Bumthang or Jakar Valley – The Switzerland of Bhutan
how to reach bumthang
Enriched with the charm and splendour of evergreen mountains, Bumthang or the Jakar Valley if fondly called as ‘Little Switzerland’! Well, even though you may not find the scenic Swiss Alps here, you can surely savour the delicious ‘Swiss Cheese’ while touring around the magnificent Jakar Valley; thus, it got its name.
Located in central-eastern part of the country, Bumthang can easily surpass any of the places to visit in Bhutan with its bountiful beauty and natural marvels. Jakar’s rugged terrains and challenging trails also earned it a fame among the adrenaline seekers. Whether outdoors or indoors, you would surely like every bit of this valley.
Best Time to Visit: Spring (March May), Winter (December to February)
Tourist Attractions: Jakar Dzong, Wangdicholing Palace, Kurje Lhakhang, Zangtopelri Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakhang, Lhodrak Kharchhu Lhakhang, Tamshing Gompa, Chakhar Lhakhang
Nearest Airport: Paro Airport (309km / 9 Hours)
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal, India) (563km / 16 Hours)
Weather: Summer (June to August), Winter (December to February), Monsoon (September to November)
Phobjikha Valley – Land of Black-Necked Cranes
One of the most enchanting places to visit in Bhutan, Phobjikha Valley is a treat to every visitors’ eyes! A glacial valley, this is also the place where one can find the rare black-necked cranes in abundance. Unique from the rest of the Happy Kingdom, the valley showcases heart-warming cultures and is adorned with rich faunal biodiversity.
Resembling much to the shape of a bowl, the grace of Phobjikha Valley is further enchanted by the great Black Mountains and endless expanses of evergreen fields. Irrespective of which month or season it is, one can always expect a surreal and serene experience in this valley; all these surely makes Phobjikha Valley one of the most sought-after places to see in Bhutan.
Best Time to Visit: May, July, April
Tourist Attractions: Black Necked Crane Informatino Centre, Gangtey Goemba, Damchen Lhakhang, Nyingma Dzogchen, Kuezang Chholing Shedra, Khewang Lhakhang, Kumbhu Lhakhang
Nearest Airport: Paro Airport (173km / 5 Hours)
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal, India) (427km / 11 Hours)
Weather: Summer (June to July), Winter (December to February)
Mount Chomolhari – Bride of the Kangchenjunga
Guarding the borders of Bhutan, the Chomolhari Mountian (also called Jomolhari Mountain) is a part of the great Himalayas. Rising around 2,700m above the ground level, this enthralling mountain is affectionately called the ‘Bride of the Kangchenjunga’ due to its proximity with the latter.
A sacred site among the Buddhists; mostly the Tibetan Buddhists, legends have it that it is the abode of Goddess Jomo, who is believed to be the protector of Happy Kingdom. Chomolhari Mountain remained unclimbed until 1924 as the folklore said that anyone trying to scale this sacred mountain will be thrown or pushed down. However, it has now become a hot-spot among the trekkers and thrill seekers alike. Even if you don’t wish to climb Mount Jomolhari, you must not miss the chance of having a close look at it!
Best Time to Visit: March to June (Peak Trekking Season)
Nearest Airport: Paro Airport (49km / 1 Hour)
Wangdue Phodrang – Bhutan’s Unification Capital
Settled at a breathtaking height of 28,000ft, Wangdue Phodrang is the second largest and one of the most surreal places to visit in Bhutan. A scenic display of how soulfully cultures meet and greet nature’s untouched beauty, this second largest district of the Land of Dragons is also expected to get enlisted as an ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ soon.
Dotted with an array of tourist attractions, Wangdue Phodrang is offers a unique mix of subtropical as well as cool and snowy climatic conditions. Thus, it has earned an unmatched reputation among visitors searching for wonderful places to see in Bhutan.
Best Time to Visit: Year-Round Destination
Tourist Attractions: Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Temple of Sha Radap, Nahee Village, Rinchegang Village, Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park, Phobjika Valley
Nearest Airport: Paro Airport (107km / 2.5 Hours)
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal, India) (362km
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