Drukgyel Dzong: A haunted monastery in Paro

drukgyel dzong, paro, bhutan

It was a partly cloudy day when we started for our sightseeing in Paro.

paro, bhutan

By the time we reached Drukgyel Dzong after exploring Kichu Monastery the sky was dark, covered with monsoon clouds.

Drukgyel Dzong was built in the 17th century to celebrate victory of the then king against the invaders from Tibet. It is a deserted monastery for years now after it was destroyed in fire in the 1950s. It looked more like a haunted place to me… perfect for shooting horror movies. 😛

drukgyel dzong, paro, bhutan

The dilapidated walls and tall structure looked even gloomier against the dismal sky.

drukgyel dzong, paro, monastery, haunted

Our driver told it was a small trek of about 15 minutes up the hill to the main entrance of the monastery. Although the drizzle started as soon as we reached there and most of my companions decided not to go out as it will rain soon, I readily jumped out of the car in search of some mystery. 😉

way up the monastery, drukgyal dzong, paro

A giant prayer wheel at the foot of the hill,

prayer wheel, buddhist prayer wheel, paro, bhutan

and the colorful prayer flags hung over our head looked welcoming at first.

drukgyel dzong, paro, paro sightseeing

But this canine guard gave a grave look at me as I stepped into its territory.

dog, at drukgyal dzong, paro, bhutan

As I kept walking I could see there was no one except me and my friend. An eerie silence prevailed all over the place. The rustling pines in the cold wind amplified the silence further.

drukgyel dzong trek, paro, bhutan

The stoned pathway led to stone steps. We stopped for a moment to breathe some air.

staris, drukgyel dzong, paro, bhutan

We climbed up the spiral stairs to find what was in store for us… and Drukgyel did not disappoint us. 🙂   paro, bhutan, paro sightseeing

Finally we reached at the main gate of the monastery.  Drukgyel dzong, paro, bhutan

A glimpse of the outer courtyard through the half-open door was quite dramatic. Inside, it looked like a fortress with thick brick walls with openings to keep watch over the valley.

drukgyel dzong, paro, bhutan

The burnt windows, broken walls and the mysterious darkness inside gave an uncanny feeling as if something evil was waiting inside.

drukgyal dzong, paro

Well… I don’t believe in ghosts… but as my friend constantly forbade me to step inside I thought I should honor her wish… 😛   😀

at drukgyel dzong paro

So, how do you like the story of the haunted monastery? 🙂  Do share your thoughts.

P.S: This is Part VII of my Bhutan Tour Photo Essay Series. You can also check out the previous posts of this series for more photos and information on Bhutan travel.

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Bhutan Tour: Kichu Monastery in Paro

This post is a continuation of my earlier post My Rendezvous with Paro

After reaching our hotel in Paro we dumped our luggage in our rooms and set out to explore the place.

paro, bhutan

We were back on the road again. Our first stop was Kichu Monastery.

kichu monastery, paro, bhutan

Kyichu Lhakhang or Kichu Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan. It is situated in a secluded place outside the town. The monastery, from its elevated position, offers wonderful views of the surrounding valley.

paro, valley, bhutan

The monastery houses a golden statue of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche inside the core temple. However, you are not allowed to take your camera inside.

Kichu lhakhang, kichu monastery, paro, bhutan

As we entered the monastery I could see a blast of colors everywhere –

Kichu Monastery

on the front fascia,

Kichu monastery, Paro

on the doors and windows,

painted window, kichu monastery, paro

on the prayer wheels,

prayer wheels, kichu monastery, paro, bhutan

prayer wheel, kichu monastery, paro, bhutan

and in the garden.

yellow flowers, kichu monastery, paro, bhutan

yellow flower, kichu monastery, paro

rose, red rose, paro, bhutan

Even the old monk preaching at the gate of the temple looked quite a colorful person. Isn’t it? 🙂

monk, kichu monastery, paro, bhutan

old monk, kichu monastery, paro, bhutan

There were orange trees in the temple courtyard that were full of ripe oranges even in June!   orange tree, kichu monastery, paro

Kichu Monastery is a peaceful quiet place, ideal for spending some time contemplating amidst nature and sacred structures.

kichu monastery, kichu lhakhang, paro, bhutan

kichu monastery premises, paro, bhutan

chorten, stupa, kichu monastery, paro, bhutan

Even I tried to concentrate in prayer. But…you know, I found that it’s not my cup of tea… no matter where I am… 😀   at kichu monastery, paro, bhutan

P.S: This is Part VI of my Bhutan Tour Photo Essay Series. You can also check out the previous posts of this series for more photos and information on Bhutan travel.

Bhutan Tour: My Rendezvous with Paro

paro, bhutan, paro valley

If I start talking (read ‘writing’) about Paro I won’t be able to include everything in one post. Paro is so beautiful and that beauty has so many facets to it that it is impossible for me to sum it up here. So it’s better to share the picturesque beauty in picture instead of words. 🙂  

Finally the day came. We had to leave Thimphu for Paro. Our journey to Paro started at 10:30 am (IST) and we reached there at 12:30 pm (IST).

paro, bhutan, valley

Paro, a fertile valley on the banks of the river Paro, surrounded by the sublime Himalayan Mountains, beckons travelers with its greenery, scenic beauty, and ample scope to explore the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan.

Paro monastery, paro, bhutan

I had heard a lot about this spectacular valley, which is dotted with monasteries, sacred edifices and landmarks,

Buddhist monastery, paro, bhutan

and a small but lively township, which we were to explore next.

Paro town, paro, bhutan

The river Paro meanders through the vale dividing it in two halves.

paro chhu. paro river, paro, bhutan, valleyAlthough there were occasional rain clouds hovering over the valley, the weather in Paro was warmer during the day than that was in Thimphu. But the nights were pleasant in summer months (May-June).

paro valley, bhutan

Initially, it was mountains on both sides of the road.

Paro, Bhutan, mountain road

As we entered Paro District the roads turned wider. The glimpses of the river running in parallel with the road made the journey even more exciting and visually appealing.

Paro, Bhutan, valley

paro, bhutan

paro, bhutan, valley, mountains

paro valley, bhutan

Finally we reached the point where we could meet Paro, the river. This is the place where you can touch, feel, and walk into the cool waters and enjoy a cable car ride across the river. 🙂

paro, bhutan, paro river

paro chhu, paro river, paro, bhutan

paro chhu, paro river, paro, bhutan

in paro, bhutan, paro chhu

After an exciting rendezvous with Paro Chhu (‘chhu’ is river in vernacular) we were back on the road again, heading towards our hotel. We drove past the small cottages,

paro valley, bhutan

lush green paddy fields,

paro valley, bhutan, paddy fields in Paro

and the small but spectacular Paro Airport.

paro airport, paro, bhutan

paro, paro airport, bhutan

It seemed Paro greeted us with waving white flags on the roadside

paro, bhutan, flags, Buddhist culture

and the rustling branches of peaches blooming with white flowers, everywhere. 🙂

peach flower, paro, bhutan, white flowers,

Our car finally stopped at the gate of the hotel Mandala Resort Garden, a hotel with excellent views, I must say.

orchid, paro, bhutan, mandala resort garden hotel

mandala resort garden, paro hotels, hotel in paro

paro hotels, hotel in paro, mandala resort garden

Whichever side your room is, you are entitled to get a clear view of the valley from the room as long as you are in Mandala Resort Garden. However, it is located in the hills outside the town of Paro, within 10 minutes’ drive from Paro Market.

paro, bhutan, paro hotels, hotel in paro, mandala resort garden

mandala resort garden, paro hotels, hotel in paro, bhutan

I’ll soon share the story of my sightseeing in Paro. But before that, enjoy some more colorful panorama of this beautiful valley through my lens. 🙂

paro, bhutan, paro hotels

paro, valley, rice terraces, paddy field, greenery, bhutan

pines, paro, bhutan

paro, paro valley, bhutan

paro hotels, mandala resort garden, hotels in paro, bhutan

paro, bhutan, bhutanese women

paro, valley, paro chhu, bhutan

paro chhu, paro, bhutan

paro chhu, paro, river, bhutan

Hope you enjoyed Paro tour with me. 🙂   Stay tuned for more.

in Paro, Bhutan

P.S: This is Part V of my Bhutan Tour Photo Essay Series. You can also check out the first four posts of this series for more photos and information on Bhutan travel.

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Bhutan Tour: Life in Thimphu

thimphu, bhutan

Life in Thimphu has a unique charm. It is a peaceful place with very low crime rate, discipline, cleanliness and nice coexistence of modernism and urban culture with Bhutanese tradition and a laid back lifestyle. And most importantly, people here are nice and gentle towards you as long as you are also nice to them.

thimphu, bhutan

The Roads

The roads in Thimphu are so inviting that you would enjoy drive anytime. Wide roads, less traffic, and idyllic weather – what more do you need? I haven’t seen any traffic police or traffic signaling on the roads, yet no one breaks rules. Disciplined driving was evident everywhere.

thimphu roads 4

thimphu roads, bhutan

thimphu, roads, bhutan

The Architecture

The sight of traditional architecture and religious edifices are quite common in Thimphu. You’ll see several traditional style gateways on the roads to usher you to different parts of the country from the capital city. Needless to mention, these structures adorn the cityscape very well.

thimphu architecture, Buddhist stupa, bhutan

architecture in thimphu, bhutan

The Shopping Districts

Thimphu is a perfect blend of modernity and tradition – an interesting combination of simplicity and urbanity. It is reflected in the marketplaces. The city has sophisticated shopping plazas and departmental stores.

shopping in Thimphu, Bhutan

thimphu market, bhutan

On the other hand, the handicrafts market in Thimphu is the place you can discover the richness of Bhutanese traditional art and textiles.

handicraft market thimphu, bhutan

Bhutanese handicrafts, handicraft market, thimphu, bhutan

textile, bhutan, thimphu, handicraft market

The streets come alive in the afternoon with young boys playing carrom at the shopping arcades, girls having chitchat at the open-air cafeterias and women go shopping with their little kids accompanying them.

The Vegetable Markets

Vegetable markets in Thimphu, mostly makeshift ones, are vibrant, colorful places where you’ll find a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables. Most importantly the sellers and buyers in these roadside vegetable markets are mostly women, in colorful western or traditional clothing.

vegetable market, thimphu, bhutanvegetables, market, thimphu,bhutan

The Women

Bhutanese women are beautiful and most importantly, they have excellent dressing sense. Be it their traditional costume Kira or western clothing, women in Thimphu dress up and accessorize quite fashionably. Women here are very active. They work hard both at home and outside. But what is most worthy of mentioning is that they are quite comfortable taking their kids to their workplace. Look at this woman at a vegetable market in Thimphu.

Bhutanese woman with child, thimphu

Women usually carry their babies on their back like this, on the roads, at the shops, in the markets… everywhere. Hats off to motherhood!

Bhutanese women, thimphu, bhutan

The Men

You’ll see men in Thimphu mostly in their traditional robes, called Gho. Our driver Sangay, a cheerful little young fellow, told me that it is a legal mandate in Bhutan for taxi drivers to drive in their national costume during duty hours. This is also applicable for men and women working in government offices.

boys playing carrom on thimphu streets

The Houses

Thimphu is a booming city. I saw a lot of multi-story houses all around in the neighborhood we stayed and a lot many were under construction. Residential buildings in Thimphu have similar structure and symmetry with the traditionally decorated exterior.  What I loved the most are the happy colors they use to paint their houses. Well… quite natural for a city in the “happiest country in the world” – right?

houses in thimphu, bhutan

buildings in thimphu, bhutanhouses in thimphu, happy colors, traditional house in thimphu, bhutan, art and architecture

The Dogs

Dogs seem to be an important part of every household in Thimphu. The people here love dogs. During the day, you’ll see them quietly slugging around in the sun. It is in the night when they are most active, barking all the night to ensure you enjoy “good night sleep”. 😀

Hotel Nirmal, where we stayed in Thimphu, is a family run hotel. The family has a cute little pet dog, Kotah, who was afraid of this distant brother of German Shepherd although I found him very gentle but watchful always. 🙂

dog, thimphu, bhutan

The Neighborhoods

We stayed in a peaceful but lively neighborhood approx 15-minute walk from the main road and the buzzing shopping district of Thimphu. A walk along the winding roads in the morning and afternoon will let you look deeper into the city life.

neighborhoods, thimphu, bhutan

P.S: This is Part IV of my Bhutan Tour Photo Essay Series. You can also check out the first three parts of this series for more photos and information on Bhutan travel.

Click here to find more on Bhutan.


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Bhutan Tour: A short drive through Wangdue

wangdue, lobesa valley, wangdue phodrang, bhutan

I think one day is not enough to explore and experience the scenic charm of Punakha and the monastery. But you know… you are always short of time on a tour like this. There is so much to see but we have only a few days to spend. 😦   So, after lunch by the river Pho Chu we were on the road again – the road to Wangdue (pronounced as Wangdi). Wangdue district, one of the largests in the country, is home to a number of scenic valleys among which Phobjikha Valley and Lobesa Valley are to name a few.

Wangdue is less than an hour by car from Punakha. However, we didn’t have time to drive down to the interior of the district as we had to return to Thimphu by that evening.

It was a sunny afternoon. We enjoyed a drive along the Mo Chu River towards Wangdue.

wangdue 2

We drove through the picturesque town of Wangdue Phodrang. The town seemed a newly built one with symmetrical houses and buildings of vivid colours that lends a different charm to the place.

wandue, wandue phodrang town, punakha, bhutan

wangdue phodrang, wangdue, phodrang town, bhutanWe passed by the Wangdue Monastery which was completely burnt from short circuit in 2011. The monastery was a replication of the Punakha Monastery. It is now being reconstructed again, so visitors are not allowed. We could see the monastery from a distance. By the way, our driver charged Rs 1000 extra for this drive as it was not in our itinerary from the beginning. 

wangdue monastery

wangdue monastery, wangdi, punakha, bhutan

The valley, bathing in the light of summer sun looked awesome from a distance. We stopped by the road to absorb the beautiful scenery with my senses. Who knows, if I would be able to see this ever again or not! So behold and capture the beauty of this world as much you can, in this one life.

wangdue, lobesa valley, wangdue phodrang, bhutanwangdue, lobesa valley, wandue phodrang, bhutan

wangdue, lobesa valley

We returned to Thimphu by 4:30 in the evening. So, I had a couple hours in hand to explore the neighboring locality and makeshift markets. I utilized it as much as possible. Will share that story with you soon. 🙂

P.S: Till then you can check out the first two parts of my Bhutan Tour photo essays for more photos and information on Bhutan travel:

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Bhutan Tour: The Scenic Punakha and Dochula Pass

It was a pleasant, warm morning we started our journey to Punakha from the Bhutanese capital, Thimphu. Bright sunshine flooded the mountains and the valley, scenic beauty all around to behold we kept driving along the road running in parallel with the meandering river. The joy was unfathomable and that was one of the best days in my life. The photos of Punakha are so vivid that simply looking at them can make my day better… 🙂   So, I dedicate this post to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Today Was a Good Day.

We completed the local sightseeing in Thimphu on our first day in Bhutan. Next day was scheduled for Punakha Monastery (or Punakha Dzong) which is 3 to 4-hour drive from Thimphu. The drive was as usual beautiful through the Himalayan mountains. I tried to capture the scenic beauty on the way as much as possible.

way to punakha, punakha, bhutan

bhutan, punakha, mountains,valley

Dochula Pass

We drove to Punakha via Dochula Pass, one of the highest points in Bhutan (10,000 ft). It’s about one hour drive from Thimphu towards Punakha and a favorite stopover for tourists. The uniqueness of Dochula Pass lies in the wonderful combination of natural and man-made architectures. The place offers 360 degree view of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Bonus is this beautiful architecture – the 108 chortens in circular construction – add to the charm of the place. Unfortunately, we missed the mountain views as it was all covered in cloud in the end of May. Our driver said you can get the best view in winter. 😦  Well, never mind…the view I got is no less lovely. What do you think?

dochula pass, bhutan, chortens

108 chortens dochula bhutanNow take a look at the other side of Dochula Pass. The Druk Wangyal Lhakhang is a beautiful temple built in the memory of the king, Druk Gyalpo.

Dochula pass, bhutan, bhutan tour, sightseeing

dochula pass, bhutan, mountain views

bhutan dochula pass

Dochula pass 2

dochula pass

As the time passed more and more cars arrived at the spot and I could see spontaneous touristy activities all around.

dochula pass, bhutan, touristy activities, bhutan tour

I think there was a feel-good factor in the air which was quite infectious. I felt so happy and grateful to be alive under the sun and enjoy the view.

view at dochula pass, bhutan

By the way, if you have time you can enjoy a leisurely break at the beautiful Druk Wangyel Cafe at Dochula Pass. But the place is a little expensive. Here a one-liter mineral water bottle of Rs 20 cost us Rs 36.

druk wangyel cafe, dochula pass, bhutan

There was this curious visitor at the gate of the cafe. But no one seemed to welcome him. Poor doggie! 😦

druk wangyel cafe dochula

Important info:

Carry enough drinking water during the long drive from Thimphu to Punakha. We didn’t see a proper shop or restaurant from where we could buy drinking water on the way.

Punakha 

Situated on the meeting point of Bhutan’s two important rivers Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, Punakha Dzong is a place of scenic and spiritual charm. The air, the water, the green plantation looked so clean and pure that you’ll instantly feel in harmony with the place. The monastery is built over a huge area including well-manicured gardens and ponds.

pho chhu and mo chhu rivers

punakha monastery by pho chhu

punakha dzong

You enter the monastery through this beautiful gateway and cross a traditionally designed wooden bridge that takes you on the other side of Pho Chhu (“Chhu” means “river” in vernacular).

punakha monastery gate, punakha, bhutan

punakha, pho chhu,punakha monastery, bhutan

punakha monastery garden, bhutan

The traditional Tibetan style architecture of the monastery is a treat to the eye. And it perfectly blended with the beautiful surrounding.

punakha monastery (2)

punakha, monastery, bhutan

punakha, monastery, bhutan, Tibetan architecture

Entering the monastery can be a bit difficult with these steep ladder like stair case. Remember, that you must not wear baring clothes, else you may be denied access into the main temple in the images below.

entering punakha dzong

inside punakha dzong

inside punakha monasteryWell, the Punakha Monastery is not only a place for monks and pilgrims. There are other habitats too and they are rapidly growing in numbers. 🙂

beehive, punakha, monastery, bhutan

It was wonderful to roam around in the monastery premises, full of beautiful orchards and the ponds which they use for pisciculture.

punakha dzong lake

phochhu river bhutan

punakha landscape

punakha monastery garden 2

punakha, monastery, garden, bhutan

bougainvillea, punakha, monastery, bhutan,

However, Punakha is not just the monastery. It’s much more than that. The clear blue sky, the wide open riverbeds, and the trees and flowers all around make this place divinely beautiful. Take a look at the following images and you’ll agree with me.

pho chhu, river, punakha, bhutan

riverside punakha

punakha, mo chhu river, bhutan

After spending some hours in the monastery we went to a riverside restaurant where we were served lunch. After lunch we were on the road again – the road to Wangdue. I’ll share that story soon.

I hope you like this tour of Punakha and Dochula Pass with me. 🙂

You can also take a look at the first part of my Bhutan Tour Photo Essay – Thimphu through my lenses for more photos and information on Bhutan travel.

Bhutan Tour: Thimphu through my lenses

Thimphu, Bhutan

Our Bhutan tour was planned long ago … the day we were returning from Nainital last October. I read about Bhutan as the world’s “happiest country”. I also heard a lot about its scenic beauty. Nature is kind here to bestow her treasures upon the Land of Thunder Dragons. Bhutan has mystic mountains, verdant valleys and meandering rivers brimming with crystal clear water. But what amazed me are the people here and their lifestyle. They looked happy and content with a pleasing countenance all the time – in the hotel receptions, in the shops, in the temples and on the roads. I wonder how such a small nation with a small (but growing) economy can live so happily. Discipline and peacefulness are the key, perhaps.

Our first stop was Thimphu, the capital city of the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan.

The journey starts from the border town of Jaigaon in India. As you enter Phuentsholing through the Bhutan Gate you’ll notice a drastic change in the surroundings – the roads are clean and less crowded. The architecture and edifices bear stark differences than what you see on the Jaigaon side.

bhutan gate, phuentsholing

It took 4 hours to get the permit at the immigration office in Phuentsholing. We spent the night in Jaigaon, the town at Indian border. Next morning we were to leave for Thimphu at 9:30. But the cars that were booked for us got stuck in the landslide and we finally started at 12:30 in the afternoon. Irritated and angry we got on the car. But as we drove along the road to Thimphu landscapes kept changing and Mother Nature seemed to adorn beautifully to uplift our mood.

It was a bright sunny day when we started. But with increase of height weather became cooler. We were driving through the clouds. It was like playing hide-and-seek with the mountains. Sitting on the front seat I was reminiscing about my childhood experience of travelling to Darjeeling. The journey was similar except that we had rain as our constant companion this time until we reached Thimphu.

I enjoyed the journey on a rain-drenched road in front of us and melodious Bhutanese songs playing inside the car. Visibility reduced almost to zero due to thick clouds all around. There were times when we couldn’t even see the cars coming from the opposite until it came within one or two meters distance.

cloud, fog, mist, mountain roads

We stopped by a roaring waterfall on our way. It was raining so heavily that no one except me bothered to get out of the car. Luckily I had an umbrella with me. It helped me shooting in the rain. If you plan to travel Bhutan in May-June you must carry an umbrella. It may rain anytime, especially in the afternoon.

waterfall, streams, thimphu, bhutan, hills, mountain

We reached Thimphu at around 6:30 in the evening. The hotel, Nirmal Lodge had apartment style accommodation with spacious and nicely appointed rooms. You can check out my complete review of the hotel on TripAdvisor for further details.

Our room offered nice view of the neighbourhood from the balcony. The picturesque cityscape expanded beyond the central valley to the surrounding hills.

Thimphu, Bhutan

It was getting dark when we entered the city.

Thimphu gate, Thimphu, Bhutan

Thimphu, Bhutan

But I noticed that Thimphu looked beautiful even in the night.
Thimphu at night, Bhutan

Next morning I woke up early went downstairs to have a look around. It was wonderful to see golden Buddha gleaming in the morning light. A deep look at his peaceful countenance made my day. For me it was the best way to start my first day in Thimphu. 🙂

buddha dordenma, buddha, statue, thimphu, bhutan

buddha, dordenma, buddha statue, buddha view point, thimphu, bhutan

That day we covered the local tourist attractions and monasteries in Thimphu.

National Memorial Chorten

Located at the heart of Thimphu, the National Memorial is an imposing structure with beautiful rose gardens all around. Built in 1974 by the then queen of Bhutan in memory of her son the memorial is now an auspicious religious place where hundreds of people come to pray and worship.

national memorial thimphu, chorten, thimphu sightseeing, bhutan

National Memorial

Turning these giant prayer wheels was a challenging task for me. 🙂

prayer wheels, National memorial, chorten, Thimphu, Bhutan

Buddha View Point

Buddha View Point is an wide open area high on top of the hill where the statue of Buddha Dordenma sits overlooking the city. The view point offers excellent panoramic view of Thimphu and the surrounding areas. The giant statue is itself an attraction for the tourists.

Buddha view point, Budhha statue, thimphu, bhutan

Thimphu, Landscapes, scenic view, Bhutan

golf course landscapes

Bhutan Parliament and the King’s Palace

kings's palace, bhutan, thimphu, tashiccho dzong

Bhutan parliament, tashichho dzong, thimphu

Thimphu, bhutan, hills, valley

Changankha Lakhang

It is the oldest monastery and a pilgrimage in Thimphu, built in 12th century. The vivid colors and traditional stone carvings grabbed my attention.

changankha monastery, thimphu, bhutan, thimphu sightseeing

This cute little devotee, trying to touch the prayer wheels, was actually quite curious about me. 🙂

Changankha lakhang, monastery, thimphu, bhutan

Takin Preserve

Takin is the national animal of Bhutan. It is a rare species of goat antelope indigenous to this region of the Himalayas and western China.

takin, takin preserve, thimphu zoo, bhutan

Handicraft Market in Thimphu

Although this is a costly place to buy souvenirs the market is the right place to get an idea of the richness of local textile and handicrafts. The colorful handwoven scarfs, bags, tapestries and handcrafted items may pinch your pocket but they are definitely a treat to the eyes.

handicrafts market, thimphu, bhutan

handicrafts market, thimphu, bhutan

The next day was planned for Docula Pass and Punakha, the travel story of which I will share with you pretty soon. Till then enjoy the week!

EDIT: Now you can check out the second part of my Bhutan tour photo essay – The Scenic Dochula Pass and Punakha.