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The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Details in Colors

prayer wheels, kichu lhakhang, paro, bhutan

The colorful decorations in the monasteries in Bhutan make great subjects  for photography. Here are some colorful detailing from Kichu Monastery in Paro.

window, kichu monastery, paro, bhutan

prayer wheels, kichu lhakhang, paro, bhutan

prayer wheel, monastery, bhutan

Published in response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Details.

P.S: This is my second entry for this week’s challenge. Here is the first post on Details

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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.

Treat – For Your Eyes Only

Paro, Bhutan, nature

“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.”

~  E. O. Wilson

Nature in its full bloom is always a treat to the eye… what do you say? 🙂

Paro, Bhutan, nature

Published in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat.

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.

Change: The only constant in life

pine cones, pine, pine nuts

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

George Bernard Shaw

It was a beautiful rain drenched morning in Paro. I woke up early and went outside. There were pine trees all around and cones hanging from the branches. While most turned brown I discovered some green ones too…. 🙂  and captured the change in one frame.

pine cones, pine, pine nuts

pine nuts, pine cones, pine

Published in response to Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Change.

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The River and the Mountains – together they teach the lesson of life

river, mountains, Paro, Bhutan

“The river is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it’s going to go and where you’ll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don’t let anyone deter you from that.” 

~ Eartha Kitt

The relation between the river and the mountain is pretty symbolic. The river with all its gushing waters symbolizes motion – the dynamism of life. And the mountains with their huge, unwavering existence are the symbol of obstacles that we face in life. The river makes its way through the mountains – sometimes it is able to break through the solid rocks and sometimes it bends its path – but never stops until it meets the sea. Together the river and the mountain teach us the biggest lesson of life – keep going until you reach your goal; until the purpose of life is served. There will be problem, there will be obstruction, there will be barrier – but you should learn to make your way through it and move on.

river, mountains, Paro, Bhutan River Paro, Bhutan

Published in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol.

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