Bhutan is a country bursting with royal history, deep religious sentiments, glorious monasteries and colourful flags fluttering in the crisp air. There exists an arch that separates India from Bhutan and the saying “the grass is greener on the other side” stands true to this crossing; India is undoubtedly one of the most amazing countries in the world but Bhutan represents a faraway kingdom that once existed in the books of children. The air is fresher, the sky is bluer and the flora-fauna resemble landscape paintings that hang in our living rooms.
Typical architectural features seen across the legislative buildings, hotels and homes are incredibly detailed and differ due to personal taste; however the main pattern and overall look of the buildings are identical. Stark green and red chillies are strewn in the open for drying which add another colour to the already colourful elevations. Large flags of different hues dot the hilly terrain and one wonders how construction and daily travel is possible on these steep contours.
The people of Bhutan are known for their continuous chanting and prayer routine; it is difficult to find a Bhutanese without their prayer wheel and if you spend some time around them calmness falls over you. Visiting monasteries is an obvious must-do here, though I warn you the scope of getting photographs of the magnificent interiors is next to 0. A visit to the monastery is an experience, one that you will treasure; the Lord Buddha depictions, statues and stupas along with ivory carvings and the scent of fresh flowers will make you forget all your worries and you will step out of these like a brand new person.
Knowing a local anywhere you travel is always beneficial and luckily for us we knew an Indian professor currently teaching at The Royal University of Bhutan; the professor and his wife welcomed our group with open arms, giving us a tour of the University and treating us to delicious home-made Indian food.
Bhutan is a country filled with surprises, one such surprise was that a majority of hotels here and owned and run by women; right from picking up your bags to cooking and cleaning, women dominate the workforce. A well known fact is that Bhutan runs on its tourism value; a naturally rich country made into a favourable holiday destination by its loving people, scrumptious food and on arrival visa makes travelling to Bhutan simpler than most and a must-do.
Amita Wagh is an amazing cook, hobbyist shutter-bug, nature lover and a bucketful of fun! She loves travelling, experiencing different cultures and meeting people who share the same enthusiasm as her.