In The Steps of Himalayan Legends

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  • Bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north and India in the east, west and south, the small Himalayan kingdom is truly one of the last Shangri- las. Mysterious and alluring, the land of the thunder dragon has always fascinated the outside world. Unexplored and uncharted until a few decades ago the tiny Himalayan kingdom is still rustic, timeless and free from the trappings of modern day life. A trip into the country provides a glimpse into the myriad colors of Bhutanese lifestyle – unspoiled yet stimulating. The castle like Dzongs that rise over the various towns with their gently tapering walls, large stone cluttered courtyards and beautiful galleries are architectural wonders special to Bhutan. Gurgling streams, high snow capped peaks, green terraced fields, green alpine forests and sprawling valleys form a backdrop to Bhutanese way of life.

  • Practicalities
    Visitors to Bhutan must be either tourists or guests of the government. All tourists must travel on a pre-planned, prepaid, guided package tour. Independent travel is not permitted.

    The best times to visit are the spring months of March, April and May and the autumn months of September, October and November.

    Tourists can enter Bhutan by road through Phuentsholing, the economic center of the country, situated on the southern fringes of the country adjoining the Indian border. Paro serves as the only airport in Bhutan. Druk Air, the national carrier, and Bhutan Air connect Bhutan to Calcutta, Bangkok, Kathmandu and Delhi. It is also possible to enter Bhutan from the eastern border town of Samdrup Jongkhar.

    Visa formalities
    It is obligatory for all foreigners to acquire a visa to visit the country. Visa clearance from Thimphu must be obtained before departing for Bhutan. Prior visa clearance is also mandatory for boarding Druk Air flights. We require all passport details (as they appear in the passport) along with two photographs at least three weeks prior to your arrival for the visa processing formalities. In case of time constraints the details can be faxed directly to us and the photographs can be handed over upon arrival. Actual visa is issued upon arrival at the entry points, either Paro airport or Phuentsholing. Visa fee of US $ 40 should be paid directly. A visa is granted for a period of 15 days and can be extended at Thimpu.

    Ever since Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal, a Tibetan Lama, arrived in 1616 and introduced the system of religious and secular government, religion forms an important aspect of the Bhutanese way of life. It is the only country in the world, which has retained the tantric form of Buddhism as its official religion. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the father of the tantric strain of Buddhism, made a legendary trip to Tibet on the back of a flying tigress in the 8th century AD and meditated at Taktsang Monastery popularly known as Tiger’s nest near Paro. Religious faith plays a central part in the cultural, ethical and sociological development of Bhutan and it is evident in all walks of life. Monasteries, stupas, chortens and religious flags fluttering in the breeze are familiar sights in this tiny country which bear testimony to the hold religion has on the local populace.

Featured Activities in Bhutan