Bhutan is the perfect destination for people interested in Buddhist art and culture. Tucked in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan, between India and Tibet, followed a policy of isolation for centuries. Not much was known about the country till the first half of the twentieth century. It was only in the seventies that the country was opened to foreigners and people in the western world began to know about its existence.
The closed-door policy followed by the Bhutanese monarchs helped in preserving the country's rich culture and traditions. We are living in the twenty-first century but in some remote Bhutanese rural villages, people still have no idea what the internet, computers, or television are. Life carries on in the same quiet rhythm as it has for centuries.
Traveling into Bhutan is like taking a journey in a time capsule. The pristine nature, traditional wooden homes, huge Buddhist monasteries, people going about their business dressed in their traditional costume of Gho and Kira, and very few signs of modernity makes this country an absolute haven for those looking for a unique cultural experience. Paro, Punakha, Thimphu, Phobjikha and Haa Valley are some of the must-visit destinations for Bhutan's cultural tour.
Every city in Bhutan has a Dzong (fortress or castle). The Bhutanese military used these huge citadels built in the traditional style to defend their territories from Tibetan troops in the bygone days, the structures now house museums, monasteries, and government offices. Punakha Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Tashichho Dzong, Trongsa Dzong, etc., are some of the most visited dzongs in Bhutan.
Bhutan is one of the few countries in the world where Buddhist thought and philosophy guide people's lives. Bhutanese are devout Buddhists and the Je Khenpo (chief abbot of the monastic body) holds an important position in the country. His advice is sought and respected by the Bhutanese King as well as ministers. Almost all the country's cultural sites are Buddhist religious structures – Tiger's Nest (Taktshang Monastery), Chimmi Lhakhang, Buddha Dordenma, Druk Wangyal Chorten, Gangtey Monastery, etc.
The nunneries and monasteries like Kila Gompa, Jambay Lhakhang, Ura Monastery, Dechen Phodrang Monastery, etc., offer a glimpse of the austere monastic life followed by the anis(nuns) and lamas(monks).
Village homestays offer great opportunities to interact with a family and learn more about their lifestyle. Living with a Bhutanese family on their farm is one of the few culturally immersive experiences you can enjoy while you are in Bhutan. You can also visit a local market and rub shoulders with the locals while buying some of the beautiful handmade items. Local men love to hang out in open spaces and compete in a game of archery or darts. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and Bhutanese are keen archers. Their games are boisterously peppered with a lot of loud singing, dancing, and laughing. A relaxing traditional hot stone bath should also be on your itinerary. This is one of the rare Bhutanese pleasures.
You can experience Bhutan's rich culture and traditions by choosing any one of our exciting city and culture tours – Bhutan Cultural tour - 5 days, Glimpse of Bhutan Tour days, Western Bhutan Tour - 7 days, Bhutan Heritage Tour - 8 days, Bhutan West East Traverse Tour, Western and Central Bhutan Tour - 9 days, etc.
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