Wednesday, January 24, 2018
TEEN TRAVEL

LAND OF THE THUNDER DRAGONS

You know what it’s like when you have to wake up at 7 every morning, sit in the car and go for long treks. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? But trust me, it’s not. I’ve been blown away by this exceptionally great trip. Well, people say that Bhutan is a small country with no adventure but let me tell you that you’re not going to find a more adventurous place than Bhutan.

My mother walked up to me and said that this trip is going to be very different from the other trips. Well, this ‘different’ idea of getting up early during holidays, not having a wifi connection, having to walk for 8 kilometers and of course, an extremely low and unusual temperature of -10 degrees making my ears bleed.

However, I realized that long drives while sitting in a bus full of crazy people, and cold nights while sitting in the bed with a cup of hot chocolate is all you need.

As soon as our bus crossed the Indian border and arrived in Phuntsholing, the journey started. Phuntsholing was just a stop because after an hour, we were headed to Paro where we saw the only international airport of Bhutan, and had to climb a mountain to see the Tiger’s Nest, where we visited the Taktsang Palphug Monastery.

This monastery is a prominent sacred place for Buddhists, and has a temple complex as well. I must say that nothing made me feel more peaceful than sitting in temple complex of the monastery.

Paro to Thimphu, a one and half hour drive, the capital of Bhutan that is actually known for its Buddhist sites, but for me the place was all about shopping and good coffee! The city has amazing markets where we roamed for around three hours, and has one of the oldest cafes as well. We also visited the Tashichho Dzong where I saw hundreds of monks singing their prays at the same time, and the sound of that was brilliant. I saw strange animals like a ‘takin’ in Thimphu, which is a combination of a cow and a goat.

We went to Punakha where we couldn’t see much but The Punakha Dzong was enough to make it a memorable place with the statues with an interesting history and beautiful rivers with a breathtaking taking view. Punakha was more like a stop over after which we went to Dochula and then Phobjika.

These two places were the coldest with a crazy temperature of -8 and -10, but the best ones as well. We got to see black neck cranes, and of course, snowfall for the first time in my life! When you’re not able to move because you’re freezing and then you get to eat maggi after four months. Trust me, words cannot describe the feeling.

‘Dochula’, which is a pass in the mountains was the best place I stayed at. The name itself is so interesting, isn’t it? I mean, you don’t get to see people of a country loving their king because apparently, monarchy is quite an infamous form of government, but the respect the bhutanese, specially in dochula, have for their king is amazing.

We spent our last day in  Bhutan, in Geluphu because we just had to. We were tired. Geluphu is not a well known or well developed city like the others but we got to buy some more clothes, at least!

All in all, the trip was by far the best trip of my life and has taught me a lot, and of course. If you ever go to Bhutan, do not forget to carry readymade food packets or you’re going to regret it. It is an amazingly adventurous place and I would love to visit that place again.

Sarvika Sharma

Student-Reporter

July-2016