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Bhutan Popular Places to Visit

Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery is one of the must visit places in Bhutan. It is known for the beautiful and the sacred monastery of Guru Rinpoche. It is considered as a place of pilgrimage and is an easy half trek, which gives you the panoramic views of the Paro valleys.

According to the legends, Guru Rinpoche also considered as the second Buddha rode to this place on a tigress’s back to suppress a local demon and thus he meditated here for 3 months. This place is Bhutan’s most religious site and it hangs on the cliff as it stands above the lush forest of thousands of species of rhododendrons and blue pine. Due to this, it is counted in the list of places to visit in Bhutan.

Note: Tourists can come to this monastery by standard permits which your guide will arrange for you. Also, you have to register your at the entrance deposit your cameras and bags because photography is prohibited inside of the temple.

How to reach: Take a shared cab to the starting point of the path leading to the monastery. Trek to the top.

Paro, Bhutan

Dochula Pass

Dochula Pass is a beautiful pass consisting of 108 Chortens or Stupas, built in the memory of the Bhutanese soldiers who died in a war against the insurgents from India. The beautifully built temple and stupas, with the picturesque Gangkar Puensum peak in the background, makes the Dochula Pass one of the most beautiful tourist places in Bhutan. 

This very pass is a popular location for every tourist who visits the country. From the pass, you can have a panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range, and you must know the view is very beautiful from the top. You will get to see the snow covered mountains and the amazing backdrop of the place. You can have your lunch and tea in a flask and come here to enjoy the food and hot tea.

How to reach: Take a taxi from Thimphu or Punakha to get to this point.

Thimphu, Bhutan

Buddha Dordenma Statue

The Buddha Dordenma Statue is a 169 feet tall statue of Buddha, built at the foot of the hills in Thimphu. This iconic gold and bronze statue is visible from almost anywhere in Thimphu and is among the best tourist places in Bhutan.

This is a statue of Buddha and it’s a giant one at the top of the mountains in Thimpu and it’s also known as the Kunzang Phodrang. The presence of this giant statue of Buddha symbolizes the dominant religion of Bhutan. This very religion plays a solid part in this country and in the everyday life of the country’s people which is what makes it one of the best places in Bhutan for sightseeing. You will see the string of flags at the roadsides and the several praying wheels around the clock tower, which is in the midst of the town.a

Thimphu, Bhutan

Chele La Pass

Located at an altitude of about 3,989 meters, Chele La pass is among the popular tourist places in Bhutan. The magnificent pass is en-route the Haa Valley in Paro. On a nice and clear day, you can experience the Jomolhari mountain from here and the adjacent peaks from the northwest side and can view the valleys of Haa and Paro as well. 

This pass is located at the 13,000 feet above in the west from the Paro valley, it is the highest road pass of Bhutan and is surrounded with amazing views of the Himalayan range, and the Mount Jomolhari, which is this country’s most sacred mountain and it’s over 22,000 feet. To reach this Bhutan tourist attraction you have to take one and a half hour drive from the valley floor of Paro.

How to reach: Take a taxi from Paro to get to this point on the Bondey-Haa Highway.

Paro, Bhutan

Rinpung Dzong

Rinpung Dzong is a beautiful dzong (fort), with towering walls, built in the 16th century. Known as the Fortress on a Heap of Jewels, Rinpung Dzong is among the best tourist places to visit in Bhutan and a classic example of Bhutanese architecture and deep rooted traditions.

The entire area is filled with various shrines and temples in Bhutan. Some of the shrines are, Kungarwa, Monk’s assembly hall, Sandalwood stupa, protector’s shrine and so on. Every year there is an annual festival of tshechu and it is held in Rinpung Dzong and it starts from the eleventh day to the fifteenth day and the day is marked in Bhutan’s lunar calendar. If you want to know the months properly then it’s the months of March to April.

Opening hours: 9 am – 5 pm

Paro, Bhutan

Dagala Thousand Lakes

You may not have seen anything surreal and enchanting like Dagala Thousand Lakes. It is one of the best places in Bhutan that you should not miss visiting if you love nature and landscapes. Enjoy trekking to this place and quench your thirst for adventure and thrill. The views around will definitely put you in a good mood.

Trekking amidst the picturesque lakes, one will be treated with stunning views of some of the world’s highest Himalayan ranges including Mount Everest in Nepal, Jumolhari, Masanggang, Jichu Drake, Tiger Mountain in Bhutan and many more. The trail also takes you through bird rich areas, alpine flowers, attractive meadows and several traditional Bhutanese villages.

Thimphu, Bhutan

Royal Manas National Park

Royal Manas National Park is a haven for wildlife lovers. It is the oldest national park in Bhutan and is home to Royal Bengal Tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, clouded leopard, and gangetic dolphins. It gives you all the more reasons to visit this place as you won’t find these species anywhere else.
 
Wildlife watchers will get the golden opportunity to catch sight of Royal Bengal Tigers, Clouded Leopards, Gaur, Hispid Hare, Pygmy Hog, Black Bear, Asian Elephant, Golden Langur, Wild Water Buffalo, and the one-horned rhinoceros. Snakes like Flying Snake, King Cobra, Banded Krait and Vine Snake are common too. Among the 365 bird species, you will find Emerald Cuckoo, Spotted Wren-Babbler, White-bellied Heron, Pallas Fishing Eagle, Wreathed Hornbill, Pied Hornbill, Great Indian Hornbill, and Rufous-necked Hornbill.
 
Make your Royal Manas National Park tour memorable with an elephant back ride while watching the world from a different perspective. The mahouts will guide the elephants through the grasslands where you can catch the elusive one-horned rhinoceros in action. While passing through the jungle, the Golden Langurs and Hornbills will seem to be at hand’s reach!
 
The eco trek of Gomphu to Royal Manas on the Eastern Himalayas can be a great option to explore the natural saga of Royal Manas closely. Check out the Royal Manas National Park map to plan your trek route, which takes maximum 4 days to complete.
 
The best time to visit this park is during the winter months of November through February to sight the migratory birds and endemic animals. Nevertheless, the park is open throughout the year and sighting the animals is subject to luck and guidance of the park authority.
 
November through February, the Royal Manas National Park weather remains pleasant. The climatic variations are quite common although minimal rainfall is seen during the winter season. Around 5,000 mm rainfall is witnessed every year during May through September.
 
Opening hours: 5:30 AM – 6:30 PM throughout the week
Thimphu, Bhutan

Mongar Dzong

Although built in the 1930s and one of Bhutan’s newest dzongs, it is constructed in the same way as all earlier dzongs, without plans or nails.  However unlike the earlier Dzongs, that are located in strategic positions, Mongar Dzong is located on a small gentle slopy area just above the town. A visit to Mongar Dzong shows one how traditional Bhutanese architecture has continued to thrive through the centuries.

Mongar, Bhutan

Lhuentse: The Ancestral Home Of The Kings

In the north-eastern corner of Bhutan lies the ancient region of Kurtoe or Lhuentse as it is known today. It is the ancestral home of our Kings and boasts some sacred sites of pilgrimage in the country. It is located 77km from Mongar (3 hours’ drive) and is one of the most isolated districts in Bhutan.  The landscape is spectacular, with stark cliffs towering above river gorges and dense coniferous forests.  The region is famous for its weavers, and their distinctive textiles are generally considered to be the best in the country. Kishuthara is one textile that the Kurtoep women are deft in weaving.

Lhuentse Dzong:

Popularly known as Lhundub Rinchentse, the Dzong was built in 1654 by the Trongsa Penlop Chogyal Minjur Tempa at a site where once stood a small temple built by Nagi Wangchuk in 1552. Built on a hill overlooking the Kurichu, the dzong is today the administrative and the religious centre of the district. The Dzong houses many sacred artifacts that was installed by the 4th Druk Desid Tenzin Rabgay.

Lhuentse, Bhutan

Tang Mebar Tsho

Located along the way to the Tang village over the feeder road under Bumthang valley, it takes thirty minutes drive to the Mebar Tsho from the Chamkhar town.

Mebar Tsho is considered one of the most sacred sites in the region as it relates to the renowned treasure reveler, Terton Pema Lingpa-incarnated disciple of Padmasambhava who discovered treasure from the lake somewhere around late 15th century.

It is believed that Terton Pema Lingpa had a vision about hidden treasures to be found at the foot of Tang Valley which was indicated by Guru Rinpoche many centuries before. Since the people of tang and the local ruler was cynical about it, he held a butter lamp in his hand, he jumped into the lake, remained under water for a long time, and he re-emerged  holding a chest and a scroll of paper in his hand and the butter lamp held in his hand still burning bright. Thereafter, the lake came to be known as Mebartsho (the burning Lake).

Today this small fresh water lake is a sacred pilgrimage place for Bhutanese with bright multicolored prayer flags surrounding the place and on auspicious days people go and offer butter lamps on the lake. Many tourist visit the site to observe spectacular beauty of the place and it is also an important site for historians.

Bumthang, Bhutan