Complete Guide on Bhutan Cultural Facts & On Daily Family Life

Bhutan is cradled in the folds of the Himalayas that have relied on its geographical isolation as to protect itself from outside influences. It is also a sparsely populated country which is bordered by the India to the South, and then China to the North. But, Bhutan has maintained a long policy of strict isolation both culturally and economically, with the goal of preserving its cultural heritage and its independence. But in the last decades of the 20th century, the foreigners were allowed to visit the country in limited numbers. This is how Bhutan has successfully preserved its culture, which dates back to the mid-17th century.

Why is Bhutan the Worlds Happiest Country –

Bhutan, the world happiest country, is the last standing Buddhist Kingdom in the world. It has also preserved much of its culture since the 17th century by staying isolated from the world. It is hard to imagine that such a small country, the size of the Indiana, with the population that is tucked in the Himalayan Mountains, accessible only by two airplanes, is the “Happiest Country” in the world. it is also the fastest growing GDP’s in the world. Globally, Bhutan might be a small country, but yet the daily life in Bhutan holds a very strong identity. And unity of its rich cultural heritage is strongly promoted in the country by the Government.

The Land Of Thunder  Dragon –

Cultural Facts & Bhutan Family Life

1. National Symbols of Bhutan:

 

National Symbols of Bhutan

Bhutan mythology is expressed in many different ways everywhere in the country which is striking. In Bhutanese mythology, the name Land of the Druk Yul literally means the land of the thunder dragon.

2. Architecture of Buddhism:

Architecture of Buddhism

When you talk about Bhutan, you talk automatically about Buddhism. This is the religion of the country that is integrated in all aspects of the architecture. But typically, it is the degree of uniformity on all structures that corresponds with the traditional designs.

3. Bhutan Festivals and its Impression on All Visitors:

Bhutan Festivals and its Impression on All Visitors

The colorful and the joyful festivals of Bhutan will leave a big impression on all the visitors. These festivals are very joyful & the local alcohol arra is drunk abundantly, all festivals are holy spiritual events and its attendees also believed to gain the merits for the next life.

4. Nationals Sports of Bhutan:

Nationals Sports of Bhutan

The National sport of Bhutan is Archery. Every village of Bhutan has its own archery range and every festival knows a high-spirited competition. This national tournament happens all through the year on local, inter-village and at the national level of sports.

5. Arts and Crafts, Bhutan’s Religiously Rooted Aspects:

Arts and Crafts, Bhutan’s Religiously Rooted Aspects

The unique spirit and the identity of Bhutan are also reflected in the arts and crafts, which are all religiously rooted.

 6. Traditional Dress of Bhutan:

Traditional Dress of Bhutan

The culture of Bhutan is very much alive and it is also expressed in everything, which include the traditional clothing the people have been wearing from decades. The traditional woven dresses are worn by both men and women on formal occasions, including office hours.  And during informal occasions, the Bhutanese wear their best hand-woven clothes.

7. Food of Bhutan in Daily Life:

Food of Bhutan in Daily Life

As for the ethnic diversity of the people, there is a certain ethnic diversity in the food of Bhutan. The Northern Indian food is often mixed with chilies. Apricots, mushrooms, asparagus and a variety of chilies and numerous spices are grown in abundance in nearly all the valleys.  Chinese and Indian cuisine are cooked with beef, pork, chicken, and dried yak meat and cheese . One of the typical meals is rice, dried pork or beef, and chilies sometimes cooked with soft, white cheese. The most popular among all beverages is tea, which is served in a variety of ways in Bhutan.

8. Secular Celebrations of Bhutan:

Secular Celebrations of Bhutan

On the National Day of  17 December , one of the largest annual festivals takes place, which commemorates the establishment of the monarchy. At this very event the king participates by serving foods and joining the attendees in games and in dances.

9. Buddhist Rituals and the Holy Places:

Buddhist Rituals and the Holy Places

A number of annual festivals are being highlighted at different events in the life of Buddha. Many of them features symbolic dances, which are thought to bestow heavenly blessings on the participants as well as on viewers.

10. Marriages in Bhutan:

Marriages in Bhutan

The marriages in Bhutan may be arranged by the parents or by the individuals entering the marriage. To get married to one another, a certificate is required from the court of law, but now most of the marriages are performed by a religious leader. The practices of Polyandry (multiple husbands) has recently been abolished and the practice of polygamy is made legal provided the first wife grants her consent in this country.

12 Must Visit Places of Paro Bhutan Sightseeing- Land of Happiness

Places of Paro Bhutan Sightseeing

At the seat of the Paro District, is the town of Paro, in the valley of Bhutan. It is a historic town with many sacred sites and historical buildings which are scattered throughout the area. In addition to that, the Paro Valley is wide and verdant and is recognized as one of the most beautiful locations in Bhutan. Paro is also home to Bhutan’s sole international airport. Would you prefer to stay in Paro? If you are someone who is fond of nature and would like to spend some quiet and peaceful time, you would definitely choose Paro to stay when you are in Bhutan. Paro, Jakar and Punakha together form the golden triangle of the popular tourists attractions in Bhutan.

Get In- How to Reach Paro

By Plane:

Paro Airport is an international airport, which is located in a deep valley. Druk Air (Royal Bhutan Airlines) is the main airline serving Paro Airport, and offers flights to and from Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Dhaka, and Kathmandu. A Bhutan airline also serves now from Delhi, Kolkata, and Kathmandu.

By Taxi/Cab:

One can also hire a taxi from Thimphu and can reach Paro in approximately 45 mins. The drive of 30km is also very pleasant, as the roads keep on unfolding new sights with every turn. For the main sightseeing in Paro, tourists sites are spread out throughout the valley, so a vehicle is also required to get around. Taxis are also available for hire inside the main bazaar of Paro.

By Bus:

From the town of Phuentsholing, you can find the bus facility. You can try and reach Paro by taking a bus from the Indian Border.

By Rail:

There are no trains in the country of Bhutan neither in Paro. But there are two options to reach Bhutan by railways, both originate in India. To reach Bhutan by train, you would have to board a train from Kolkata to Hasimara or Kolkata to NJP/Bagdogra.

Best Time to Visit Paro

Ideal time to visit the city of Paro is during the months of September up until November. In this season the skies are clear as well as the sun is shining, with that the maximum temperature experienced over this time is hardly 20 degree Celsius. This is also the best season for Paro Bhutan sightseeing as you can enjoy a bit of skiing as well as trekking. It is also advisable for the tourists to carry an umbrella along as there are possibilities of heavy rain showers sometimes.

To See Sightseeing in Paro Bhutan

1. Taktsang Monastery, Tiger’s Nest:

Taktsang Monastery, Tiger’s Nest

Tiger’s Nest is precariously perched on the edge of a 1200 meter cliff, this monastery creates an impressive sight and is unofficial sight symbol of Bhutan Paro. It takes about a 2-3 hour, a totally uphill hike from the parking lot to the monastery. The hike to this place can be very strenuous and you can rent a horse up to the mountains. But it is also recommended that if you are not very fit and are prone to altitude sickness, then you have to be extra cautious. Upon return, you have to make your way down the mountains by foot.

2. First Spiritual, Rinpung Dzong:

 First Spiritual, Rinpung Dzong

It was built in the year 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, as he was the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan. The houses of Dzongs are the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda and Thrimpon of Paro district. By the traditional covered bridge called the Nemi Zam is the approach to the Dzong. Also during the spring it is the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once in a year.

3. Watch Tower, Ta Dzong:

Watch Tower, Ta Dzong

The National Museum of the country served during the inter-valley wars of the 17th century, since 1967 Ta Dzong. It was a one-time watch tower built to defend Rinpung Dzong during its inter-valley wars. The museum holds fascinating collections of the art, relics, religious, Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps and Thangkha paintings.

4. Delightful Village, Drukgyel Dzong:

Delightful Village, Drukgyel Dzong

The Delightful Village is nestled at the foot of the Drukgyel Dzong & was built in the year 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Historically and strategically the Dzong withstood the adversities in all its glory and was featured in the year 1914 edition of the National Geographic magazine.

5. Farm House, Traditional Villages House of Paro:

Farm House, Traditional Villages House of Paro

Paro valley and its beauty lie in the cluster of quaint farm houses. The Paro Bhutanese farm houses are built without the use of a single nail. They are very decorative, colourful and traditional. But all the houses follow the same architectural pattern. Visit Paro Farm Houses as they are very interesting & offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.

6. Town Temples, Druk Choeding:

Town Temples, Druk Choeding

In the year 1512, at the main town of Pero, Druk Choeding Temple was built, by Ngawang Chhogyel. He was one of the prince-abbots of Ralung in Tibet in the year 1525. Also, an ancestor of Chogyal was Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

7. Dungtse Lhakhang:

Dungtse Lhakhang

A chorten-like temple to the west of the road is Dungtse Lhakhang. This was the unusual building built in the year 1433 by the iron bridge builder Thangtong Gyalpo and it has its three floors representing hell, earth and heaven and the paintings are said to be the best in Bhutan.

8. Bhutanese Architecture, Ugyen Pelri Palace:

Bhutanese Architecture, Ugyen Pelri Palace

Just west of the Dzong, Ugyen Pelri Palace is in a wooded compound on the south side of the river. This is the place which was built by the Paro Penlop, and Tsering Penjor in the early 1900s. It was designed after the Guru Rinpoche’s celestial paradise.

9. Home to Magnificent Statue, Jangsarbu Lhakhang:

 

Home to Magnificent Statue, Jangsarbu Lhakhang

Paro Dzong is the place that is located in this small temple which is home to the magnificent statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha that was carried all the way from Lhasa and also houses the protector deity of Paro.

10. Kichu Lhakang:

Kichu Lhakang

It is one of the 108 monasteries that are said to have been constructed by King Songten Gampo in one night. This place is located just off the road running between Paro Bazaar and the Taktsang.

11.  Motorable Pass, Chele La Pass:

Motorable Pass, Chele La Pass

A 2 hours drive from Paro will take you to the Chele La Pass, which is the highest motor able pass in Bhutan. At the Haa Valley, the pass connects Paro to the lesser known valley of Bhutan.

12. Airport View Point as for Sightseeing in Paro:

Airport View Point as for Sightseeing in Paro

The International airport of Bhutan is among the top 10 most stunning and beautiful airports in the world. It is counted amongst the 10 most challenging airports in the world, in which only 8 pilots are certified to land the flights here at Paro. You will get mesmerized every second by this place with the view of the vibrant green valley & gushing Sound of Paro River below, high mountains, the stunning blue sky above that makes it an enchanting picture.

Travelers shouldn’t miss the sight of the departing flights which in itself is an experience.