Interesting facts about Buddha Point in Thimphu, Bhutan

Interesting facts about Buddha Point in Thimphu, Bhutan

Buddha point in Bhutan alias Kuensel Phodrang is a gigantic statue of a Shakyamuni Buddha. It is constructed in the mountains of Bhutan and is one of the most happening points in Thimphu. It is located at a short driving distance from the Thimphu City centre.

The Buddha Point Bhutan draws its name from the gigantic Buddha statue which stands tall and is also the largest in Bhutan. People come here to offer prayers to Lord Buddha and also enjoy the beautiful glimpse of the valley.

The Buddha point Bhutan or Kuensel Phodrang has a list of things you must know before visiting:

1)  The statue of Shakyamuni Buddha stands tall with a height of 51.5 meters and is made up of bronze. It is the tallest statue in the whole of Bhutan

2)  The country has a beautifully paved road leading to the statue and besides followers, the road is used for drives, jogging, cycling and walks beside payment of homage to Buddha.

3) The statue of Buddha has a secret that is hidden inside the huge Buddha statue. The statue in Buddha point Bhutan has been filled with around 125000 smaller statues of Bronze made of bronze too.

4) The tall Buddha statue is located in Nature Park on top of a hill and offers the view of the Southern entrance to Thimphu Valley.

5) The statue was started building at the end of 2004 by Aerosun Corporation of China. The statue took longer than expected and was finished by September 2015.

6)  The statue was built in the mountains to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the fourth King of Bhutan.

7)  The statue is so tall that it can be clearly seen from anywhere in the valley.

8) The statue fulfils two prophecies about the statue which were as follows :

– In the 20th century, a renowned yogi whose name was Sonam Zangpo prophesied that a large statue of either Buddha Padmasambhava or of Phurba would be built in the region to spread peace and happiness on the whole world.

– The statue is said to have been mentioned by Guru Padmasambhava himself. Guru Padmasambhava is said to refer the statue as the “second Buddha” in the eighth century.

The Buddha point attracts a lot of tourist especially Buddhist pilgrims who come to pay homage to the Giant Buddha. Though it is an architecture excellence, its statue is said to look even beautiful during the early mornings and secondly when the statue is illuminated at night.

Travel Guide from Punakha to Phobjikha Valley

Travel-Guide-from-Punakha-t

Know where you are:

Punakha:

One of the historic Dzongs of the country along the confluence of two rivers, Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu.

Located at an elevation of 1200 metre above sea level, Punakha is one of the 20 districts in Bhutan. It was also the capital of the country until 1955 when the capital was changed to Thimpu. It was beautiful structures also known as Dzong and in 2011 the wedding of the present king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and his fiancé Jetsun Pema took place here at the Punakha Dzong.

Quick Escape

Before you head to the valley of Phobjikha, here are a few places you can check out here at Punakha.

Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong

It is a riverside fortress which was built during the 17 the century at the junction of the rivers Pho and Mo Chhu.

Punakha Suspension Bridge

Punakha-Suspension-Bridge
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This is the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan built over the river Mo Chhu and it connects two nearby villages.

Chimi Lhakhang Temple

Chimi-Lhakhang-Temple

It is a unique temple which is dedicated to fertility and is visited by people who are childless. In the path of the temple, you come to a beautiful village where they sell vegetables and handmade artefacts for some money.

How to reach the Valley of Phobjikha

It is really important to plan your visit and schedule your time before you visit someplace. So you must know that the distance from Punakha to Phobjikha Valley will be 78 km.

You cannot take buses until Phobjika as it is not available so

the best option to reach there will be by car rentals which take around 3 hours to reach the valley.

 A guide to car rental options:

There are a lot of car rental agencies with an option to hire a guide to make your journey till the valley easier. You must have a look at the Bhutan car rental rates before you already book one.

Car hire in Bhutan has been made very simple and systematic compared to the facility a few years ago. There are a lot of car rentals which will help you with the journey at an affordable price which can range anything from 2500 INR to 3000 INR, depending upon the rush of tourist around the time of your visit.

Here we go / what to expect from this road trip

As Bhutan is considered a virgin country where the environment is much important than the development and the Living style of people here are calculated by Gross National Happiness and not the GDP.

These things add to the beauty of Bhutan and so you can expect a pure scenery and forest and vegetation growing without any interference from the Bhutan government. The 3-hour road trip to the valley shall brief you about the country and its practices. You shall also notice why this small country is appreciated throughout the world for its environment strategies.

Know your Destination

 Phobjika valley :

  A peaceful and calm place known for the migratory black neck cranes whose loud voices echo the valley along with the breeze.

The valley is one of the few well preserved glacial valleys. Your eyes are blessed with the scenic beauty of the valley comprising of mountains, trees, animals and shrubs.

It stands at an altitude of about 3000 m above sea level on the western end of the Black Mountain range in Bhutan.

Before you go, just know

 Climate – The valley is a glacial valley so we can expect cold weathers here. Being enclosed by mountains, the valley is sometimes covered in beautiful snow during the winter seasons. The lowest temperature recorded in the valley was -4.8 deg Celsius and the hottest it has ever got here was 19.9 deg Celsius.

Note: So travellers, pack your clothes after taking note of the temperatures you can expect from this glacial valley.

 What to expect here/ Where to go

This Glacial valley is a well-preserved valley with a huge reservoir of the greenery and some rare species of birds which are in danger of extinction. Besides these, there are some things you should not afford to miss here. Make sure to take off things you cannot miss here.

Black-necked crane

Black-necked-crane

These birds which are usually scarce have been well protected within their Valley. They are vulnerable species of cranes that migrate to the valley during the winter time. They usually migrate during winters between the months of October to mid-February.

Rivers in the valley

Rivers-in-the-valley
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There is a myth about the valley which spices up the two beautiful flowing rivers namely Nakay Chhu ( represents snake) and Gay Chhu (represents boar). People say the two animals once raced each other and decided upon an agreement which stated that if the snake won the race, the valley would be able to grow rice and if the boar won, rice could never be calculated in the valley. They say rice still cannot be cultivated as the snake lost the race and the deal.

You can check out the two beautiful rivers and decide for yourself about the authenticity of the myth.

Gangtey Gumba or Monastery

Gangtey-Gumba-or-Monastery

It is built on a small hill which rises from the valley. It is the only Nyingmapa monastery situated on the western side of the Gangtey valley of the black mountains.

Highlight:

             There are just a few places which you can visit here as this valley is kept protected without much interference or development. The nature lovers can find peace among the open grassland and the thickets of dwarf bamboo.

Let’s call it a day!

 After you have explored in and around the valley, you now seek a hotel to call it a day and relax after a tiring day. Travellers must note that the valley has few home stays which cannot confirm availability. Other homestays can be found as close as 27 km from the valley. There are lots of homestay options outside the valley, so if you are travelling here make sure you have booked the homestay beforehand. It should ease your visit to the valley and if the home stays in the valley are unavailable, make sure you have also managed a car rental to reach you till the home stays. Bhutan car rentals provide options for of easy car rental in Bhutan.  

The Budget of home stays made easy for you

There are homestays in and around the valley and you can book one according to your preferences.

Note – The hotels in the valley do not offer many services unlike home stays outside the valley. However, you can find a room starting from approx 3800 INR and the rates may fluctuate depending upon the flow of tourist there.

If you choose to stay near the valley for any reason, the closest you could find would be 20 km away from the valley. You can expect standard hotel services and the range of the rooms for a day would start from a minimum of 5000 INR.

If you wish to stay at least 50 km away from the valley, in places like Thimpu, you can expect hotels to charge you a minimum of 3000 INR for a day. Again the hotel services would be standard unlike the homestays in the valley.

 An end to the wonderful road trip

            You must keep in mind that the return tickets from Phobjika to Punakha must be booked before you start your journey from Punakha. The tickets can be booked from RSTA Thimpu.

Note: It is kindly advised that you check the availability of the return tickets and book them from RSTA Thimpu, before actually travelling to them. This is to avoid the unwanted problem and non-availability of tickets from the valley while returning back as the return tickets are sometimes booked one month before the actual journey.

“So don’t listen to what they say, go see yourself”

This road trip would amaze you in all possible ways. And gift you with a peace of mind as you return back to your daily life.

Complete guide about 13 Arts and Crafts of Bhutan

Complete guide about 13 Arts and Crafts of Bhutan

Bhutan is the realm of un-exploited traditions, and arts and crafts are another matter of significance for Bhutanese cultural heritage. The last existing Shangri La is where you can discover happiness in every nook and corners. It is where getting off the beaten path fills you with joy. It’s a country where exploring Dzongs, monasteries, museums will make you marvel at their craftsmanship and skills in their arts and crafts.  So, if arts and crafts fascinate you, then venture on a trip to a country where Buddhism and traditions is a way of life. So, here’s the list of 13 arts and crafts in Bhutan-

1.  Thag-Zo (textile weaving):

 Thag-Zo (textile weaving):

Bhutanese culture and life are immensely impacted by the textile industry. Hence, Bhutanese are skilled in weaving. Silk, raw cotton, cotton are used in weaving by using intricate motifs, some of which are highly priced. Textile weaving pattern varies from one region to the other. Bhutanese women from the east are considered highly skilled in weaving textiles, and Bhutanese men contribute in spinning sheep wool and yak hair into the thread.

2. Tsha-Zo (bamboo and cane weaving):

Tsha-Zo

As Bhutan is endowed by bamboos and canes in abundance, Bhutanese citizens have taken advantage of natural resources. Popularly called as Tshar-Zo, the art and skill of weaving with bamboo and cane are widely spread across the kingdom. Amongst all, the people from eastern Bhutan are pioneers and skilled in this craft of waving. With high demands of goods, they can earn themselves additional income and keep their craftsmanship alive.

3. Shag-Zo (the art of wood carving):

 Shag-Zo

In former days, it was a traditional practice of the people of eastern Bhutan. Trashiyangtse is skilled for their dynamic art on wooden bowls and cups.  Traditionally called as phobs and dapas, these bowls that are made of special wooden knots are greatly valued.  Until the emergence of brass and steel utensils, these wooden bowls are widely used. Today, it is sold at arts and crafts shops as gifts and souvenirs.

4. Lha-Zo (Bhutanese Paintings):

Lha-Zo

Paintings are the significant element of arts and crafts, and traditions in Bhutan. Even the oldest generations have practiced the art of painting, mostly capturing the landscapes imagery.  Paintings of the eminent Bhutanese painters can be seen in the magnificent Dzongs, monasteries, temples, and sometimes at the small Bhutanese houses. Bhutanese paintings are exceptional with a varied infusion of vibrant colors that clearly define the dynamism of Bhutanese arts and crafts.

5. Shing-Zo (carpentry crafts):

Shing-Zo

Shing-Zo is about the carpentry carvings and craftsmanship. Carpentry has contributed immensely in construction and it is evident from the intricate designs on Bhutan’s massive Dzongs, fortresses, monasteries, temples, palaces, bridges, house, etc.

6. Do-Zo (the craft of masonry):

Do-Zo

Masonry is craftsmanship in materials like brick, stones, tiles, etc. Do-Zo is still practiced today. Monasteries, Dzongs, temples, Chortens or Stupas, farm-houses are all built using stones in Butan. If you want o witness an ancient or classic example, then visit Chorten Kora in Trashiyangtse in east and Chendebji Chorten in Central region.

7. Par-Zo (carving on stone, wood, and slate):

 Par-Zo

It is a traditional Bhutanese art that is improved over generations. Significant carvings are carried out on stone, slate, wood as the traditional designs carved on these materials form distinct and beautiful artworks that are rare and unique. The best wood carvings that are engraved are the wooden masks that are seen during annual religious celebrations and Tshechus.  Stones carvings engraved are grinding mills, which are still used by the people in remotest villages, and hollowed out stones that are used feeding horses, cattle, and pounding grains.

8. Jim-Zo (clay work):

Jim-Zo

This ancient craft of clay work is practiced and passed down from the ancestors over centuries. This art form is widely anticipated and prioritized than other metal sculpture work such as bronze and others. The instances are evident from the clay statues of deities and other significant religious figures in Bhutan.

9. Lug-Zo (arts and crafts with bronze):

Lug-Zo

This practice began between the Stone Age and the Iron Age that was around about 3,500 BC. Bronze casting in Bhutan was introduced by Newari Artisans from Nepal in the 17th century. Bronze was mainly used for making cups, vases, urns, etc.  People even made armors and weapons like shields, helmets, swords, knives, battle-axes, etc.

10. Gar-Zo (the art of Ironwork and blacksmithing):

Gar-Zo

Its inception has been traced back to 19th century and is believed to be a Tibetan saint as Dupthob Thangtong Gyalpo regarded by the Bhutanese people as a skilled engineer in casting iron chains and erecting them as bridges over canyons. The bridges intersecting over Paro Chhu, on the enroute to Thimphu from Paro and connecting the highway to famous Tachog Lhakhang are the existing works.

11.  Troe-Ko (the craft of traditional ornament making):

Troe-Ko

It is a vibrant craft of traditional ornament making, which are the main element that is worn by the Bhutanese women.  Tro Ko Lopen is highly skilled in shaping ornaments.  The embellishments and ornaments like earrings, necklaces, brooches, rings, amulets to contain ritual objects, traditional containers to keep the much-chewed beetle nut, etc were made using precious stones and metals, such as gold, silver, turquoise, corals, etc.

12. De-Zo (paper making):

De-Zo

Bhutan is famous for producing traditional Bhutanese papermaking art. The bark of Daphne tree was used in traditional paper making. In olden times, religious scriptures were written on Dezho, using traditional Bhutanese ink and with gold on occasions. In modern day, Dezho is still produced to make carry bags, envelopes, gift wrapping purposes, etc.

13.  Tshem-Zo (the art of tailoring):

Tshem-Zo

Tshem-Zo is one of the most popular arts amongst the Bhutanese. It is classified as the art of embroidery, the art of appliqué, and traditional boot making.

Tailoring craftsmanship means skills in sewing traditional and national costumes of Bhutan, called Kira and Gho.

The traditional art of appliqué is practiced by monks to produce Thangkhas-or religious scrolls, etc.

Bootmaking is the task of Bhutanese laymen. Leather and cloth are used in making boots for the officials, to be worn during special functions. Bootmaking origin is unknown; still, some skilled craftsmen in villages make boots with uncured leather.

 

Hope this will be helpful in identifying the arts and crafts during your trip to Bhutan.

 

How to reach Siliguri from Phuentsholing by road trip?

How to reach Siliguri from Phuentsholing by road trip?

Are you wondering about how to go to Siliguri from Phuentsholing, Bhutan? Worry not! Keep calm and get everything sorted out with car hire in Bhutan. Since traveling to Bhutan and reverting home has only two modes, one is by air and other is by flight, you need to book early to avoid hassles.

If you have thought about traveling back home enjoying sightseeing from Phuentsholing to Siliguri then you’re at the right place!  Road trips from Bhutan to Siliguri, India can be great as you can enjoy an extended drive via vast plains, enchanting woods, rivers, and sun-kissed horizons against the dazzling skies.

Venture in a road trip from Phuentsholing to Siliguri with Bhutan car rental

Phuentsholing to Siliguri

Bhutan is every traveler’s dream destination. Despite its high costing that is levied upon the foreign tourists, which is US$ 250/day, Bhutan witnesses a large number of tourists during peak seasons. However, this daily charge is not applicable to those traveling from India, Maldives, and Bangladesh. If you’re traveling to Bhutan, we recommend booking your flights and accommodation at the earliest for great discounts and best choices. Booking early will also keep the hassles at bay.  However, if you extend your vacation in Bhutan and plan your revert by road trip without knowing about the route and bookings, then we’ve got you!  Drop your worries and keep calm because you can travel to Siliguri from Phuentsholing without any trouble with Bhutan car rental at best rates and discounts.

Want to know more? 

Phuentsholing is the border town in Bhutan and the gateway to India via land. The second largest city after Thimphu shares border with the Indian town- Jaigaon in the state of West Bengal. Phuentsholing is commercially important and has a great role in contributing to the economy of the country via border trade with India and by tourism. This quaint own has a plethora of travel and transport agencies for Bhutan car rental provision, hotels for journey break, eateries and restaurants for quelling your hunger and platter, and sightseeing places and shopping hubs. You can book Bhutan cars for road tripping and transfer from Phuentsholing to Siliguri at the best prices.

Why travel to Siliguri from Phuentsholing?

Siliguri is the en route to the major hill stations, Northeast states in India, Dooars region, and to Bhutan. This second largest city after Guwahati in Northeast India is often called the “gateway” to Bhutan and the Northeastern regions. Siliguri is well equipped with road networks, rail routes, and airways.  Your requirement for travel and transport will be well catered here, as Siliguri has plenty of travel and tourism agencies.  So, either you prefer to fly back home, or catch up with the Indian railway, or simply continue road tripping, then Siliguri provides them all.  You just need to avail cars in Bhutan from Phuentsholing to Siliguri for your journey ahead.

Details about the car/taxi hire charges in Bhutan for traveling to Siliguri?

Car rentals are available from Phuentsholing to Siliguri at best deals and discounts. As far as the rates are concerned, it may vary according to the peak season and offseason, the type of vehicle that you choose, and the uncertain fluctuation in fuel price.  Car rental in Bhutan fare from Phuentsholing to Siliguri s will be approx. Nu. 4000 – Nu. 5000. The fare will be lesser if you will opt for smaller cars, and when discounts are available.

So, get yourself booked for a happy and convenient journey back home!