People must be very lucky to wake up to this view. It was beautiful. Freshened up quickly and took some hot water from the kettle and prepared Black Tea for myself. Having some tea in the morning awakens my brain cells. We got ready soon and took these amazing pictures in our balcony.
We headed to Buddha Point next.
Buddha Dordenma Statue
This giant Buddha statue has 125,000 smaller Buddhas hidden inside it. There was no Entry Fee when we visited as it was under renovation and there was no one in the morning except us and couple of dogs J. The view was great and we spent more than an hour. A massive, golden Buddha sitting on the top of a gilded meditation hall. Google said “The monument holds an invisible secret: Unbeknownst to many people viewing the statue, they aren’t actually looking at one Buddha, they’re looking at 125,000 of them. Inside of Thimphu’s 169 foot Buddha Dordenma statue, there are 125,000 miniature Buddhas encapsulated of its enlightened bronze chest, ranging from 8 to 12 inches tall”. This means that in Thimphu, which has a population of around 100,000, there are more Buddhas than there are human beings. Interesting!
Our next plan is to finish breakfast and start to Punakha. Lochan has taken us to an Indian restaurant and left for getting Permits to Punakha. Hotel was filled with Hindu God Pictures. It also had Alcohol section on the right. Food was tasty there. We started to Punakha in sometime after some street shopping. Shopping is costly in Bhutan. Next place was Dochula Pass. It was on the way to Punakha. It was covered with snow, a beautiful mountain pass, which is about 20 km from Thimphu is a concentration of 108 memorial stupas.
Often a violent history and dark times encourage people to create something inspiring and beautiful, and this is exactly what the people of Bhutan did. They created Dochula Pass, Bhutan in honor of 108 Bhutanese soldiers who died in a 2003 military operation.
There was no entry ticket to this place. Around stupas, there’s a garden which is covered with a layer of snow. We walked very carefully as the ice was slippery resulting in no friction. We played with ice for some time and took beautiful pictures on Gimble and on our phones. It was too hard to resist from taking multiple pictures there.
Oh God! This tee has saved me from freezing that whole day. I wanted to thank Decathlon at that moment. “The mountains which you see from here are Himalayas” Lochan said. “Wow!” we mumbled.
Next is Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple
All the Dzongs here are beautifully built with fine art. Every wall is decorated with intricate details and has their history. We had no entry to this temple though. We viewed it from outside with our eyes wide open. After entering this place, we stood on a bridge which is built on blue lake which is filled with thousands of fishes. We had few biscuits and cakes with us. We saw monks often feeding the fishes there. We took food from our packets and started throwing them into water. All the fishes were rushing to collect the food. It was pleasing to stand there and enjoy watching those fishes hunting for food.
We then started to Suspension bridge.
On the way to Suspension bridge, we stopped at a Bokhara Plum tree (Regi Pandu in Telugu). I love those fruits. I started collecting them on the ground. It reminds me of my childhood memories at my grandmas place. They were so tasty that I came here while returning again. We were not carrying any bags with us. I filled my pockets and ate on my way.
THE HIGH MOUNTAINS AND DEEP gorges of Bhutan lend themselves to suspension bridges. Punakha Suspension Bridge, which was adorned with colorful prayer flags, is the perfect example of this.
Linking Punakha Dzong to Shengana, Samdingkha, and Wangkha villages across the Tsang Chu River (aka Po Chu), this is one of the longest suspension bridges in Bhutan. Yet, for a roughly 520-foot-long suspension bridge, it’s surprisingly stable. The bridge offers a spectacular view of the river and valley, and the east bank is a good starting point for multi-day treks in the nearby mountains. I also observed Cables on the either side which are supporting the bridge. We saw many local people there. Most of them were School and college students. There was a young couple who were taking multiple pictures on the bridge. Guy was holding a professional Camera and girl was very beautiful with fair and clear skin and black shiny silky straight hair.
Know Before You Go
Punakha Bridge is only about half a mile from Punakha Dzong, but it can easily be missed, as it’s not on the main road. To find it, head north from the dzong. We headed towards west and realized it later that we were on wrong path.
We found a small pond near the Dzong. Location was beautiful. We clicked few pictures which reminded me of college days.
Next place is quite interesting!
It is possibly, the only place where Phalluses are worn as charms! I swear! They are!
Chimi Lakhang is a fertility temple in Punakha. It is believed that any childless couple who visits here is blessed with a baby.
To walk to the temple, you should be crossing the beautiful open fields.
As soon as we got there, we had an embarrassing smile on our faces.
And if you find this first line shocking, well, then a quick alert before you proceed to read about this.
While there is nothing obscene about the post, it could get you uncomfortable. People consider Phallus as a sacred thing. They painted their homes with those drawings. They have them carved and placed them on their doorways. They believe that it has strength to ward off evil. And yeah, they wear it as necklaces which are probably their “divine art forms”. We saw people selling them in the shops.
Though it might seem extremely different culture for us, it is quite sacred for them.
We then left for Paro. On the way to Paro, Aashray and Akhilesh were sharing their school memories. They told us with all the funny stories happened with them and their friends. They entertained us for solid 3 hours. We saw Paro Dzong in the night from distance on the way to our stay. It looked beautiful in those lights. We bought some snacks and water bottles and reached Golden Roots Resort, Paro. This is the coldest place in Bhutan. Lochan helped us to bring us luggage down and we then carried to our rooms. Rooms were ultra posh and indeed that was a Hifi resort. The best thing was heaters. We freshened up and ordered food from the same resort. Food seemed to be little costly but it was tasty. Specially, the omelet curry which we ordered was super tasty. We then played UNO for some time and slept thinking how beautiful Tiger’s nest gonna be tomorrow.