Bhutan is the landlocked country of mystery, history, high passes, gushing streams, and sprawling valleys, which remain one of the least discovered in the world. By Shubhanjana Das
Even though tourism is controlled in the mystic country, an increasing number of foreign travellers are now diverting their attention to this land of wonder, which seems to have cracked the equation of striking a balance between the traditional and the modern. This royal kingdom hides in the lap of its towering mountains paired with some of the most distinct and striking valleys that you have seen till date. Here’s a list celebrating the vales of Bhutan.
1. Paro Valley
One of the better-known valleys of Bhutan is the Paro Valley, a flat valley located at the juncture of Wang Chu and Paro Chhu rivers at Chuzom. Being the site for the international airport of Bhutan, Paro receives more recognition that other valleys in the country, and rightfully so. Its rice fields, historical and cultural significance, and the authenticity typical to Bhutan makes it one of the favourites among the few travellers visiting Bhutan. The National Museum of Bhutan, more than 150 monasteries, including the renowned Taktsang Monastery (also called Tiger’s Nest) is only few of the note-worthy attractions in this stunning valley.
2. Haa Valley
Located just 30 km from Paro Valley, Haa Valley is the haven for mountain-lovers, culturists, and adventure seekers. The valley entices its visitors with paddy ranges, the Chele La pass and all the mountain goodness that one can witness from an altitude of 3988 m above sea level, such as Mount Jitchu Drake and Chomolhari. The Haa Summer Festival is a proud display of the valley’s striking culture, including tent-weaving from yak hair! The festival comes with its fair share of surprises, a part and parcel of the Bhutanese experience.
3. Thimphu Valley
An epitome of Bhutan’s commerciality balanced with natural compositeness, Thimphu Valley has an equivalent number of Buddhist sites and monasteries along with bistros and restaurants. The Trashi Chhoe Dzong is a remarkable religious site in the valley, which hosts Tsechu festival. The weekend market at Thimphu is also worth exploring for the most genuine souvenirs typical to Bhutan. However, the absolute show-stopper of your trip to Thimphu has to be the Dochula Pass, which overlooks an unhindered view of the surrounding snow-top mountains.
4. Bumthang Valley
Translating to ‘beautiful field’, Bumthang Valley is rightfully named along with its four other valleys of Ura, Choekhor, Chumney, and Tang. The valley has several farms producing the freshest cheese, apples, honey, potato, rice, and buckwheat among other dairy products. Views of lush pastures and graded timberlands from the Ura La Pass are witnessed the best from Bumthang Valley. One of the most ancient monasteries in Bhutan, Jambey Lhakhang
is located here. Tamzhing Monastery, Koenchog Sum Lhakhang, Jakar Lhakhang, and Wangdue Choling Palace are some of the other places worth noting here at Bumthang Valley. The best time to visit Bumthang is September-November, so a Bhutan trip may just be on the cards?