There Is No Place Like Druk Yul

by Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala


Jul 9, 2014


Punakha Dzong

I went to Druk Yul a while ago; always wanted to go back to it and thankfully I had the opportunity of doing it again this year. If you don’t know what Druk Yul is, I have to specify that this is the old name of Bhutan, a country located somewhere between India and China. What makes this country an appealing place is that it’s traversed by a lot of mountains, which makes it perfect for those that want to check out impressive landscapes and colourful culture.

What really drew me to going there, was a festival named Thimphu Tsechu, its unique Cham Dances and the impressive costumes. This particular event is held each year for a week and it’s one of the most colourful ones I have seen. However, this time when I plan to visit Druk Yul is want to go to another event which is of a similar nature, named Thimpu Drubchen

Another thing that really draws me to Bhutan is that their growth index is measured in Gross National Happiness. Unlike all other places in the world, here being happy and feeling great is worth more than any sum of money. We really need to learn more about this and add the idea to your life, as that is really important.

The Three Supreme Wonders of Bhutan

The mountain lands of Bhutan have always impressed people from all over the world due to their massive nature and impressive looks. All the structures that were built in the mountains have been created either with administrative or religious purposes. While there are dozens of buildings that never cease to impress visitors, my main favourites will always remain the Punakha Dzong, Taktshang Goemba and the Trashi Chhoe Dzong.

Tiger's Nest

Tiger’s Nest | Photo: Douglas J. McLaughlin

First of all, I went to Taktshang Goemba. This impressive mega-structure is one of the most famous in Bhutan. Located near the Paro Valley, this monastery is very old and was transported back in the time of Guru Rinpoche. The story states that he built the place with a Tigress that was able to fly, and she helped him built this massive construction. Actually, the whole place is called the Tiger’s Nest thanks to that story. Since the location is high up in the mountains, the only way to go there is by hiking.

Hiking to the Taktshang Goemba can be dangerous, so you do need to get the proper trekking gear in order to arrive there safely. The adventure gear is crucial because it gives you everything you need to climb fast and safely. Hiking to the Taktshang Goemba is an adventure in itself, so prepare yourself for a lot of fun, but to get some Sherpa Adventure Gear prior to attempting such a visit.

The whole trip is split in three different stages. The first one took me around 90 minutes and here you need to walk through some pretty uneven terrain, a mixture of dry and wet lands, and for a few meters you will even go downhill. If you are not the adventurous type you can opt for a ride on the horseback which is way safer. The seconds stage is way safer, you will encounter a cafeteria along the way and a breathtaking view where you can check out China. The final stage is a mixture of going downhill and climbing. It’s important to know that using a camera is forbidden at Taktshang Goemba.

Trashi Chhoe Dzong is another place that I visited a few years ago. It’s a place rich with numerous social events. It hosts the Thimphu Tsechu and Thimphu Domchoe. When you go to Trashi Chhoe Dzong you should know that most of its regions are restricted.

No trip to Bhutan is complete without visiting Punakha Dzong. I knew that, and went there to check it out. I remained speechless at how beautiful these old national headquarters look. The building sits in the place where two rivers, the Mo Chhu and the Pho Chhu meet. In the end, I had a blast visiting Bhutan a few years ago and I can’t wait to visit it again.

If you want to join me then get it touch with me and let’s embark together in a wonderful adventure or else keep up with my adventures in Bhutan by following the hashtag #ToDrukYul on Twitter.

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About the Author

Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala

Karthik has been traveling around solo since he completed his M.B.A in 2012. He is passionate about photography, trying out new food and exploring places alone. He writes his experiences on two blogs Romancing The Planet and The Travelling Indian.

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