One has to travel to Thimphu to get a nail. Getting timber is almost a three-day walk and, even if all these raw materials are in place, getting a contractor is again a problem.
Add lack of money to the list and what we have is the 400-year old Lingzhi Dzong slowly turning into ruins.
One of Bhutan’s major tourist attractions, the National Museum, housed in Paro Ta Dzong, will re-open only in 2015. The Ta Dzong suffered major structural damage during last year’s earthquake, rendering it inaccessible to the public for safety reasons.
Ludlow’s Bhutan Swallowtail which is found only in Bhutan has been announce by the Cabinet as the National Butterfly of Bhutan. The Ludlow’s Swallowtail butterflies are found in Tobrang, a remote part of the Bumdelling Wildlife Sanctuary, Trashiyangtse, in the eastern region of the country.
While tourists from all over the world visit Bhutan for cultural, environmental and other reasons, an old suspension bridge is the magnet that attract Indian tourists from the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to Jomotshangkha in Samdrup Jongkhar.
Popularly known as Bhairab Kunda, because of a lake at the edge of the rock where a Hindu Shiva Mandir temple stands today, tourists throng Jomotsangkha especially on the new year and other festive occasions. However, the lake has become history.
Along the Chamkhar Chhu river in Bumthang, the Wangdichholing Palace rises from the Jakar valley floor, surrounded by the verdant colors of the region’s rice fields.
A trio of dogs loll on their sides in the morning sun, oblivious to the arrows whooshing invisibly above them at 200 mph. When the shafts appear with a telltale thwack in the foot-wide oblong targets, the dozy beasts don’t even bother looking over. The hundred or so spectators in the bleachers here at the Changlimithang Archery Ground in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, are another matter. Like true fans everywhere, they know to arrive with cushions and cardboard panels to sit on. Among them are a dozen monks, who have come by taxi and will have to return to their monasteries by the end of lunch. But more enthusiastic still are the players on the field: each time an archer lands a shot, his teammates clad in ghos, the knee-length, white-cuffed robes that Bhutanese men wear, stream around the targets to strut, yelp, and sing, even flashing a little thigh as they kick their legs like cancan dancers.
The far flung Gasa Dzongkhag will be bustling with activities as the second Takin festival kicks off today at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park (JDWNP) with the aim to develop and promote wellness tourism.
On a cold March night nearly two years ago, not long after we had learned that the baby I was carrying had all his chromosomes in a sequence that spelled health and wholeness, I was lying in bed next to my husband marveling at this unlikely turn of fortune when I remembered Chimi Lhakhang.
Chimi Lhakhang is a dusty temple in Bhutan, a country where two summers before I had taught composition at a college. Bhutan is tiny, caught like a bead between the masses of China and India. Through the protective arc of the Himalayas and a strategic choice of alliances, Bhutan has preserved its borders and its culture. It remains stunningly itself, indifferent to Western notions of success.