“Hey, guys! Our next trip is Bhutan Land of Happiness, the Best Tourist Destination in Asia” promptly announced Mamun Bhai at the tail of our Bandarban Tour.
“It would be great fun I think. I am with you”, without any thinking I confirmed my participation with his tour group Shopna Jatra.
Next on, nine more joined Mamun Bhai who is our tour planner. So to speak, it is his voluntary service.
Splendid! What a dedicated guy for our trip making!
A higher stimulation in my mental faculty began to rummage me day and night. Bhutan! Bhutan!! and Bhutan!!! What I could see all around, what I could think and what I could do. It was as if I had been always in a dream with Bhutan.
Starting for Bhutan Land of Happiness & Best Tourist Destination in Asia
“Hello! Mamun Bhai, what about you?” receiving the phone, I asked Mamun him with an airy vice.
The answer to what I could hear made me dance with unbound joy. Is it true what I am hearing?
“Kowshik, everything is confirmed with the date. We are starting for Bhutan on 1st November”, Mamun Bhai speaking from the opposite.
We were two from Comilla who reached Dhaka on 30th October to join the rest members from Dhaka.
“Hey! Koushik, we are here” shouted Mamun Bhai from the Shamoli Bus counter at Mohakhali.
Stretching my hands like the wings of a bird into the air, jumping into him, I embraced Mamun Bhai.
“Let’s have a cup of tea”, offered Mamun Bhai.
I was in my top gear. Everything seemed to be funny as I could enjoy the spirit of Bhutan at every moment.
Starting Our Journey from Dhaka
Taking the refreshment tea, we boarded our bus.
“Amar hiar maje lokia chile, dekhte ami pyni tomay, dekhte ami pyni…(You were hidden in my sense, I couldn’t see you, I couldn’t see you..)” Rashid Bhai, a lover boy, as if his beloved were beside his seat, began to sing this most popular bangle song called Rabindra shangit was written by famous Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.
But, interestingly, the most senior member in our group, Rafat Bhai, was sitting beside him. We were a hangout for a while with this fun factor.
The bus rushing towards Burimari border and without any hazard, we reached Burimari at 12 pm.
Being an expert, Mamun Bhai completed all the immigration formalities as a crafty leader. In short, his leadership is amazing.
Again we got on the bus and within 3 hours, we reached Jaygaon border. We completed all the formalities including taking permission for visiting Thimpu and Paro, the Top Tourist Destination in Asia.
Enjoying the Excellent Journey to Thimpu, One of the Best Tourist Cities in Asia
It was a way of 180 kilometers from Phuensholing to reach Thimpu, the capital city of Bhutan and it was a journey of 6 hours.
Every member of our team was extremely excited to star for Thimpu. It was simply spellbound to enjoy a glimpse of beautiful Bhutan all around us.
We again boarded on a minibus to set out for Thimpu, one of the Best Tourist Cities in Asia. The bus began to move through the zigzag hilly road. The driver hardly could drive with a speed of more than 30 kilometers because he had to drive through steep climbing.
Sometimes through the green vegetation, sometimes through the deep jungle, sometimes through the plane path, we reached Thimpu at 7 pm. which is already quite evening.
Check into the Hotel in Thimpu
We were about to fall down since we were extremely burnt out from our long journey.
Somehow we managed to check into the hotel and got fresh. Taking the quick dinner, we were off for the bed to cover up our energy damage from the tiresome journey.
Being recharged from the long deep sleep, we got early in the morning. I could see the colorful view of Thimpu Town through the window glass. The town is simply decorated with various colors.
“Good morning, Koushik. Have you enjoyed the night’s sleep?” Mamun Bhai asked me with a welcome tone.
“Oh! Fine! What about you?”
“Okay. Today we are going to visit Tiger Nest. It would be done by Trekking. Get ready and we will start at sharp 9 am” declared Mamun Bhai before leaving the room.
Yes, I was hoping the same. Actually, I wanted to explore everything on the way to Tiger’s Nest. I wanted to chew every beauty of every corner of nature.
The day was a little bit clouded with flying gray clouds. It would be nice for our expedition.
Our Trekking to Tiger’s Nest
Taking a savory breakfast, we began our mission on foot. It was really mesmerizing to trek being blessed with the lush panoramic view of the Thimpu Town. All around us we could see the colorful flowers red, yellow, and blue and so on as if it were the exhibition of flowers.
After about an hour’s trek, we stopped before a tea stall run by a Bhutanese lady. It is appreciating the Bhutanese women are contributing to the economy of their country like the male members.
After about a five hours expedition, we were before The Tiger’s Nest which is the Pyramids of the Bhutanese.
It was at the height of 10,300 feet from the sea level from where we could the bewitching beauty of the around the valley.
Myth Behind The Tiger’s Nest
There is a myth behind The Tiger’s Nest. The Bhutanese believe that once a flying tiger descended here and made a cave for his home. From then it is named Tiger’s Nest.
There is another practice going there at Tiger’s Nest. The Bhutanese come here to get a name for their upcoming babies.
“Koushik, I want to get a name from here”, suddenly spoke out Miraz Bhai, the naughtiest among us.
What a funny wish! His announcement made us burst into laughter.
Accordingly, he wished to get a name from the authority. He had to take two pieces of paper containing a name from a box. And he got the name of two words Kun Zang which means ‘all good, even excellent’.
What an excellent meaning of the name! Hope! Our naughty Miraz Bhai who always adds our fun factor will turn into real Kun Zang. Ha..ha..ha..!!!
Really it doubled our fun.
We passed about an hour in and around the Tiger’s Nest. Then we took our come back path and it took one and a half hour downward stroll to reach our hotel.
Enjoying the Party Arranged by the Hotel Owner
At night, there was an arrangement of a party on behalf of our hotel owner.
“It would be great fun. Let’s have a beer to celebrate the party” offer Miraz Bhai.
Alas! The name got from The Tiger’s Nest couldn’t mark any influence on him. Every effort of The Tiger’s Nest on behalf of giving the name has gone in vain. The spirit of Tiger’s Nest will bless him.
However, it will not be sinful to take a light beer. So, we all accepted the offer of our naughty Miraz Bhai.
The party was really gorgeous one packed with Bhutanese Traditional performance. And we also enjoyed every atom of the party. Song, dance and whatnot which will stay alive forever on the horizon of my mind.
With an obsession with the party, we got back to the hotel.
Starting for Punakha Temple of Fertility
The next day morning, we were off for Punakha, another Best Tourist Destination in Asia. The journey on the way to Punakha was simply mesmerizing. There was a lush green rice field all around so far I could see. The beautiful countrysides took me to the Forest of Arden.
Enjoying the Magic of Do Chula Pass Bhutan
On our way to Punakha, we happened to stop at Do Chula Pass, simply an exhibition of nature’s beauty, nothing else. The snow-capped view of the Himalaya Mountains from Do Chula Pass was breath-taking. At the very first sight, I fell into the love of peace and serenity of Do Chula Pass. It is as if I were in heaven.
“Mamun Bhai, If I could make a home here” wishing I said.
“Get married a beautiful Bhutanese girl” making fun answered Mamun Bhai.
Ha..!! ha..!! ha…!!! if I really could.
Then we took coffee from an enchanting wooden Café located at Do Chula Pass.
“Will you visit chortens?” asked our driver.
“What is it? We don’t have any idea about it.” Responding to our driver, Mamun Bhai inquired about the information.
108 Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens in Bhutan, the Memory of Brave Soldiers
“108 Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens were built for the memory of killed Bhutanese soldiers who died in the December 2003 battle against the Assamese insurgents” tried to explain our driver.
“Let’s go for showing our tribute to that unfortunate soldiers” with due respect I offered.
“Oh! What a nice effort to show due respect to those brave soldiers!” exclaimed Miraz Bhai.
“Exactly, dear brother, this also the symbol of our King’s victory (jigme Singye Wangchuck- king’s name)” joining our excitement, our driver informed us about their pride.
The chortens are erected in three stages. On the top layer, there have been built 27 chortens around the main chorten. Then on the middle stage, there are 66 chortens and at the bottom layer, there are 45 chortens. Definitely, the chortens are a nice example of architecture.
Saluting the lost soldiers and their king for such a creation, we left for Druk Wangyel Lhakhang which was built to celebrate the 100 years of Monarchy in Bhutan. The temple is another fine example of Bhutanese beautiful architecture I think.
Resuming Our Journey for Punakha
After visiting Druk Wangyel Lhakhang, we resumed our journey to Punakha, the Best Tourist Destination in Asia and finally reached Punakha Dzong after 8 hours exited journey. Punakha Dzong is a beautiful example of Bhutanese architecture situated at the intersection of two rivers Pho Chu and Mo Chu.
The Couple Rivers have come one near Dzong to create the main river. The estuary is looking gorgeous from where Puna Tsang Chu begins to flow.
“Can we enjoy River-Rafting” I threw the offer before our team.
Everybody accepted my proposal in a wink of the eye except Dali Bhai, the most coward one among us.
“I can’t swim. I will not do, I will not do” cried out Dali Bhai.
“Don’t worry Dali Bhai. You would be tied onto my back. If the boat turns over, then I will swim and you will enjoy my swimming hanging on my back ha..!! ha…!! ha…!! yet we are not leaving you” appearing on the scene, Miraz Bhai brought this humorous solution but could not manage the fear-stricken Dali Bhai.
Everybody burst into laughter except Dali Bhai. His frightening eyes began to glow as if they would have come out to be the blast.
“You will stay at the hotel”, I tried to cool down him.
So, we reserved the next day for River-Rafting in Puna Tsang Chu.
Enjoying the Ecstatic River Rafting
After taking breakfast, we stepped to the “raft-put-in-point” where we joined the precautionary and directive class taken by the guide. Participating in the class, our courage grew into double and we chose to enjoy class-ii river-rafting.
We began our rafting through the glacial whitewater. The beautiful landscape all around us was nothing but a replica of paradise. The flock of magnificent Kingfishers on the bank of the river, the flying flock of other exotic birds added the grandeur of the scene.
“Ore nil Doria, amay de-re de charia, bhandi hoiya monoa phakhi Kande roiya roiya(Hey.. blue ocean….., leave me…, please leave me…, my sweetheart is crying silently for me)” again Rashid bhai appeared on the scene taking this popular bangle song into his voice.
We could not but join him. Our chorus singing flowed all over the meadow beside the river. All the tourists rafting near us also enjoyed our fun factor. Our rafting expedition ended in 18 minutes.
Enjoying the Joyful Swimming in Crystalline River
“Now we can enjoy swimming in the crystalline blue water of the river” offered our team leader Mamun Bhai.
“Hurrah!!! Never will I miss it” I exclaimed with joy.
“Hurry up!!! Hurry up!!!” insisted us Miraz Bhai, jumping into the river.
We all at once followed him. We lost in diving and swimming for almost one hour. While swimming, I felt myself weightless and spirited as if all sin in me were washed away by that crystalline flowing water.
What a blissful feeling!
We played rural water games, dived, played hide and seek game diving into the water and whatnot. We made the water industry of fun.
Now we are quivered because of the longtime association with the water. Moreover, it was cold enough to shiver in proportion to our habituated weather. So we had to call the end of our swimming sports.
Then we started for our hotel. And this time we were on our foot though it was hard for us as it was bitter cold.
“It would be awesome if we could take hot tea” I wished.
And we were not frustrated. Within a short walk, we found a Café. We all were shivering.
“Have you enjoyed swimming? A few can do this. You all are really brave guys” praising us commented the café owner with a smiling face.
Taking tea and thanking the café owner for his hospitality and courtesy, we headed to our hotel with a quick walk.
Dali Bhai who did not join us was still sleeping making roaring sound with his nose like a ferocious lion. Our entrance sound could not disturb his death-like sleep.
What a happy guy!
Getting fresh and taking lunch, we left Punakha for Paro.
Reaching Paro and Got out for Stroll
Just after evening, we reached Paro, one of the Best Tourist Destinations in Asia. Checking into the hotel, we took rest for a while.
“We can enjoy a brisk stroll in the city”, Mamun Bhai threw the offer before us.
We, the four, Miraz Bhai, Khalid Bhai, Ratan and I did agree with the proposal.
So, we got without any delay and began to stroll along the road.
What a calm city! Less crowded as if the city were in deep slumber. Later on, we discovered that only 15,000 citizens inhabit in the city.
Suddenly a flood of light caught our attention. Out of curiosity, we headed to the spot. Oh! This is Paro Dzong, a beautiful piece of Bhutanese architecture built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1644.
The Dzong is popularly known as ‘Rinpung Dzong’ to the Bhutanese which means ‘Fortress on a heap of precious jewels’.
The surroundings of the Dzong with apple orchard created an Ariel view.
Heart Brocken Story of the Temple’s Guard
“Where are you from” suddenly asked the guard of the Dzong.
“We are from Bangladesh. And you?” with the answer, I asked him.
“I am a local one here”, promptly answered the guard whose name is Dechen Wangmo.
There was a glow of sadness on his face.
“What about your family?” an intangible urge from my mind forced me to ask the question.
What came out was quite pathetic. The well of human pity in me swelled up. Oh! What a tragedy!
“We were three, my son, wife and me” answered the guard with a crying tone.
“Were, means, what has happened? being wondered, I asked him.
“Now, we are two, my wife and me. Last month, I lost my only son of 18” what he could say weeping.
It was touchy. I could not find any word to console him. Really, it is hard for an aged father to bear such a hit of shock. The weightiest thing in the world is the weight of the dead body of a young son on the shoulder of an old father.
But this the way of nature. What we can do against death. Nothing! Better to accept death cordially.
“Don’t cry. Certainly, God will reward you for such an irrecoverable loss” what I could say to console him.
“How did he die?” Mamun Bhai asked him with a grief-stricken tone.
He began to sob again.
Taking Dinner with Temple’s Guard
“We took dinner together. Then we all were off to bed. But in the morning we found him dead. Maybe it was for silent sleep stroke” sobbing he was answering.
Failing to find any word to console a helpless father before fate, we left the Dzong for our hotel.
We reserved the next day for Haa Valley and Chella la pass but had to cut off Haa Valley from our list because then the Haa valley was off for the tourists.
Off for Chella La Pass
So, we started for only Chella La Pass early in the morning. After enjoying a scenic driving 0f 42 km, we reached Chele La Pass.
So far I know Chele La Pass is the highest peak in Bhutan, the best tourist destination in Asia which is 13,000 ft above from the sea level. Since the Chela La Pass is the ideal place for hoisting prayer flags, a crowd of colorful flags created a playful view which was looking simply playful.
The beautiful view of Kanchanjangha was also panoramic. Actually, I was in the off mood from the last night after hearing the sad story of an old father. That’s why Chele La Pass could not attract me much.
“Let’s go back”, I proposed.
Nobody opposed my proposal. So, we took our back path to Paro.
End up our Trip of Bhutan Land of Happiness
The next day we called up our Bhutan trip. So we left Paro for the Phuensholing border.
“This is quite 9 am. Won’t you get up and go for weakened bazaar” stretching the window curtain, my wife murmured.
“Damn! I couldn’t cross the border for you to bring the end of my trip to Bhutan Land of Happiness” miffing I stepped to……..