Being an IT professional, I used to travel a lot for work purpose. My last professional tour was to Bhutan. Like every person, I also heard that the country of Thunderbolt is like heaven on earth. I felt exactly the same when I first came out of the airport there.
As we had to stay there for 2 to 3 months; our organization rented a house for the team in Thimpu. The surrounding of our house was scenic. My heart filled with calmness as soon as I entered the house. I began to feel less stressed in spite of the tremendous workload.
Our first outing in Bhutan
In the morning of one of our official holiday, two of our female colleagues of local office came to our place driving a car. They had planned a one-day tour for us. We were delighted. We packed our lunch and set out for the Taktsang Monastery.
We started from Thimpu and went to Taktsang Monastery via Paro. The journey itself was worth to mention.
On our way to the Monastery, the first place we visited was the river Paro Chhu; Chu means river in Bhutanesse language. It is a river of western Bhutan and is a branch of the Wong Chhu. Paro Chhu was climbing down the hills like a bubbly, little girl dancing all her way. The surrounding was green and fresh. Excited, we all got out of our car and took some photos to preserve the memory.
After a while, we again got into the car and went towards the Monastery. A hilly road, cloudy sky, fresh green plants embraced us with arms stretched.
We got down from our car at the base of the cliff on which the Monastery was located and started climbing the hill.
After a while, we stopped on our way. No, not for some discomfort; we saw an old local lady selling some local handicrafts on the roadside. The items were colourful and beautifully crafted. There were some junk jewellery, some local bells used for prayer, called Yapa-Yantra. We took some sticks from that lady and to our great astonishment; she didn’t take any money for that. She humbly requested us to purchase some of her handicrafts on our way back.
Next, on our way, we visited a little house over a small stream. The stream was flowing through the house and a huge Yapa-Yantra was rotating inside it.
We found some colourful pieces of clothes were hanging on the roadside. These clothes had Buddhist scripts written on them. Our local friends told that as per the local belief these cloths were used to keep away the bad spirits from a place. We ate our breakfast and had some dry foods. When we started again a stray dog accompanied us.
One-two, one-two we started climbing. Frequently, the three plane-land dwellers (of course including myself) of our team were out of breath. We stopped; took some rest, clicked some snaps and then again started walking towards the top.
On half-way to the Monastery, we saw some huge trees and some uncommon orchids. Those trees had net-like leaves. We were awestruck by the beauty of the nature.
When one-quarter of our journey was left, we saw the Taktsang Monastery on the cliff. We took some snaps from that point.
At last, we were near the monastery. From here we crossed a small bridge over a stream and started climbing the last 500 stone steps to reach the Monastery. Before climbing the steps, we again took some snaps beside the stream. This time, we were little adventurous and experimented with our snaps.
Taktsang Palphug Monastery– the common local name of it is Paro Taktsang. It is a famous Buddhist sacred temple located on the upper Paro hills. The temple was built in 1692, near the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave. As per the legend, Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to this place from Tibet on the back of a tigress. That is the reason this place is also known as Tiger’s nest.
On our way back, we had our lunch at the base of the hill. It was a like a nice picnic.
We thought that the events of the day were over. Friends, there was still a twist left in this story. The country of Thunderbolt was yet to show us some of its greatest wonders. On our way back, we faced snow rain. It was so beautiful, so hypnotic. All of us got down from the car and cheered like small children in the rain. We played with snowflakes, and jumped and shouted like loons. The rain stopped, we got back to the car and drove our way back to home through the snowy road.
We went to Taktsang via Paro and during return we took the road via Chelela that was 3988 meters above MSL.
At last, an eventful day of our life came to an end leaving a permanent mark on our memory.