Saturday Story: The Value of Valuing people!

John worked at a meat distribution factory. One day, when he finished with his work schedule, he went into the meat cold room (Freezer) to inspect something but in a moment of bad luck, the door closed and he was locked inside with no help in sight. Although he screamed and knocked with all his might, his cries went unheard as no one could hear him. Most of the workers had already gone and outside the cold room (freezer), it’s impossible to hear what was going on inside. Five hours later, whilst John was on the verge of death, the security guard of the factory eventually opened the door and saved him. John then asked the security guard what he came to do there as it wasn’t part of his work routine.
His replies: “I’ve been working in this factory for 35 years. Hundreds of workers come in and out every day but you’re one of the few who greets me in the morning and says goodbye to me every night when leaving after working hours. Many treat me as if I am invisible. So today like every other day, you greeted me in your simple manner “Hello” at the entrance when resuming for work, But curiously after working hours today, I observed I’ve not heard your “Good bye see you tomorrow”. Hence I decided to check around the factory.
I look forward to your greetings every day because to you, I am someone. By not hearing your farewell, I knew something had happened. Then I Sought and found you!

Moral Lesson:

Be humble, love and respect those around you because life is too short. Try to have an impact on people in ways we can’t even imagine especially the people that cross our path daily. Remember to greet when you meet someone, of course, with a warm smile.
You never know – it may work a miracle in your life too. 😉

Education is not a degree or certificate that can be shown to others as proof. It is our attitude, actions, language and behavior with others in real life.!Stay blessed!

Source:Unknown  

Temples of Pattadakal: ‘Enchanting Beauty and Magnificence’

Pattadakal is located on the left bank of the Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district and is 22 km from Badami, 10kms from Aihole and 400kms from Hyderabad. It was once the capital of the Chalukya dynasty of Karnataka between the 7th and 8th centuries is the cluster of ten beautifully carved temples which represents the high point of an eclectic art which achieved a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern(Nagara) and southern(Dravidian) India.UNESCO in 1987 included Pattadakal in its list of World Heritage sites.

Sunset at pattadakal

Beautiful Sunset at the Pattadakal group of Monuments.

The sculptural art of these temples is marked by classiness of the Chalukyan dynasty. Pattadakal emerges as a heavenly site with its superb architectural marvels in a picture-perfect lane.

An impressive series of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary, can be seen there. One masterpiece from the group stands out – the Temple of Virupaksha.

Pattadakal group of temples (8)

Sangameshwara temple, Papanatha temple and Virupaksha temple Complex, Pattadakal.

Chalukyan rulers are great patrons because of them, their artisans did experiments and innovated a new dimension in temple architecture. . It is in their period that transition from rock-cut medium to structural temples took place.

Pattadakal painting

Artist at work, Pattadakal, Karnataka.

Out of all, four temples are built in Dravidian style, four in Nagara style and Papanatha Temple illustrates a perfect blend of both styles of architecture.The important ones are discussed below in detail.

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha temple is the largest and grandest of all temples in Pattadakal built in 8th Century, built by Queen Lokamahadevi (Trilokya mahadevi)in 745 to commemorate her husband’s victory (Vikramaditya II) over the Pallavas of Kanchi. This temple has a sanctum, an inner passage, pillared navaranga and triple entrances from the north, east and the south porches. It has a massive gateway in front from the east and a small gate behind. There are inscriptions and imposing stone carved figures inside the stone mantapa. It has a beautiful Nandi Mandapam with a large Nandi statue gazing in the direction of the Lord. The Kailasanatha temple at Ellora was built based on the model of Virupaksha temple.

Pattadakal Virupaksha temple

Papanatha and Virupaksha temple, Pattadakal.

Mallikarjuna Temple

Mallikarjuna Temple is a smaller version of the Virupaksha temple and was built by Vikramadiyta’s second queen Trilokyamahadevi in 745. This temple is also was constructed by Rani Trilokyamahadevi to celebrate the victory (by Vikramaditya II) over the Pallavas. The Mallikarjuna temple was built immediately after and close to the Virupaksha temple (It has a similar plan), with a 4 storeyed vimana with a circular griva and shikhara. Mallikarjuna temple in Dravidian style. It is in close proximity with the Sanghameshvara temple in design, construction and sculpture, but smaller in size. The porch has a beautiful image of Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu and two female idols. Here are two grand images on both the sides of the entrance to the navaranga. The eighteen pillars of the navaranga have figures pertaining to Ramayana, Mahabharatha and those representing social conditions of those days. On the ceiling are beautiful figures of Gajalakshmi and Shiva-Parvathi with Nandi. On the external walls are sculptures like Shiva, Nandi, Lakulisha, Nataraja, etc.The temple is celebrated for its artistic sculptures.

Papanatha Temple

Papanatha Temple is the only temple that has been designed on both north and south Indian styles of architecture. Containing a Nagara styled Vimanam, the temple dates back to 680 AD. Initially, the construction was started with Nagara style, but later it was switched to Dravidian style. The temple is famous for its sculptures that are imbibed from the scenes of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Pattadakal temples (2)

Papanatha Temple Gopura,Pattadakal.

Jain Temple

This Temple was constructed by the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta. Built in the Dravidian style, the temple comprises really beautiful sculptures. Perhaps, it was erected either by King Amoghavarsha I or his son Krishna II in the 9th century.

Kasivisvesvara temple

It was the last to be built in early Chalukya style. This temple was built by the Rashtrakutas in the 8th century.

Kashi Visveswara temple & Galaganatha temple, Pattadakal.

Kashivisveswara and Galaganatha temples, Pattadakal.

Sangamesvara Temple

Perhaps the oldest temple in the group, Sangameshvara Temple was built by King Vijayaditya Satyashreya during 697 -733 AD. This incomplete temple appeals with its colossal structure.

Pattadakal (2)

Sangameshwara Temple (was called Vijayewara) is The oldest temple in Pattadakal, built by Chalukya King Vijayaditya Satyashraya ( 696-733), it has no sukanasika.

Tips from my perspective:

  • It is open from Sunrise to Sunset.
  • Entrance Fee to the Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) – Rs. 10 per head. Others: US $ 5 or Indian Rs. 250/- per head.
  • There are no Hotels available in Pattadakal. If you are planning to stay, the best option is to go to Badami where you can find a lot of options.
  • Aihole is 10kms and Badami is 22kms away from Pattadakal.

Walking tour around Kalighat Kali temple, Kolkata

Street Vendors across Kalighat kali temple, Kolkata, West Bengal are selling several snack items, fruits, coconuts, beverages and ice cream, along with other non-edible items such as jewellery, clothes, books, paintings and some souvenirs like goddess Kali mata idols etc.,

Kalighat Kali temple, Kolkata, West Bengal (2)

Beautiful souvenirs..

Kalighat Kali temple, Kolkata, West Bengal (3)

Souvenirs which resembles the things which are used for Prayers…

Kalighat Kali temple, Kolkata, West Bengal (5)

Kali Maata & Durga Maata Idols..

Kalighat Kali temple, Kolkata, West Bengal (8)

Commonly known as Water Apple or Java Apple in the rest of the world, Bengal knows this fruit as the good old Jamrul. Much much smaller in size than a pear.

 

 

Happy Birthday to Me & It is my 200th post..

Birthdays are a new start, a fresh beginning, and a time to pursue new endeavors with new goals. Move forward with confidence and courage. I’ll Forget the past; look forward to the future, for the best things yet to come. I want to set the world on fire with my dreams and use the flame to light my birthday candle. I am always grateful to my parents for the gift of my life, without them I might not be here posting this. :p I’m jealous of my parents because I will never have a son so cute as they have. Happy birthday to me!

Don’t listen to people who tell you how to live life, live your life in your own way.Be your own judge, no one else can criticize you better than yourself. ‘Life is short my dear friends try to Live as if today is your last day. My best wishes to all those who are born on this auspicious day ‘May 15’.

Yayyie!! 200 it is..

“My Blog, June 18, 2011 was when I published my first article on this blog…”

It’s been 1793 days. This equals to 4 years, 10 months, and 27 days…

It reached a new milestone today.  I am publishing my 200th post on this blog, which makes this day very special as it is my birthday too. When I started this blog I was very new to this world. Most of my friends were not positive as they believe it kills most of my free time which is hard to get as most of time was then fully occupied as I was perusing my medicine. But my passion towards blogging made me to start it anyway. Every word in my blog, I wrote with the breathings of my dreams & beatings of my heart. As years passed still I carry the same passion towards my writings..

Well whenever people ask me about my experience on my bloggins.. This is what I would share.

What did I learnt from blogging? I have started seeing every aspect of life positively which indeed helped me in growing matured and happier day by day. I started seeing positivity from my failures too. This was major transformation in my thinking process.

My travelogue

This is my first travelogue of my journey to Hong kong in 2009.

What do I write about? I generally write about my experiences, my travels, Photography, Health tips, Foods, Historical temples & architectural extravaganzas. While writing my blog, I would try to make it precise, effective and content oriented. Though I am not a professional blogger I’ll try to inspire my followers with my words as best as I can.

Through this incredible & beautiful journey, I have improved My Writing skills & the way I see and present my experiences is getting better & better day by day.

Blogging has now become an integral part of my life, you can guess my excitement while writing this post..On this awesome moment, I would like to thank you all for the encouragement and support for all these years to drive my amazing passion.

200 posts down, many more to go………..

Bhutan Diaries: Punakha Dzong ~’The Palace of Great Bliss’

After two days of wonderful cultural experience, we’ve left the Capital city of Thimphu and headed to the scenic Punakha Valley. On the way to Punakha, we passed by Dochu La Pass about forty-five minutes outside of Thimpu which is at 3000 meters above sea level is overlooking the mighty Himalayas.At one of the viewing points, 108 stupas (chortens) were constructed as a memorial built by the queen, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, to honor the victory of the Bhutanese army in the 2003 war of Southern Bhutan.

From the high pass of Dochu La, the mountain road descended into the serene countryside of Punakha Valley which is beautifully landscaped with the dense forests. The highlight of our journey to Punakha is a visit to its majestic Dzong (means fortress and is the administrative and monastic center of this town). It is also called as ‘Punthang Dechen Phodrang’ (The Palace of Great Bliss), Punakha Dzong is beautifully situated between the convergence of Phochu and Mochu Rivers ( ‘male’ and ‘female’ rivers),  It is said to be the most magnificent of all the fortresses in Bhutan.

Punakha Dzong (18)

The Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong.

Built by Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, in 1637 and completed in one year. Punakha Dzong served as the capital and seat of government of Bhutan before it was moved to Thimphu in 1955. It was expanded in 1639 to celebrate victory over invading Tibetan army. Frequent fires, glacial burst and an earthquake damaged the dzong and it has since been repaired and restored. Today, it houses the administrative and judicial offices of Punakha District.

Punakha Dzong (5)

People were feeding the fishes in the river with biscuits & some grains.

The dzong has three courtyards. The first courtyard is for administrative functions and houses a huge chorten with a Bodhi tree. The second courtyard houses the monastic quarters. The third courtyard has the main temple. Entering into this temple was like entering into another world. The door was opened for us, and as we stepped in, the grand interiors of the temple seemed mesmerizing with exquisite wall murals depicting the life of Sakyamuni Buddha. Sacred remains and relics are placed in a closed room inside the temple and only the two guardian Lamas, the King and the chief Abbot or Je Khenpo may enter the room it seems.

Unfortunately, photography in the interior of the temple is prohibited. This Dzong is a perfect example of the traditional Bhutanese architecture. Then we got out at 5pm by spinning the last prayer wheel at the Punakha monastery and left the place by wishing to visit again.

Info-tips from my perspective:

  1. A special permit is required for all the foreign nationals in order to visit Punakha or any place other than Thimphu & Paro.
  2. There are some road restrictions due to the new construction of roads they’ll only open the gates for every 2 hours and not more than 15mins. And is entry of Punakha is prohibited after 6pm until the construction is finished.
  3. The Royal wedding of the Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, and his fiancée, Jetsun Pema, was held at the Punakha Dzong on 13 October 2011.

Happy Mother’s Day: Story & Quotes

To the best mother in the universe: Happy Mother’s Day! You deserve all the love, care and support that you’ve lovingly given every day of my life. I love you!

A Small Motivational Story for all of you: Paid in Full

A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper, and handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his Mom dried her hands on an apron, she read it, and this is what it said:

For cutting the grass: $5.00

For cleaning up my room this week: $1.00

For going to the store for you: $.50

Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $.25

Taking out the garbage: $1.00

For getting a good report card: $5.00

For cleaning up and raking the yard: $2.00

Total owed: $14.75

Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper he’d written on, and this is what she wrote:

For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me: No Charge

For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you: No Charge

For all the trying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years: No Charge

For all the nights that were filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead: No Charge

For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose: No Charge

Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge.

When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight at his mother and said, “Mom, I sure do love you.” And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: “PAID IN FULL”.

Lessons: You will never know your parents worth till you become a parent. Be a giver  not an acquirer, especially with your parents. there is a lot to give, besides money. BECAUSE  MONEY IS THE WORST WAYOF MEASURING HAPPINESS…

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That was on my 5th birthday!! Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful Mothers out there.

Some of my favourite quotes on Mother:

  • “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” — Abraham Lincoln

  • “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” — Jill Churchill

  • “Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.” — George Eliot

  • “Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” — Robert Browning

  • “Men are what their mothers made them.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • They are not kidding when they say that mothers are strong women. We need to be strong in more ways than our children will ever know.” — M.B. Antevasin

  • “There is only one pretty child in the world and every mother has it !” – Chinese Proverb

Saturday Story: Cockroach Theory for Self development

A beautiful speech by Sundar Pichai – an IIT-MIT Alumnus and Global Head Google Chrome: The cockroach theory for self development..

At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach.

Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky. The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but …it landed on another lady in the group. Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt.

When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant. Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior?

If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?

He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos. It is not the cockroach, but the inability of those people to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach, that disturbed the ladies. I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it’s my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me. It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me. More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.

Lessons learnt from the story: I understood, I should not react in life. I should always respond. The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded. Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of. A beautiful way to understand LIFE. Person who is HAPPY is not because Everything is RIGHT in his Life.. He is HAPPY because his Attitude towards Everything in his Life is Right..!!

Source:Google

Wedding Diaries of My Brother: Sangeet Trailer

Everyone thinks about serious rituals and customs when it comes to an Indian Wedding. Yes, of course it is filled with so many rituals, customs and traditions. In addition to that there are also several fun filled activities involved. Though people in India regard marriage more as a religious affair, the elements of fun and frolic are also added into it, to make this emotional affair, somewhat light and amusing. Sangeet is designed in such a way that all the guests attending the event will be entertained. All the pre wedding ceremonies, haldi, sangeet and mehendi are filled with entertainment. Sangeet is all about dance and music. It is one of the most enjoyable ceremonies before the wedding. Sangeet ceremony is held few days before mehendi ceremony and comes as a time for joy and fun amidst the hectic hustling bustling activities before marriage.

My elder brother’s wedding celebrations started on 26th March and it was a 5 day event. Well!! How did we celebrate Sangeet? There were about 22 Performances with 81 Performers which includes Mythological(Mahabharata) Skits. 60+ Gents and under 16 girls competition, Dubsmashes, Ghazals, shaheri, Video Wishes, Speeches and the electrifying DJ…

Sangeet selfie

A selfie with all the performers ..

You can feel the fun & joy of the event in this trailer.. Please do watch it..!

Aihole: The Cradle of the Ancient Hindu Temple Architecture

Aihoḷe is a small village in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka and located 400 kms from Hyderabad. It is known for Chalukyan architecture, with about 125 stone temples dating from 5th century CE. It was the cradle of ancient Hindu temple architecture. Experimentation with styles was undertaken by the artisans of Chalukyan Empire. The artisans worked on the rocks to create the earliest rock-cut shrines. The artisans graduated to the full-fledged Chalukya style of architecture. The early Chalukyas inherited architectural styles largely from their neighbors to the north and south of their kingdom.Iphone aihole (23)

After visiting all the must see places in Bijapur. We started to Aihole which was 110kms from Bijapur(via Nh 133/SH66) road till Ameengal was good and the last 10kms stretch was not drive friendly. Within an hour and so we’ve reached our first destination. We got surprised by seeing flocks of tourists. Then we realised that it was Sankranti/pongal (An Indian festival) Holiday season.Iphone aihole (16)

The prominent temple groups at Aihole are the Kontigudi group and the Galaganatha group of temples, although historians have divided all the temples into 22 groups. Three temples are referred to as the ‘Kontigudi group of temples’. One of these is the Lad Khan temple (the oldest at Aihole is the Lad khan temple dating back to the fifth century, named after a mendicant that lived in this temple in the 19th century, another the Huchiappayyagudi temple and the Huchiappayya math.

Durga temple: With a Curvilinear Shikhara

It is the best known of the Aihole temples and is just along the entrance to the temple complex. It is apsidal in plan, along the lines of a Buddhist chaitya, a high moulded adisthana and a tower – curvilinear shikhara. A pillared corridor runs around the temple, enveloping the shrine, the mukhamantapa and the sabhamantapa. All through the temple, there are beautiful carvings. The temple appears to be of the late 7th or early 8th century.

Lad Khan Temple consists of a shrine with two mantapas in front of it. The shrine bears a Shivalingam. The mukha mantapa in front of the sanctum has a set of 12 carved pillars. The sabhamantapa in front of the mukha mantapa has pillars arranged in such a manner as to form two concentric squares. There are also stone grids on the wall carrying floral designs. The temple was built by the Chalukya kings in the 5th century. Ladkhan Temple is to the south of the Durga temple are the temples of this group. The Ladkhan temple, so named, as a general of the name had lived here, consists of a square mantapa, a mukha mantapa and the sanctum, built against the backwall. The central square has a flat roof. In the centre Nandi is installed, and just above Nandi, there is a damaged nagara shikhara, appearing to be a later addition. The period of this structure is about 450 A.D.

We had a quick tour of all the other prominent temples of Aihole which includes Suryanarayana temple, Triyambakeshvara Group, Gowda temple, Huchimalli (gudi) temple,  Kontigudi group of temples, Rachi gudi, Gaudara gudi, Badigere, Huchappayya (gudi) temple & Museum. Because of a huge number of tourist we skipped some of the other prominent temples like Ravanaphudi temple and meguti jain temple. I made my mind at that moment that I am not done with Aihole yet. 😛

All the temple complexes have different style of construction that indeed indicates that Aihole was the place for early experiments in Chalukyan style of Architecture. This place simply took us back into the time. Aihole is not in the list of UNESCO World heritage places. It has a great potential to be included as a UNESCO World heritage site. Then we left to Pattadakal(Yet to post) which was 11kms from Aihole.

Bhutan Diaries: Tashi Delek Thimphu

It all started from having an intense plan and huge back packing of 20-25 days which included a good part of North India , a long sojourn in the Northeast India but for all of us the most exciting part was to explore “Bhutan: The Land of thunder Dragons” as it is fondly called and the dice were rolled out. Highly planned and most exciting part of our journey started on the third week of March 2015.

We took a flight from Delhi to Bagdogra in West Bengal as it is the most preferred way to reach Bhutan for Indians. Our first stopover was at the queen of hill stations called Darjeeling which was roughly 80 KM and a 3 hour drive from Bagdogra Airport. Then After reaching Darjeeling(Click here to read my posts on Darjeeling & Street foods of Darjeeling) we visited some of the must see places there and the next morning we planned to leave for Jaigaon/ Phuentsholing ,which is the gateway town to enter Bhutan.

Day 02: Darjeeling to jaigaon is a 5 hour drive about 200KM going through NH31 and overlooking the beautiful Teesta River for a part of the drive. A permit is mandatory to enter into Bhutan for Indian/Chinese citizens for others it is the routine visa procedure and they have to pay some royalty fee to the government. We had to make sure that we reach Jaigaon before 10AM as the permit office in Phuentsholing closes at 11AM and the driver was just the right guy for the task taken straight out of a fast and furious movie. We reached the Jaigaon border town around 9:40 AM then we crossed the border by foot and entered into Bhutan(Phuentsholing) then at the customs office we applied for our Bhutan permits.

We got the permit in an hour, had breakfast in a local restaurant and exchanged our Indian rupee and got some Bhutanese currency NU (Indian Rupees also works in Bhutan) and a local Tashi cell SIM card as Indian networks will not be working here and we were set for the capital city Thimphu while one of my friend GK still struggling to find the difference between Bhutan and Taiwan.:P We reserved a 6 seater taxi for Thimphu from the local taxi stand for 3500INR.Thimphu is 174 KM from Phuentsholing, a 5 hour drive from a risky yet beautiful road carved out of Mountains. As we enter the serene environment of Bhutan we are greeted with a cold breeze and a peaceful noise of the surroundings. We felt like we are in for something soothing and also exhilarating.

The highway to heaven as it is called was a masterpiece by the creator and also by the Bhutanese government as the road is neatly carved out between mountains and makes for a decent yet risky ride, surrounding the nature. The weather was pleasant and the air was so soothing, That is one of the reasons why Bhutan is called as the most peaceful & Happiest country in South Asia. As we were having this discussion the driver proved it right by revealing that he has been happily married for almost 15 years with two wives, living with both of them under one roof for these many years which was something astonishing for all of us. It is more of a tradition in Bhutan and there are many such examples.

Tashi Delek-Thimphu:

We entered Thimphu city after a 5 hour drive and what we saw was large houses with similar Bhutanese/Tibetan Architecture , clean roads, probably the cleanest we have seen.

The city had a very calm yet happening vibe. We had to complete a tough task of finding cheap and best hotels in the vicinity called as the clock tower. We found one called as tashi delek which was 950 INR per room. Please note that there are hardly any hotels offering rooms at ground/first floor and you will have to to shell out a lot more to get a room on lower floors.However we got one on the third floor and it was a never ending climb to the third floor after an almost 400 KMs long cross country drive.

Clocktower square thimphu  (5)

The capital with no Traffic lights..

Next Day of the plan was to explore the every nook and corner of Thimphu. Basically to know about the traditions and culture that represents this beautiful country. Thimphu, as I mentioned is the most populous city in Bhutan which also means that there were enough people to interact. The men were extremely welcoming, the women equally beautiful. Karthik already began to work his charm, while lalla was still finding ways to start a conversation 😛 We took two local taxi’s as all taxi’s in Thimphu city are only small 4 seaters and we were 5 and we first went to the national library of Bhutan.

We’ve no idea that it is closed on weekends. So we just clicked pictures from the outside and moved to Zorig chusum, a government backed institute in providing education in embroidery, sculpture, painting, weaving, carving, etc to aspiring students to provide them with skills to boost their employment opportunities in the future.The school had an annual orientation going on as it was good to see an assembly of school kids after we were last part of it a decade back. Wow!!A decade!! i just realized. Time flies.

Closer to the school was National folk heritage museum which was an exhibition of the heritage of Bhutan, Also depicting how ancient Bhutanese used to live. We were out after a short visit to the place, which was an education of Bhutanese history, culture and traditions and took a taxi to the most famous tourist place of Thimphu called National memorial chorten. Believed to be built in memory of the former Queen’s brother the place is right in the center of the city and is mostly visited by old monks for their prayers and to relax.

Little did we knew, that the next place we were going to was this spectacular. It was the giant buddha dordenma golden statue, which is not yet completed from the inside. Upon completion this will be one of the largest buddha statues in the world.

Geographically it is perfectly located. The statue will be visible from a very long distance as we can see the Buddha shining in gold and also overlooking the whole city of thimphu from the top of the cliff. The place is hugely spacious and also windy and we moved on to spend some quality time at the place.

Thimphu city overview (4)

Thimphu City view..

If you go to a different country make sure you see its animal species.That is what we did next.The takin preserve was the place which houses the national animal of Bhutan, Takin. You can see a lot of them here and you can cover this place in quick time as it is only a conservatory for Takins.

Then we paid our visit to a small Buddhist monastery called Zilukha nunnery.The nunnery is located in Zilukha, Thimphu overlooking Tashichodzong and is a few minutes drive from Zoo.t was built in 1976 by the 16th emanation of Thangtong Gyalpo, Drubthob Rikey Jadrel. Currently, the nunnery is home to about 60 nuns.

 

After the whirlwind tour of these places without a break , we had to do the most important part of the day, FOOD!!!! And what better than some local Bhutanese food. We went to a restaurant called as “Ama” on the same street of our hotel as ordered Thupka, kewa datshi, Ema datshi, Thai rice, Chicken chilly, Veg crispy, Veg fried rice. (To know more about food click here..) All this for an astonishing N.U 900. That was the best part of Bhutan, It doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket when it comes to food. We spent the rest of the evening wandering on the streets of thimphu.

Thimphu city (3)

Tashichoedzong_fortress of the auspicious religion. This Dzong is the seat of government.

While GK and lalla were at their usual “loving” antics and a couple of us decided to hit a local hangout spot called vivacity and then back to the hotel as we had to be early for a long yet exciting, exhilarating, extravagant day of exploring waiting for us tomorrow.

Next day morning we had a walking tour of the city and had fun meeting new people there. Then I went to watch a competition on the archery field. Archery is Bhutan’s national sport and is played all year round. 2 painted targets 30cm large and 120cm high are placed at each end. The bows and arrows are made of special kind of bamboo, the target is 120 metre away. Team members encourage their archer on the other side of the field. They stand really close from the target. Each team usually consist of 11 members. The first team to reach 33 points wins the match. The method of scoring is complicated as if an arrow lands within an arrow’s length of the target even without hitting it, it also counts. Every time an archer hits the target his team members will perform a kind of victory dance on the field. It was very entertaining as all players were wearing the Gho, the national costume.

We almost killed the day just by exploring the city by walk and getting familiar with the buses, culture and meeting new people and also paid our visit to Postoffice at last we went to the weekend market. We were in Thimphu for 5 days and every day we used to discover new things about this lovely city.

TIPS from my perspective:

  • Please make sure you carry your passport/original voter Id, driving license, two passport size photographs along with you to apply for a permit.
  • I would suggest to take a hotel near Clock tower square.
  • National Folk Heritage Museum is open from Mon to Friday 10:30am to 4:30 pm Saturday: 10:30am to 1pm and on Sunday 11:30am to 3:30pm. Entrance fee is 150N.u
  • Don’t miss Buddha dordenma, Zoo & National Memorial Chorten.
  • If you want to experience nightlife of Thimphu, I would suggest you to go Vivo city.