The beauty of the Land of the Thunder Dragon or Bhutan can’t be put into words. Nestled amidst the Himalayas, this tiny hill country seems to have mastered time. It still lies cocooned in the comforts of the past, while embracing only the best of modernism and discarding the rest. Gross Domestic Produce takes a backseat to Gross National Happiness. Traditions are fiercely guarded and the claws of excessive commercialisation or so-called development are kept at bay. The dense jungles, gigantic mountain passes, verdant valleys, endearing little hamlets, rolling farmlands and rice-terraced hill slopes make the heart sing with joy. The landscape is punctuated by dzongs (fortresses), chortens (shrines) and other captivating bits of local architecture. Just one of the many such sights is the Tiger’s Nest – this white-washed monastery perilously clings to a rock face at a vertiginous height overlooking deep yawning valleys.
10⁰C – 30⁰C
May and June
Like other seasons, summer touches different parts of the country in different ways. In Southern Bhutan, temperatures may cross 30⁰ C, while in the mountain regions, the temperatures may not even exceed 10⁰ C. Similarly, the east is warmer than the west. Having said that, let’s also tell you that the monsoons tend to overlap with the summer month of June and bring down temperatures. Overall, the summer season is a wonderful time to tour Bhutan.
8⁰C – 16 ⁰C
December, January and February
The cool sunny days are perfect for exploring the outdoors. As the east-west highway is largely snowbound during winter, it’s a great time to visit the western districts of Paro, Wangdue, Punakha, Thimphu and Haa. Winter is also perhaps the best time to visit the beautiful Gangtey (Phobjikha) valley and take in the sight of the expansive rolling plain dotted with bamboo shrubs. The graceful Black-Necked Cranes fly in from the Tibetan plateau to roost in the plain and offer you splendid opportunities for wildlife photography. One also gets the chance to take in some of the best views of Gangkar Puensum, Bhutan’s highest mountain peak, as the skies are bright and sunny. Make sure that you stop at Dochula Pass on your way to Punkaha to enjoy these views.