Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Drugyeldzong is the ruins of a once critically important fortress located at the bottom of a valley accessing a pass into China. This place was responsible for defending the country against multiple attacks from Tibet. Some minor attempts have been made at restoration but the government so far has not endorsed such efforts. 

Some mountains in the upper Paro valley

 Cantilever bridge over a river in Punakha. I'm not entirely sure how these bridges are anchored but they have stood the test of time and certainly are beautiful.

 Considered one of the more beautiful "dzongs" in the country, this place is enormous, gorgeous and impossible to portray adequately photographically. The king spends Winter's here and Summer's in Thimphu. I visited on the anniversary of the second Buddha's birthday (Guru Rinpoche). A special day and the dzong was active with ceremonies. Monks were chanting and praying, playing traditional horns and delivering holy water. One is expected to make donations at the alters. Interesting, next to the bowl filled with money were piles of junk food. Dozens of bags of various varieties of chips, candy bars and chocolates. Who eats this stuff? The monks would all be sick and edentulous. I was allowed in to all places but one which apparently houses some particulary special statue and no foreigners are allowed. I guess dressing in the Bhutanese national outfit didn't fool the guards. Just because my skin is a little lighter than theirs. Oh well, on to the next attraction.

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