The majesty of the snow-laden Himalayan mountains, rising abruptly from the plains of the Indian subcontinent is a sight beyond comparison.
Bhutan is situated in the Eastern Himalayas to the east of Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim and to the south of the autonomous region of Tibet. When you fly into Bhutan on a clear day from Delhi and Kathmandu, you will see 8 of the 14 highest mountains of the world, including Mt Everest, as well as a range of impressive Bhutanese peaks to the east. Silence besets the passengers on the Druk Air flight as they experience the awe-inspiring approach to Paro airport.
On a Bhutan trek, views of mountain ranges soaring to above 7000m are enjoyed in all their splendor – the lofty Jumolhari (7314m), the pointed Jichu Drakey (6794m), Thsering-Gang (6789m), Masang-Gang (7149m), Gangkhar Puensum (7239m) and many others.
Most of the trekking routes in Bhutan are in the central and northern areas, known as the Higher Himalaya. Trekkers start from altitudes of around 2400m and cross passes as high as 6000m. The lower altitude winter trekking routes that range between 1300m and 1800m enable the less hardy trekker to enjoy the beauty of a semi-tropical and tropical climate.
All the treks are a paradise for lovers of flora, fauna and photography. Bhutan has close to 700 species of birds. Of these, 24 are registered as endangered species. There are 46 species of rhododendron with at least 4 found only in Bhutan. The Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, Golden Langur and Takin are some of the rare animals that can be found in Bhutan.
The trekker will often feel transported a hundred years or more back into the past. The way of life in the countryside has changed little: subsistence farming is the norm in Bhutan and the culture is strongly influenced by Mahayana Buddhism and the rigours of living in the mountains. However, there are many anachronisms that pleasantly remind us of the present, one of them being the eloquent English skills of even the smallest primary school children who will greet you with “Hello sir, hello madam” as you approach their village.
We have a range of trekking routes suitable for the first timers, the adventurous and the hard core trekkers. Take your pick!
Best Season: Nov – Feb Low Altitude Treks (Grade 1 – 2)
Best Season: Mar – Jun (for alpine flowers) & Sep – Nov Medium Altitude Trek (Grade 2 – 3)
Best Season: Mar – Jun and Sep – OctHigh Altitude Treks (Grade 4)
For more info, visit www.nepalexplore.com.