A travel company with a difference. Bhutan Eka Tours designs your kingdom adventure with careful attention to every aspect of your trip's itinerary and accomodations. With our expert guides at your side, you will experience the amazing sites, sounds, and people of our enchanted kingdom.
Bhutan Eka Tours specializes in almost all sector of tourism in Bhutan like Trekking, Cultural, Festival, Legendary tours and many more with years of experience and has been developing on it to provide the best to our travellers.
Customised festival tours to enable you to experience it up & close and in depth & color the festivals of Bhutan.
Diverse variety of textiles of Bhutan is gaining lot of international attention and we provide exclusive textile tours
Bhutan is a paradise for photography enthusiasts when it comes to street photography or wildlife, landscape or nature
Capturing Bhutan in a nutshell
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten stands on a beautiful ridge above the Punakha Valley. Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, built it. It took nine years to build, and it is a fine example of Bhutanese architecture and artistic traditions. This temple has been dedicated to the wellbeing of the kingdom, its people, and all sentient beings.
Chimi Lhakhang can be also regarded as temple of fertility, where couples are blessed with child. People also visit this place to remember how Diving Madman subdued the demon of Dochula by using his flaming vajara. Lama Drukpa Kinley (1455-1529) is regarded as Madman, as his teaching was very unorthodox, with outrageous behavior, indulging in alcohol, women and hunting. Drukpa Kinley is regarded as one highest saddhi parallel to Jetsun Milarepa, where both of them were able to deify the law of nature by understanding the nature in their true sense. His brother Ngawang Choegyal built Chimi Lhakhang in 1499, after Divine Madman blessed the site.
Tango Monastery is unlike any monasteries in Bhutan, its here where masters of Buddhist teaching are trained. Only the top most monks across the country get an opportunity to pursue their higher education in Buddhist philosophy out here. It is considered as one of best Buddhist University in Drukpa Kaygue sects in the world. Some of the most noted student of this monastery is Galyse Tenzin Rabgay (the seventh reincarnation of fourth Druk Desi) His Eminence Galwang Dokhampa and Thuksey Rinpoche, the spiritual sons of Galwang Drukpa Rinpoche. The monastery is around forty minutes walk from the nearest and it was built in 18th century by forth Druk Desi (the temporal ruler of Bhutan from 1680-1694).
Jetsün Milarepa (1052-1135) is one of the greatest Tibetan Dupthop (Siddhi). He comes from school of Kargyutpa (The Oral Transmission), from which the state religion of Bhutan originated. Milarepa was born to Mila Sherab Gyelthsen and Karmo Kyen, in village name Kyanga Tsa under province of Gungthang in Tibet. Milerapa is well known in all the sects of Tibetan Buddhism for committing sins through sorcerer and overcoming all his sins by following the path of Buddha under Marpa Lotsawa. It’s under Marpa the Translator that he was made to build nine stories high temple to overcome his sins. In Bhutan he is revered as greatest yogi ever to visit the country. To honor his contribution to the Buddha Dharma, a meditation act is displayed in Dochula festival during the month of December.
Fortress of the Glorious Religion is the capital building of Bhutan. Each year during the month of September, people all across the western valley gather at Trashi Chhoe Dzong to witness the tree day tshechu (religious festival with mask dance). The Dzong is also the place of king’s throne room and Central Monastery Body’s summer capital. The initial phase of Dzong construction took place in early 13th century under the leadership of Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa. Chhogyal Sherab Wangchuk further enlarged the Dzong in 18th century to accommodate civil official and monk. Today, Trashi Chhoe Dzong is surrounded by three branches of government, judiciary to the north, executive and legislature to the east.
Pungthang Dechen Phodrang or Punakha Dzong as it is popularly known is one of the most iconic fortresses in the Kingdom. The Dzong is built at the confluence of Mo Chu and Pho Chhu. Punakah Dzong is one of few Dzongs that Shabdrung have built himself. Ever since it’s completion (1638), the Dzong withstood as most important place in Bhutan, both in terms of political and religious affairs. It is here that the Bhutanese democracy has its roots, with establishment of dual system of governance (1650) and democratisation of Bhutan with convened of National Assembly in 1952. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan from 1638 till 1962, when the capital was moved to Thimphu, during the reign of Third King. Even today, The Kings of Bhutan have to receive five color scarfs from this Dzong, before they are enthroned.
Men and women sing together or separately, and most of the time, songs are accompanied by dances where both men and women take part, either forming a line or a circle. The choreography is usually quite simple although some of the steps can be tricky like sidesteps and tap dance – like steps. Graceful arm and hand gestures complement the steps while the body usually remains upright.
Atsara, besides unlimited humor, also represents the learned and the saintly beings. Atsara enjoys the liberty to taunt and joke around with the devotees gathered at the Tshechu.
Tshechus are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. . In addition to the mask dances, tshechus also include colorful Bhutanese dances and other forms of entertainment. It is believed that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once to in order to receive blessings and wash away their sins. Every mask dance performed during a Tshechu has a special meaning or a story behind it, and many are based on incidents from as long ago as the 8th century, during the life of Guru Padmasambhava. In monasteries the mask dances are performed by monks, and in remote villages they are performed jointly by monks and village men.
A massive statue of Shakyamuni measures in at a height of 51.5 meters, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world in seating posture. It is located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and overlooks the southern entrance to Thimphu Valley.
Archery was declared the national sport in 1971, when Bhutan became a member of the United Nations. Since then, the popularity of Bhutanese archery has steadily increased as a result of ongoing government promotion and the country's passion for the sport.Bhutan proudly maintains an Olympic archery team.
Trekking in Bhutan are generally categorize in two groups, cultural trek and natural trekking. Both the treks offer a visitor to discovery Bhutan in their own sense, for culture enthuse, this treks gives visitor a true sense of Bhutanese culture, identity and it’s beliefs in it’s true form. For the nature fan, you are in right country, as Bhutan has lots to offer, with breathtaking views, to most pristine environment, from flora and fauna, to most varieties of birds and wild animals. Trekking in Bhutan offer, a unique kind of experience, as you pass through different layer of environment within couple of hours, from sub-tropical to alpine. The most popular trekking route is Drukpath, Chomolhari, Laya & Lingshi and Snow Man Trek.
Bhutan Eka Tours was founded by a group of travel management professionals who believe in pursuing excellence in every detail of each tour. Our goal is to provide our clients with an extraordinary travel experience, a unique and memorable journey inside our truly inspiring country.
Trout Among Dragons
A father-son adventure in Bhutan delivers lasting memories. The air buzzed as a steady wind whipped hundreds of Buddhist prayer flags embossed with Tibetan script strung by faithful pilgrims across 13,000-foot Chelela Pass. After nearly two hours in the car, climbing slowly through evergreen forests and rhododendron groves along the twisted highway from Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan, my 78-year-old father and I needed this break. Coming switchbacks led to the Haa Valley, an unlikely destination for the few anglers in South Asia who have a notion to cast to the wild brown trout in nearby streams. Dad and I had just spent a week watching birds and visiting temples in central Bhutan with my wife and daughter. I had already seen fish rising a few times but had not wet a line. With a little luck, that was about to change. In Bhutan, a nation the size of Switzerland, a policy of Gross National Happiness includes protecting quality fishing opportunities. Prayer flags wave in the mountain breeze above Bhutan’s Chelela Pass. Local guide Ratu Drukpa fishes the Haa River. < > Hidden beyond the natural fortress of the world’s highest mountains, Bhutan boasts a breathtaking nickname, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, and even visitors who can handle the altitude will find their pulse quickened by the scenery. Travelers knowledgeable about this landlocked, Switzerland-sized nation perched between China and India often talk about how development-wise tiny Bhutan has embraced eco-friendly Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product. It’s not a perfect system, but elected officials have helped ensure that 70 percent of the nation is still covered by virgin forest, its mountains populated by globally endangered species such as the snow leopard, Bengal tiger, red panda and black-necked crane, a four-foot-tall bird with dramatic black-and-white markings that nests on the Tibetan plateau. Naturally, brown trout are not part of the native mix that makes up these alpine woodlands, but their reliance on cold, clear unpolluted streams means that generations after Salmo trutta were first introduced, trout still thrive in Bhutan. Rumors of these fish set me scheming in 2015 when my wife, Christina, and I first hatched the plan of a multi-generational overseas voyage with our daughter and her grandfather. In the decades since Dad introduced me to the pastime of flyfishing, I have spent a substantial portion of my adult life globetrotting with various travel rods and tackle in my kit— finding productive waters in Kashmir and other corners of India. After we enjoyed a temple festival celebrating the cranes, I hoped to enjoy some father-son bonding on the Haa River, which traces a narrow path across western Bhutan. Benjamin Oko trout fishing in Bhutan The author’s father, Dr. Benjamin Oko, readies his gear along the banks of the Haa River. We had dropped Christina and my daughter, Ursula, in the capital city of Thimpu, which has less than a million residents and no traffic lights. Christina’s career as a documentary linguist first led us to the Himalayas, and she now stayed in the city to conduct academic research. With silky clouds stretched across the gunmetal sky, our guide, Ratu Drukpa, encouraged Dad and me to return to the car for our descent from Chelela Pass. I had met Ratu on a previous adventure, trekking to remote villages in Bhutan’s southern highlands, where we encountered the rare golden macaque monkey. Having shown me iPhone pictures of a couple of beefy two-pound rainbows landed on a glacier-fed Punakha River, Ratu tipped me off to the Haa—explaining that fishing permits would be easier to get for the remote area. Rolling down toward the rustic guesthouse where we would stay two nights, the swift Haa appeared bounded by woodlands and terraced rice fields. Dark pools and sparkling riffles whetted my optimism as did several easy access points; my father remained an intrepid soul in the twilight of his 70s, but his agility was fading. With daylight fading as well, we made a brief stop at the local fish hatchery where rainbow trout are reared as part of an aquaculture program in the Haa district. As explained to us, some farmers divert water from area streams into fish ponds they maintain as an easy source of protein in these secluded hills. Bhutan however prohibits the release of rainbows into the same waters as the brown trout. The brown trout have had friends in high places since they were introduced by the hereditary monarch King Jingme Wanchuck in the 1930s, borrowing seed stock from India next door. The British held India as a colony through World War II, but Bhutan— as locals proudly remind tourists—had never been taken over by a foreign ruler. Despite their foreign provenance, the feisty brown trout, originally protected by royal caveat, now struck me as stand-ins for our small, fiercely independent host nation. Not that a leaping rainbow would have disappointed, but in the shadows of massive peaks that many Buddhists still view as heaven on earth, I could not escape a deeply idiosyncratic impulse to target wild, naturally propagating fish. After all, if I wanted to cast to streams stocked with rainbows, I could have flown to Colorado. Following dinner and a detour to dreamland, in the morning we headed out to fish a quiet stretch maybe five miles up the road from the hotel, past a big military training center with a helipad and some patriotic paintings along the roadside. The river was too low for a float, so I unfurled my waders while Dad changed into some quick-drying pants. It was a cool morning, and the fact remained that, although my father still gets around, he didn’t want to wade in too deep. Ratu, who had been dressed like most Bhutanese in a traditional kimono-style robe called a gho, likewise had turned up at our door in sturdy outdoor gear and hiking boots. As the golden orb of the sun pressed over the high ridge to the east, we strung our rods. My dad carried the trusty bamboo, 7-footer that has been his main rod for decades across trips to Yellowstone and elsewhere. I was armed with a 4-piece, 5-weight Scott that I picked up on eBay for our trip, along with a trusty Abel reel. My flies included terrestrials and small stimulators, and a batch of bead-head nymphs. I headed upstream while Ratu stationed himself along with my dad ahead of a likely looking boulder garden. There was a small bridge across the river beyond, but basically no traffic. Lively Himalayan bulbuls flew by in a noisy flock, black and yellow feathers flashing, as I crept along the bank, noting some microscopic midges floating in the air. The pools swirled dark as though a vial of ink had been poured into the waterway. I laid a size 16 parachute Adams on the surface, it’s tuft bounding along the current, while I awaited a strike . . . that never came. I cast again, twitching the fly, working between noon-and-two on a foreshortened cast to keep the line out of the overhanging brush. Again, I waited. Nothing. Then something. Darting out of the depths, one, then two, three, pan-fish-sized trout followed my feathery offering. Sodden, it sank. I cast again. No takers, but definite interest. I replaced the Adams with a blond caddis and fixed a bead-head hare’s ear, laid the line back on the water, and watched as the caddis dove bobber-like beneath the surface, the nymph doing its trick. With dark spots and a bright yellow belly, I had my first Bhutanese brown, a six-incher, but a trout nonetheless—a reward for the miles traveled. I was able to repeat the process, pulling a 10-incher and an eight-incher from the same hole. I tried dragging a streamer, thinking the hawgs must be deeper. But that didn’t work. Adding a second dropper earned me another smallie. Dad was not having any luck downriver, so we switched spots and allowed the fish to settle back into a feeding rhythm as I rigged a nymph to his line. By now, an old farmer-looking gentleman in a woolen cap had taken a position across the way. At first, I thought he was watching us, but then I noticed he held a rope fixed to a float. Dad caught his first fish, then another— but my attention was now fully on the spectator, who was pulling up a bottle under which swung a twine net, empty for now. The sight solved the koan of why in a neighborhood where religious leaders known as lamas promote compassion and conservation, we could not find trout of decent size. Rather than imitate the Buddha’s path to nirvana by shielding fish from pain, this omnivorous gent had been poaching dinner from the pools below his farm. I left Ratu and my father up by the bridge and started to work my way downstream away from the road to a hairpin in the Haa River where steep granite walls blocked my view of a chasm. A raft of shallow pebbles spanned the section, and I tried throwing a fly back to where the current carved deeper cuts, keeping the line to the inside of some chunky rocks. I snagged a branch, caught another little beauty, and watched in dismay as a school of foot-long something-or-others skimmed across the shallows and out of reach. To follow them required the dexterity of a dancing monk, as I had to climb a shaky logjam to find a decent path. Holding my rod high, I stepped lightly, using a submerged rock as a stair. I didn’t want to take a dunk and didn’t want to end up at the Army Hospital at the nearby base of the Indo-Bhutan mountain troops. But the Land of the Thunder Dragon had another fate in store for me. Suddenly, I felt a loud crack as the makeshift log bridge shattered beneath my boots, and I plunged chest-deep into the drink. Though I made a splash, I was surprised to find myself—and my gear—still intact. Call it instant karma, call it what you will . . . we had been ripping lips for a few hours, but the fishing slowed as lunchtime arrived. The river had delivered enough trout to repay the effort to get there, and my fall struck me as the delivery of a second verdict. Fishing can be a form of meditation, or as I read in the Tibetan Book of the Dead: “When I experience suffering as the result of negative past actions, may the meditational deities dispel all such misery.” In other words, embrace the now. For my father, looking back, the black-necked cranes, rare herons and exotic sights of the holy dzongs of Bhutan, temples where the religious and civic rulers express their devotion, made the biggest impression. This much was apparent as we sat over a quiet dinner at the hotel, and the fishing expedition had been but a modest bonus. For me, though, our journey—from exploring the Himalayas with my daughter, to an anticipated shopping spree in Thimpu on our return—felt like a momentous brass-ring way to seize the day. In turn, catching those wild brown trout offered me the prize of fishing with Dad before the eternal mountains call him away.
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