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Old 27th May 2009, 19:39   #61
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Originally Posted by adc View Post
As I see the road map of Bhutan, very superficially, is it possible to travel to the northern upper Himalayan remote parts by road or only trekking is the possibility out here?
No, there are indeed no roads, except as mentioned by Sudipto. The road beyond Drukyel Dzong (Paro Valley) ends at Gunitsawa, after which the Snowman Trek starts, all the way up to the North and then east.

The road from Punakha goes north upto Damji.
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Old 27th May 2009, 19:40   #62
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Deky
Thanks for your kind words. Makes the effort of working on the pics worth it. By the way, Deky is a typical Bhutanese/Tibetan name. lol
The power situation is pretty good where it is available. But most of the country is still dark. I mean load-shedding is not very common but total absence of electric connection isn't uncommon.
Water operated prayer wheel is nothing but a prayer wheel, that's housed inside the white building and is turned perpetually by water coming down the stream. Stream water hits the wheel and it keeps rotating. This is how wheat is ground into flour as well, in the hills.
To explain it more elaborately, the white temple like building you see in the picture has a big prayer wheel inside that should be turned. In general temples and monasteries people turn those wheels by hand. Here this prayer wheel is standing in a remote location and no one is there to turn it. So what they have done is, they have channelised the stream behind the temple, to come down the narrow channel behind the temple. It's like a pipe that you see behind the temple. Water is flowing down that channel and hitting the base of the wheel, making it go round.
I suppose turbines in hydel power stations also turn by the same principle. It's a very ancient technology that still works.
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Old 27th May 2009, 19:42   #63
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Originally Posted by deky View Post
Hey thoroughly enjoyed reading your travelogue and have rated it 5 stars as it deserves to get.

Tell me, how is the power situation, do they have power all the time, our regular power cuts and all?
I did not see a single part of Bhutan without power (although we have not gone off the main roads). The biggest problem for us was to take photographs without getting the electric wires.

As Sudipto mentioned, Bhutan has ample hydel power, which they export to India, and they appear to have developed their own national transmission network for wiring homes across Bhutan.
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Old 27th May 2009, 20:10   #64
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Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-mochu.jpg

We took some time out of the Punakha town to go upstream along Mochu. This river is highly flood prone and historically has devastated Punakha valley several times. In fact just a week before our arrival there was a mini swelling in the river causing panic across the valley. The glacier above is very erratic and is moving dangerously. It can cause devastation even in India in a few years if the glacier keeps melting at the current rate.

View of the dzong with Mochu

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-dzong.jpg

This bridge (bazam in Dzongkha) is a recent reconstruction by a Swiss firm of the original bridge that was washed out in a flood in 1958

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-bazam.jpg

A small bazaar on the town side of the Mochu
Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-bazaar.jpg

My wife and daughter getting adventurous with Mochu

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-mochu1.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-mochu2.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-mochu3.jpg
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Old 27th May 2009, 20:11   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Deky
Thanks for your kind words. Makes the effort of working on the pics worth it. By the way, Deky is a typical Bhutanese/Tibetan name. lol
The power situation is pretty good where it is available. But most of the country is still dark. I mean load-shedding is not very common but total absence of electric connection isn't uncommon.
Water operated prayer wheel is nothing but a prayer wheel, that's housed inside the white building and is turned perpetually by water coming down the stream. Stream water hits the wheel and it keeps rotating. This is how wheat is ground into flour as well, in the hills.
To explain it more elaborately, the white temple like building you see in the picture has a big prayer wheel inside that should be turned. In general temples and monasteries people turn those wheels by hand. Here this prayer wheel is standing in a remote location and no one is there to turn it. So what they have done is, they have channelised the stream behind the temple, to come down the narrow channel behind the temple. It's like a pipe that you see behind the temple. Water is flowing down that channel and hitting the base of the wheel, making it go round.
I suppose turbines in hydel power stations also turn by the same principle. It's a very ancient technology that still works.
Loved the way you explained...basically the prayer wheel works on hydel power concept.. same concept by means of which ShahRukh Khan Produced electricity in Swades, right?

Last edited by deky : 27th May 2009 at 20:15.
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Old 27th May 2009, 20:18   #66
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same concept by means of which ShahRukh Khan Produced electricity in Swades, right?
I have no clue sir. Totally illeterate about movies. The last Hindi movie I have seen is Lagaan. The one before that I think was Muqaddar ka Sikandar when it was released
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Old 27th May 2009, 20:44   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
I have no clue sir. Totally illeterate about movies. The last Hindi movie I have seen is Lagaan. The one before that I think was Muqaddar ka Sikandar when it was released
Haha, no problem, lets stick to your travelogue, its much better than watching a movie. BTW i liked the last set of pics too.
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Old 27th May 2009, 20:52   #68
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It was difficult saying goodbye to Punakha but we had to. We were going to Paro from here.

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-dzong.jpg


The town of Punakha has been surprisingly spared all development that other towns in Bhutan have seen. All development has happened in this newly cropped up town of Khuruthang a few km before Punakha. This is where we stayed. Hotel Kuenga. There are other luxury resorts in Punakha starting from Rs 1500 but we decided to save some money and stayed in no-frills Kuenga.

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-khuru1.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-khuru2.jpg


The road to Paro from Punakha goes back to Simtokha first and then to Chuzom before turning to Paro.

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-road1.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-road2.jpg

We saw this traditional bridge on the way to Paro. I wonder if this bridge still exists after Aila.

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-zam.jpg
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Old 27th May 2009, 21:26   #69
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Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-paroview.jpg


In Paro we decided to splurge a bit on hotel and chose to stay in Joryang'z. It's a bit outside the main city with a fantastic view of the mountain and the valley. At Rs 1300 it is an absolute steal. The rooms are wood panelled and carpets on the floor. Room heater is a standard equipment. Bathrooms have bathtubs. It's a very pretty little hotel, worth every single rupee. Incidentally, tea per cup costs Rs 15 but we had our own percolator and tea bags

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-jory1.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-jory2.jpg

I regret that due to various reasons I don't have too many good photographs of Paro. I promise to compensate for it during my next trip.

Entry to Paro dzong is again across a bridge.

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-paro.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-parozam1.jpg

These pictures of Taktsang don't do justice to this unique temple in Bhutan. But then a trek to the temple is a day long affair and my child is too young for the arduous trek. So another time Taktsang.

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-takt1.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-takt2.jpg
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Old 27th May 2009, 21:36   #70
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Sudipto, excellent comes to mind!
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Old 27th May 2009, 21:47   #71
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Trashiccchoe Dzong, Thimphu, which houses the Government offices and the Royal Palace.

.....and the views from Drukyel Dzong in Paro Valley, both pictures shot by kesri, during our trip

Attached Images
  

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Old 27th May 2009, 22:04   #72
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@Sudipto: Awesome travelogue.
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Old 27th May 2009, 22:16   #73
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After two days and two nights in Paro we came down straight to the plains and entered Jaldapara Reserve Forest at Madarihat. With Jaldapar so close by, it is pointless staying in Phuntsholling or Jaigaon.
Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-road1.jpg

Here we spent three days and went to every corner of the forests of Jaldapara, Khayerbari, Chilapota and Jainti (under Buxa Tiger Reserve). We had taken a local guide in our car who took us to some of the most exquisite spots inside the forest.

I regret that on the second day in Chilapota a largish shooting boulder hit my silencer and the car started sounding like a scooter without muffler. This was later repaired by a local mistry at Madarihat, who did as decent a job as possible with steel wool and a prayer. However, the damn thing had to be fixed after coming back to Kolkata.

The photographs are mostly self explanatory and hence I am not getting into the captioning mode.

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-bridge.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-leopard.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-flowers.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-river1.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-river2.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-river3.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-elephant.jpg

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-road2.jpg
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Old 27th May 2009, 22:35   #74
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The mysterious forest of Dooars. One of the deepest I have seen in my life

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-lightandshade.jpg


Teetar ke do agey teetar
Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-ghughu1.jpg

Teetar ke do pichhe teetar
Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-ghughu2.jpg

Agey teetar, pichhe teetar
Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-ghughu3.jpg

Our elephant startled this rhino as it was cooling off in a shallow river
Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-rhino2.jpg

He wasn't too happy to be startled but didn't challenge the elephant. Bulk matters in the wild
Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-rhino.jpg
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Old 28th May 2009, 07:46   #75
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Default Breathtaking !!

Sudipto da, I am silently enjoying every moment / pic of this thread. I have been travelling Paro / P'ling / Arunachal / Kibuthu sitting in my bangalore home for the last three days. Ya, I am also going through Kumar's travelogue (and kesri's GHIRT webpage) as well.

I am just feeling like picking up the car and start driving to Kolkata and Northwards.

Being first Bhutan Travelogue in TBHP and so well described, this thread deserves a 5-Star,which I have rated !!

BTW, the pic of Esteem in Jaldapara forest was too good.

Abhi

Last edited by akroy : 28th May 2009 at 07:48.
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