Monthly Archives: June 2016
The Different Joys You Will Experience When You Visit Bhutan
The Kingdom of mountains and monasteries is a poetry in motion, an experience of a lifetime, a canvas of snow-capped mountains, and colourful fluttering prayer flags, a trekker’s paradise and a land of happy and hospitable people.
Bhutan will offer you many breathtaking experiences. You will be smitten by the pristine air and the purity of the land, overwhelmed by the magnificence of the Himalayas and the serenity of the valleys. But, there are some experiences in Bhutan that will transform your life and make you have the most unforgettable trip of your life. Want to know what are these?
Make yourself a nice mojito, curl up in your beloved bean bag and read on:
Become a Textile Connoisseur
Visit the Norzin Lam Textile Museum in the capital city of Bhutan, Thimpu. The National Textile Haven Museum will introduce you to textiles from as old as the 1960s to kiras and ghos worn by Bhutanese men and women today.
Weaving is the national art of Bhutan and there is little chance that you won’t fall in love with the elegant local costumes. Find out all about the rich heritage of weaving in Bhutan, myriad textiles, and different weaving techniques.
Some of the best weavers weave inside the museum and you can actually purchase their masterpieces from the store located inside the museum.
The museum is open across the year from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. Your Bhutan tour is not complete without a visit to the capital and when in Thimpu, you must go to witness the beautiful and enchanting art of weaving in the Norzin Lam Textile Museum. Not only will the rose-cheeked, always smiling Bhutanese weavers tell you all that you need to know about textiles, but also you can watch a short movie here about the art of weaving.
What a charming way to turn a textile connoisseur!
Return Spiritually Enriched
Few return from Bhutan untouched by the spirituality and divinity of the country. Spirituality is embedded and seeped in the rivers, peaks, forests, homes, and even in the air of Bhutan.
There are innumerable monasteries and citadel-styled dzongs spread across the terrain of Bhutan. The Tiger’s Nest monastery, ‘Takshang Lakhang is considered one of the most sacred. Nestled amidst blooming rhododendrons, this delightful monastery is perched on the edge of a cliff and has emerged as of the most photographed destinations in the world. Precariously perched, it is a sight to behold, and evokes spirituality even in the non-believers.
The famed 108 Stupas arranged around the viewpoint of the Dochula Stupa, at 3000 m is a reverberation of peace, principles and compassion.
The Himalayas in the distance prove to be spiritual and calming in their own way. Monasteries, Stupas, and dzongs are scattered throughout the landscape of Bhutan.
Another spiritual heartland of the Himalayan Kingdom
Bhutan is one of the last few remaining strongholds of Vajrayana Buddhism, and most monasteries, monastic schools, and temples have meditation centers of their own.
If peace of mind and respite from the cares and stresses of daily life is what you seek, meditate in a meditation center like the monks do. Inquire to know if meditation can be included in your Bhutan package.
Rid Yourself of Pains
Bhutan is fast emerging as a wellness destination. Bhutan is a nation, that believes in preserving its cultural heritage, and going back to the roots for treating all ailments.
The traditional medicine of Bhutan is known as Sowa Rigpa and can be traced back to the 17th century. Indigenous medicine units exist in all 20 districts of Bhutan and provide tourists with traditional remedies for all ailments especially joint pains.
The other gem in Bhutan’s crown are its hot springs or Tshachus. The medicinal properties of these are known to cure a multitude of diseases from arthritis to even sinuses. If you want to tread the path of recovery or are looking to find holistic wellness approach to your ailments, Bhutan might just be your destination.
Try Your Hand at Archery
You would barely expect the warm and affable Bhutanese people to indulge in a sport like archery. But to my surprise, I found out that this is their national sport and one that they take very seriously.
Attend an archery tournament if you are visiting Thimpu over a weekend. Archery is very popular among the locals and the tourists. You must try your hand at it.
Watching archery competitions or games is just as delightful. Witnessing rivals engage in verbal combat and repartee and then break into a rhythmic song and dance routine everytime a player hits or misses a mark is quite a spectacle. And trust me, before you know, you will find yourself engrossed in the competitive festivity of the sport too, cheering, playing, and sighing and feeling more Bhutanese than the Bhutanese themselves.
Find the Photographer in You
If you are into photography, Bhutan should be your subject. Bhutan is beautiful beyond words. Tucked away in the Himalayas, it is a region of picturesque lush valleys wreathed in clouds, dramatic pine forests, meandering clear rivers, and mountains that play hide and seek with your lens-sometimes majestic, sometimes coy and misty.
And it is not just nature’s endowments that cast a spell on you and inspire you to freeze and capture moments. Traditional architecture in Bhutan’s monasteries and dzongs is compelling. You have to explore the hand-drawn Buddhist murals painted on walls of homes and monasteries, the incredibly intricate carvings of the courtyards, the elaborate and flamboyant colours of Buddhist festivities, and the mesmerizing butter lamps in a row.
Become a Food Taster
Sure you will get your soups and sandwiches when you come to Bhutan. But it’s highly recommended that you sample the very interesting local cuisine when you come here. The most famous local dish you just have to have is the Ema Datshi, a signature cheese and chilli concoction with a Bhutanese version of salsa, a tangy tomato sauce with salt, red chilli, green chilli and lots of coriander. No meal is complete without the traditional brown rice that Bhutanese people swear by. It is supposed to be the healthier and more nutritious variant of the white rice.
Take Home the most Wonderful Souvenirs
Another thing that I found absolutely charming about Bhutan, was the unique and varied souvenirs I could take home. Bhutanese textiles make an opulent gift. Obviously, you must buy some and keep for yourself too to stand out in a crowd with the rich woven purse or beautifully designed, handcrafted shawls.
Here’s a surprise, Bhutan is home to the coolest stamps in the world. Square, round, triangular, rectangular and even 3d stamps with different people, objects and events are available here. If you have a philatelist friend, you know what to gift them. The Philately counter at the National Post Office at Chang Lam houses a unique and diverse collection of stamps. Make the experience even more enjoyable and personal by buying a stamp with your picture on it! Gift it to someone very dear or make it a part of your own collection.
The Centenary Farmer’s Weekend market and the handicraft market across the cantilevered foot bridge is a colourful place to pick up some gorgeous souvenirs like colourful masks, thangkas, Buddha Figurines, musical instruments and the famed prayer wheels.
Make the most of your Bhutan holiday. Do all the things mentioned above. They will be totally worth it, and don’t forget to trek through the rugged terrains. Visit Bhutan and feel the adrenaline rush of a lifetime.
5 Images of the Himalayan Kingdom That Will Stay with You Forever
Trips and vacations make beautiful memories. You know how few things from the trips stays etched in your mind forever- like the clock tower of Shimla covered in snow, or New Year’s night at Anjuna beach in Goa. We have heard so much about these popular destinations and know exactly when we need to shut off the world around us and just immerse in those places and moments that will stay etched in our minds forever.
Bhutan is unexplored terrain. So for all of you who are visiting the beautiful land of Bhutan for the first time, here are 5 times when Bhutan’s unparalleled beauty and divinity will take your breath away, and leave you with a treasure house of memories.
When You Land at the Paro Airport
The fact that Bhutan has been so secluded from the rest of the world adds to its charm. The Paro airport is the only international airport in the country. But that is not the only reason that makes this airport unique. The view that you see while landing in this Himalayan airport is probably one of the most magnificient images you will witness in your life. So brace yourselves for this breathtaking sight.
Surrounded by mountains on all four sides of upto18,000 ft. tall and at 1.5 miles above sea level, it’s the only airport that is actually a valley. As you fly downwards, you will see the verdant mountains and forests of the Himalayan region, the crystal clear waters of the Paro river, the pious prayer flags fluttering in the mountain and the grand and imposing monasteries. This is a sight that will mesmerize and melt you at the same time.
Good thing is, your Bhutan holiday begins at Paro, so the welcome itself will be one of the best you have ever received and will set the pace for the rest of your trip.
Visit to One of the Famous Hot Springs
Hot springs or Tshachus are found across Bhutan. However, the five most well-known are The Gata Tshachu, The Chubu Tshachu, The Dur Tshachu, The Duenmang Tshachu, and, The Gelephu Tshachu. Bhutanese believe that Tshachus have healing properties and ever since Bhutan has opened its doors to the world, people from across the world come to take a dip in these hot springs. It is supposed to heal one of all diseases, especially joint pains, arthiritis, and sinus.
But what’s overwhelming is the aura and beauty of these springs You will reach one of these spiritual stations after an equally satisfying trek across sparkling mountain streams, bamboo groves, and quaint Bhutanese villages.
Words simply cannot justify the calmness and tranquillity you reach when you reach one of these spiritual stations. When you visit one of these springs in your Bhutan package, you will know exactly what I mean.
When You Trek to the Tiger’s Nest
Taktsang Monastery or popularly known as Tiger’s Nest is considered the holiest monastery of Bhutan. Paro Taktsang is like a magical dew drop on the mighty Himalayas, nurtured and loved by the mountains. Quite literally hanging on a cliff 10,240 feet over the Paro valley it is a sight to behold, revered and silently prayed to.
This unbelievably gorgeous monastery does not reveal itself easily and remains wrapped in mist and clouds. On the way to Tiger’s Nest rhododendrons and a gentle breeze will be your constant companion. But once you reach the top, it’s sheer magic. Capture the untouched, unspeakable beauty of this mountain-edge monastery, watch nature celebrate in all its colours, and hear the mountains serenade the clouds, the echoes of a past, precious culture. Take in all the beauty.
I guarantee each one of you that Tiger’s Nest will remain one of the most memorable, beautiful and cherished travel moments of your life.
See the Monks in red
You may wonder what is so special about this. But it is actually a very rare and treasured sight in Bhutan to see a line of monks pass dressed in vibrant red robes. You will usually catch them by themselves, or in groups of twos or threes.
To see these pious souls in a red in their flaming garments and serene appearances is a sight few get to witness in the last remaining human kingdom. Consider yourself lucky if you happen to witness this rare sight in your Bhutan holiday.
Praying in front of the Big Buddha and the Butter Lamps
Spirituality is a way of life in the realm. This is hardly surprising considering Bhutan does take its happiness quotient and religion very seriously. But the experience of going to a monastery and kneeling before the towering Buddha, and watch the monks light their butter lamps goes way beyond religion.
The lamps in a row, the luminous face of the Buddha, the quiet, and the radiance emanating from the monks and every nook and corner of the monastery will transform you in ways we will never understand, but leave a lasting impression on your minds and soul.
Bhutan is like a dream you have never dreamt, a story still in the making. It breaks all stereotypes of a tourist spot, and yet remains a destination that remains the right blend of mysticism and spirituality, luxury and affordability, serenity and music of the valleys. One can’t define it, one can’t categorize, only bask in its beauty and admire it for all that it is. Are you ready to visit this magical land of mountains and monasteries?
Give Your Kids the Best Travel Stories to Tell This Summer
Yes the vacations are here! Are your bags packed yet? Did you make elaborate vacation plans? Most of us have hurried and hectic schedules. Its not possible for all tomake detailed vacation itinerary. But the school holidays are here, and the kids want their vacation, and we at DesignerIndya.com want your kids to have thrilling and unforgettable vacations.
So dont panic! Forget the last minute travel jitters. Dont fret about the destination! Just pick any of the vacation ideas given below and have a fantastic holiday and super happy children!
We did quite a bit of research to bring to you these ten destinations and experiences that children simply cant have enough of. Read on to know which are they, and where you are going to be travelling this summer.
1. Ride a Toy Train in Darjeeling
Nestled between the Himalayas and the dense eastern forests lies Darjeeling, a breathtaking hill station of Bengal. Darjeeling is a kaleidoscope of the majestic Himalayas, roaring waterfalls, immaculate tea-gardens and Victorian villas. This summer may be, you can show your kids the bountiful tea gardens where the famous Darjeeling tea comes from. Bask them in the pious first rays of sun at Tiger Hills, feel the glory of seeing the sun rise behind the Kanchenjunga. They say few sunrises in the world are as beautiful as Tiger Hills in Darjeeling.
But, most importantly ride the famous toy train of Darjeeling that twirls through the thick forests and hills, tea gardens, and quaint little hilly homes. It will be a fairytale come alive for your child.
2. Enjoy Summer Snow in Kashmir
What could possibly be more fun than snow in summers! How about a houseboat ride in Srinagar, or a trip in the highest cable car of the world? Known as the Switzerland of India, a Kashmir tour guarantees you snow, lakes, mountains, and much more.
The Gondola Cable Car ride that takes you to the skiing paradise of Gulmarg is thrilling and mesmerizing at the same time. Golf, fishing, and myriad other adventure activities to keep your kids busy are abound in Kashmir. Let your kids ski, row, and smile, take selfies in the white cottony snow, and have the best summer vacation of their life in Kashmir.
3. Trek, Fly and Camp in Magical Himachal
Shimla, Manali, Rohtang, Leh, Himachal is quite the travellers delight. This summer, get your cement and mortar surrounded children out of their urban jungles, and breath fresh air, hear the sounds of the roaring rivers, grab an apple from the tree directly, and feel the purity of Himachal in your veins.
Manali is probably the most famous camping destination in India. Take your toddlers and teenagers, and camp along the mighty Beas. If you and your family are the more adventurous sort, ride to Leh.
Trek through the lush landscapes and mild waterfalls in summer. Do some nerve tickling paragliding over the Kumaon Hills. Have warm delicious Maggie at 4000 mts high in Rohtang, and go avocado picking in a local garden. You will have to befriend a local for that first of course. With your bustling, energetic kids around, that should not be too difficult.
Make a trip to Himachal and give your kids a plethora of stories of beauty and bravery.
4. Experience Water Sports, History, Corals and Stunning Beaches at Andaman
Summers are a perfect time to visit this archipelago that is known for its crystal clear waters, remnants of the colonial era, virgin beaches and relaxing atmosphere.
Wondering how this romantic vacation for two could double as a kids-friendly escapade? Havelock Island in Andaman has been voted the best beach in Asia by Time Magazine. It is a hot spot for the best water sports in India. You and your kids can indulge in snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, and much more. Then come back, and rest amidst the pristine sands and water. Now that’s what I call relaxation.
When in Andamans, you can also take a trip down history lane by visiting the multiple museums, home to remnants of British Raj, and recounting the horrific but historically important Kala Pani. Make it a point to enjoy the light and sound show at Port Blair in the evening that narrated the atrocities and sacrifices of Kala Pani.
Andaman is also known for its corals and marine life, something that you and your children should definitely take a dip into.
5. Live a New Culture in Shillong
What makes Shillong a perfect summer retreat is that, it really is away from the maddening crowds. Its still unexplored, untouched, not affected by rampant commercialism or excessive tourist influx. This summer take your family to experience Shillong and the Khasi life style in its authentic form.
There are multiple resorts on the outskirts of Shillong that give you a glimpse into Khasi cuisine, language, costume and lifestyle. Shillong is also a fashion-lovers paradise. So if your young boy or girl likes to stay abreast of trends, this is definitely a place to consider.
However, one thing that is an absolute must-do in Shillong is experiencing its enthralling music scene. Become young at heart again with your kids and visit one or more of the happening night clubs in Shillong. Lend an ear to the best domestic and international music bands. Who knows you could even run into an international celebrity in a club in Shillong! They frequent there often because of the vivid music scene.
Taking your kids to Shillong will definitely up your coolness quotient before the children too, especially the teenagers. Besides its wonderful for the family to bond over some amazing food and music.
So here are THE summer destinations to go to that will get the adrenaline pumping in your babies, and not burn a hole in your pocket. The best part will be, that your kids will have the funniest, cutest, and best travel stories to tell their friends when they return to school!
This is Why India Has Become the Favorite Destination for Educational Trips!
There is no denying that India is slowly but steadily making its presence felt as an educational hub. As a result of this, we see schools, colleges and universities abroad designing special education trips to India.
Study tours and exchange programs are becoming increasingly common and this is giving an impetus to the education as well as tourism industry in India.Let us understand the reasons and benefits of educational tours to India and why the world is acknowledging India as an educational power house.
English is a global language, and Indians embraced it with gusto right from the beginning. This puts us in an advantaged position. There are many countries in the European Union and Asia that does not have English as their medium of instruction.
Communication, cultural interaction and understanding falls short during organized educational tours and exchange programs between students in such countries. Such problems are practically vanquished in India owing to the dominance of English in the education sector, and thus it becomes a fertile ground for various study tours.
The warmth and affection that the country and its people display towards foreigners also becomes a primary reason why India is a hot spot for study tours. It is not easy to navigate through a country which is a treasure trove of customs, rituals, traditions and practices.
But Indians are a hospitable lot and make your stay and understanding of the local nuances and culture much easier and more fun. Lets just say you will return back from India knowing much more than the ubiquitous namaste.
Where else in the world will you see the highest mountains, the deepest gorges and valleys, extensive deserts, white sand reefs, coasts, beaches, archipelagos, dense forests, arid plains, fertile farmlands, gushing rivers, and so much more.
Our kaleidoscopic geography garners us many fans, gives us one of the most stunning geography and makes us figure frequently in lists of most beautiful places on earth. What this also makes us is a diverse land to study and observe, a reason we see many tourist and academicians flocking to India.
India is the land of Aryabhatta, the inventor of zero which is the crux and basis of all modern Mathematics that we study. Sciences are rigorously practiced in the country. Check out any technology power house, whether its Apple or Google. You will find people of Indian origin at the top, and Indian scientists making path breaking technological research and advances.
The IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) rank among the finest technology schools in the world. Some of the best doctors in USA and UK are Indians. Study tours to India are often made to study and observe the rigorous curriculum that gives rise to such brainy and enterprising students of medicine and technology.
With the USA and India ties strengthening from pillar to pillar and many Indians making their mark in the USA in diverse fields, there is a renewed interest in India in the US. Consequently, we see a lot of study tours from US to India.
This not only improves cultural and economic ties between the two countries but also puts India and its education in the global spotlight. Its said that what the US does, the world follows suit. We see an increasing number of countries organizing and interested in study tours to India.
Few countries in the world can boast of a tradition and culture as rich as Indias. India is a reservoir of history and culture, with its myriad rulers, multiple religious beliefs and varied practices, festivals and languages.
Students of History, Anthropology, and cultural studies cannot find a better subject than this beautiful and culturally seeped country.
What has also caught the worlds attention is Yoga and Ayurveda, two streams of healing that is serving as holistic cures to social and physical disorders alike.
Both have originated from India, and to understand it in its true form and interpret it in a way to derive maximum benefit, scholars, students of medicine, and tourists visit the gorgeous land of India. They all desire to educate themselves further in these traditional but powerful branches of life and medicine.
While these are a few reasons that makes India a compelling and powerful educational destination, every individual and every institute have their own set of reasons and goals to take their odyssey to India and come back knowledgeable and enlightened. Are you planning an education trips to India soon?
When and what will be your reason to visit this beautiful country?!