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Cultural Information

All major towns in the 20 districts of Bhutan are accessible by road. Despite high mountains, steep slopes, and the deepest of valleys Bhutan has a relatively well developed network of roads. That said, rarely will one find a length of either straight or flat road. In some stretches one can encounter 6 to 7 bends per kilometre! Steep ascents and descents are characteristic of road travel in Bhutan and this can make travel much slower than one may be used to. Average speeds for road travel rarely exceed 30 km/h, with tourist buses making even slower progress. One is however handsomely rewarded for the long and sometimes tiring car journey, by the spectacular views of towering mountains, lush green jungle, ancient villages and majestic monasteries.
The majority of roads are sealed but can still be bumpy and are almost always single lane. Bhutan’s drivers know their land well and are cautious and careful drivers. The density of traffic is normally very low.

Chorten (Stupa in Sanskrit)
Chorten symbolizes the mind of Buddha and is sacred. Chorten should be circled in a clock wise direction as a sign of respect and to gain merits. There are eight kinds of chorten. All chorten contains religious relics and they are consecrated.

Lhakhang(Temple)
Temples or Lhakhangs are fairly small buildings,usually a single Building with a caretaker Lhakhangs have a red painted on the upper part of their walls and an ornament of gilded copper on the roof.

Goempa( Monastery)
Goempa is a Dzongkha term for Monastery. Goempas are usually located far away from the towns so that monks find peace with fewer disturbances for their studies and meditations. Goempas are fairly large buildings compared to lhakhangs either in clustered form with colourfull prayer flags around. These places usually host monks for Bhuddist Studies and also places dedicated to host statues and religious text.

Dratshang.
This is quite similar to Goempa with the exception that is mostly located in Dzongs with civil administrative centres and also not so isolated like Goempas. It is also religious institution where bhuddism is being taught.

Dzong(Fortress)
Bhutanese dzongs have played a vital role in past and today. The immense fortress that dominant various part of the country represents the best extraordinary architecture of Bhutan. Dzongs are ideologically built on the hilltops overlooking broad valleys or built near a big river for protection in olden days.Dzong is used for religious as well as for secular purpose. According to some theory, Bhutan’s official language DZONG-KHA is originated from the language spoken in the dzong in olden days. Kha in Bhutanese means language.

Tshechu
In almost every Dzong (monastic fortress) and monastery there is an annual traditional festival (in Bhutan these are called tshechus). Tshechus usually take place on or around the 10th day of the month according to the lunar calendar. The normal duration for a tshechu is three days. Tourists are welcomed to tshechus under the provision that they act in an accordingly respectful manner. Due to the nature of the lunar calendar exact dates for tshechus vary from year to year.
The following table provides an annual overview for the most prominent festivals. Your Tour Operator will know the exact dates and may even be able to recommend some of the lesser known festivals in smaller monasteries that will better fit to your itinerary.

Festival

Town

Duration

Month

Trongsa Tshechu

Trongsa Dzong

3 Days

January

Lhuntshe Tshechu

Lhuntshe Dzong

3 Days

January

Punakha Dromche

Punakha Dzong

5 Days

February

Chorten Kora

Trashi Yangtse

1 Day

February & March

Paro Tshechu

Paro Dzong

5 Days

March

Nimalung Tshechu

Bumthang Dzong

3 Days

June

Kurjey Tshechu

Bumthang, Kurjey Monastery

1 Day

June

Thimphu Drubchen

Thimphu Dzong

4 Days

September

Thimphu Tshechu

Thimphu Dzong

3 Days

September

Wangdi Tshechu

Wangdue Dzong

3 Days

September

Tangbi Mani

Bumthang, Tangbi Monastery

3 Days

September

Jambay Lakhang Drup

Bumthang, Jambay Monastery

4 Days

October

Prakhar Duchoe

Bumthang

3 Days

October

Mongar Tshechu

Mongar Dzong

3 Days

December

Trashigang Tshechu

Trashigang Dzong

3 Days

December

Common Dzongkha (Bhutanese language)

Hello (or greetings) : Kuzu Zangpo.
Welcome : joen pa lakso
How are you? : Ga de bay ye?
What is your name? : Chhoe gi ming ga chi mo?
My name is Peter. : Nge gi ming Peter in.
I am from Australia. : Nga Australia lay in.
Where is the toilet? : Chhabsang ga ti mo?
How much is the cost of this item? : Di gi gong ga dem chi mo?
Please reduce the cost a bit. : Gong Aa tsi phab nang.
OK I will buy it. : Toob, Nga gi nyo ge.
Thank you. : Kadrin chhe.
See you later. : Shoo lay log jay ge.
Sit sit : Zhu Zhu
Stand up : Yar long
Congratulation/Bye : Tashi Delek

 


 


 
 
 
         

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