Bhutan, Day 2, 211112

November 30, 2012

This was a day when we left Paro, and travelled through Dochu La (La is a pass) to Thimphu, got some permits (which also allowed us to explore the main street of the little capital at leisure while we waited for the paperwork…Geetanjali got us special permission to go to Phobjikha, which is no longer allowed, to see the critically-endangered Black-necked Cranes)…..and on to Punakha.

I am leaving for Pune today (the train is at 4pm) so I will just post some photos….

The Dzong and the National Museum (damaged in the earthquake, so no longer open to tourists) at Paro:

Punakha Dzong 211112 Bhutan

The stream flowing near it.... river akha Dzong 211112 Bhutan A huge flock of Red-billed Choughs that we saw on our way: Red bld chghs 211112 Bhutan A TRI-COLOURED SHRIKE: Tri clr shrike 211112 Bhutan An unknown, beautiful blue wildflower: Blue wldflwr 211112 Bhutan Signposts: Photobucket The Royal Couple (they didn't come to meet me, alas) Royal Cpl 211112 Bhutan A BLUE PANSY Blue Pansy 211112 Bhutan Geetanjali working on our special permits at the Thimphu Immigration Office: Thimphu immigrtn 211112 Bhutan Parimala, Savitha and I went off to explore the handicrafts are some masks and someone is trying one on.... Mask 211112 Bhutan Thimphu The phallus is a symbol of strength and prosperity, and is painted on many house walls. Women who have no children also make votive offerings of masks and realistically-painted phalluses, which are on sale: mask and phls thimphu 211112 Bhutan mask and phls himphu 211112 Bhuta The bamboo baskets behind this girl are for packing lunch, and Savitha and Parimala bought fits tightly into the second: shop thimphu 211112 Bhutan Ladies are the stall owners, and ladies sell ladles: ladles thimphu 211112 Bhutan I popped into the Textile Museum very briefly: textile museum himphu 211112 Bhuta In Bhutan everything...water, the air, the movement of a car, a human hand, can produce a prayer. Here, a mountain stream turns a prayer wheel constantly: river prayer wheel 211112 Bhuta When in difficulties or bad health, families consult astrologers who tell them how many (hundreds or thousands) of these Tsa-tsas or "stupa cakes" made of wood or lime, to put at what locations: stupa cakes 211112 Bhuta I do love "zero" signposts! Dochu La 211112 Bhuta At Dochu La, dusk was falling as we explored the 108 stupas put up there: Dochu La 211112 Bhutan The Stupas and the arches made great silhouettes against the darkening sky: silhouette Dochu La 211112 Bhutan slhoutet Dochu La 211112 Bhutan, s 108 stupas Dochu La 211112 Bhutan The pass faces a range of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalaya: 2 snw cps Dochu La 211112 Bhutan snw cap Dochu La 211112 Bhutan snw cp Dochu La 211112 Bhutan Here's a detail from one of the 108 Stupas: 108 stps Dochu La 211112 Bhutan

I close with this view of the main Stupa at Dochu La, with all the others behind it…pink and mauve in the gathering dusk….

Dochu La stupa 108 211112 Bhuta

I am now getting JAPANESE as well as Russian spam on LJ, and I am sure there are words that would never use in polite circles! I am rarely able to post comments, and it's only a sense of cussedness that keeps me posting here. I will be putting up more photos on see them!