Thursday, 17 April 2014

-| Trongsa |-

altitude – 2300 mts
temperature – 9 deg C / 5deg C

The journey from Punaka to Trongsa was long. Yashashree had a protracted conversation with Jamyang about everything related to Bhutan – be it politics, her King, the land, common man, education, etc. You name it and she had it covered.  At one point, I decided to catch up on my sleep ;) 

(view of Trongsa  monastery from our hotel room)

We were again going to a higher elevation and it was getting colder (as you may know, my threshold level for cold is low and Yash would surely ascertain that!) Due to miscommunication, we couldn’t have lunch at the hotel. So we devoured biscuits and tea made with yak’s milk. 

Trongsa Dzong is the largest dzong fortress in Bhutan which overlooks the gorge of the Mangde river. Along with being a major monastic complex, it is also an administrative headquarters for the government of Trongsa District. It also contains a notable printing house which prints many religious texts – we were unable to see this due to lack of time.

We underwent an extensive interrogation at the security check – you see we were just two girls without a guide! ;) After assuring them that we will be back at the front gate without losing our way inside the complex, they let us in. And we understood what they meant the moment we entered the first courtyard. The complex was massive! Several doors on all sides, all leading to other gathering spaces which had more doors.  Phewww!! We hit potluck when we stumbled into an external door which lead to the mountains and view of the gorge nestled between these ranges.  By this time we were not interested in looking for the temple – finding the secrets of the complex was on the agenda. Luckily, there were no other visitors and we were on our own. 

Our driver went to have late lunch in the town and had disappeared. This gave us time by ourselves outside the monastery. While Yash was connecting to people with her 3G connection (which mysteriously got activated here), it gave me an opportunity to ‘people-watch’. 

Dinner consisted of soup and Shabalay – vegetarian version. And I knew this is one recipe which I have to try cooking at home. Generally they are made of beef or mutton filling but mine was filled with two types of cheese and ginger. 

One cannot travel to any part in Bhutan except Paro and Thimpu. A travel permit is needed to tour the rest of the places in the country which is checked and verified at various check points! Organized. 

Like us, Bhutanese love to paint and decorate their trucks. 

Let’s see what surprises are in store in the next town.

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