Bhutan Diaries 2017: A Visit to the Himalayan Kingdom

The much anticipated Bhutan tour, which was on the cards for a long time, finally happened in November 2017. We had decided to enter the country through Phuentsholing, the gateway to Bhutan from North Bengal, as the trip from Phuentsholing to Thimpu is definitely a highlight of any trip to Bhutan. The trip was for five days spanning four locations – Phuentsholing, Thimpu, Punakha and Paro. Accordingly, even the travel diary is organized into four posts. Since time was short, just like with most people travelling to Bhutan, we could not spend too much time in any place, and hence will not call this an exhaustive account. In the limited exposure we had, I have tried to outline as much as I could internalize, with a special emphasis on the local food habits.

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Bhutan Diaries, Part 4: Paro Valley

A significant number of travellers visiting Bhutan start their Bhutan trip from Paro, as it has the only airport in the country. A very small place, the whole town is visible from our balcony at Hotel Mandala Resort, which is located at an elevation. At night, the Paro Dzong as well as the watchtower at the museum which are illuminated stand out in the dark surroundings of the mountains.

Paro Bhutan

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Bhutan Diaries, Part 3: Punakha and Chele La Pass

Our next destination was Punakha valley 75 km away from Thimpu. We felt a little sad to leave Thimpu behind, as we had developed a little bit of attachment to this quiet city during the last two days. Karma, our driver assured us that Punakha is one of the most beautiful places in Bhutan, and the journey through Dochula Pass will be very interesting.

Punakha Dzong

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Jivati turns Non-Vegetarian and How!

Jivati Organic Restaurant had been serving organic vegetarian food in Hyderabad for about a year now. Their organic store is also a must visit for anyone interested in health food. However, for me, the most interesting has been their recent makeover to Jivati Restro, a fine dining place serving non-vegetarian food too. You may ask me what is so great about it. The answer lies in some exclusive stuff they are offering – choice items from all over India.

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Bhutan Diaries, Part 2: Onwards to Thimpu, the Capital City

It was the second day of our trip. The morning at Phuentsholing was not at all chilly in mid-November, and we start in a Wagon R at 9 am towards Thimpu nearly 170 km away. Our driver Karma Lama from Jaigaon was a 31-year-old Nepalese who had spent the last 12 years taking tourists into Bhutan. I was delighted to find out that we had a common interest in food.

Buddha Thimpu

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Bhutan Diaries, Part 1: Phuentsholing

A visit to Bhutan was on the cards for us since a long time. Last year while on a tour of Dooars in North Bengal, our car driver drove us into Phuentsholing the border town in Bhutan separating the two countries. It was a revelation to see how clean and beautiful the place was as soon as you cross the Indo-Bhutan border. This strengthened our resolution and we are back this November knocking the doors of one of the happiest countries of the world.

Bhutan Gate
Bhutan Gate seperates Jaigaon and Pheuntsholing

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Autumn Leaf Café: Good Food Amidst Serene Surroundings

Within the city, there are only a few restaurants where you can go to grab a lungful of fresh air while enjoying your coffee or gorging on good food. Autumn Leaf Café in Jubilee Hills is surely one of them. The open outdoor seating here is definitely a place where you can relax and enjoy things from a nicely curated menu. If you want to catch up with an old friend or spend some time with a book alone, this is definitely the go-to place.

Pork Chops

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The Extensive Sunday Brunch at The Park Hyderabad

After a happening late Saturday night, many of us prefer to start late on a Sunday and head for a brunch in our neighbourhood to continue our indulgence in good food and drinks. In Hyderabad, we have Sunday brunches of all sizes and shapes with restaurants trying to differentiate themselves with innovative offerings. The Sunday Brunch at Verandah, the all-day dining restaurant of The Park Hyderabad has now been expanded to include Aqua, the al-fresco poolside area too. A huge spread and a large number of live counters have made this brunch even more attractive.

Laham Mandi

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