Sights of Bhutan, by Matthieu Ricard

By Matthieu Ricard on July 23, 2014

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The monumental dzong of Paro, Bhutan, was originally built in 1646, but it had to be restored on several occasions after it was damaged by fire and earthquakes. Bhutan, 2014.

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Primitive forest, during a pilgrimage to Chumbu (Chumophuk or Chimpu), a sacred place four-hour walk up from Paro valley, along the Doteng, between 8000 and 9300 feet. Bhutan, April 2014.

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Pilgrimage to Chumbu (Chumophuk or Chimpu) sacred place, a four-hour walk up from Paro valley, along the Doteng river through an enchanting primitive forest. After reaching a chorten (stupa), the last climb to the temple, located at 2800-2900 meters (9350 feet) is fairly steep. The temple host the statue of the Dakini Dorje Phagmo (Vajra Varahi), which is said to be miraculously floating in the air. Above the temple is a sacred spring and waterfall, and there are many sacred caves around where past meditators stayed. Several Tertön, including the 15th century master Drukdrak Dorje, are said to have revealed spiritual treasures (termas) from this area. Bhutan, April 2014.