When visiting somewhere, especially a new place, it’s easy to get caught up in the ‘big scenes’, and forget about the small details that can really make a location unique. Bhutan is full of interesting and ornate details, and while no where near exhaustive, I wanted to put together a photo essay of some of what we saw there. Needless to say, the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into the architecture there is as impressive as it is beautiful.
I think the door handle above is what first grabbed my attention, and pulled me in. At first glance, the architecture in Bhutan is not too dissimilar from what you’ll find in Tibet, so it immediately felt familiar. However, when I started getting close, little things started to jump out at me, like all the intricacies of the brass design. None of the temples themselves could be photographed inside, which is a real shame because there was even more amazing craftsmanship to be found there, BUT, hopefully you’ll get a good sense of it all, and from the country itself, from this small collection of images.
More next week!
While this particular window was part of a temple, this style of architecture and framing can be seen throughout Bhutan
Artistry of the Temples
The art inside the temples is amazing. Every element represents some facet of the Buddhist tradition.
As another example of the art found at the Buddhist temples, this is a close up of a door frame. The carving surrounded the entire door.
Druk Wangyal Chortens
These 108 chortens were built to commemorate the 108 soldiers who were killed in the 2003 battle against Assamese insurgents from India. The memorial, which is now considered a holy place by the Bhutanese people,
has an amazing backdrop of the Himalayas, barely visible in the photo.
Dry Rice Fields
We were in Bhutan outside the season for rice, but the landscape all over the countryside was defined by these terraces.
While rice defines the landscape, these chillies are perhaps a more prominent staple of the Bhutanese diet.
You’ll see them drying on rooftops all over Bhutan, and locals seemingly eat them at every meal.
Part of the Buddhist tradition, prayer flags can be found all over the Himalayan region and add an interesting element to the landscapes there.