Bhutanese celebrate first snowfall as the symbol of prosperity


Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan usually receives light snowfall in winter or early spring. In past 4-5 years, snow won’t be thicker than 2cm though. People would relate this phenomenon to global warming and its negative impacts. Bhutanese elders have a say that Thimphu was much colder in the past.

Thimphu valley Children of this generation can only assume how much fun their elders must have had during their childhood days. We were told that they could make ice cubes just by keeping a container of water on a window sill.

Thimphu under snow

However, 2017 March snowfall broke this trend. Because this year’s snowfall, according to many, is one of the heaviest snowfalls in Bhutan for past 4-5 years.

Bhutan snowfall

It has started in early hours of 11th March. When people woke up at dawn, they were surprised to see their city carpeted with clean white snow and muffled with fleecy clouds promising heavy snowfall.

Travel Bhutan

The northern parts of Bhutan like Bumthang, Gasa, Haa, Paro and Thimphu received quite a heavy snowfall this year. Consequently, places in lower altitude got heavy rainfalls.

Bhutan people, who have been waiting for this, came out quickly to touch and feel delicately falling snowflakes. And children’s screams of joy filled the valley. Unlike in the past, this year’s snow lasted for more than 2 days promising longer experiences for Bhutanese.

Bhutan travel guide

Roads in Bhutan, especially those passing through high altitude passes and hills like Dochula, Chelela, Pelela and Yotongla remained closed for at least a day. Bhutan’s national radio announcements were about road blocks in various parts of Bhutan. People who were on journey remained struck in the middle.

winter in ThimphuHowever, Road Safety and Transport Authority of Bhutan (RSTA) cleared those roads and made passable for travellers within a day. Bhutanese could travel to see distant views of fresh white mountains and snow filled valleys.

Thimphu dzong in distant view

Some Bhutanese remained inside their houses for the fear of getting caught up with cold having hot suja and other wintry Bhutan food. Prime Minister of Bhutan also advised all Bhutanese in Twitter to remain safe and warm during such weather.

snowfall in Bhutan

People from other countries who came to Bhutan this month were also very fortunate to enjoy the country’s heavy snowfall. I could see as many foreigners on various viewpoints as there were Bhutanese during the snowfall. Thimphu Sightseeing was unusually good.

Trekking in Bhutan

Some Bhutanese photography enthusiasts were getting on higher gradient land to find the best views of Thimphu Bhutan points of interest. Some people were making short movies in their small cameras or mobile phones.

Global warming in Bhutan

Tourists were carrying their camera equipment and shooting photos in such Thimphu Bhutan weather. Some were making short movies. It appeared they were enjoying the different version of Bhutan for a moment.

Travel Blogger from Bhutan

Buddha Point, one of the main tourist attraction centers in Thimphu was beautiful during snowfall. Some tourists took the risk and hiked till there just to capture the view of Thimphu town when it’s under snow.

Bhutanese house

Young people were seen making snowman and some other small structure using snow. Some were fighting the game of snow-ball throws.

buddha point during snowfall

In overall, Bhutan really celebrated heavy snowfall in 2017, despite being quite late. For one week or so, almost all the profiles of Bhutanese were just about snowfall – starting from their selfies to short movies.

snowman in Bhutan

Some expressed their joys as heavy snowfall would help immensely in increasing electricity generation and thereby increasing revenue for the Royal Government of Bhutan.

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About Author

An auditor by profession, but a traveller, blogger and photographer by passion. This site was created to share travel stories of various destinations within Bhutan and also travel tips of travelling to Bhutan. Read More>>


  1. Well, your country is amazingly beautiful. Some of my friends have mentioned who had a chance to visit Bhutan about how impressed they were.

    I haven’t had a chance yet. But seeing the photos in this articles made me believe about what my friends have told me about Bhutan.

  2. Thanks for expressing your love for Bhutan. Hope you visit Bhutan soon to test if those things you have heard and seen are true. Because I cannot say Bhutan is beautiful for sure. It varies from person to person.

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