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 impacts. Bhutanese elders have a say that Thimphu was much colder in past.
Children of this age 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.
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.
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.
The northern parts of Bhutan like Bumthang, Gasa, Haa, Paro and Thimphu received quite a heavy snowfalls. Consequently, places in lower altitude got heavy rainfalls.
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 a day.
Roads in Bhutan, especially those passing through high altitude passes and hills like Dochula, Chelela, Pelela and Yotongla remain closed for at least a day. People who were on journey remained struck in the middle.
However, 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.
Some Bhutanese remained inside their houses for the fear of getting caught up with cold. Prime Minister of Bhutan also advised all Bhutanese in Twitter to remain safe and warm.
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.
Some photography enthusiasts were getting on higher gradient land to find the best views. Some were making short movies in their small cameras or mobile phones.
Tourists were carrying their camera equipment and shooting photos. Some were making short movies. It appeared they were enjoying the different version of Bhutan for a moment.
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.
Young people were seen making snowman and some other small structure using snow. Some were fighting the game of snow-ball throws.
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.
Some expressed their joys as heavy snowfall would help immensely in increasing electricity generation and thereby increasing revenue for the Royal Government of Bhutan.
Recommend to read following travel experiences and more exciting stories from Bhutan:
- Royal Botanical Park of Bhutan at Lampelri, a good place to visit.
- 45 uncommon facts of Bhutan all tourists need to know.
- The largest Guru Statue – Travel map to Lhuentse Takila.
- Travel Punakha to experience River Rafting of Bhutan.
- Eastern Bhutan Travel – My experiences at Yonphula Airport.
- Bumthang Travel – Experiences and stories of a traveller.
- The secrets of Tiger Nest Monastery (Taktshang) Hike.
- Bumdeling – winter residence of Black-necked Cranes in Bhutan.