Trip to Phajoding Monastery and Phajoding Lake had been in my bucket list for quite a long time. It’s the fabulous settlement of the monastery overlooking capital city of Bhutan that prompted me to visit.
I would get to take hundred of pictures; photography of Thimphu valley from the topmost point I would climb. I wanted to simply sit capturing the changing colors of sky from dawn to dusk from Phajoding.
Therefore, on 31st of December 2016, nine of us started the journey at around 7.30am from Thimphu to Phajoding. You might know there are two main routes to reach Phajoding Monastery.
Phajoding Monastery Trek, Thimphu – Trails:
- Sangaygang Trail
- Takin Zoo Trail
The trail from Sangaygang is little sloppy in comparison to the one that starts from Motithang Takin Preserve. Therefore, we opted for the first. Many of us agreed to attempt the harder one.
The uphill ascends to through pine forest was quite tiresome for me. However, it’s quite rewarding one both physically as well as mentally.
Thimphu residents who are idle and want to go for hiking out of blue, Phajoding Temple in Bhutan can be quite an exhaustive experience. I also belong to this category of people. All along the trail I was wondering if I would make to Phajoding Monastery successfully.
The Nature of Thimphu Phajoding Hike
The rise in Phajoding Monastery altitude becomes noticeable with every step we take. The change in vegetation becomes visible. The densely populated taller pine trees give a way to small shrubs and Stuart rhododendrons.
The warm air gradually becomes colder. When we reach the monastery, we were hit by coldness of Phajoding Altitude. And everyone was dreadfully tired. Yet that was not the end. We were supposed to hold a night at Thujedrak which would take another hour from Phajoding Monastery.
Morning sunrise views from Phajoding Camp site
It was the sunrise I was waiting for. I had my alarm set at 5.30 am. I had the battery of my camera saved solely for the purpose. The day came in finally. It was the New Year, first sun rays of 2017. I was so determined not to miss a moment.
I started to capture every little details of the change in the color. The lights and the shades that one can see at the crack of dawn is only one of a kind.
The first rays of light gives way to bluish glow clearing the dark little by little. The appearance of yellow tint in a while makes the look more majestic. As more light enters in, the yellow shades are accompanied by dark orange hues which makes it look like a picturesque landscape painting.
The clustered clouds retain those colors and the sky simply looks amazing. Just as the color play around and invites more light, the bright yellow star arises from the top of the highest mountain in the area. The rays gives away a perfect flash and lights up the whole of Thimphu valley.
Recommend to read following travel experiences and more exciting stories from Bhutan:
- Trekking to Great Dungtsho – Bhutan’s Lake Amidst Rocky Castles.
- Interesting Walk over Suspension Bridge of Punakha Bhutan.
- Dochula Pass – Travel experiences with Indian Tourists.
- Bhutan’s Taba-Lungtenphu walking Trail in Thimphu Bhutan.
- My simple tips for Thimphu Phajoding Trip.
- 45 uncommon facts of Bhutan all tourists need to know.
- To Lhuentse Singye Dzong – Slice of Last Shangri-La in Bhutan.
- Bhutanese celebrate first snowfall as a symbol of prosperity.
- The secrets of Tiger Nest Monastery (Taktshang) Hike.
- Royal Botanical Park of Bhutan at Lampelri, a good place to visit.