The Magic Fungus

Cordyceps, locally known as Yartsa Goenbub, which literally translates to ‘summer grass, winter worm’, is a rare species of parasitic fungus (mushroom) native to the high regions of the Himalayas in Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet and China. Known as a magic fungus for its numerous health benefits, Cordyceps is a high-value fungus, much in demand across the world.

- Cheki Dorji

Buddhism is known the world over for its majestic sacred sites. Amongst the most famous are Lumbini in Nepal where Siddhartha Guatama, the Buddha, was born, and Bodh Gaya in India, where he gained enlightenment under what became known as the Bodhi tree. These sites reverberate with a mystical energy that is hard to describe, but is deeply palpable in these holy sites. Millions of people visit these sacred locales every year, from pilgrims, to travelers and tourists, sometimes travelling many miles on foot to get there. It is said the more arduous the journey, the more positive merit the pilgrim will generate towards their next lives.

- Dr. Ritu Verma

Bhutan is admired worldwide for its conservation policies and abundance of biodiversity in land and river ecosystems. Most of Bhutan’s rivers still remain undammed, meandering into the pristine national parks of the country. Bhutan’s rich aquatic biodiversity has enabled the survival of one of the largest fish species, Mahseer, to live free and wild in these freshwaters. There are two Mahseer species found in Bhutan’s major rivers: Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora), which is listed as ‘Endangered’ in the IUCN Red list, and the near-threatened Chocolate Mahseer (Neolissochilus hexagonolepsis). Especially, Golden Mahseer is

- Sonam Dema

Travel Guide Passang Tshering randomly picks seven places in Bhutan you must visit

local chanterelle mushroom

Juma (sausage) is a Bhutanese delicacy made using a spicy mixture of minced meat (beef or pork), animal blood, 

Butterflies are not just some beautiful creatures or a delightful sight but they have a huge ecological value. They are also excellent indicators of environmental conditions. Experts say, when habitats are destroyed, butterflies are among the first species to disappear, often because their host plants disappear.

The word ‘ecotourism’ was coined in the 1980s. Conservationists often see ecotourism as a long-term strategy to help protect a natural area. They believe that if the local community can earn money from visiting tourists, they will have an economic incentive to protect the natural habitat rather than develop it for other economic uses. Ecotourism is also defined as the practice of touring natural habitats in a manner meant to minimize ecological impact. Butterfly tourism is considered a niche ecotourism attraction where they simulate the natural habitat of butterflies

- Sonam Dema

The word Tashi Gomang means “Stupa of Multiple Auspicious Doors”. In the Buddhist world, a Tashi Gomang is the Third of the Eight Stupas representing the eight important facets of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni’s life. This stupa commemorates Lord Buddha’s first teaching at Deer Park in Sarnath (Varanasi), India.

The Third Stupa of the Wheel of Dharma is known as a Tashi Gomang Stupa or Stupa of Many Doorways. It is also referred to as Kubum meaning ‘one hundred thousand holy images’. With a maximum of 108 doors, the doorways adorning the steps symbolize the opening of the doorways of the Dharma. These doors also signify that the teachings will spread far and wide.

There are no written records as such about the Tashi Gomang

- Pema Chhoden Wangchuk

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