by Mark Overgaard
All text and images on this site (unless otherwise credited) are copyright © 2012 - 2019 Mark Overgaard, with all rights reserved.
These images were created during a trip to Bhutan in June, 2016. Located in the majestic Himalaya between India and the Tibetan Plateau of China, Bhutan emphasizes preservation of its traditional culture and strictly limits the number of visitors, thereby avoiding the mass tourism development that has afflicted many of its Asian neighbors. A key emphasis for the trip was several tsechus or festivals scheduled in the Bumthang area of central Bhutan. A tsechu is an annual event at each site and very important as both a religious and social occasion for locals and visitors. Tsechus are often dominated by colorful and rhythmic cham (or mask dances) that depict legendary events of religious significance. Bhutanese tsechu attendees wear their best attire, such as brilliantly colored, hand-woven dresses for the women, as another way of pleasing the deities, and to bring them merit, luck and prosperity. We moved between Bhutan locations primarily via the Lateral Road, Bhutan’s single east-west road, which spans the country. The road is being expanded from one lane to two lanes with a massive construction project that drastically affects travel. At one point, we took 8 hours to drive about 70 kilometers (42 miles)! The tour was terrifically led by Gavriel Jecan, whose website is http://www.internationalphototours.com. In-country arrangements were well made by Pema Sonam’s Bhutan Creative Tours, with more details at http://www.bhutancreativetour.com; Pema was a gracious and knowledgeable guide throughout the tour.Read More