Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Iron Chain Bridge & Chilis

Monday, 13 November 2017

The trip from the Paro airport to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan) is about 50 km (30 miles) over a narrow, but good quality road. (The roads in Bhutan are much better than those in Nepal.)

Red chili peppers are a vegetable in Bhutan. The national dish, served at every meal, is "chili-and-cheese", which is delicious, but way too spicy-hot for me to enjoy. In the fall, most families dry copious quantities of red chilis on their roof to have a good supply through the winter.
Between Paro and Chhuzom is an example of an "iron chain bridge", reconstructed on the site of one of the original iron chain suspension bridges built by the Tibetan engineer Thangtong Gyalpo in the 15th century. He is revered as a saint, the Iron Chain Lama.
The heavy iron chains form the base support for the bridge. As with all bridges in Bhutan, it is full of prayer flags.
Inside the gate house: the iron chains go through the structure and are secured on the outside. Inside are "cupcake stupas" placed by individuals for good fortune.
Next to the Iron Chain Bridge is a more conventional suspension bridge that affords access to the other side of the river where there is a 600-year-old temple.

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