The tenth edition of the Mountain Echoes Festival will be held from August 22-25 in Thimphu in Bhutan, and is a great opportunity for all the travellers who are also writers, photographers and film-makers to engage in cultural dialogue, art and literature, share ideas and stories and spend three blissful days in the mountains of our neighbour country.
An initiative of India-Bhutan Foundation, in association with Siyahi, Mountain Echoes literary festival not only gives the traveller a chance to be part of the world of artists, but also explore the surreal natural beauty of Bhutan.
The theme for this year is ‘Many lives: Many Stories.’ Many stalwarts and international speakers will grace the occasion; a melting-pot of cultures right in the lap of Himalayas. From author’s talks, to workshops and exhibitions as well as film screenings, musical concerts, a dance recital and an open mic night – you’ll be spoilt for choice during all three days. Among the revered names are Xyza Bacani – a Filipino documentary photographer, Neil MacGregor – director of the British Museum and Kabir Saxena – a venerable Indian speaker.
However, if you’re extending your stay in Bhutan, these are some of the attractions you must visit near Royal University of Bhutan (the venue of the event).
Located a short drive from Thimphu’s city centre, travellers can get a good view of Thimphu valley from Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). You can offer your prayers to the largest Buddha statue in Bhutan and interact with the monks here who have devoted their whole lives to Buddhism.
National Handicrafts Emporium
The newly opened National Handicrafts Emporium has helped a great deal in taking Bhutanese textiles to newer heights. You can choose from warp pattern weaves, weft pattern weaves, textiles from indigenous fibres and the royal collection.
Trashi Chhoe Dzong
Also known as ‘Fortress of the Glorious Religion,’ the Dzong houses the main secretariat building which in turn houses the throne room of the King of Bhutan. The National Assembly Hall is in a modern building on the other side of the river from the Dzong. During the summer months, a group of monks headed by His Holiness, make the Dzong their home.