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Mumbai, Druk Air and the Kingdom of Bhutan

David Pettitt

Druk Air, the national carrier of Bhutan, announced last week that it will be flying a new international route. The latest service will link Mumbai, India’s financial metropolis, with sleepy Paro in western Bhutan. Currently the flights are expected to run twice-weekly, however, if the route is popular the service is sure to expand.

View of the Tiger's Nest Monastery clinging to the side of a cliff in Bhutan

Over the last couple of years Druk Air have greatly increased their operation and now have air-links to both Singapore and Dhaka. There are also two new domestic airports in the kingdom with more to come – a welcome addition to the single east-west road which remains the primary, and original, mode of transportation!

Punakha Dzong in Bhutan

Despite its unavoidable modernisation, Bhutan has managed to minimise the effects of outside influences and remains relatively untouched. This remote kingdom is also a bastion of Tibetan Buddhism and a highly religious land where festivals define the cultural heritage of the country. One festival which coincides with the introduction of this new Mumbai-Paro flight is Ura Yakchoe which is held for five days from the 10th May in Bumthang, central Bhutan – a riot of colour and dance focussed on a sacred and important relic.

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