| SLIDESHOW | WARRIORS PROCESSION |
1. "The Palace of Great Bliss"
Stone-faced, burly and forbidding, the warriors are suddenly all smiles and grins, showing crimson teeth stained by beetle-juice. The fierce men lined up moments earlier for the group photograph are modern-day descendants of Bhutan's Pazaaps, a centuries-old citizen's militia charged with safeguarding holy relics within the fortified ramparts of western Bhutan's Dechen Punthang Phodrang or "Palace of Great Bliss," which straddles the confluence of two rivers, Mochu and Phochu, like a great white ship at anchor.
By Karma Dorji
The annual festival of warriors ushers Bhutan's springtime festival travel season. The history of the Pazaaps (as the warriors are known) celebrates martial strength, the significance of sacred relics in Bhutan and a clever defusing of cross-border hostilities. To learn more, read the full article at Bhutan's Procession of Warriors Festival. To see dates and prices for an upcoming journey featuring the festival, see here.
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