Combining aman, the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace’, and kora or ‘circular pilgrimage’ in Dzongkha, the Bhutanese language, Amankora, a luxury hotel in Bhutan, is a unique circuit of lodges set throughout the Kingdom of Bhutan’s central and western valleys. Descending from 7,000-meter peaks in the north to the low-lying plains of the south, Bhutan’s rivers have forged deep valleys separated by high mountain passes. Historically isolated, each valley’s scenic beauty and topography affords visitors an opportunity for unique journeys of discovery between them.
The Amankora Lodge in Paro is nestled among glistening conifers in a 24-suite pine forest retreat. Thirty minutes from Paro’s international airport, the lodge features a mix of rustic and contemporary design. Amankora Paro is situated 2,250 meters above sea level and on clear mornings will reveal an uninterrupted view onto Mount Jumolhari, the home of the Gods of the Kingdom in the clouds.
Bhutan’s historic isolation has everything to do with the inaccessibility of its location, lying in the Eastern Himalayas between India and Tibet. From a narrow southern plain at an altitude of 300 meters, Bhutan quickly rises through the Himalayan foothills (1,600 meters) to the valleys of Central and Western Bhutan (2,600 meters) and the mountain chains of the High Himalayas (4,000-5,000 meters). These run both east-west and north-south, and serve to separate one region and valley from the next. Valleys such as Paro (2,250 meters), Haa (2,700 meters), Thimphu (2,350 meters), Punakha (1,300 meters), Phobjikha (3,000 meters) and Bumthang (2,580 meters) therefore each have their own unique customs and traditions.