The flight between Delhi and Paro in Bhutan is regarded as one of the most scenic in the world, spending most of the journey flying over the Himalayas. When I flew to Paro all I saw was cloud, but on my return journey it was gloriously clear for most of the flight. The best views from Paro are from the right hand side of the plane, ideally at the front or rear to avoid the wing, and on the left hand side heading to Paro.
After a 4am departure from Bhutan’s capital of Thimphu to drive an hour to Paro airport in time for my 7.15am flight I was a little tired, but it was perfectly timed in late October for the sun to rise just as we headed across the tarmac to board.
Paro valley was basking in the warmth of the rising sun as we took off and turned steeply.
Almost immediately snow capped mountains came into view, including Jhomolhari, with the peak covered in cloud, but still a much better view than I had in three days at Jhomolhari Base Camp.
Turning to a landscape covered in snow.
Clouds and sunlight offered magical views of the terrain below.
There were plenty more mountains as we flew over Nepal, at least five of them over 8,000m.
I didn’t know it at the time but some research afterwards confirmed this as Mt Everest on the left.
The snowless valleys were stunning.
As we got closer to Delhi the views disappeared as usual, replaced with haze, only clearing enough to see as we came into land.