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Arrive Paro

On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative. On completion of airport formalities, there will be an interesting drive of about 2 hours duration to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan.

Remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure.

Lunch & dinner will be at the hotel.

Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the hotel

Day 02: Thimphu
Thimphu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, is the seat of government. This bustling town is home to Bhutan’s royal family, the civil servants, and foreign missions with representation in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally funded development projects.

Morning visit to Trashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government’s office and King’s Throne room It is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Proceed to the National Library which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, with some works dating back several hundred years. Visit the nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) , where a six year training course is given in the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.

After lunch, visit the National Memorial Chorten. The building of this landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity.

Visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and privately owned crafts shops, which offer a wide range of handcrafted products, including the splendid thangkha paintings and exquisitely woven textiles for which Bhutan is famous. Also visit the folk Heritage and National Textile Museums, a fascinating testimony of Bhutan’s living traditions.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the hotel

Day 03: Thimphu/ Gangtety (150 Km, 5 Hours drive)
After early breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana – finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

Drive via Wangduephodrang visiting Dzong and local market. The district of Wangduephodrang is also famous for its bamboo products, slate and stone carvings.

Arrive in Gangtey and check in to your hotel.

This afternoon, visit to Gangtey Goemba (monastery). Perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor, the Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the hotel

Day 04: Gangtey & Phobjikha
Full day explore beautiful Phobjikha valley.

A few kilometers beyond the Gangtey Monastery, on the valley floor lays the village of Phobjikha. This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter winter in milder and lower climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang and lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park..

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the hotel

Day 05: Gangtey – Bumthang (198 Km, 7 Hours drive)
After breakfast drive to Bumthang.

Drive via Trongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830 ft), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large white chorten prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo.

Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes panted at four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.

En route visit Trongsa Dzong. Built in 1648 it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second Kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. All four Kings were invested as Trongsa Penlop (‘governer’) prior to ascending the throne, and the present Crown Prince now holds the post. The Dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built.

Then drive to Bumthang, 68 km from Trongsa, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft). The road winds steeply up to the pass, 28 km from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the hotel

Day 06: Bumthang
Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.

Visit to Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock., the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region).
Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and perhaps take refreshments at a local restaurant.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Overnight at the hotel

Day 07: Bumthang (Excursion to URA valley)
Bumthang to Ura is 48 km, about one and a half hour drive. To reach here, the road climbs to amazingly open countryside, only occasionally running into forest. Large sheep pastures line the road up to 20 km behind the southern tip of the Tang valley. The route crosses Ura la pass (3,600m) with a magnificent view of Mount. Gangkhar Puensum. Villages in Ura have clustered houses, which is quite unusual in Bhutan. Above Ura village (3,100m) is a new temple dedicated to Guru Rinpoche. Inaugurated in 1986, it contains a huge statue of the master and remarkable paintings of the cycle of his teachings. Since last 25 years Ura has been transformed from a marginal community to prosperous valley.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the hotel

Day 08: Bumthang / Punakha (205 km, 7 HOURS DRIVE)
After breakfast, drive to Punakha.

Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until and still it is the winter seat of Je Khnep (the chief abbot). Blessed with temperate climate and owing to its natural drainage from Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female) rivers, the Punakha valley produces abundant crops and fruits.

Arrive in Punakha and check in to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the hotel

Day 09: Punakha
This morning visit Punakha Dzong. Built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan’s history. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored by the present King.

Later excursion to Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behaviour to dramatise his teachings and due to this also known as ‘Divine Madman’. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the hotel

Day 10: Punakha – Paro (125 km, 4 HOURS drive)
After breakfast drive to Paro.

Afternoon, visit to Ta Dzong, originally built as Watch Tower, it now houses National Museum of the Kingdom and boasts antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’ which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the lofe of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the hotel

Day 11: Paro
fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, “mountain of goddess” looms directly over the Dzong.

Along the way, see the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo. One of the most sacred shrines in the country, it reflects the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.

Later enjoy an excursion to Taktsang Monastery (approx 4 hours walk). It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime

Day 12: Depart Paro
After breakfast drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.

Package Highlights:

• Take in spectacular Himalayan scenery
• Go walking in pristine valleys
• Experience Bhutan’s unique culture
• Take in spectacular Himalayan scenery
• Experience rural life in Bhutan in the remote Bumthang Valley
• See the endangered black necked cranes at Phobjikha Valley
• Visit Punakha’s Dzong
• Experience Bhutan’s unique culture
• Climb up to Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro

Package Inclusions:

• Accommodation on twin share
• Meals as mentioned
• Transport using the services of an air conditioned vehicle as per the itinerary
• Services of English/Language speaking local guide for all sightseeing and excursions
• Entrances to the monuments (one visit)
• Assistance on arrival/departure by a trained airport representative

Package Exclusions:

• Tips/gratuities to chauffeur, cleaner, guide etc
• Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
• Any domestic/international airfare
• Insurance/camera fees at the monuments etc
• Any expenditure of personal nature

 

 Tour Duration : 11 Nights / 12 Days

Destinations Covered: Paro – Thimphu – Gangtey – Bumthang – Punakha