09 Nights/10 Days
Fly into Himalayas with Druk Air, Bhutan’s National Air Carrier. From the plains of India towards the northern side of Tibetan Border, the plane flies above the greenish hills/walls which are known as a gateway into Bhutan (The Land of Thunder Dragon – Kingdom of Bhutan). Silvery rivers rush along the valleys; waterfalls plunge down the forest mountain sides and to the north, the great snow capped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heaven.
During the flight you will experience breath taking views of Mts Everest, Mts Jomolhari, and Mts Jichu Drake. After arrival to the international airport, our representative will personal host throughout your stay in Bhutan.
Drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The road runs down through the Paro valley, to Chuzom (Confluence) at the entrance to the valley, where the Paro and Thimphu rivers meet. The road passes along a narrow valley with high, rocky cliffs on the left, and then the valley opens out into farmland on the approach to Thimphu. Simtokha Dzong, “the place of profound tantric teaching”, stands sentinel on a hillock a few kilometers out of town. This dzong is the oldest and the house from where Bhutan was unified by Zhabdrung in the 17th century. Overnight at Thimphu.
Start you day with a visit to:
National Memorial Chorten, continuously circulated by the faithful, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who had wished to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace
Buddha point where you will see a 169ft tall statue of Lord Buddha facing the city. This is also the point from where you will get the perfect over view of Thimphu city.
Folk Heritage Museum: It is one of the oldest traditional houses. This house has been around 150 years old. It once belonged to one of the affluent family. Government has converted the house into museum in 2001 in Thimphu providing visitors and tourists with fascinating insights into the Bhutanese material culture and way of life. The Folk Heritage Museum with a three storied, 19th century traditional house provides you a glimpse of the Bhutanese lifestyle, and artifacts from the rural households. One can come across typical household objects, tools and equipments.
After having your lunch we will visit:
National Textile Museum: National Textile Museum which was opened in June 2001 is worth a leisurely visit to get to know the living of national art of weaving. Changing exhibitions introduce the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and textiles made by women and men. The small shop features work from the renowned weaving centre in Lhuntshe Dzongkhag, in north-eastern Bhutan.
Tashichodzong: 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. The fortress is opened from 9am till 5pm during weekends and during weekdays it’s open after 5pm till 6pm.After having your lunch we will visit: • National Textile Museum: National Textile Museum which was opened in June 2001 is worth a leisurely visit to get to know the living of national art of weaving. Changing exhibitions introduce the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and textiles made by women and men. The small shop features work from the renowned weaving centre in Lhuntshe Dzongkhag, in north-eastern Bhutan.
Tashichodzong: 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. The fortress is opened from 9am till 5pm during weekends and during weekdays it’s open after 5pm till 6pm.
After breakfast drive to Punakha with a stop at Dochula pass (3080m).Here we can view and admire the Chorten, Mani wall, and prayer flags which decorates the highest point on the road. If the sky is clear, the following peaks can be visible from this pass(left to right): Masagang(7,158m), Tshendagang(6,960m), Terigang(7,060m),Jejegangphugang(7,158m),Kangphugang(7,170m), Zongphugang(7,060m),a table mountain dominates the isolated region of Lunana- finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m. We will have lunch on the way. After that we will visit to Chimi Lhakhang which is a short hike. Chimi Lakhang Temples lies in the fertile Lobesa villge of Punakha Valley. The temple is dedicated to the divine madman-Saint Drukpa Kuenley and the temple is also known as the Temple of Fertility. Check in hotel.
After breakfast drive to Bumthang. On the way visit Trongsa dzong, this is the most impressive dzong (fort-monastery) in the kingdom, and can be seen from a great distance in its strategic position high above the Mangde Chhu. It is one of the most aesthetic and magnificent works of traditional Bhutanese architecture, a rambling collection of buildings trailing down the ridge. It has a succession of beautiful courtyards. Before reaching Bumthang we will visit chumey valley which is now a days a popular tourist stop to see Yathra weaving (deep colored wool textile). You can see the weavers at work here and shop for textiles.
After the scrumptious breakfast will move out for sightseeing which includes:
Jambay Lhakhang built in the 7th century by the King Songtsen Goempo of Tibet. In his effort to propagate Buddhism he had a plan to build a total of 108 temples in Tibet and neighboring kingdoms.
Kujey Lhakhang (Kujey means, “Body imprint”). The temple to the right is the oldest and was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rinpoche meditated and left His body imprints.
Tamshing Lhakhang: The temple and monastery are remarkable for their direct connection to the Bhutanese saint Pema Lingpa. It is now a seat of Lama Sungtrul Rinpoche the current speech incarnation of Pema Lingpa. Tamshing consists of a deteriorating temple and cramped monks quarters. The monastery supports a body of over 95 monks.
Jakar Dzong: “castle of the white bird”. According to legend, when the lamas assembled in about 1549 to select a site for a monastery, a big white bird rose flew suddenly in the air and settled on a spur of a hill. This was interpreted as an important omen, and the hill was chosen as the site for a monastery and for Jakar Dzong. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.
In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley.
Drive to Punakha
Early morning we will drive to Punakha. It will be a long drive.
Drive to Paro
Early morning we will visit to Punakha dzong. It is situated near two rivers– the Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River.) Asia has a rich tradition of river personification. Punakha Dzong is one of the largest Dzongs in Bhutan. Take the suspension bridge to arrive at the Dzong. Punakha Dzong was initially called Druk Pungthang or Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness), for many years until the second king of Bhutan assumed power. Punakha Dzong happened to be the seat of the Government for a long time. Lunch will be on the way. Then proceed to Paro. Evening at leisure.
In the morning we will visit:
National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here an intriguing collection of artifacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom.
Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. From the Dzong, walk further down to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge.
After lunch we will visit:
Kyichu Lhakhang: It was built sometimes in mid 7th century by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. It is believed to be one of the 108 temples built to subdue a demoness residing in the Himalayas. It is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.
Drukgyel dzong: Drukgyal Dzong was one of the four principal Dra Dzongs (defense fortress). Accounts differ on the founder of Drukgyal Dzong. It is said to have been caused by the fire when a butter lamp fell in the central tower. Only the ruins of giant walls, charred gigantic wooden posts, beams and watch towers can be seen of what was once an important fortress that repelled several invasions from the north.
Today after the leisurely breakfast we will proceed for an excursion to the famous place called Taktshang Monastery (6hrs hike) Taktshang Monastery (Tiger Nest) is located at top of about 800 meter cliff in Paro. It takes slightly more than an hour and a half to reach the monastery on foot from the nearest road point. Taktshang or the Tigers lair as the monastery is widely regarded is one of the most important in Bhutan. Its history is associated with the visit of Guru Padmasambhava, the Indian saint who came to Bhutan in the 8th century AD. The cave was named Taktshang after Guru Rinpoche flew into the cave from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in eastern Bhutan riding on a tigress. Later in 1692 the fourth Druk Desi Tenzin Rabgye started to construct monastery and finally completed after three years in 1694.
After breakfast, drive to the Paro Airport for your onward destinations
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