01. ARRIVE PARO AND PROCEED TO THIMPHU
This morning ensure to be at airport at least 02 hours before the flight departure time. You will be met on arrival by your tour guide who will then escort you to Thimphu. The road to Thimphu runs down through the valley, to Chuzom
(Confluence) at the entrance of the valley, where the Paro – Thimphu rivers meet. Three Chorten’s
of different style mark the confluence of these 02 rivers. Shorty before reaching Chuzom, you will see on your left Tschogang Lhakhang
, ‘the temple of the excellent horse’. It is a private temple, built in 15th century, as the result of visitation from Balaha, the excellent horse, a manifestation of Chenrezig, the compassionate Buddha. 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. Upon arrival in Thimphu relax for a while and acclimatize or walk around the town to get the feel of it
Stay overnight in Paro.
Day 02. THIMPHU
This morning start the tour of Thimphu city with a visit to Memorial Chorten
built in memory of the lake King; visit the Folk & Textile museum
; School of Fine Arts
(Thangka painting and other traditional arts) where the traditional arts are being revived by the Government; Indigenous Medicine Hospital
, where herbal medicine, acupuncture and the ancient art of healing that was passed down from Tibet is still being practiced today; Statue of sitting Buddha
the biggest in Bhutan and Sangay point
to have a bird’s eye of the Thimphu valley. Later in afternoon visit Changgangkha temples
, Drub throb nunnery
; and then visit Tashichhodzong
, seat of the Royal Government and Central Monastic Body. It was rebuilt in the early 1960’s after a fire destroyed most of the building. The amazing thing about this building is that it was built without a single drawing or a single nail.
Day 03. THIMPHU – HIKE TO TANGO MONASTERY
This morning drive for 12 kms to arrive at the starting point of Tango monastery
. It takes about an hour to walk to the temple and it is about 900ft climb. Built in 12th century by Gyalwa Lhanampa
, it serves as the monastic school for study of Buddhist philosophy, metaphysics, mathematics, poets and many other Buddhist studies. It take another hour to walk back till the car. Return to the town and you could either relax or walk around the town.
Stay overnight in Thimphu. Day 04.
THIMPHU – DOCHULA PASS – PUNAKHA
This morning take a scenic drive on the mountain route towards the former capital of Bhutan, passing through Dochula Pass
. A large Chorten and a forest of prayer flags greet you on arrival at Dochula Pass. On a clear day you can view an endless chain of Himalayan peaks. Enjoy a cup of hot tea/coffee and then drive further to Punakha
, the winter residence of the Je Khenpo and the monks of Tashichhodzong. Later in the afternoon proceed to visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong
, situated at the confluence of two mighty glacial rivers, the Mo Chu (River) and Pa Chu, which descend from the lofty heights of the Himalayas. Later hike on to Chimmi Lhakhang
situated near the river on a small plateau. It was built by the famous ‘divine madman’, Drukpa Kuenley, a famous pilgrim site for the infertile women who wish to bear children.
Stay overnight in Punakha.
05. PUNAKHA – TRONGSA – BUMTHANG
Today morning drive down to Bumthang enroute visiting Trongsa. You will pass through Pele La Pass
and you could stop at Chendebji Chorten (17th Century Nepalese style Chorten)
. A magnificent view of Trongsa Dzong
can be seen from here even before you reach there. Visit this beautiful Dzong and then drive on to Bumthang. At a distance of 29 kms from Trongsa is the Yotong La Pass at 11155 ft.
There is now a dense forest of conifers, which stretches as far as the eye can see. After 13 kms, the road comes out into a wide, open, cultivated valley. This is Chumey valley
, the first of Bumthang’s four valleys. Stop at weaver’s workshop
for colorful woolen textiles, bright sweaters, scares, blankets and bags. Check-in upon arrival and relax.
Stay overnight in
Bumthang. Day 06. BUMTHANG – TANG VALLEY & JAKAR VALLEY
Bumthang is especially dotes with religious relics left behind by the famous Guru Rinpoche
, and his reincarnation the Treasure Finder, Terton Pemalingpa
who is known to have found sacred Buddhist texts after diving into Membartsho Lake
with a lighted lamp on his head. It is said that someday keys to Shangri-la will be found. Visit the Jakar Dzong
, the Dzong of the white bird; the Jambay and Tamshing Lhakhangs
, two of the oldest temples dating to 7th century; the Kurjey Lhakhang
where the Kings of Bhutan are taken for their cremation rites
Stay overnight in Bumthang. Day 07. BUMTHANG – URA VALLEY
This morning drive 48kms southeast of Jakar, to URA valley. It is the highest of Bumthang valleys and is believed by some to have been the home of the earliest inhabitants of Bhutan. Visit the beautiful village with its Lhakhang dominating the surrounding. Thereafter hike for an hour and half to visit a beautiful village of Shingkhar. Drive back to your hotel and just walk around if keen or relax in the hotel.
Stay overnight in Bumthang.
Day 08. BUMTHANG – PUNAKHA
Today early morning start your drive back to Punakha. It will be a long day and you will pass Chendebji Chorten
once again. Arrive early evening in Punakha and check-in at the hotel of your stay. Rest of the evening is free for you to relax.
overnight in Punakha.
Day 09. PUNAKHA – PARO
This morning visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong, the winter residence of the Je Khenpo and the monks of Tashichhodzong. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of two mighty glacial rivers, the Mo Chu and Pa Chu, which descend from the lofty heights of the Himalayas, and was the capital of the kingdom in olden times. Continue the drive to Paro and upon arrival visit Ta Dzong, originally built as watchtower and now houses the National museum. The extensive collection included antique Thangka paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household object and a rich assortment of the natural and historic artifacts. (Note: Ta Dzong/Museum is closed on every Sunday and Monday).
Check-in at the hotel of your stay and later in the afternoon take a short drive to northern part of the valley to visit to Drukgyel Dzong
ruins that was once a strategic post to withhold invading Tibetan forces from the north. Also visit the temples of Kichu Lhakhang
overnight in Paro. Day 10. Paro
This morning hike up to Taktsang monastery
(The Tiger’s Nest), for people unaccustomed to the altitude it takes about three hours at an average walking speed to reach the temples. Enroute stop at teahouse for a refreshing drink and have an excellent view of the monastery. The path may at times appear to somewhat hair-raising but it is well defined and there is no danger whatever of falling off. Taktsang monastery is one of the most venerated pilgrim sites of the Himalayan world and it contains 13 holy places. Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Lair”, gets its name from the story of its foundation. In the 8th century, Guru Rinpoche came to Taktsang in a miraculous manner, flying on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong in the region of Kurteop. According to Bhutanese tradition, the tigress was a form taken by one of the Master’s consorts for the occasion. Guru Rinpoche meditated for three months in a cave at Taktsang and converted the Paro valley to Buddhism.
Stay overnight in
Paro. Day 11. PARO
This morning take an excursion to HAA District
which was restricted at one point of time. You will pass through Chelela Pass
at 13000ft and weather permitting you will have a clear view of Mt. Jumohlari Peak
. Enroute you will get to visit beautiful temple and a local village
. After spending sometime in this beautiful valley return to Paro town and walk around on your own.
overnight in Paro. Day 13. LEAVE PARO
This morning in time proceed to airport to board flight for onward destination.