Tour Name: Amazing Journey to Bhutan Tour (9 nights 10 days)
Phobjikha-Bumthang-Punakha – Paro)
Day 01: Arrive Paro by Druk Air & transfer to Thimphu
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be received by our representative. Paro district encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic natural beauty and a number of Bhutan’s most sacred, revered and oldest monasteries and temples, and also the county’s only international airport. This district is located at an altitude of 2200m/7218ft.Paro is one of the most fertile valleys in the kingdom producing a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its terraced field.
Then visit Ta Dzong/National Museum:
Built in 1651 as a watchtower to defend Rinpong Dzong. This fortress was inaugurated as the national Museum of Bhutan in 1968.This museum located on a hill overlooking Rinpung Dzong houses ancient Bhutanese relics, religious painting, artifacts, armors, handicraft, coins, stamps of Bhutan and a small natural history collection.
Paro Dzong also known as Rinpung dzong, is one of the main attractions of Paro district. This fortress was built in 1646 by the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. This fortress now houses the district administration offices and the monastic body of the district. You will cross a traditional wooden bridge on the way to this fortress and you can marvel at the architectural wonder of this fortress. The annual Paro Tshechu festival is held once a year in the spring.
Evening Drive to Thimphu capital of Bhutan
Thimphu: located at an altitude of 2400m, Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan,It is the most populated district of Bhutan with about 135,000 people. Thimphu is the center of commercial hub where you can see mixture of people from all the places. It is the seat of Government, home for civil servant and foreign missions with representation in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally founded development projects. You can visit a number of sights, and attractions in Thimphu, including museums, handicrafts shop, archery fields, monasteries and Dzongs.
Over night at Thimphu.
Day 2: Thimphu to Gangtey/Phobjikha
After breakfast, drive to Gangtey/Phobjikha, across Dochula pass (3,140m). In Bhutan, the passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chortens (Stupas) and prayer flag. Dochula pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day.
Then visit Gangtey Goempa
Gangtey was founded by Pema Trinley, the grandson of Pema Lingpa, the famous Nyingmapa saint of Bhutan. In 1613, Pema Trinley establishes the monastery and became the first Gangtey Tulku. The religious traditions of Pema Lingpa still taught there. The second Tulku, Tenzin Legpa Dondrup (1645 to 1726), enhanced the size of Gangtey while keeping up good relations with Drukpas, and rebuilt the monastery in the form of a Dzong.
It is one of the most beautiful and breath taking places in Bhutan The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space, and extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed.
Gangey Natural Trail:
Natural trail hiking from Gangety monastery to Phobjikha valley is one of the beautiful and easiest hikes climbing downhill, which will take about 2 hours.
This pleasurable walk provides opportunity to get nice feel of Phobjikha valley.from the small hilltop overlooking Gangtey Goemba, you will be passing through flower meadows towards village and through beautiful forests and into open valley. The trail ends at the local community school after passing Chorten and khewa Lhakhang.
Distance: 5 km. Time: approx..2 hours. Difficulty level: Easy.
Over night at Phobjikha valley
3: Gangtey/Phobjikha to Bumthang
Morning explore Phobjikha valley which is famous for Black Necked Cranes. These cranes migrate here from Central Asiatic plateau to escape the harsh winters.
Black Necked Crane Information Centre
Situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane information Centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes. The centre also offers display information that outline the natural and cultural history of the area. There is a small gift shop, which sells handicrafts produced by the local people.
Then drive to Bumthang crossing 3,300m high Pele la pass which you will be enjoying fresh air. 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. You will come across again over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft).
On the way to Bumthang,visit Trongsa Museum:
It is one of the beautiful museum in Bhutan.This watchtower (ta dzong) overlooking the dzong now houses an excellent museum. The five floors of displays focus on Buddhist art and royal memorabilia, including such as the football boots used by the teenaged fourth king.
Overnight at Bumthang
Day 4: Bumthang sightseeing;
BumthangLocated at an altitude of 2600m-4500m/8530ft-14765ft.The place is very beautiful and also known as the Switzerland. Bumthang is one of the famous religious place in Bhutan.It is the home for Pema Lingpa the 15th century treasure discovered, the great Buddhist saint. Many temples and monasteries, some of which are the most scared and oldest in Bhutan. Bumthang valley,This region is also known for the unique designs and patterns of hand woven Yathra from the fibers of yak and sheep wool
Visit Kuje Lhakhang
Kurje Monastery comprises of three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 on the rock face where Guru Rinpoche mediated in 8th century. Second temple was built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of Gurus body and is therefore considered as most holy. The third temple was built in 1990s by Ashi Kesang the queen mother. These three temples were surrounded 108 stupas.
-Offering butter lamp in the temple of imprint of Guru Rinpochhe’s body towards the cave.This is one of the amazing and most holy temple.
-Self-meditation of your own in the temple after offering the butter lamp.
-Offering white scarf to the imprint of Guru’s body to the cave
Jambey Lhakhang (Temple)
It is one of an oldest temple in Bhutan.This monastery was built in the 7th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.On the same day as Kyichu Lhakhang in paro.It is one of the 108 monasteries that were built to subdue evil in the Himalayan region.
Located just opposite to Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang known as (temple of the good message) it was founded by Terton Pema Lingpa re-incarnation of Guru Padmasambhava in 1501.This monastery houses very ancient religious paintings like 1000 Buddhas and 21 Taras( female form of Bodhisattva)The temple was restored at the end of 19th century.
Jakar Dzong is said to be the longest fortress of Bhutan and it is known as castle of the white bird This fortress was built by the great grand-father of the first Zhabdrung in 1549 as a monastery. After Zhabdrung firmly established his power in 1646, it was upgraded as a fortress. Today, this fortress serves as the centre of administration of the district and houses the monastic body.
Evening leisure around town of your own. Note: The diner will serve in Swiss guest house.
Overnight at Bumthang
Day 5: Day Excursion in Bumthang.
After breakfast, visit Membertsho (Burning Lake):
Mebartsho or the burning lake takes about 20 minutes walk from the parking road. Terton (Treasure revealer) Pema Lingpa (Re-incarnation of Guru Rinpoche) is said to have discovered several religious treasures in the 15th century from this lake. This lake is very scare and revered and an extensive array of prayer flags flutter above the lake, along with numerous tsa tsa or clay tablets that decorate the rock niche. It is a lovely sport where nature religion and history blur into one. This is one of greatest pilgrimage sites of Bhutan.
Then drive to Tang valley which is one of the beautiful valley in Bumthang,
It is about 50 km from Bumthang 2 hourr drive.The road climbs up hill and then down .it is one of the remotest and beautiful valleys in Bumthang.You will passing road through village and enjoy the scene.On the way you can visit nunnery centre. Pema Lingpa, the re-incarnation of Guru Rinpochhe,(treasure discoverer) the famous saint, was born in the Tang valley of Bumthang. The peopleof this valley raise sheep and at higher elevation, yaks as the soil in this region is not so rich for agricultural activities.
Ugyen Chholing Palace
Ugyen chholing Place in Tang valley is another attraction, Perched on the top uphill walk to this hilltop from Tang valley, where 16th century naktshang or country’s manor originally built by Tshoki Dorji the one time Governor of Trongsa Restored in 19th century, it is now housing the family museum, a place that will transport visitors to another world and time. The visitors will view permanent exhibits recreated to capture the ambience of the lifestyle of the Trongsa Penlop( Governor) Tshokey Dorji and his house hold, it also serves as retreat for those engage in religious history. Bhutan’s history truly unfolds here.
Over Night at Bumthang.
6: Bumthang to Punakha)
After breakfast, explore further the fascinating valley of Bumthang. Then drive back to Punakha,the formal capital of Bhutan,
Enroute to Punakha,visit Chhimi Lakhang (Temple):
It is suited on a hillock in the center of the valley, is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humor, songs and outrageous behavior to dramatist his teaching 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 every soon. It is about 30 minute walk across field from the road to the temple. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana,meaning Filed. It then follows a tiny stream downhill to Yoaka and across more fields before making a short climb to Chimi Lhakhang.
It is built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu (Male) and Mo Chhu (Female) rivers in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, Punakha Dzong is the main attraction in Punakha. This is the biggest and second largest dzong built by the Zhabdrung in 1637.It is the old capital of Bhutan. Today it houses the administration offices of the Punakha district and serves as a winter residence of the Je Khenpo(Chief Abbot) and the monastic body who migrate from Thimphuevery winter. Punakha Dzong is one of the most beautiful fortresses in Bhutan. Punakha Dzong joined to the mainland by an arched wooden bridge and contains many precious relics from the days when successive kings reigned the kingdom over this valley. Furthermore, it is blessed with a temperate climate, and lovely lilac colored jacaranda trees grow around the Dzong during the spring season
Punakha is located at an altitude of 1300m/4265ft.Punakha is the former capital of Bhutan.Punakha valley produces abundant crops and fruits.
Over night at Punakha
Day 7: Puankha – Thimphu
After break fast visit Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten ( Stupa):
Dominating the upper Punakha valley, this magnificent stupa was built to promote peace, stability and harmony in Bhutan. This stupa is dedicated to the fifth king and serves to protect the country; The 30 m- tall stupa took eight years to build and was consecrated in 1999.it is a 50 minutes hike to this monastery from the base.
Punakha Suspension Bridge:
Apart from Punakha Dzong, what makes Punakha a popular tourist attraction is the Punakha suspension bridge. It is built over the Po Chhu River. It is one of the longest suspension bridges in Bhutan, spanning 160 m. It connects Punakha town with Punakha Dzong. Draped with prayer flags, it is a delight for photographers. Walking on it will by far be one of your most adventurous experiences. Make sure to stop by here.
Location: 10 minutes away from Punakha Dzong, Punakha
Sangchhen Dorji Lehndrup Lhakhang Nunnery:
It is one of a very beautiful nunnery monastery perched on a ridge amid pine and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangdiphodrang gleams the magnificent of Sangchhen Dorji Lehndrup Lhakhang (Temple),The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig chagtong chentong) god of compassion 1000 arms and 1000 eyes. Other statues included those of Guru Rinpochhe,Gautama Buddha,Zhabdrung ngawang Namgyel,Tse-la Namsum 21 Taras and Tsepamey (Buddha of longevity) The Avalokiteshvara statue one the biggest in the country was the handwork of entirely local Bhutanese artisans.
Then drive back to Thimphu:
Evening visit Trashichho Dzong
Literally meaning, fortress of the glorious religion, Trashichho dzong, was first built in 1641 by Zhabdrubg Ngawang Namgyel, and later rebuilt in its present form in 1965 by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. This fortress houses the throne room \His Majesty the King of Bhutan, civil official and is the seat of the government and the summer residence for the monastic body.
Overnight at Thimphu.
Day 8 : Thimphu sightseeing
The Buddha Dordenma Statue is a 169 feet tall statue of Buddha, built at the foot of the hills in Thimphu. This iconic gold and bronze statue is visible from almost anywhere in Thimphu and is among the best tourist places in Bhutan.
This is a statue of Buddha and it’s a giant one at the top of the mountains in Thimphu and it’s also known as the Kunzang Phodrang. The presence of this giant statue of Buddha symbolizes the dominant religion of Bhutan. This very religion plays a solid part in this country and in the everyday life of the country people.
Buddha Dordenma is one of the largest sitting Buddha statue in the world today and it’s 51.5 meters tall and made of bronze. The statue will house over one lakh twenty five thousand smaller Buddha statues, each of which like the Buddha Dordenma itself
Key attractions: The 169 feet tall Buddha statue, thousands of smaller bronze and gold statues of Lord Buddha, and the surrounding Kuensel Phodrang nature park.
National Memorial Chorten:
This stupa was built in 1974 in memory of the Father of Modern Bhutan, the Third King of Bhutan, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who reigned from 1952-1972. The statues and paintings inside this stupa provide a deep understanding of Buddhism in Bhutan.The stupa is being now home for daily worship for the people of Thimphu.
Motithang Takin Preservation
At the Takin Preservation, you can see the Takins, the National Animal of Bhutan. This animal is smaller than a yak with short legs and resembles a moose with a big face and thick neck. It looks like a cross between cow and goat. It was chosen as national animal of Bhutan based on its uniqueness and strong association of our countrys religious history and mythology. It can be found only in Bhutan and nearby by areas. You can also see some barking deer too.
Zilukha nunnery is also called as Drubthob Goemba monastery,is located on the slopes, looking down at Golf course and Tashicho Dzong with around 70 resident nuns. The monastery was founded by later reincarnation of Druthob Thangtong Gyalpo or Drubthob Chakzampa, who in the 15 century was known all over Tibetan Buddhist world for building iron bridges.The main statues inside is statue of Drupthop Thangtong Gyelpo himself and the 21 Tara statues wish fulfilling god.
-Offering milk to 21 Tara statues known as wish fulfilling female goodness.
– Offering white scarf. -Self-meditation/chanting prayers of your own in the temple.
National Institute of Zorig Chusum
The institute commonly known as ‘Paining school. Students at this institute undergo vigorous training in Zorig Chusum ( the thirteen traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan) The students at this school learn the skills of woodturning, woodcarving, carpentry,weaving,tailoring,thangkas- painted religious pictures on clothes,mask statues,bowls,embroidery,statues making out of clay,gold and silversmith courses, to name just a few.
Library of Bhutan:
The National library was established in 1967 to preserve ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts.The Library houses an extensive collection of religious texts, manuscripts, and ancient texts on Buddhism, and many ancient Buddhist texts in wood block format. Here you can also see how prayer flags are printed by using wooden printing blocks.
Most of the Traditional texts of Bhutan are kept folded in colored cloth. A lot of the texts have been written on them as well.
Postal Department is one of the oldest Govt.organization in Bhutan.It was started in 1962 as soon as after the road was opened in 1961.
Bhutan Postal Museum,was established in November 2015 to celebrate the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
The main objective of the museum is to tell the story of Bhutan’s progress and development through the lens of the evolution of communications and postal system in the country. The story is told through anecdotes, artifacts and the rich assortment of stamps the country has produced over the years.
Evening drive back to Paro.
Over night at Paro.
Day 9: Hike to (Taktsang Tiger nest Monastery 3 ½ hours)
After early breakfast, hike to Taktsang monastery (Tiger Nest) which is perched on an edge of a steep cliff at 900m above Paro valley, Taktsang(Tigers Nest) monastery is Bhutans most sacred and revered monastery.Guru Rinpoche,who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan,is said to have arrived here on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuentse eastern part of Bhutan and mediated in a cave for three months where Taktshang monastery today stands. All the Bhutanese people make it a point to visit this monastery at least once in their lifetime. On 19th April 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of the building but now this Bhutanese jewels has been able to restored to its original glory.
-Offering butter lamp in the temple of talking statue Guru Rinpochhe (The lamp contains butter as it will get more merit than oil lamp)
-Self-meditation of your own in the temple of talking statue Guru Rinpoche after offering the butter lamp.
-Then hanging prayer flags for your good luck while coming back from Tiger nest.The prayer flag should get blessing from the temple.
Lunch will be served on the way back from the monastery at the cafeteria halfway.
Then Visit Kyichhu Lhakhang
It is one of the oldest and most scared shrines of the kingdom during back to 7th century (the other one is Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang) the lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, Songtshen Gampo in the 7th century and in 1968.Her Majesty, Ashi Kesang , the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in original pattern.
Note: The dinner will be serve in the farm house with typically Bhutanese style.
Overnight in Paro.
Day 10 : Transfer to airport for destination.
Thank you & Safe Journey,
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