Tour Name: Gross National Happiness Bhutan Tour (5 nights 6 days)
Day 01 : Paro
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.
It is an unusual Chorten (Stupa) like temple that was built in 1433 by the iron bridge builder Thangthong Gyelpo from Tibet to subdue a demons and so chained firmly to the ground. Its three floors represent hell, earth and heaven. The paintings inside are said to be best in Bhutan.
Then drive to Thimphu,capital city.
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.
Evening visit to 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.
Over night at Thimphu.
Day 2: Thimphu – sightseeings.
After breakfast visit Buddha Point ( Kuensel Phodrang)
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.
Changangkha Lhakhang (Monastery):
It is one of the oldest temple perched on a ridge overlooking Thimphu,a temple look like a fortress, this 12th century Buddhist temple built by Lama Phajo Drukgom shigpo from Ralung in Tibet provides a fascinating view of the whole of Thimphu valley. Chenrigzig or God of compassion /Avalokeshterivara is the central statue of this temple. A parent usually brings their new-born babies to get blessing and auspicious name from the protector deity Tamdrin.
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.
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.
Folk Heritage Museum:
At the Folk Heritage Museum, you can explore the traditional Bhutanese home, Bhutanese culture and traditions, and the agricultural tools that were used in Bhutan in the olden days.
Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha Old capital of Bhutan (85km 4 ½ hours).
After breakfast, drive to Punakha, 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 Short walk visit to Chhimi Lakhang( Temple) 45 minutes .
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.
Lunch at Chhimi Lhakhang Cafeteria.
After lunch visit Punakha Dzong:
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 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.
Overnight at Punakha
Day 4: Punakha sightseeing – Thimphu
After breakfast,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.
After lunch drive back to Thimphu
Motithang Takin Preservation
Visit 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.
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.
Changlingmithang Archery Field
Bhutans national sport is archery. In addition to the traditional bows and arrows made from bamboo, Bhutanese archery players also use modern compound bows. You can witness archery matches that take place at the Changlingmithang Archery Field. Traditional songs and victory dances are all part of fun during the matches.
We stare down the 140 metre bhacho (archery range) straining to focus on the small wooden target propped up in the dust.
Over night at Thimphu
Day 5 : Thimphu – Paro (Taktsang Tiger nest Monastery 3 ½ hours)
After early breakfast,drive to Paro,Then 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.
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.
Evening Visit Local Farm House:
Paro valley is one of the most beautiful and fertile lands where you can see people grow locally red rice as a main cash income. Bhutanese farmhouses are very colourful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of single nail. All houses follow the same architectural pattern. One can visit to Farm House and spend a night if you prefer. It is very interesting and offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.
The dinner will be served in farmhouse where you can experience the life style of Bhutanese.
Overnight at Paro
Day 6: Transfer to airport for destination.
Thank you & Safe Journey
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