Tour Name: Journey to the “Land of Happiness” Tour (10 nights 11 days)
(Paro-Thimphu-Punakha-Phobjikha-Bumthang-Thimphu–Che le – La – Paro)
Day 01 : Paro Sightseeing — 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.
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.
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 – sightseeings
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.
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 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 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 – Phobjikha valley 5 ½ hours
After breakfast,visit to 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.
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)
Then drive to Phobjikha valley,before reaching the valley,visit to Gangtey Monastery:
t is Perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor, the Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of Gangtey valley, and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery.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.
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.
Overnight at Phobjikha
Day 5: Phobjikha – Bumthang( 7 hours)
After early breakfast,vist 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.
Then drive to Bumthang,
Located 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.
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 6 : Bumthang sight seeing.
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.
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.
Over night at Bumthang.
Day 7: Bumthang – Thimphu
Over night at Thimphu
Day 8: Day Excursions around Thimphu
After breakfast visit to Cheri Monastery
Opposite to the Tango Monastery, it is around 4 km uphill walk from the base point .Built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1620, this Buddhist monastery is holds the ashes of Zhabdrungs father Tenpai Nima. An excursion to this monastery will take you across the Thimphu Chhu, and then up a steep valley.
Evening drive to Paro
Overnight at Paro
Day 9: Paro – Che – le – La pass “Day Excursions”
After breakfast,drive towards Che- le La pass:
Before reaching the pass,visit Kila Goemba Monastery
Kila Gompa is located below Chelela Pass. It is about 27km from Bongdey, Paro. The journey to this Goenpa will discover the lives in self-imposed isolation and the lives of our nuns (women and girls pursuing the religious activities). You can also enjoy the panoramic vistas of Paro Valley, Mt. Jhomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake from the spot on clear days.
There are around seven small temples and several retreat huts built into a dizzying sheer Cliffside, where between 30 to 70 nuns live in self-imposed isolation. You will surprise to see that their life is so simple and live in serenity and in harmony with Mother Nature.
The Sanskrit meaning of Kila is subjugating spiritual dagger that destroys the negativities. Your visit to this temple and know more about the lifestyles of the nuns living here will bring you the positive change and positive energy in your life. It is so fascinating to see nuns life in the fascinating country where they enjoy the true happiness and blessing of our Mother Nature and almighty god. Visit and enrich your life.
Che Le – La Pass
Once you reach pass,you can walk and relax of your own around and feel yourself comfortable. You can also see the Jomolhari Mountain if the weather is clear on that day.
Please Note: you can hang some prayer flags ( Lung Dhar) on top of the passes according to your date of birth if you wish.You will accumulate some merits, brings good luck and best wishes in your life( Please discuss with the guide in advace,so that he can arrange you accordingly.
It is the highest road pass in the mountainous kingdom of Bhutan, the Chele La Pass lies at a dizzying 3988 meters (13 084 feet) above sea level. In addition to the spectacular scenery, a fluttering avenue of colorful prayer flags adds to the festive atmosphere of the almost two-hour drive along this rugged mountain road to the beginning of the hiking trail to the Kila Goemba. At this high altitude, the temperate drops and the air become clearer as get closer to the Pass. The winter months offer particularly beautiful views of the surroundings as you pass by trickling waterfalls, dense forests and alabaster snow en route to the hiking trail.
After Lunch leisure time of your own around town.
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.
Note: Please let use known in advance,so that I can arrange you accordingly.
The dinner will be served in farm house where you can experience the life style of Bhutanese.
Day: 10 : 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 Bhutan’s 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.
Overnight at Paro
Day 11: Transfer to airport for destination.
Thank you & Safe Journey
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