Trip overview :
Bhutan is a remote Himalayan kingdom located east of Nepal and west of Burma, between Tibet and India. On its northern border, Bhutan is flanked by some of the tallest mountains in the world.
Almost completely cut off for centuries, it has tried to let in some aspects of the outside world while fiercely guarding its ancient traditions.
The Bhutanese name for Bhutan, Druk Yul, means “Land of the Thunder Dragon” it only began to open up to outsiders in the 1970s.
Bhutan is a beautiful and peaceful country. The surrounding mountains coupled with the wide array of vegetation and wildlife is a beautiful sight that tells you just how magical it is!
Bhutan is a very unique vacation travel destination. It is not commercialized like most vacation destinations you visit. The country cherishes a “high value low volume” tourism policy for the preservation of the country’s unique heritage and culture in a fast changing world. Bhutan is famous today for the preservation of its traditional culture, its pristine environment, and its official policy of Gross National Happiness .
Brief Itinerary :
Day 1: Arrival in Paro
Day 2: Day 2- Paro-Punakha Valley (Drive 4 hrs)
Day 3- Punakha-Trongsa (Drive 6 hrs)
Day 4 : Trongsa-Bumthang (Drive 2 .30 hrs)
Day 5 : Bumthang Sightseeing (Day trip to Tang)(Drive 2 hrs)
Day 6: Trongsa-Gangtey/Phobjakha Valley (Drive -5.30-6 hrs)
Day 7 : Gangtey/Phobjakha Valley`Thimphu (Drive -5.30 hrs)
Day 8 : Thimphu City Tour
Day 9- Paro Sightseeing (Hike to Tigers Nest)
Kathmandu paro flight . During the flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jomolhari and Mount Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at the Paro International Airport, you will be received and welcome by our representatives.
Paro – is a valley town in Bhutan, west of the capital, Thimphu. It is the site of the country’s only international airport and is also known for the many sacred sites in the area. North of town, the Taktsang Palphug (Tiger’s Nest) monastery clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley. Northwest of here are the remains of a defensive fortress, Drukgyel Dzong, dating from the 17th century.
Paro visit Rinpung Dzong. The dzong's correct name is Rinchen Phug Dzong but has been shortened to Rinpung Dzong. The name means 'fortress of the heap of jewels.' The dzong was built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche. Some of the scenes from the film 'Little Buddha' by Bernardo Bertolucci in 1995 was filmed at the Paro Rinpung Dzong.
Visit Ta-Dzong. The Ta-Dzong was originally the watchtower for the Paro Dzong and stands imposingly on a hillock overlooking the Paro valley. In 1968, it was inaugurated as the National Museum, and now holds a fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious thangka paintings, Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps, coins, handicrafts, and a small natural history collection. A short visit here will give you an idea of the cultural and ecological richness of Bhutan. Overnight Hotel in Paro.
After breakfast by road to Punakha across Dochula Pass. Dochu La is a beautiful mountain pass (alt 3,140 m) fluttering prayer flags and a spectacular set of 108 miniature chortens (stupas). On a clear day, you will get awe-inspiring glimpses of the towering Himalayan peaks around. The remaining part of the drive is mostly a gradual descent into Punakha valley.
Enroute visit Chhimi Lhakhang. This fertility temple is dedicated to the famous teacher, Drukpa Kinley (also known as the 'Divine Madman') with whom the phallic symbol is associated. The Divine Madman sits there though a statue this time. Do not miss the master's deeds painted on the walls. Couples usually visit this temple to be blessed with children. Parents also take their babies here to get them named. Babies named here usually have 'Kinley' as their first name.
Visit Punakha Dzong: Placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck was enthroned. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. At the Dzong, enrich your trip with the opportunity to see the highest standards in woodwork. Do not miss the massive Kuenray, the coronation hall of all Bhutanese kings, the Dzongchung at the entrance to the dzong, and the cantilever bridge over the Mo Chu that has been recently renovated. Overnight Hotel in Punakha.
After breakfast, drive to Tserignag and hike to Khamsum Yule Namgyel Chorten. This fascinating temple was built by the Queen Mother of the 5th King to bring universal peace in this world. The best of the spiritual art works are painted on the inner walls. There are also paintings of Buddhist teachers and tutelary deities of the country. This is a great temple to study the symbolic meanings from frescoes and sculptures.
Later depart by road to Trongsa via the Pele La Pass. You will cross the villages of Rukubji and En route to Trongsa is the Chendebji Chorten, patterned after Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Zhida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Legend has it that the evil spirit manifested as a gigantic snake.
Visit the Trongsa Dzong. Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. All kings are appointed as Trongsa Penlop (“governor”) prior to ascending the throne. The dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built. Because of the dzong’s highly strategic position, it was the only connecting route between the east and west, and as such, the Trongsa Penlop was able to control effectively the whole of the central and eastern regions of the country from here. Overnight Hotel in Trongsa.
After breakfast visit the Ta Dzong/Royal Heritage Museum. This watchtower, which once guarded Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands on a promontory above the town. It was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the 1st Governor of Trongsa in 1652. It has four observation points representing a tiger, lion, garuda, and dragon. A visit to this former watchtower provides visitors with an insight into the significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history. As of date, the Ta Dzong of Trongsa is the most fascinating museum in the kingdom.
Visit Jambay Lhakhang. This monastery was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of 108 monasteries he built to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century.
Visit Kurjey Lhakhang. Located further along the valley, Kurje Lhakhang is comprised of three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 against the rock face where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century. The middle temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of the Guru’s body, and is therefore considered to be the holiest. The temple on the left was built in the 1990s by Her Majesty Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck, Royal Grandmother. These three temples are surrounded by a 108-chorten wall.
Visit Tamshing Lhakhang. Located across the river from Kurje Lhakhang, this temple was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, a re-incarnation of Guru Padmasambhava. There are very old religious paintings around the inner walls of the temple, which was restored at the end of the 19th century.
Visit Chakhar. Chakhar is located about 3 km away from the Swiss Farm and was the residence of King Sinda in the 8th century. It is still inhabited by one of his descendants, the Chakhar Lama. Overnight Hotel in Bumthang.
After breakfast driev to Tang valley, visit Ugyenchoeling Manor. The manor has a large building, the Jokhang, which contains two temples with imposing statues and paintings dating from the beginning of the 20th century. The temple on the ground floor is dedicated to Tara, the Goddess of Compassion, and the one on the first floor to Jowo, the Buddha as a young prince. Through the initiative of the Ugyenchoeling family, a very interesting museum of the history and life of Ugyenchoeling was opened in May 2001. The Museum has several floors of the central tower, the Utse. It offers a unique opportunity to get to know life in a lord’s mansion before 1950.
En-route Visit the Mebar Tsho. Mebar Tsho or the 'Burning Lake' is considered to be one of the most important pilgrimage spots in Bhutan. Mebar Tsho is more of a gorge than a lake. It is believed that the famous treasure hunter, Terton Pema Lingpa discovered many holy relics hidden here by Guru Rinpoche. To silence skeptical minds, he plunged in to the gorge with a burning lamp declaring, "If I am a demon, I shall die! If I am not, and am the true spiritual son of Guru Rinpoche, this lamp will continue to burn and I will recover hidden treasures!" Legend has it that he came out with the hidden relics and with the lamp still burning and hence, the name 'Mebar Tsho' came about. Overnight Hotel in Bumthang.
Morning transfer by road to Gangtey across Dochula Pass. Dochu La is a beautiful mountain pass (alt 3,140 m) fluttering prayer flags and a spectacular set of 108 miniature chortens (stupas). On a clear day, you will get awe-inspiring glimpses of the towering Himalayan peaks around.
The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots 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 valley’s are tightly enclosed.
A few kilometers beyond the Gangtey Monastery, on the valley floor lays the village of Phobjikha. This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang and lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park. The valley boasts two beautiful meandering rivers,
Afternoon sightseeing of Gangtey/Phobjakha Valley. Visit the Gangtey Goemba. Gangtey Goemba, situated on the slopes of the valley was built in the 17th century. The village of Phobjikha lies on the floor of the valley, a few kilometers down from the monastery. This quiet, remote valley is the winter home of the famous black-necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet in the north, to pass the winter months in a milder climate.
Gangtey Nature Trail Hiking. This pleasurable walk will give you a nice feeling for Phobjikha valley. From the small hilltop overlooking Gangtey Goemba, you head downhill through flower meadows to Semchubara village and from here through beautiful forests and into the open valley. After passing a chorten and Khewa Lhakhang, the trail ends at the local community school. Your car will meet here.
Visit the Black-Necked Crane Information Center. The Center has informative displays about the cranes and the valley environment. Overnight hotel/Local Home Stay in Gangtey.
After breakfast transfer to Thimphu. Thimphu (altitude – 7600 ft.) – the capital of Bhutan, and the centre of government, religion and commerce, it is a unique city with an unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient tradition. Although not what one expects from a capital city, Thimphu is home to the civil servants, expatriates and the monk body and maintain a strong national character in its architectural style.
Visit the National Memorial Chorten. The National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 in memory of the late Third Druk Gyalpo (King) of Bhutan. Drive up to Buddha Point. Buddha Point has the largest statue of Buddha in the whole kingdom. You can get a very good view of Thimphu valley from here.
Later in the evening visit Tashichhoe Dzong. It’s a majestic fortress in all its grandeur and serves as the seat of Bhutan’s government. The Dzong houses the secretariat, the throne room, the offices of his majesty the king and the ministries of home affairs and finance. On the drive back, you will pass the only golf course in the country. Overnight Hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast begin the Thimphu City Tour. Visit the Changangkha Lhakhang. Built in the 13th century by Lam Phajom Drugom Zhigpo, Changangkha Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Thimphu. The temple is considered to be the spiritual home of all children born in the Chang valley.
Drive up to Sangaygang hill/BBS tower. The best place for photographers is perhaps a visit to the Sangaygang hill or the BBS tower. A short drive from the town, the hill provides visitors with an opportunity to pause and reflect in the hustle-bustle of a busy city-life. You can also have a panoramic view of the valley. On the way back you can visit the small zoo dedicated to the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan.
Visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine. The rich herbal medicines made from medicinal plants abundant in the kingdom are prepared and dispensed here. The Institute is also a training school for traditional medicine practitioners. The complex is closed to visitors due to considerations of hygiene, but one can still walk around and visit the showroom. (Open Mon-Fri and closed on government holidays)
Visit the local post office that has a large collection of stamps. They can make a personalized postage stamp for you that can be used to mail a letter or postcard for a nominal fee. Watch archery match if it is going on
Visit Simply Bhutan museum, an interactive 'living' museum developed for and by the youth of Bhutan through the Bhutan Youth Development Fund. (Traditional Lunch will serve here).
Weaving Center. You can watch weavers at work at the private weaving centre at Changzamtog. The centre produces hand woven textiles and has a selection of cloth and readymade Bhutanese garments for sale.
Visit to Traditional Paper Factory. At the paper factory, you can watch the workers make traditional paper from the daphne plant. Traditional Bhutanese paper (called 'Desho') is said to last longer than regular paper. The handmade paper making begins to find its place as the most important part of Bhutanese culture and tradition. The paper making first began as a domestic occupation and still preserved to till these days. Later afternoon transfer to Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro
One of the most amazing and important pieces of architecture in Bhutan, Taktsang Goemba defies logic, gravity, and reason. Legend has it that this cliffside was where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan from Tibet. To avoid the hot sun an early start is advisable for the two-hour climb, via the cafeteria each way, to the Tiger’s Nest viewpoint.
Taktshang Goemba. Taktshang meaning the 'Tiger's Nest' is one of Bhutan's most venerated pilgrimage sites and a very popular site for all tourists visiting Bhutan. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche miraculously flew here on the back of a tigress, meditated in a cave here for three months and converted the whole of Paro valley to Buddhism. Resting at an altitude of 900 meters above the valley, Taktshang is an architectural wonder and the spectacular four-hour walk will be your most overwhelming experience ever.
Visit Kyichu Lhakhang. Built in the 7th century by the famous Buddhist Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. As the name suggests, the temple is a reservoir of peace, where you will really feel at peace.
Explore Paro town Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Drive to the Paro International Airport where our representatives will bid you goodbye!
- All the required airport transfers
- Airconditioned vehicle for transfers and sightseeing
- Service of english speaking tour guide
- Twin share accomodations
- Daily breakfast ,Lunch and Dinner in the local restaurant .
- Entrance fees at the places of visit
- Sightseeing and excursions as per the program .
- All the government taxes /Government Royalty
- FIT surcharge
- Visa Fee
Welcome and Farewell with KHADA Scarf , Welcome drink , 01 bottle of mineral water every day during sightseeing ).
Services exclude :
- Travel insurance
- Flight cost to and from Bhutan
- International flight cost
- Emergency rescue
- Expenses of personal nature like drinks/barbills , internet, laundry, telephone, postage, tipping.
- Expenses arising from from flight delays, flight cancellations, bad weather , road blockade,landslides, riots,political reasons ,natural calamities, incidents beyond our control.
- Room/hotle upgrading
- Services other than specified in the inclusions.