Tour Itinerary Details
The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some world's highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport, and after completion of arrival formalities you will be transferred to Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, an exciting blend of tradition and modernity. Overnight stay in Thimphu.
National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion; Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as Painting School) where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan; Textile and Folk Heritage Museum: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life. National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King ("the Father of modern Bhutan") and a monument to world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. Trashichhoe Dzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body. Handicrafts Emporium: This government-run enterprise displays a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products. It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture. Lord Buddha Statue, The Buddha Dordenma is located amidst the ruins of phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth desi Druk, overlooking the southern approach to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. On completion, it will one of the largest statues in the world, at a heigh of 169 feet (515.5 meters) , accommodating 100,000 8-inch tall and 25,000 12-inch tall gilded Buddhas respectively in the interior. The statue is surrounded by 943 acres of forest area that comprises the kuenselphodrang nature park. Overnight stay in Thimphu.
The Royal Botanical Garden, Serbithang (RBGS) was established in May 1999 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee Celebration of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. The main mandate of the garden is to act as an ex situ conservation area for the country’s flora and to educate the public on the value of conservation. The initial establishment of the garden was funded by Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC). The RBGS with an area spanning over 28 acres is frequented by coordinated educational visits and is a favourite spot for family outings and picnics as well. The primary functions of the Royal Botanical Garden are to: Serve as a living repository of plant genetic diversity for ex-situ conservation and research. Serve as a rescue centre for rare and threatened floral species and promote restoration. Promote propagation of prioritized native plants species to reduce pressures on collection from the wild and to ensure their sustainable use. Provide facilities and services for plant propagation and environmental education. Promote regional and international linkages for effective conservation and management of native plant species. After lunch drive to Paro on the way to Paro visit Simtokha Dzong. This dzong, built in 1627 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, stands on a low ridge 8 km down the valley from Thimphu. The Institute for Language and Cultural Studies is located here. The most noteworthy artistic feature of this dzong is the series of over 300 finely worked slate carvings behind the prayer wheel in courtyard. Over night at Thimphu.
After breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m. After visit to Punakha Dzong, Built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan's history. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored by the present King. Overnight stay Punakha/Wangdue.
After breakfast drive to Punakha/Wangdue. After lunch visit Chimi Lakhang Temples lies in the fertile Lobesa villge of Punakha Valley. The temple is dedicated to the divine madman-Saint Drukpa Kuenley and the temple is also known as the Temple of Fertility. The temple is accessible by 20-25 minutes from the village near the junction of the road that branches out to Wangdue and Punakha. We first walk through the village of Sosokha and then gradually hike through the paddy fields to Lobesa Village and arrive at the temple. The temple is associated with Lama Drukpa Kuenley lived in Bhutan around the 1500s. He was a highly accomplished Buddhist master but he was called Divine Madman for his humorous approach and sexual overtones in his teachings. As per the legend, Lama Drukpa Kuenley subdued a demoness here who was terrorizing the residents of the valley and marked the site for the temple to be built later by his cousin. It’s a general belief that if a childless couple visits the temple and wishes for fertility, they will be blessed by Lama Drukpa Kuenley and will be able to bear children. Nobody knows exactly how and when the tradition of seeking fertility blessing started in Chimi Lhakhang but today, the temple is famous as the Temple of Fertility. Overnight stay in Paro.
After breakfast drive to Taktsang Monastery. This most famous of Bhutan's monasteries is spectacularly perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. Taktsang is a place of pilgrimage which Bhutanese try to visit at least once in a lifetime. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months, hence its name, "Tiger's Nest". The site, which has long been recognized as a most sacred place, was visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646. The principal lhakhang of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. The main structure was severely damaged by fire in 1998, but after many years of painstaking renovation work, the complex has now been fully restored to its former glory. Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the country, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. Ta Dzong originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ("fortress of the heap of jewels"), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala. Overnight stay in Paro.
After breakfast proceed to Paro Airport.