Blissful Bhutan is a 7 day tour designed by us here to take you on an insightful journey through western Bhutan. Starting in Paro, you will drive to Thimphu, the Capital and thereafter onto Punakha which is magnificent. A foray into the Phobjikha valley and then back to Paro will leave you spiritually nourished and blissful on your journey.
Day 01 : Arrive Paro - Transfer to Thimphu (Approx 3 hours drive)
In the clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. First gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will be brief by our guide and transferred to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The drive will take around one hour. Thimphu has a population of about 100,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights.
In the evening, we will visit the National Memorial Chorten, built in honor of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck; visit the Giant Buddha and leisure at city.
Day 02 : Thimphu - Punakha (75 km, approx 3:30 hours drive)
After breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,100m 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. On clear sky, eastern Himalayas are seen.
ChimiLhakhang, located on a ridge surrounded by beautiful paddy fields. From road point, it takes about 10-15 minutes walk through Sobsukha village to reach the monastery. Also known as Fertility temple, it is associated with Lama DrukpaKuenley, popularly known as ‘Divine Madman’. 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 very soon.
Visit PunakhaDzong or ‘Palace of Great Happiness or Bliss, built at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers in 1637 by ShabdrungNgawangNamgyal.
This majestic dzong served as both the religious and the administrative center of Bhutan in the past. It measures some 600 by 240 feet and has a six-story, gold-domed tower. Inside are courtyards and religious statuary that hint at the depth of history and spiritual tradition embodied here. Your guide will illuminate your understanding of this intricate culture that is exotic, though long established here. Punakha was former capital of Bhutan and seat of the Government until 1955 when the capital was moved to Thimphu. Also visit & walk by the longest suspension bridge in the country.
After lunch visit idyllic KhamsumYuleyNamgayChortenis built on a ridge in the northern countryside of Punakha valley. It takes 30 minute drive to reach the countryside from Punakha town and the journey continues for another 45 minutes on foot. Hikers will start the hike through the paddy fields. The way the terraces are built fed by the irrigation channel, hiking during the plantation or the harvesting season offers a scenic view of the countryside. At the base of the hill, the real trail begins through the pine forests. Upon arrival hikers can enjoy the spectacular view of the valley below.
Overnight at Hotel
Day 03 : Punakha - Gangtay (approx 4.1/2 hours drive)
Drive to Phobjikha Valley. explorePhobjikha valley, chosen winter home of black-necked cranes, migrating from the Tibetan Plateau. Gangtay Monastry, Nature Hike along the valley, Crane information center.
Overnight at Hotel
Day 04 : Gangtay - Paro (125 km, approx 4.1/2 hours drive)
After breakfast drive back to Paro descending back down from Dochu La, follow the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys, before crossing through Paro town towards the north end of the valley.
Later in the day proceed to visit 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 drive to visit RinpungDzong, 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 etc.
Overnight at Paro.
Day 05: Paro - Haa Valley excursion
Drive towards Chelela Pass, the highest motorable pass in the kingdom @ 3810M separates between Haa& Paro. The drive to chelela makes an interesting road excursion and is an excellent jumping off point for days walk filled with beautiful prayer flag. The drive is through dense spruce and larch forests according to the seasons. Hike to see spectacular views of Himalayas (Mt. Jumolhari, Jichu drake on a clear day) Hiking to see snowcapped mountains.
LhakhangKarpo & Lhakhang Nakpo:visit both white & black temple build in 7th century by Tibetan King SongtsenGompo in his mission to build 108 monasteries in one day. The legend says a white pigeon was released and landed on the site. Stroll at Haa Town and drive back to paro.
Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 06 : Paro Taktsang Hike (6 hours round trip)
After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery (approx. 6 hours round trip walk): It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’.
This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. The hike to the monastery makes a splendid half day excursion. While return to the hotel, along the way, visit the 7th century KyichuLhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, SongtsenGampo. Plan for Hot stone mineral bath.
Overnight at Paro
Day 07: Depart Paro
Early breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.
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