Day 01 : Paro to Thimphu (Approx 1 hour drive)
Our representative will receive you at airport and transfer to Thimphu.
Day 02 : Thimphu sightseeing
After breakfast, drive to visit Memorial Chorten. Also known as Thimphu Chorten, this stupa is located at the heart of the Thimphu city and was built in 1974 to honour the third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (1928-1972) popularly known as Father of modern Bhutan.
Afterwards visit to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). It holds one of the largest Buddha’s statue in the country of 169 feet (51.5m), made of bronze and gilded in gold. Visitors can also get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from this point. Then to changangkha Monastry.
Later drive to upper Motithang in Thimphu to visit Takin Preserve. The Takin is the national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. Legend has it that the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, Drukpa Kuenley, and it can be found only in Bhutan and nearby areas. Taxonomists place the animal in a category of its own as it is not similar enough to any other animal to fit established categories.
Post lunch, sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit to folk heritage museum national archery stadium.Conclude the day’s sightseeing with visit of Trashichhoedzong, or ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’. This is one of the most impressive buildings situated along the right flank of the Thimphu river built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel who unified Bhutan and was later reconstructed in 1962 by the third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.
This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices.
Evening at leisure in Thimphu city centre.
Overnight at hotel
Day 03 : Thimphu - Punakha (75km, 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.
Chimi Lhakhang, 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 Drukpa Kuenley, 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 Punakha Dzong or ‘Palace of Great Happiness or Bliss, built at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
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 Khamsum Yuley Namgay Chorten is 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 04 : Punakha - Gangtay (approx 4.1/2 hours drive)
Drive to Phobjikha Valley. explore Phobjikha valley, chosen winter home of black-necked cranes, migrating from the Tibetan Plateau
Nature Hike along the valley for about 2 hours.
Crane information center
Overnight at Hotel
Day 05 : Gangtay - Bumthang (drive around 6 hours)
In the morning, drive to Trongsa, crossing Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830ft) visit to Trongsa Dzong, a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Built in 1647, it is the most impressive dzong in Bhutan. Also see Ta Dzong, the watchtower built to defend this dzong. After lunch, proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation. Evening at leisure in the city. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 06 : Bumthang sightseeing
Bumthang is the general name given to a group of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura, with altitudes varying from 2,600 to 4,000m (8,530-13,125ft). This area is home to many ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries. we will visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in Bhutan as Guru Rinpoche meditated here, and later on Jambey Lhakhang which was erected in the 7th century, when Buddhism was first introduced into Bhutan
In the afternoon,we will visit Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa, which contains interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later on we will visit Jakar Dzong, “the castle of the white bird”, the administrative center of the region. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 07 : Bumthang to Paro (domestic air or by road) optional
Day 8 : Paro sightseeing
After lunch 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 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 etc.
Dungtse Lhakhang- Dungtse Lhakhang was constructed by the great bridge-builder Thangtong Gyelpo in 1433. It is said to have been built on the head of demoness, who was causing illness to the inhabitants. The building was restored in 1841 and is a unique repository of Kagyu lineage arts. You may or may not be permitted inside but can walk around this three-storey Chorten-type building.
Day 09 : Paro - Haa Valley excursion (Drive for whole day)
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.
Lhakhang Karpo :visit both white & black temple build in 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gompo 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 10 : 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 Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal 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 Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. Plan for Hot stone mineral bath.
Overnight at Paro
Day 11 : Depart Paro
Early breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.
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