The Royal Government of Bhutan is pleased to waive off the Sustainable Development Fee of USD 65 per person per night halt in following dzongkhag:
A flight to Bhutan is one of the most astonishing of all mountain flight. One can see a breathtaking view of Himalayan landscape like Mt. Everest(8,848m), Kanchenjunga(8,586m), Makalu(8,463m) and other peaks of Bhutan such as Jomolhari(7,326m),Jichu Drake(6794m) and Tsrim Gang. The first glance you will see of Bhutan is the Paro valley and only international Airport of Bhutan. On arrival at Paro Airport our guide will welcome you and drive to capital city of Bhutan and break for lunch.
After lunch you will get to go around and visit most interesting and fascinating places like:
Buddha Point: The massive statue of Buddha Shakyamuni located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang overlooks the southern entrance to Thimphu valley measuring 169ft, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world which is under construction.
Memorial Stupa: located at the heart of the town was built in 1974 by Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck in memory of her son the 3rd king Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It was built with the aim of removing evil forces, promoting peace, stability and harmony in the world.
Painting School: Bhutanese traditional art and craft are still kept alive with the unvarying support from government. To further promote and preserve the art and craft of Bhutan, government had started painting school to give training to Bhutanese students. Therefore, you will stop in painting school to see the different courses taken up by students in art and craft.
Royal textile Museum: houses Bhutan’s living national art of weaving. The ground floor focuses on cham costumes, while the upper floor introduces the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and type of textiles made by women and men.
Folk Heritage Museum: these house the replica of a traditional Bhutanese house as it would have looked 100 years ago and as many Bhutanese families still live to this day.
Trashichhoe dzong: the fortress of the glorious religion was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung but it was later rebuilt by third king of Bhutan in traditional form. Today it houses the golden throne room of the king of Bhutan and the government secretariat.
The very next day you will move to gangtey driving over Dochula pass (3088m).
Dochula Pass about 45 min from Thimphu, lies Dochula pass (3088m), offering visitors their first glimpse of the eastern Himalayan range. There you will see 108 spectacular stupa or chorten at the Dochula pass. From the pass you will enjoy panoramic view of the eastern Himalayan peaks over 6000m to 7554m snow Cap Mountains.
Then later short hike through Gangtey Nature Trail about 90min through the pine forest and small bamboo plants. It starts from Mani stone wall to the north of gangtey temple and ends in Khewa Lhakhang. You can enjoy the view of beautiful Phobjikha valley in course of hike.
Start the day by visiting to Gangtey Monastery: located on a hillock that offers a beautiful view of Phobjikha valley. The valley is also a habitat for the Blacked-Necked Cranes (GrusNicorocolis) which migrates in winter and migrates back to Tibet in spring.
Gangtey monastery is the main seat of Terton Pema Lingpa tradition, located in Wangduephodrang. The monastery’s history traces to the early 17th century. The Gangtey monastery was established in1613 by the first Peling Gyalse a.k.a Gangtey Trulku Rigdzin Pema Trinlay the grandson son of Terton Pema lingpa.
Break for lunch in Trongsa and then visit Trongsa Ta Dzong Museum to glimpse over the rare and priceless artifacts belonging to the Monarchy of Bhutan. Then drive to Bumthang for night.
Today you will drive to Mongar the eastern region of Bhutan covering 198km and crossing Thrimshing La Pass (3750m). You will get to see the Ura valley which is known for masutake mushroom and some fascinating waterfalls. One could also see the old ruin of Mongar Dzong.
To explore the eastern region, today we will do a day excursion to Trashiyangtse. This region is well known for the art and craft and also one could see the religious sites which are more significant and holy like:
Gomphu Kora: Gomphu means “Meditation Cave” and Kora means “circumambulation”. Name was derived from a cave formed out of a rock-face next to a temple that has been built as attribute to this sacred site. This place is a very important and sacred as it is related to Guru Rinpoche who mediated for three days inside the cave and subdued the demon.
Chorten Kora: located near Kholong chu was built by lam Ngwang Loday in 1740 AD in memory of his late uncle, Jungshu Pesan and also to subdue a demon that lived nearby the place. It is believed to have taken 12 year for him to construct the chorten which was then consecrated by the 13th chief abbot Je Sherub Wangchuk. It is believed that the chorten is a replica of Boudhnath stupa in Nepal.
Art and craft school
It is an institution which offers 13 different types of art and craft to the student. You will get to experience the thirteen different forms of art and craft.
Visit to making of wooden bowl (sha zo): The art of wood turning and lacquering is known as Shazo which is one of the ancient traditions found in Bhutan. It was a hereditary craft being practiced which was being passed from parents to sons and represents a part of the material culture. Unlike other arts and craft found in Bhutan, this art is mostly being practiced by the people of Trashiyangtse and Mongar in Eastern Bhutan. Shazopa’s are skilled in making wooden bowls, cups and containers from naive wood to highly precious wood locally known as ‘Zaa’, which is a special knot of tree is highly priced and considered as auspicious and valued.
Lhuentse region is the far-flung and least developed in the country. It is an ancestral place of our monarchy. Today the second day excursion will be more interesting and lively because you will get to experience the real life style of Bhutanese which is vibrant and strong hold. Visit places like:
Khoma weaving village: Khoma has a long history of textile art; every young girl is involved in weaving the supplementary weft-patterned kiras (traditional women’s dress) like kushuthara, the most prized textile in Bhutan. Using the fingers or a pick, the weaver introduces an additional thread alongside a wrap or a weft to make a design that seems to float on the surface of the fabric. To the untrained eye, the additional thread appears to be embroidered, but it is actually woven into textile.
The bronze statue of Guru Nangsey Zilneon in tangmachu measuring 157 feet is one of the tallest statues in the world and was constructed on a 27 acre. The statue houses three different lhakhang, choeku lhakhang on upper, lonku lhakhang in the middle and trulku and museum on ground floor. The prominent structure serves as pilgrimage site and tourist attraction. Apart from that the site would serve as a place for meditation and retreat.
Today you drive back to Bumthang early and visit holy place to get blessing.
Kuje Lhakhang: Kurje Lhakhang: is a very important place of pilgrimage. Ku means “body” and Je means “imprint” as Guru Rinpoche meditated and left body imprint on the rock. So the temple is widely known as “Kurje”. In this place, Guru Rinpoche transformed in the form of Garuda and subdued Shelging Karpo and made him the protector of the place.
Tamshing: in 1501, Terton Pema Lingpa built the temple and used as his winter residence. The Sungtrul and Thuksey line of incarnations resides at this temple as the head of this monastery.
Jambey Lhakhang: : one of the oldest lhakang in the kingdom was built by Tibetan King Songtsen Goenpo in 7th century among 108 temples built in a day to subdue a demoness that was residing in the Himalayas.
After breakfast you bid good bye to this wonderful place and people. Today’s journey back to Punakha on the way one will enjoy amazing landscape.
Later visit the historic monument of Bhutan that is Pun-thang dewachenpo Phodrang.It is situated at the confluence of two mighty glacier rivers- the Pho chu and Mo chu. Punakha dzong served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and still it is home of Chief Abbot in winter months. Punakha dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal who had played prominent role in civil and religious life in the kingdom. Destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, the dzong has been now fully restored in its original splendor. Punakha Dzong now house for district administration and residence for the central monastic body.
After Breakfast start journey to Paro and just stop over places like:
Chime Lhakhang: a temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenlay (15th century great master). This Lhakhang is well known for the fertility of the child and many tourists and local people flock in to get blessing and to say prayers.
Thangthong Bridge and temple: Tachog Lhakhang, meaning “temple of the hill of the excellent horse” is a private monastery currently run by the descendants of Thangtong Gyalpo. The famous iron bridge of Tachog Monastery is 600 year old bridge crossing the Paro Chhu (Paro River) and was traditionally restored in 2005 after being washed away during a 1969 flood.
The bridge was originally built by the legendary Tibetan architect, physician, blacksmith and civil engineer Thangtong Gyalpo who is an important figure in Bhutanese and Tibetan history.
Second last day of the tour will be more appealing and memorable because you will be visiting most valuable sites tiger nest and later at the evening stop in town for leisure.
Taktshang: Half an hour of driving till the parking at the base, then you will have to hike to Paro Taktsang-The Tiger Nest. The hike follows an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels to the site of the famous Tiger’s nest, the Taktsang Monastery. It is perched at some 1000m/3,000ft up on a cliff overlooking the valley. It was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to defeat five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. If you have time visit Paro Dzong and National Museum of Bhutan.
In 17th century lama Drung Drung Gyal a descendent of Phajo Drogom Zhigpo (great Buddhist master) offered a small five storied dzong to Zhabdrung, later dismantle the small dzong and laid a foundation on 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. In 1646the dzong was reconsecrated and established as the administration and monastic centre of western region and it become to known as Rinpung Dzong.
The National museum of Bhutan was opened to the public in1968. The museum boasts a rich variety of artifacts from all over the country representing different eras, as early at 4000 B.C to the present day.
After Breakfast at your hotel, you will head towards Paro International Airport escort by Guide. Fly off to your destination from Paro International Airport (Bhutan). Save journey and see you in future.