Highlights: Paro Festival from 17th March to 21st Mar 2019
Tour outline: Bhutan is a small country with bountiful of natural environment and this tour itinerary covers the most adventurous and colorful highlights of best of Bhutan. We have included Paro festival, Short Hikes through nature trail,Village walk, taste of village farm house delicacies. This tour would be best for 2 to 7 people who love the adventure.
Tour Cost per person USD 2950 per person.
Day 01: Day 01. Arrive Paro (By Druk Air flight): Your Guide from Excursion to Himalayas TEAM will receive you at the airport and drive you to Thimphu. Thimphu is a small capital city of Bhutan and it’s the only capital in the world where there is no traffic. The sightseeing includes visit to oldest simtokha Dzong(400 years old) built on the small hilltop.
After lunch you shall be escorted to visit local Bhutanese paper factory and followed by the magnificient Tashichhodzong the office of Kings.
Day 02 Thimphu Sightseeing with Short Hike: After breakfast, visit to largest Bhudha Statue over looking Thimphu valley will start with Hike of about an hour. The route follows the pine trees forest with view of Thimphu valley.
After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices, and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Over night in Hotel.
Day 03. Thimphu Sightseeing: After breakfast, visit Folk Heritage Museum, Textile Museum, Changangkha Lhakhang and Philatelic office. After lunch, visit Silver smith at work and Hand made paper factory. Over night in Hotel.
Day 04. Thimphu – Punakha: (72 Kms, 3 hours drive). After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. On the way, stop a while to view Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.
Lunch at Punakha. After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong or fortress built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). In the evening, hike to Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 05. Punakha – Gangtey: After breakfast drive to the beautiful valley of Gangtey. Enroute sightseeing in the valley of Wangdiphodrang includes: visit to Wangdiphodrang Dzong built in 1638. Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong, four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered auspicious sign, representing the spread of religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers. Drive further to Gangtey. Visit Gangtey Gompa Monastery, from outside. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Explore Phobjikha valley, famous for the Black Necked Cranes during winter. Dinner and overnight at the Guest House.
Day 06: Phobjikha Village Walk: Phobjikha is a small town and is the habitat of the rare bird species called Black necked crane. To preserve its breeding centre there is no TV and electricity is done underground to prevent Bird accident. You will be escorted to walk along the traditional village walk exploring the architect of buildings. Today you shall be given the experinec of hot stone bath. Over Night at Hotel.
Day 07. Gangtey – Trongsa – Bumthang: After breakfast, drive to Trongsa. Visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive dzong of Bhutan, built in its present form in 1644 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Shabdrung to unify eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family and first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong. Then Visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower. The chapel inside the Ta Dzong is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal. After Lunch, drive to Bumthang. Over night in Hotel.
Day 08. Bumthang Sightseeing: After breakfast, visit Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667 and then visit Lamey Goemba, a large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi. Visit Jambay Lhakhang, built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang and was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life force. Under the temple is said to be a lake in which Guru Rimpoche hid several Terma. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here. After lunch, Visit Chakhar (Iron Castle) Lhakhang, it is the site of the palace of the Indian King, the Sindhu Raja who invited Guru Rimpoche to Bumthang. The Original palace was made of Iron and hence the name Chakhar. The saint Dorji Lingpa built the Current building in 14th century. Its correct name is Dechen Phodrang. We then visit Kurjey Lhakhang that is named after body print of Guru Rimpoche, built in 1652 by Minjur Tempa. Visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. In the evening, visit Membarstho which literally means, “The burning Lake”. Over night in Hotel.
Day 09. Excursion to Ura valley & back to Bumthang: After breakfast, Excursion to the beautiful valley of Ura. Dinner and over night in Hotel.
Day 10. Bumthang to Paro Via Domestic Flight: After breakfast, drive to small domestic airport at Batpalathang. The flight just takes around 20minutes crossing over the valley of central Bhutan. Your guide will receive you at the airport and drive to Haa.
Day 11: Haa Valley sightseeing: Haa Valley” was only recently opened to tourism and has remained beautifully quaint and untainted by the influences of modern development. Experience Bhutanese hospitality at the beautifully restored Lechuna Heritage Lodge, engage in a variety of hikes that range from easy to moderate, or bike around the valley or riverside in this quiet location. Our experienced guides lead guests through the Haa and Paro Valleys on day walks, incorporating Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery, and a wild hike to Kila Nunnery, between the two valleys.
Day 12 Haa to Paro: After breakfast, drive to Chelila Pass to view the scenery. After lunch, visit to a Bhutanese Farm House. Dinner and over night in Hotel at Paro.
Day 13: Paro Festival Tour : After Tea, witness the festival which takes place at Paro Dzong. People from all over village attends this festival in their best attire. It is believed that as a mortal being the mask dance performed in the festival should be witnessed as that will prepare their way after death. There are different dance performed.
Day 14. Paro, Excursion to Taktsang Monastery: After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, the trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort.
After lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Over night in Hotel.
Day 15. Departure: Early morning, drive to Airport and Farewell.