Essence of Bhutan

09 Night – 10 Days

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Arrive at Paro International Airport. Transfer and check in to your hotel. Rest of the day is free at leisure. overnight stay in Paro.

Morning trek to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest), or choose to explore the valley. You can also visit Paro Ta Dzong-the National Museum of Bhutan. Ta Dzong is a watch tower and fortress built in 1649 to protect the main dzong. The Museum has over 3000 artworks and masterpieces that display more than 1500 years of cultural heritage of Bhutan. The museum displays different collections of both ancient and modern specimen of arms& armors, Bhutanese textiles, decorative arts, jewellery, water clock, evolution of Bhutanese script. The Dzong is an unusual, round and seven storied building in a shape of a conch shell. The dzong is assessable by motor road and the visiting hour for public is opened from 9:00 PM to 4:00 PM from Tuesday till Saturday and on Sunday, it is opened from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Drive to Thimphu in the evening. Overnight stay in Thimphu.

The day will begin with sightseeing of Thimphu zoo to see the rare “Takin” national animal of Bhutan. Then after visit the Folk heritage Museum. Later in the afternoon sightseeing at the “Buddha Point” to enjoy an aerial view of the Thimphu Valley. Then visit School of Art and Craft, the Memorial Chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and the Handicrafts Emporium. Overnight stay in Thimphu.

“Buddha Point” One of the largest statues of Buddha Dordenma in the world measuring a height of 51.5 meters is located atop a hill just a short drive from Thimphu City Centre which overlooks the Southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue and each of these thousands of Buddhas have also been cast in bronze and gilded. The hill offers a magnificent panoramic view of the valley below.

Proceed to Punakha valley, which lies amidst snow capped mountain peaks, served as capital of Bhutan until 1955. Enroute “Dochula Pass” located about 30 km away from the capital Thimphu where you can see spectacular view of the Himalayas mountain ranges. and the 108 chortens (stupas) which was built to celebrate the stability and progress, brought to Bhutan by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King. One of the spectacular weather most travelers enjoy is during the monsoon season. Enjoy your journey to Punakha while you will be surrounded by pleasant and calm atmosphere.

After lunch visit the Chimi Lhakhang also popularly known as the fertility temple among many and is frequented by childless couples and others alike for blessings. It is located approximately 2 hours drive north east of Thimphu. Chimi Lhakhang stands on a round hillock just a 20 to 30 minutes walk through flat paddy fields and gentle slope with local villages around. Later visit the Punakha Dzong which is arguably the most beautiful dzong in the country, especially in spring when the lilac-colored jacaranda trees bring a lush sensuality to the dzong’s characteristically towering whitewashed walls. After the visit, drive back to your hotel. You have the rest of the day at leisure to explore this beautiful valley on your own. Overnight stay in Punakha.

Early morning proceed to Trongsa. The distance from Punakha to Trongsa is about 5 hours 30 minutes. This town is situated on a steep ridge and offers spectacular views of the deep valleys surrounding it. The various hotels, guesthouses and restaurants all offer stunning views from their balconies. Trongsa Dzong is easily visible from anywhere in the town and is always an impressive sight as it is situated atop a steep ridge that drops off into the clouds on its south side. Trongsa also boasts an impressive museum. The watchtower of Trongsa has been converted into a museum dedicated to the Wangchuck dynasty and is a good place to learn about the history of the kingdom. Upon arrival at Trongsa, check in the hotel. Later visit the noteworthy sites and monuments in Trongsa. Dzongkhag

Early drive to Bumthang. Bumthang is a district in the north-central region of Bhutan located about 217 km from Punakha. Due to the great number of sacred sites there, it is often referred to as the country’s spiritual heartland. “Bumthang” directly translates as “bumpa-shaped valley”. “Thang” is valley or plain, and “bum” is an abbreviation of “bumpa” (a vessel used in consecration ceremonies). It was here that Buddhism was first introduced to Bhutan and where the legendary saint Pema Lingpa was born, to whom the Bhutanese royalty trace their descent. Check in hotel on arrival. Overnight stay in Bumthang.

The day will begin with sightseeing of the town. Later visit the following places:

Ugyenchholing Palace now housing the Family Museum, a place that will transport visitors to another world and time. The visitors will view permanent exhibits recreated to capture the ambience of the lifestyle of the Trongsa Penelop (Governor) Tshokey Dorji and his household. It also serves as retreat for those engaged in religious history. Bhutan’s history truly unfolds here.

Membartsho (The Burning Lake) in Tang valley is a wide spot on the Tang Chhu (chhu – water / river) and is considered to be one of the greatest pilgrimage sites of Bhutan. Pema Linga found several of Guru Rinpoche’s hidden treasures here. The importance of this site is indicated by the extensive array of prayer flags and the small clay offerings called ‘Tse Tsa’ in rock niches.

Kurje Lhakhang situated before Jambay Lhakhang, Kurje Lhakhang consists of three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 on the rack face where Guru meditated in the 8th century. Second temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of Guru’s body and is therefore considered the most holy. The third temple was built in 1990s by Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother. These three temples are surrounded by a 108 chorten wall.

After breakfast, drive towards Gangtey Valley. Gangtey Valley is a wide glacial valley with a central stream meandering through the open grassland and thickets of dwarf bamboo. Farmlands occupy the peripheral slopes where potatoes and turnips are grown. The forests beyond the farms are mostly coniferous. The general vegetation is composed of mainly blue pine, birch, maple and several species of rhododendrons. The Central Valley inhabited by the cranes in winter has mostly dwarf bamboo. The repeated grazing of the bamboos by the local cattle and horses in summer prepares the ground for the wintering cranes. The magnificent Black-necked cranes heighten the breathtaking scenery of Phobjikha in winter respiratory. Overnight in hotel.

After breakfast, visit the Gangtey temple before driving back to Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu.

Transfer to Paro International Airport for your onward flight.

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