Depth of Bhutan (15 days)
Day 1: Arrive Paro by Druk Air
Druk Airways flight to Bhutan is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. You will have a mesmerizing aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the Kingdom.
On arrival at the Paro airport, (after customs and visa formalities), you will be received by our representative and transfer to the hotel in Paro.
In the evening take a stroll around town’s main street. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Paro
In the morning visit to Ta dzong, formerly a watchtower but now housing the National Museum. Ta Dzong holds a unique and varied collection, ranging from ancient armour to textiles, thangkha paintings, stamps, coins, and natural history. Then walk down a hillside trail to visit Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong) built in 1646 during the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It now houses Paro’s monk body and the offices of the civil administration.
After lunch, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined fortress from where Bhutanese repelled several invasion by Tibetan armies. On the way back visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse to get a glimpse into the daily life of the Bhutanese.
In the evening, visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 3: Paro – Thimphu
After breakfast proceed to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. Enroute stop at Chuzom (confluence) where Paro river joins Thimphu river. Nearby Thimphu, visit to Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom built in 1627. It now houses the School for Buddhist studies.
Later, in Thimphu, visit King’s Memorial Chhorten, a huge Stupa built in memory of King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, (1952-1972) and also visit Trashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery. Then, visit Handicrafts Emporium & Textile and Folk Heritage Museum.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 4: Thimphu – Punakha
After breakfast, visit National Library, where many rare and ancient manuscripts are preserved, and visit Painting School and Traditional Medicine Institute.
After lunch, drive to Punakha across Dochu-la pass (3,088m/10,130 ft). The highest point on the road is marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag fluttering on the hill. On a clear day, there is a breathtaking view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas from this spot. On arrival, check into the hotel.
Evening visit Punakha Dzong , the fortress of 17th century and followed by visit to Khamsm Yulley Namgyal Chhorten. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 5: Punakha – Wangduephodrang – Gangtey
After breakfast drive to Gangtey via Wangduephodrang. Visit magnificent Wangdue Dzong and town’s local market.
Then drive up a winding mountain road through oak and rhododendron forests, and over a high pass down into the Phobjikha valley, one of the loveliest high altitude valleys in Bhutan.
Evening take a walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region. Overnight at Camp / Guest House.
Day 6: Gangtey – Trongsa
After an early breakfast, explore Phobjikha valley which is famous for Black Necked Cranes. These cranes migrate here from Central Asiatic plateau to escape the harsh winters.
After lunch drive to Trongsa crossing 3,300m high Pele la pass. Evening visit to Trongsa market. Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.
Day 7: Trongsa – Bumthang
Morning visit to Trongsa Dzong, the master piece of Bhutanese architecture and see Ta Dzong, the watch tower, built to defend this Dzong and surrounding region.
After lunch, proceed to Bumthang, one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the holy heartland of Buddhism. Enroute observe the Yathra weaving center at Zungey. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 8: Bumthang
In the morning visit Tamshing Lhakhang, the treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. Then visit, Jakar Dzong, the administrative centre of the valley.
Afternoon visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom as Bhutan’s ‘patron saint’, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. From Kurje monastery, a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang. This temple, erected by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, is one of the two oldest in Bhutan (the other being Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro).
Evening visit to local market. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 9: Bumthang – Mongar
Check out from the hotel after breakfast and proceed on a drive to Mongar. The drive takes about six hours and the views en-route is spectacular. You will get to see interesting village sights and panoramic views of the valley of Sengor.
Afternoon, visit Mongar Dzong, built albeit quite recently, the dzong still maintains the architectural traditions of old dzongs. Overnight at the lodge in Mongar.
Day 10: Mongar – Trashigang
The first part of the journey is through leafy forest filled with ferns. After driving through the Kori-la pass (2,450m/8,040ft), marked by a pretty chorten and a mani wall, we descend rapidly through corn fields and banana groves to reach the famous zigzag road just below Yadi, a fairly recent and now fast growing settlement.
After that follows the Gamri river until the bifurcation to Dametsi, this temple perched on top of steep hill was founded by Choeden Zangmp and is the most important monastery of eastern Bhutan. This is the place from where famous Naga Chham, mask dance with drums originated. About 30 km onwards lies Trashigang at 1000m. Trashigang is the centre of the biggest and most populated district in the country.
After lunch visit Trashigang Dzong, standing at the extreme end of the spur, overhanging the Gamri river. It serves as the administrative seat for the district and part of the Dzong is occupied by the Drukpa monastic community. Overnight at the lodge in Trashigang.
Day 11: Trahigang (Excursion to Trashiyangtse)
After breakfast, visit the temple of Gom Kora, set on a small alluvial plateau, overlooking the river. Gom Kora is a famous place where Guru Rinpoche subdued a demon. Further ahead reach to Doksum village where you can see women busy in weaving traditional Bhutanese fabric and a chain bridge dating of the 15th century.
Visit Trashiyangtse Dzong, which overlooks the town and was built in the late 1990s when the new district was created. If tme permits, visit the dazzling white stupa of Chorten Kora on the riverbank below the town and Art School. In the evening, return to Trashigang. Overnight at the lodge in Trashigang.
Day 12: Trashigang – Bumthang
After breakfast drive back to Bumthang with lunch enroute. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 13: Bumthang – Punakha
Morning after visiting Bumthang market, drive to Punakha . Lunch would be served in Trongsa town. Enroute at Wangduephodrang take a short break for tea / coffee and then proceed to Punakha hotel for overnight stay.
Day 14: Punakha – Paro
Morning free time in Punakha. After lunch drive to Paro for overnight stay.
Day 15: Paro Depart
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination. Our representative will bid you farewell. Hope you have a very pleasant and memorable stay in Bhutan with us and wish to see you again. Tashi Delek.
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