The flight to Paro by Druk Air is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu, enjoy fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan's first gift to you as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative and driven to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
Arrive and check-into the hotel. The centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with an unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With a population of about 90,000 it is perhaps still the world's only capital city without a traffic light. This evening, take an exploratory walk around the main street and market area. Overnight.
After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of the city's main attractions that include:
Textile Museum: Get to know the national art of weaving. Exhibitions introduce the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and textiles made by women and men.
National Library: The history of Bhutan lies in ancient texts and manuscripts which are preserved here. The library also has modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags.
Institute for Zorig Chusum: Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a 6 year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. See students learning the various skills taught at the school.
Simply Bhutan Museum: The newly commissioned museum depicts ancient Bhutanese architecture which is being lost to modernization. The unique structure is built reusing old timber, window and door frames and other items from traditional and old demolished houses. The best part is the portrayal of the age-old life styles of the Bhutanese people.
Lunch followed by city tour that includes:
Memorial Chorten: The stupa built in the memory of Bhutan's third King, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang): After a short drive, get a good view of the Thimphu valley. You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country.
Trashichhoedzong: Visit the "fortress of the glorious religion." This is the center of government and religion, site of the monarch's throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese style, without nails or architectural plans. Overnight in Thimpu.
After breakfast take a short drive to visit Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress - like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu. The 12th century temple was established at this site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. Enjoy a lovely view of Thimphu valley from the courtyard.
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, Drupa Kunley. It can be found only in Bhutan and nearby areas. Also visit Anim Dratshang (nunnery) at Drubthob Goemba. Afternoon free. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast drive to Punakha across Dochula pass (3,08O0m). In Bhutan, the passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag. Enjoy a most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day. Arrive and check into your hotel.
Then visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body.
This afternoon hike up through fields of chillies and cabbages to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the changing world. The Chorten dominates the upper Punakha Valley and offers commanding views across the Mo Chhu and up towards the peaks of Gasa and beyond. This monument was recently built by the Queens and consecrated in 1999.
Spend the evening exploring Punakha village right on the river bank. Overnight.
After breakfast visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang temple nunnery, perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang. The temple houses a 14-ft main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara and other statues The complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious training, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting.
Later, enjoy an excursion to Chimi Lakhang a 15 minute drive from the hotel, till the end of the motorable. Walk through paddy fields and villages for about 1½ hours (there and back).The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is also known as the temple of fertility. Overnight in Punakha.
After breakfast drive back to Paro descending from Dochu La and up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys, before crossing through Paro Town towards the north end of the valley. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the place of profound tantric teaching, this dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language.
Check into your hotel. Then visit Ta Dzong, originally a watchtower, now the National Museum. See the extensive collection of antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armor, household objects and natural and historic artifacts.
Walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, ("fortress of the heap of jewels"), with a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore. Overnight.
After breakfast enjoy an excursion to Taktshang Monastery (5hrs hike) 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 here and hence it is called 'Tiger's Nest'. This site is recognized as a most sacred place and is visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure but it has been restored.
On the way back to town, stop at Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen from the approach road.
Along the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo, marking the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Overnight.
After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.
Package Price: From Rs. 31,800 per person on double sharing basis.
Validity: Till 30th September 2023
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