Join us on this memorable twelve-day tour that will stay with you for a lifetime!. Explore Bhutan's ancient monasteries and shrines of historical and archaeological interests in the heartland of three major towns of the Dragon Kingdom; Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro. Hike across the spectacular mountain scenery of Tiger's Nest, a backdrop to pristine forests and picturesque valleys and discover Ganteng Monastery in Gangtey.
Thimphu: This unique city boasts an unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions
The Kingdom’s capital city is the main center of commerce, religion and government in BhutanGangtey: Known for Ganteng monastery which is an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, located in the Wangdue Phodrang District in central BhutanPunakha: Blessed with a temperate climate, Punakha has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history
One of the most majestic structures in the country is located hereBumathang: Bumthang district lies in the north-central region of Bhutan and due to the presence of a great number of temples and religious sites, it is often referred to as the spiritual heartland of the country
Paro: Wide and verdant Paro valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered through the area
Arrival Paro - Thimphu (55 Km – 1.5 Hrs)
After landing at Paro International Airport, a tour representative will meet and greet you before guiding you to your transfer to the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. En route stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Shortly before reaching Chuzom, you will see on your left the Tschogang Lhakhang, “the temple of the excellent horse”. On arrival at Thimphu, check-into the hotel. The remainder of the day is free at leisure for you to enjoy on your own an exploratory walk around Thimphu’s Main Street and market area. Also, visit the local Crafts Bazaar and browse through some of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry and many interesting items made from local materials.
Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast, head out on a sightseeing tour in the Thimphu valley, including a visit to The National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later, visit the Textile Museum, which provides an insight into one of the most distinct art forms in Bhutan. Also visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people. After lunch, take a short drive (15 km) to Pangri Zampa, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan and a monastic school where Buddhist monks learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy. Afterwards, visit the Buddha Point (Kensal Phodrang), which offers panoramic views of the Thimphu. Then visit the Memorial Chorten, erected for world peace and prosperity and you will always see people from all walks of life circumambulation and chanting mantras or spinning prayer wheels. Later, visit the Trashichhoedzong, one of the most important dzongs in the country, before your return back to the hotel. In the evening spent time on your own strolling through Thimphu city centre, visiting shops and local market.
Overnight in Thimphu
Thimphu – Punakha (150 Km - 5 Hrs)
Today we will set off for Punakha, the former capital city of Bhutan. It is 77 kilometers from Thimphu and it takes around 3 hours to drive there. On the way, we will stop at Dochula Pass, for a coffee break and to admire the 108 grand stupas. On a clear day, there are great views of the Bhutan Himalaya from the cafeteria. As we continue, we see Chimmi Lhakhang, a Buddhist monastery standing on a round hillock that was blessed by the Devine Madman. Now it is a sacred place, particularly for women seeking blessings to have children. Continuing we reach today's highlight Punakha Dzong, the second of Buddhist's dzongs with majestic structures. Located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in the Punakha valley, the dazong is a six-storied structure with a scenic and mountainous background. It was the seat of Bhutan's government until 1955 when the capital was moved to Thimphu. Nearby we will visit the longest bridge in Bhutan, a Suspension Bridge spanning the Mo Chu River. On arrival at Punakha., check-in at the hotel and dinner
Overnight in Punakha
Punakha – Bumthang (220 Km - 8 Hrs)
After breakfast, drive to Bumthang upon arrival check-in your hotel. In the evening, take a stroll around the fascinating Gangtey Village.
Overnight in Bumthang.
After breakfast at the hotel, a tour of Bumthang valley including a visit to the 7th-century temple, Jambey Lhakhang. From here explore the sights on foot Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock, the), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region).
In the afternoon, take a short hike to Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery. Located above the main town, about 3 km from Chamkhar town. The monastery has become part of an extensive effort to preserve and revitalize Tibetan culture. The curriculum at the center includes reading, memorizing the daily prayers, learning dharma dances, drawing mandalas, learning the melodies of sacred rituals, learning the use of ceremonial instruments and the art of making sacrificial objects, grammar and poetry along with the basics of contemplation and instruction on the different stages of tantric.
Overnight in Bumthang.
Bumthang (2Hrs Hike)
Tang is one of the four valleys of Bumthang, it is higher than the Choekhor(Jakar) valley. The excursion to the Goempa takes about 2 hrs after the visit continues along the feeder road passing through Jamzhong village and arrive at Mesethang. A short distance from Mesethang is the Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, this is where Guru Rimpoche meditated. The body print of Guru Rimpoche and his two consorts are embedded on the huge rock in front of the Lhakhang. The name Tang Rimochen is derived due to the tiger stripes that appear on the cliff behind the building. This temple was founded by Dorji Lingpa in the 14th century. The road after Rimochen gets even rougher as it approaches Kizum, from Kizum cross over the Tang Chu and climb up the hill to Ugyencholing manor which was built by Tsokye Dorje, a descendant of Dorje Lingpa in the 16th century. The present structure including the temple, servants quarters and a massive residential building, was rebuilt after their collapse in the 1897 earthquake. The complex has been turned into a museum of sorts for religious studies, research, and solitude.
Overnight in Bumthang.
Bumthang – Gangtey (170 Km - 6 Hr)
Start your journey back west to Gangtey in the remote Phobjikha valley. Visit the Ta Dzong, a cylindrical stone structure of five stories, built-in 1652 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa as a Watch Tower. After lunch visits the Trongsa Dzong, built-in 1648. It was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Continue your drive towards Gangtey. This is the site where black-necked cranes visit in their hundreds in November each year after spending the summer in Tibet. Overnight in Gangtey.
Overnight in Gangtey.
Following breakfast at the hotel, you will enjoy a full-day explore beautiful Phobjikha valley. Visit Gangtey Monastery, its an institute for monks following the Nyingmapa sect in the country.
A few kilometers beyond the Gangtey Monastery, on the valley floor, lies the village of Phobjikha. This quiet, remote valley is the winter home of black-necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet in the north, to pass the winter months in a milder climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park. The valley boasts two beautiful meandering rivers, Nakay Chhu (Chhu Naap-black water) and Gay Chhu(Chhu Karp-white water). According to a local legend, the two rivers actually represent a snake and a boar. The two animals once raced each other with an agreement that if the snake (Nakay Chhu) won, Phobjikha valley would be able to grow rice, but if the boar won, then rice could never be cultivated in the area. The snake lost since it had to meander all the way during its journey. Rice cannot be cultivated in the valley even today. Explore the valley by taking one of the shortest & breathtaking treks, the Gangtey Nature Trail that would take approximately 02 hrs. It passes through the Senchumbara village & on towards the Kewa Lhakhang.
Visit Black Necked Crane Information Centre: Situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane information Centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes. The center also offers display information that outlines the natural and cultural history of the area.
Overnight in Gangtey.
Gangtey –Paro (170 Km - 5.5 Hr)
After breakfast at your hotel then depart to Paro via Dochula Pass (3150M).En-route visit Semtokha Dzong. This dzong, built-in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Cultural Studies. Arrive Paro and check-in the hotel.
Overnight in Paro.
Paro – Haa – Paro ( 150 Km - 5.5 Hrs)
After breakfast at your hotel then depart to Haa valley via Chelela Pass. The drive will give you the opportunity to drive you through the deep pine forest and into the narrow valley of Haa. Haa is closed to the outside world until 2002. There is a military camp by the Indian Army. Visit lhakhang Nakpo (Black temple) is said to have been built by pigeon emanation of King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. After lunch drive back to Paro via Chelela pass (3,810 m) which takes two hours drive to cover 68 km. From the pass you will get a good view of the highest mountains of Bhutan and the Himalayan peaks.
If time permits, visit the Ta Dzong, originally built as a Watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Bhutan’s exquisite stamps exhibited here to offer another interesting collection.
This is followed by a short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along with the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as the Four Friends, the Old Man of Long Life, and the Wheel of Life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Overnight in Paro
Paro – Tiger’S Nest Hike (14.5 Km - 5 Hrs Hike)
After breakfast, excursion to Taktsang Monastery (approx. 5hrs walk): It is one of the most famous monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived on the back of a tigress and meditated here and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site is recognized as one of the most sacred places in Bhutan. It was also visited by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and is now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of the building. However, this iconic monastery has been restored to its original splendor.
On the way back to town stop at the base of Drukgyel Dzong, a fortress that was in ruins for a long time which is now being rebuilt as an important national heritage. It is the fort from where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "Mountain of the Goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong.
Evening, visit the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
Overnight in Paro.
After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.
Comfortable and light clothing is the most suitable for travelling. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Shoes should be removed before entering a temple or private house. Sun protection, sunglasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.
During the Cold Season (September – March) it is advisable to pack : Thermal underwear, Dawn Jacket,Warm Trousers and sweaters, Woollen Shirts full slip, Hat (ear cover), Gloves & woollen shocks. During the Warm season (April – August) it is advisable to pack: Comfortable trouser,T-shirt, Windproof jacket , Fleece jacket & Scarf