Bhutan is no ordinary place. It is the last great Himalayan kingdom, shrouded in mystery and magic, where a traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces global developments.
DAY 01 - Arrive in Paro via Druk Air (Drive to Thimphu) The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all the mountain flights. Landing in Paro International airport shall be one of your best and the most adventurous. As the plane glides through narrow valley between towering mountains, the beautiful Paro valley with lush environment and fresh air shall greet you. Our company representatives will receive you with the warmest welcome and heartiest greetings. We shall take a short drive to one of the best cafes (Mountain café or Champaca café) and enjoy our short tea. Post tea we shall drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The drive shall be approximately for 1.30 hours with pit stops in between.
DAY 02 - Thimphu (visit Dochula Festival sightseeing) - Punakha We shall leave Thimphu early morning (6 AM). We will try to catch the sun rise and also occupy the best spot for the festival. Dochu La festival is celebrated as a tribute to one great leader His Majesty the fourth king. This festival is one of the most unique in nature. Mask dances emulating the heroic deed of our leaders and soldiers are performed, while some of the most sacred dances from nearby Buddhists institutions are also performed. It is the best time to catch local people in their best attire and festive mood. Cultural dances and music will entertain the crowd for the day. It is a good time for a tourist to catch the glimpse of authentic Bhutanese culture and tradition. We can also be a part of the festival by wearing Bhutanese dress and eat pack lunch as family. We can spend the entire day watching different dances and performances, or else, we could take a short hike up the mountain to visit one of the most sacred temples. Later in the evening, we shall descend down into the valley of Punakha.
DAY 03 Punakha Sightseeing. In Punakha, we will spend the whole day visiting some of the most mythical and historical places. Chimi Lhakhang: It is a temple built by a famous Buddhist teacher called Drukpa Kinley (The divine madman). Hike to the temple and get blessings from the phallus. This temple is believed to have the power of blessing people with fertility. You can’t stop giggling and enjoying the massive display of phallus displayed. Khamsum Yulley Namgay. We shall take a short hike to visit this marvelous monument. Khamsum Yullay Namgay was built to ward off the evils and also to appease the local deities. The three storied structure gives a spectacular view of Punakha valley. This structure is believed to house a statue which fulfills all our wishes. We shall have our lunch in the town and then drive South. We shall drive to a place called Bajo, we can walk around in the town and later walk to the bank of the river. In the evening, we shall drive back to Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong - Built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637, by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan's history. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored by the present King. The Dzong is open for visitors during Punakha festival and in summer months when the monk body moves to Thimphu. After dinner, we can move out of hotel to catch the night view of the dzong. Retire to hotel
DAY 06 PUNAKHA TO Thimphu We shall check out from hotel at 8.00 AM and drive back towards Thimphu. We will reach Thimphu by lunch. Post Lunch we can visit some places in Thimphu .
TashiChhodzong Also known as "fortress of the glorious religion", it was initially built in 1641 and later rebuilt in its present form by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1965. The Dzong houses, main secretariat building which houses the throne room of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan. The National Assembly Hall is housed in a modern building on the other side of the river from the Dzong. During the warmer summer months, the monk body headed by His Holiness, the Je Khenpo (the religious head of Bhutan), makes its home in the Dzong.
Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang) Located at a short drive from Thimphu city center, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). We can pay our obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley. We shall then visit TashiChhodzong, the capital seat of our king and central government. Memorial Chorten This stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan's third King, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. This place has a special spiritual atmosphere with many senior citizens turning the prayer wheels while many office goers and students come by to make three rounds and pray for the day’s wellbeing.
Takin Zoo We can visit the mini zoo where we can find one of the endemic and weird species of animals. Takin is the national animal of Bhutan. It has a very unique physique of a goat head and bull body. The animal has a legendary tale. your guide will very much be happy to share with you. In the evening we can take a leisurely walk around the town.
DAY 05 THIMPHU TO HAA Enroute Thimphu, We shall drive through pockets of villages which are nested between apple orchards and potato fields.We shall stop at view point of Dobji Dzong. This fortress served as a central jail until late 1940s. Today the fortress is renovated and converted into a monastic school. We shall arrive in Haa for the lunch. We shall meet the parents of our company and enjoy a picnic lunch or, maybe we can visit their home for the lunch. After the lunch we can first visit Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple).Haa was not opened for the tourists until 2002, so it is one of the pristine tourist destinations.We shall take a short walk to one of the villages to get the glimpse of real Bhutanese way of living, we can interact with some of the natives and also visit their farms and observe the typical Bhutanese farming techniques. Later we shall drive South along the Haa river and meet the relatives of the company proprietor. We shall enjoy dry picnic by the river. After lunch, we shall drive further North to Haa town and visit some of the old temples and also visit the yak herder’s camp. We can walk down to the Haa river bank and experience playing traditional sports like archery and dart. By evening we shall retire to a farm house and experience Hot Stone bath.
DAY 06 HAA TO PARO We shall check out of our hotel early morning and drive towards Paro. We will try to reach the Chelela pass, so that we could take a short hike to catch the views of stunning mountains. Chele La Pass is the highest motorable point in Bhutan. On a clear day we can enjoy the sight of Mt. Jhomolhari, Gangkar Puensum and Tsenda gang. The chillish wind with the fluttering sound of prayer flags will be a mesmerizing experience. Our journey continues as we descend towards the enchanting Paro valley. As we arrive in Paro, we shall check into our hotel and have our lunch. Later we can take a visit few places in Paro.
Kyichu Lhakhang It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to 7th century (the other is Jambey Lhakhang in Bumthang). History says that Tibetan King, Songtsen Gempo built 108 temples throughout the Himalayan regions in a single day to subdue the demoness who was terrorizing the whole of Himalayan region. This temple is one of them. The lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by in the 7th century and in 1968, H.M. Ashi Kezang, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in original pattern. Rinpung Dzong Built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the spring. In the evening we can drive to Drugyel dzong and take some amazing pictures. We shall drive South Paro town to try wearing Bhutanese costumes and also enjoy the night view of Paro Rinpung Dzong.
DAY 07– In Paro (Day Hike) Taktsang Lhakhang (Tiger's Nest)
Today we will hike to Tiger nest. It is one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan. Perched onto a face of a cliff at 1000m above the Paro valley floor, it is a popular tourist destination too. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called "Tiger's Nest". This site has been recognized as one of the most sacred places. Bhutanese make sure that they visit the place at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building, but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendor. Hike to this place will take almost 4 to 5 hours. We could ride horses until the cafeteria and then walk. Reaching the spot, one can get a feeling of accomplishment. It is an adventure to hike upto this place. Evening leisure walk in the town.
DAY 08– Departure Our guide & driver will drop you at the airport.