Day 01: Arrive Paro by Druk Air
Fly into the Himalayas with Druk Air, Bhutan’s National Air Carrier. Enjoy the flight over green hills and valleys gradually ascending over towering mountains of the Himalayas. It is breathtakingly beautiful especially when the weather is clear. The view of snow capped peaks of some of the highest mountains on earth captures ones heart and mind. As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, the Paro Dzong overlooking Paro Chu (river) and the Ta Dzong, (watch tower), now the National Museum, above it are easily noticeable. After completion of airport formalities our representative will receive you at the airport and check you into the hotel.
- Evening – visit the Paro market and take a stroll through the town’s main street. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 02: Paro – Thimphu ( 60 Km, 2 Hours )
- After breakfast, sightseeing of Thimphu valley includes, visit to National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts. The Traditional Medicine Institute, where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practised. The Painting School, where young monks learn the art of Buddhist thangkha. Also visit mask maker workshop and workshop for fine metal craft, weaving, ceramics and paper making. Then visit, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of Bhutanese material culture and living traditions. Afternoon, visit to Tashichhodzong, ‘fortress of the glorious dharma’. It is the centre of government and religion, site of King’s throne room, National assembly hall, 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 1961 in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans. Also visit King’s Memorial Chorten continuously circumbulated by His Majesty’s subjects, spinning prayer wheels and murmuring mantras. Then, visit Handicrafts Emporium and local shops if you like to browse through example of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Here you can buy textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials, and all manner of unique objects. Evening drive to Paro for overnight stay.
- After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, originally built as a Watch Tower. It now houses the National Museum of the Kingdom. The museum has on display some of the most antique thangkha paintings, textiles, Arms & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
- Next visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’ which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong, are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
- Later, drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The road winds its way through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzom (confluence). Three different styles of chortens adorn the confluence.
- Before reaching the confluence, on the other side of the river is the Tachogang Lhakhang, the temple of the ‘hill of excellent horse’. It is a private temple, built in the 15th century as a result of the visit of Balaha, the excellent horse, a manifestation of Chenrezig, the compassionate Buddha. The iron chain suspension bridge leading to the temple is of historical significance in that it was one of many such bridges built by the great yogi Thangthong Gyalpo, also known as Chakzampa, the “Iron Chain Maker”.
- On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. Evening, visit the Tashichhodzong, ‘fortress of the glorious dharma’. It is the centre of government and religion, His Majesty the King’s Throne Room and the seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot of the monastic body. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1961 in the traditional Bhutanese manner without nails or architectural plans. Enjoy an exploratory walk before dinner.
Day 03: Thimphu – Paro
After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu
- Visit the National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts.
- The Traditional Medicine Institute, where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practised.
- The Painting School, where young monks learn the art of Buddhist thangkha art. Also visit a mask maker’s workshop and one for fine metal craft, weaving, ceramics and papermaking.
- Visit the Folk Heritage Museum that displays the rural lifestyle in Thimphu not so long ago located in one village that has now become urbanized beyond recognition.
- In the afternoon, visit the National Memorial Chorten. The building of this landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the Father of modern Bhutan”) who wished to erect a monument to promote world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. It has now become a vibrant centre of spiritual practice and religious events. Here you will meet many locals circumambulating the main shrine of the stupa chanting mantras.
- Then, visit the Handicrafts Emporium and local shops if you like browsing through some of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts and crafts. You can buy textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry and all kinds of souvenirs.
- Evening drive to Paro and overnight stay.
Day 04 Depart Paro
- After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for final departure.