THE HIMALAYAN SPLENDOUR

Trip Overview

Enjoy the mountains and the marvelous view of high Himalayan peaks in Bhutan as you travel towards the central region. Visit the beautiful Bumthang valley, known for many historical and religious sites. Get a good insight into the lifestyle of local people and culture.

Itinerary

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 the 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, you will be met by our representative at the airport and transferred to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan about an hour’s drive away.

Day 02 : Thimphu

Full day sightseeing tour of the charming city of Thimphu. It includes a visit to:

  • 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 for global 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.
  • Buddha Dordenma: It is located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park overlooking the southern entrance to the Thimphu Valley. The statue fulfills an ancient prophecy dating back to the 8th century A.D that was discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa (Religious Treasure Discoverer) and is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. This massive statue of Shakyamuni is 51.5 m tall, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue- 100,000 statues of 8 inches and 25,000 statues of 12 inches. Each of these Buddhas have also been cast in bronze and gilded. The throne that the Buddha Dordenma sits upon is a large meditation hall.
  • Motithang Takin Preserve is a wildlife reserve area for the takin, the national animal of Bhutan. It was converted from a mini zoo into a preserve when it was discovered that the animals preferred to remain there even when set free. It is a quaint looking animal with a head of a goat and body of a cow and its creation is linked to an interesting local mythology.
  • The National Institute of Traditional Medicine where centuries old healing arts are still practiced.
  • The National Institute of Traditional Medicine where centuries old healing arts are still practiced.
  • National Library that has a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts.
  • The Painting School, famous for its traditional thangkha paintings. Here you will see students at work producing intricate design on cloth.
  • The Royal Textile museum and the Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of Bhutanese culture and living traditions.
  • The Handicrafts Emporium that displays a wide assortment of beautifully hand woven and crafted products.
  • Tashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery that houses some offices of the Government and His Majesty the King’s Throne Room. It is also the summer residence of the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of the monastic body.
  • Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 03 : Thimphu / Trongsa ( 200 Km, 6 Hours )

After an early breakfast, drive to Dochula pass (3,050m). If the weather permits, you can see some of the high Himalayan  peaks towards the north east such as Masagang (7158m), Tsendagang (6960m), Terigang (7060m ), Jejegangphugang (7158 m), Kangphugang (7170m), Zongphugang (7060 m ) and Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7497m.

  • Stop for a picture of the Wangdue Dzong which is under major renovation after the devastating fire in 2012.
  • Proceed to Trongsa across Pelela pass (3,300 m ). Lunch at a local restaurant situated at the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large prayer flag and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, which was built in the 18th century by a Lama named Shida. Nepalese in style, the stupa resembles the famous Boudhnath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal with eyes painted at four cardinal points. Arrive Trongsa and check into the lodge.

Day 04 : Trongsa / Bumthang ( 68 Km, 3 Hours )

After breakfast at the hotel

  • walk by Trongsa Dzong built by Zhabdrung in 1647 and visit the Ta Dzong (watch tower), dedicated to the Buddhist epic hero, King Gesar of Ling.

Drive to Bumthang which is about 3 hours away. About 29 kms from Trongsa, is the Yutong La pass (3,400m). Further 13 km ahead, the road enters a wide open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley. On arrival in Bumthang, check into the lodge.

  • After lunch, visit the Kurje Lhakhang where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock.
  • Jambey Lhakhang – built in the 7th century.
  • Tamshing Monastery – one of the oldest monastic schools.
  • Jakar Dzong, the administrative centre of the region and one of many fortresses built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the Founder of Bhutan.
  • Swiss Farm House. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.

Day 05 : Bumthang / Punakha ( 205 Km, 6 Hours )

After breakfast, explore the beautiful valley of Bumthang. Then proceed to Trongsa where lunch will be served in a local restaurant, famous for its traditional cuisine.  Evening at leisure.  Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

Day 06 : Punakha / Paro ( 125 Km, 4.1/2 Hours )

  • After breakfast, hike to Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the center of the valley. The temple is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who, in the late 15th century used humor, song and outrageous behavior to dramatize his teachings owing to which he is also known as the ‘Divine Madman’. The holy place is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples pay a visit here to seek blessings for fertility or to offer their gratitude for wishes fulfilled. The morning walk through lush paddy fields and quaint little shops along the way is an experience in itself.
  • Next, visit the 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. The first King Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood. The last flood of October 1994 caused great damage to the fortress but miraculously spared the statue of Buddha Jojampa.
  • After lunch, proceed to Paro and en route visit a traditional Bhutanese farm house that  offers a good insight into the lifestyle of local people and their culture.
  • On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 07 : Paro

  • After an early breakfast at the hotel, take a morning excursion to Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, the father of the Bhutanese strain of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. Taktsang was severely damaged by fire in 1998 and has now been restored to its original grandeur.
  • After lunch, visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons and the country’s exquisite postage stamps.
  • If time permits, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 08 : Paro Depart

  • After breakfast, transfer to the airport for final departure.

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Tour Info

  • Duration : 8 Days
  • Difficulty Level :
  • Places To Visit : Paro, Thimphu, Trongsa, Bumthang, Punakha
  • Meters Above Sea Level :