Cultural Tour ( Western Bhutan)

Package Duration : 7Nights / 8 Days
Destination Covered: : Paro - Thimphu - Punakha – Wangdue.

Day 01: Arrive Paro International Airport By Drukair Or Bhutan Airlines’ And Transfer to Thimphu (Capital of Bhutan)

Your introduction to our enchanting Kingdom begins on a flight over the Himalayas into the lush green valley of Paro; truly one of the world’s most spectacular sights. In clear weather, DrukAir and Bhutan Airlines flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of the highest and majestic peaks and enjoy the view of the approaching valley with its alpine forest, monasteries, temples and farmhouse nestled in splendid mountains. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative. On completion of airport formalities, there will be an interesting drive of about 1 hour duration to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. On the way stop at the
Tamchoe monastery view and chuzom.

Thimphu is a small charming capital city nestled in the heart of the Himalayas. It is nothing like what a capital city is imagined to be. Most of the houses and buildings are painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style. After the lunch visit the National Memorial Chorten (sacred place for offering) .The building of this
landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king. His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck(“the father of modern Bhutan”) Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the late King and as a monument to peace. Visit the Changangkha lhakhang founded in the 13th century by one of the most revered saint of the drukpa kadgued tradition, Lama Phajo Dugom. It is a focus of daily worship for many local residents. We still have traffic police personnel to monitor the traffic. Get back to the hotel and take a walk around the Thimphu city. You will be able to get the feel of Bhutanese culture. After dinner is served, retreat yourself to the cozy bed.

 

Day 02: Thimphu

After the Breakfast visit the National Zorig Chusum (Thirteen traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan) also known as ‘The Painting School’. The arts and crafts of Bhutan that represents the exclusive “spirit and identity of the Himalayan Kingdom’ government scholarships provide talented students the opportunity to learn traditional arts and where traditional arts are still kept alive. Continue to the Takin Sanctuary for a closer look at the national animal of Bhutan. The takin looks like a cross
between a gnu and a musk deer. It has an immense face, a tremendously thick neck and short thick legs to support its heavy body. And Walk around the BBS tower which is also known as the “romantic point” and lovers often come here to look at the panoramic view of the Thimphu Valley. Enoute visit Nunnery temple. You can show your devotion here by praying with Buddhist nuns. Visit National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. They also have on display the largest Picture Book on Bhutan in the world. Visit the Traditional Medicine Center which includes hospital and herbal medicine manufacturing unit based on the Tibetan systems of medicine. The center also trains indigenous medicine doctors known as Dungtsho. Visit the Folk Heritage Museum where the cultural lifestyle of the ancient Bhutan has been preserved. Visit the Textile Museum of Bhutan to learn about Bhutan’s living national art of weaving. Bhutan’s textile are an integral part of its cultural and heritage and are unique for their diversity. Some of the museum’s gems are pearl robe from Tsamdrak Goenpo, crowns of Bhutan’s Kings, Namzas (dresses) and other accessories worn by the Royal Family. There is usually a small group of weavers working their looms inside the shop. After the lunch visit the world’s tallest Buddha statue of 149 feet (52mts) and enjoy the view of Thimphu Valley. Visit to the Tashichhodzong. This dzong is the capitol building and the office of the reigning king. Here, the king and the Je Khenpo (supreme religious leader) rule side by side to provide for the welfare of their people’s secular and spiritual well being. They are both equally loved and venerated by the Bhutanese. This dzong is not only the seat of the government but the summer residence of the Chief Abbot and Central Monastic Body when they migrate here from Punakha, their winter residence. Visit the farmer’s weekend market where there will be a huge collection of Bhutanese organic vegetables and fruits: Try the organic fruits and nuts. After evening tea, witness an archery match played by the locals with lots of hue and cry. Archery is the national
game of Bhutan. Overnight Thimphu

 

Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha.

After the breakfast we begin our journey eastwards towards Punakha district. We will enjoy some of the most stunning views of the Himalayas (weather permitting). The nearly 03 hour drive takes you across the Dochu La Pass (3150mts), its summit marked with prayer flags. There you will see spectacular view of 108stupas or chorten. Here you can enjoy the spectacular views of the eastern Himalayan mountain range. Take a walk around the 108 stupas and also enter the Drukwangyel temple built by the four queens as a tribute to the fourth king of Bhutan. The terrain shifts into heavy forests or evergreens and seasonally tinted broadleaf trees.
En route visit Royal Botanical Garden in Lamperi. The park features a variety of forest types, spectacular scenery, natural rhododenden groves, engdangered wildlife and a lake. Before arriving at our hotel, stop at the Chhimi Lhakhang, a fertility shrine built in the 15th century. Hopeful young couples wanting children may be seen making offerings to the shrine and its builder, the notoriously playful and beloved saint Lama Drukpa Kuenley, also known as the “the Divine Madman”. His humorous and shocking antics and many sexual exploits were meant to shake up a stodgy clergy and reveal the true nature of Buddhism to the people. The cheerful flying phallus that one sees and also the paintings on homes throughout Bhutan is a tribute to this saint, whose presence distracts and thus repels evil spirits.
Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and still it is home of Chief Abbot and the central monastic body when they migrate here from Thimphu in winter months. Visit Punakha Dzong, “Palace of Great Happiness”, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel has played prominent role in civil and religious life of the kingdom. It hosts the administrative seat of the district. The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, Male and Female River. It was here on 17th December 1907, Bhutan’s first king was crowned. The ancient fortress is considered to be one of the most beautiful by many.
Over night at the Hotel – Punakha

 

Day 04- Punakha – Paro shightseeing

After breakfast we drive back to Paro which is around 4 hours drive and lunch at the one of the restaurant. After lunch visit (The National Museum) Ta Dzong once the watch tower for the Ringpung Dzong, it was converted into the national museum in 1968 (one of the best museums of Asia) that towers above Paro Dzong to view its wellinterpreted collection of historic artifacts, including many great thangka paintings, and will provide deep insight into Bhutanese culture. Next, visit the impressive Paro Dzong that dominates the valley. Here you will see one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. Walk down to the traditional covered bridge and drive to the town. In the evening talk a walk around the Paro town, you can visit numerous handicraft shops which deal with varieties of Bhutanese arts and culture.

Over Night at Hotel- Paro

 

Day 05- Paro

After breakfast drive towards Chele la pass, at an elevation 3,988 meters is considered to be one of the highest motor able passes in Bhutan. About an hour’s drive along a thicky-forested road, is this Pass a botanical paradise. The pass provides stunning views of the scared mountain Jomolhari and Jichu Drakey, It is also marked by hundreds of prayer flags fluttering in the wind. Hence visitors can see cascades of wild roses; purple and yellow primulas On the way back from chelela Pas you can visit traditional house (farm house). Bhutanese farm houses are very colorful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of nails.A visit to a farm house will be very interesting and offer a good glimpse into lifestyle of Bhutanese farmers. Wrap up the day with the visit to the Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the most sacred temples in Bhutan. Bhutanese history holds that this temple was one of the 108 temples built in a single day in 659 by Songtsen Gempo of Tibet, for the specific purpose of pinning down an ogress who, covering all of Bhutan and Tibet, was impeding the spread of Buddhism in the area. Pilgrims come from all over the region to worship at this sacred site. Indeed, there seems to be a spiritual gravity about this special place, so revered by Bhutanese.
Overnight at the hotel – Paro

 

Day 06: Paro – Taktshang Monastery, (Tiger’s Nest)Taktshang Hike.

After a wholesome breakfast, drive to Satsam Chorten and spend the day hiking up the forested path to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s most famous and scenic icon. The climb is steep and takes about 4 hours round trip (Ponies can be arranged for the upward journey for those who would rather not walk).An important place of pilgrimage and refuge for more than 1200 years, Taktsang Monastery clings to sheer cliffs two-thousand feet above Paro Valley, and from your closest vantage point on a rocky ledge directly across from it, you will still need 200-300 mm lenses and a steady tripod to get tight photographs. This sacred place got its name when Guru Rinpoche rode there on the back of a flying tiger and meditated in a cave behind the present-day monastery. Sadly, in 1998, the central temple was destroyed by fire, leaving the country in mourning for their holiest of spiritual places. But religious leaders and the King quickly developed a plan to rebuild Taktsang and donations started pouring in from Buddhist centers all over the world, and today, the magnificently rebuilt exterior is complete. Tiger’s Nest is once again the subject of cloud-shrouded posters that say, “Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon.” Picnic lunch on the hillside cafeteria. Special permit will be arranged for you to enter the Tiger’s Nest monastery but you will not be allowed to take pictures of the inside shrines. Finish the day with the short drive to the end of the valley to visit the ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong that once provided protection from the northern invasion. From here one can see sacred Jhomolhari Mountain.
Overnight at the hotel – Paro.

 

Day 06: Paro – See off at the airport for the onward destination.

Thanks and Tashi Delek.