Western cultural Tour of Bhutan includes the tour in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and WangduePhodrang. It starts and ends in Paro or Phuntsholing as these two are the only gate ways. As you move around you can see and know the living style of the Bhutanese, its culture and the Practices carried out by the Bhutanese, inhale fresh and thin air of the Himalayas, taste the mountain spring water, view the mountainous structure of natural forests of the Himalayas and study the Gross National Happiness within the people of Bhutan
Day 01: Arrival in Paro
Day 02: Excursion to Taktsang Monastry
Day 03: Tango Monastery in Thimhu
Day 04: Punakha
Day 05: Phobji-kha Valley
Day 06: Thimphu
Day 07: Departure
Arrive Paro by Druk Air. Receive by our representative or guide with the exchange of Trashi Khadhar (silken scarf) and transfer to the Olathang hotel. In the hotel welcome tea will be served. After refreshing we will proceed to visit Ta-Dzong which was originally built as watch tower for the Rimpung Dzong. Now it was converted to National Museum of Bhutan since 1968. It has extensive antique collection.
Then walk down to Rimpung Dzong ( Fotress of the heap of Jewels) which has a long and fascinating history. The Dzong was built in 1645 AD. At present the Dzong is used as a district administration and a home for the monastic bodies. As we walk down we will cross the picturesque traditional cantilever bridge, locally known as Nemi Zam. On the way we will pass through Dumtse lhakhang which was built in 1433 by Thangthong Gyalpo, then through Ugyen Pelri Palace which is the residence of the Great Queen Mother built in early 1900’s by Paro PenloP. Besides the Palace there are five square chortens which was built in the memory of first King Ugyen Wangchuk. We will walk along the paddy fields to visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. We will see the daily practices of the Bhutanese people. We will have dinner in the Bhutanese style in a Bhutanese house. Then we will enjoy the night walk along the fields to reach our hotel for the night.
After breakfast we will proceed for an excursion to Tak-tsang monastery (Tigers nest which is 3 hours hike) which is one of the Bhutan’s most revered monuments. It literally hangs of the face of a cliff 900 meters (2952 feet) above the valley floor. The legend states that Guru Rimpoche flew from Singye Dzong in Kurtoe on a mythical tigress and meditated in a cave before bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. On 19th April 1998, a fire severally damaged the main structure but the jewels have been restored to its original splendor. Then journey back and continue with a walk to the Drugyel Dzong which is known as the fortress of the glorious victory. It is the symbol of the Bhutanese bravery. It was built in the 17th century to celebrate the victory against the Tibetans. Then in 1951 the Dzong was destroyed by the fire and it was not renovated yet. We can have a glimpse around and take photographs. Drive little further down to visit Kyichu Lakhang. It is one of the oldest and most scared shrines of the kingdom dating back to 7th century. The lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and the second temple was built in 1968 by her Majesty the great queen mother Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck in the same original pattern.
Then we will have Lunch in the town. After Lunch we will start our journey to Thimphu. On the way we will visit Tamcho Lhakhang. It is a private Lhakhang owned by the descendents of Thangthong Gyalpo who was responsible for building iron bridges throughout Bhutan. We will pass through chu-zom (confluence of Thimphu river and paro river) and through Simtokha Dzong which was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Then you will be received in Migmar Hotel or Phuntsho Pelri Hotel over a dinner. After dinner we will have a walk in the heart of the town. Then we call it a day.
We will have early breakfast and drive 12 KM (45 minutes) towards north along the wangchu Rive to reach the base of Tango Monastery. There we will have to hike around one hour uphill to reach Tango. At present it is the Buddhist College with around 350 monks attending masters in Buddhism and the PHD in Buddhism. It is the countries only highest Buddhist College. The monastery is 3 storied building with all the historical backgrounds behind each room of the monastery. We will also see how the monks preserve the culture of Buddhism. If we are lucky we will also arrange a talk with the reincarnation of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay Rinpoche and get blessings from him. Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay Rinpoche is the second abbot lama of the country. Then we will hike back to reach Dodena Chorten after crossing the traditional bridge. We will enjoy the sculpture of Phajo Drugom Zhigpo and his consort Sonam Paldon. Phajo Drugom Zhigpo was prophesied to spread Buddhism in Bhutan by Tsangpa Gyarey, the founder of the Druka School. He did it through his sons. Some of his sons turned out to be a demon in human guise. We will enjoy the scenery of the cheri-Dorjeden which is the retreat center of the monks. Then we will travel back to Thimphu and taste the traditional Bhutanese food.
After Lunch we will drive to Kuensel phodrang commonly known as Buddha point where we find sitting Buddha which is 175 ft tall. It is the tallest sitting Buddha of the world. Buddha faces the mighty Himalayas and the place gives you a feeling of peace and a sense of awe. The construction is still incomplete, but don’t let it stop you from visiting the place and from taking photographs. The point has a great view of Thimphu valley and there is a sense of peace all around. Our next visit is National memorial chorten (a monument for world peace and prosperity). The paintings and status inside instigate the Buddhist philosophy. It was built in the memory of His Majesty the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. There we will find old parents chanting OM MANE PADME HUNG, peole making round of the chorten and some prostrating. Then drive towards north to the mini zoo, where we can see the tamed Takin “The National Animal of Bhutan” and then drive up to the viewpoint-BBS Tower in Sangay gang. Then we will move towards Trashichhodgzong which is the summer residence for the monk body and the golden throne of the Kings of Bhutan. In the Dzong we will explore on the history of the Dzong and enjoy the beauty of the arts and architecture. Then we will call a day over a dinner.
After Breakfast, drive 45 minutes up to Dochula pass which is 3,140m / 10,130 ft above sea level. We stop here to take in the view and admire 108 chortens and Druk Wangyel Lhakhang which has a big story crafted on the walls of Druk Wangyel Lhakhang. If we meet with the clear weather we will view the Himalayan Mountains like Jhomolhari Mountain, Jichu Drakey, Gankhar pinsum and the mountains of Dagala. Then descending down towards east we pass by Thinley-Gang and Lobesa village where we can look into the farming traditions and happy rural life. we will visit Chhimi Lhakhang which was built by Lam Drukpa Kuenley( The Devine Madman) in 1499. There you will find a black chorten which is believed that Devine Madman had subdued a demon of Dochula and the chorten was built over it. Childless women go there to receive blessings of the child form the Lhakhang. Then we will continue to drive Damchen resort or Zangdo Pelri hotel. We will be served Lunch there. After relaxing for few minutes we will proceed to visit 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. There we will find the monk body enjoying their winter residence and with the culture of daily ceremonies. Then drive along the banks of river Mo-chu to the upper end of valley to reach Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten, a Zangdo pelri recently built by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangden Wangchuck which was consecrated in 1999. Then return back to explore on the small town. Then call it a day after dinner.
After early breakfast we will drive for Phobjikha valley via chuzomsa, Tikke ZamPa and Pele-la Pass (3420 m) for seight seeing. On a clear day we can view Jhomolhari mountain (7314 m) and Jichu Drakye mountain ( 6989m). Phobjikha is the glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains national park. This Place is famous of dancing black necked cranes during the winter. If we are lucky we will enjoy the dance of the black necked crane. It is also the habitat of the barking deer, wild boars, Himalayan black beer, leopards and red fox.
We will enjoy the luncheon of Phobjikha hotels and then drive to Gangtay Goemba which has a monastery, meditation centers, quarters of the monks and others, schools and Bhutanese traditional houses with Bhutanese arts and crafts. Then we will journey back to see the ruins of Wangdue Phodrang Dzong and explore on Bhajo town. Then we will end the day over a dinner in Dragon Nest Hotel.
After early breakfast we will start our journey towards Thimphu. From Dochula we will enjoy a short hike from Dochula to Hontsho. You will enjoy the winter life of the Bhutanese in the woods. You will refresh in the winter air along the dry forests. Then we will enjoy the lunch in Migmar hotel. After Lunch we will continue to visit the National library (which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts), the school of Thangka paintings (the arts and craft school) where you can see young children learning and practicing the ancient craft of paintings, embroidery and crafting. Bhutan arts and craft center and the handicrafts Emporium to see the exquisite artistry of traditional crafts and textiles and wander through the streets for a little shopping. The farewell dinner will be served in Dream garden Hotel where you will be entertained with the Bhutanese dances and mask dances. Then we call it a day.
After early breakfast we will start our journey to Paro Air Port for departure.
Travel Insurance charges; Cost of foreign exchange for personal expenses; Expenses of personal nature, mini bar in the room, laundry, telephone bills, tips, gratuities etc. Surcharges applicable during Conventions, Special Events and Trade fairs; Tips
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