Flying in to the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression. On arrival at Paro airport, after immigration and custom formalities, your guide from Discovery Bhutan for the trip will receive you and transfer you to Tashi Namgay Resort or Khangkhu Resort. After Lunch visit, National Museum of Bhutan. After the advent of modernism in the country the Royal Government of Bhutan, with an aim to showcase the country’s rich culture and traditions, initiated the idea to introduce a museum for the first time and in 1968 the watchtower above Paro Dzong was chosen to initially house a modest collection of murals, numismatics, philately, etc. Over the years, after much renovation the museum accumulated more and more objects from different parts of the country and is today a storehouse of Bhutan’s cultural and traditional treasures. With over thirteen galleries, each holding exhibits from different periods and places in the country, the National Museum of Bhutan takes pride in its effort to educate its visitors, be they local or foreign, about the country’s cultural history that date back to as early as 2000 B.C and its metamorphism over the ages into what it is today. After more than three decades, the museum has established itself not only as a huge tourist attraction but also as an institution of learning for both scholars and visitors; considering the history of the building, the National Museum of Bhutan can rightly be termed as a ‘museum within a museum’. This museum is also one of the best museums in Asia. Thereafter visit Rinpung Dzong, which means the “fortress on a heap of jewels”. Take a leisure walk through a traditional covered bridge to the Dzong and enjoy a breathtaking view of its architectural wonder. The Dzong is now the Paro Monastic School and the office of the civil administration.
Day 02 : Hike to Tiger’s Nest (04 -05 hours)
Today, we hike up to the famous cliff-hermitage called Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest.” This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly scenic! It takes about two hours to reach the cafeteria, which gives a breathtaking view of the Tiger’s Nest. From Cafeteria it takes 1 hour to reach the main temple. This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly scenic! This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. After Lunch, visit drive to Drugyel Dzong which is built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, the towering outer walls and central keep remain an imposing sight. On clear day you can see the splendid view of Mt. Chomolhari (Alt.7321). Afternoon, drive to Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan, passing through idyllic countryside, with villages and paddy fields on either side of the road. Thimphu has a special charm and it is fascinating to sit and watch a gathering of local people in the town square, wearing their traditional dress and going about their business in a typically unhurried Bhutanese way.
Day 03 : Thimphu City Sightseeing
After Breakfast, go to Bhutan National Bank for currency exchange and then you can get an opportunity to purchase exquisite collector Bhutanese stamps. Then visit National Library where ancient texts and manuscripts are preserved; The Indigenous Hospital where traditional medicines are still practiced; Woodcraft and Painting school where traditional art and crafts are still kept alive; Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles are displayed and can be purchased. After noon drive to the Buddha Dordenma sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the 13th Desi Druk, overlooking the southern approach to Thimphu. It is one of the largest Buddha rupas in the world, at a height of 169 feet (51.5 meters). You can also enjoy the view of the Thimphu city clearly from here. In the evening explore the busy Thimphu town with your guide or on your own. Note: If you are there on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the tour will include a visit to the local vegetable market. You will get to meet many Bhutanese people and valley dwellers on the bank of the river where the weekend market is held.
Day 04 : Thimphu to Wangdue Via Punakha
Drive early to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan taking about 03 hours across Dochu-La Pass at 3050m from where snow-capped eastern Himalayan ranges can be seen on a clear day. Prayer flags will flutter you over the pass taking you deeper into the essence of Bhutan. Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha valley. Then visit the Punakha dzong, the winter residence of the Je khempo (chief abbot). Punakha dzong is the second dzong system built in Bhutan by Shebdrung Nawang Namgyel in the year 1637. The Dzong is said to be the most beautiful of Dzong in Bhutan; it is an outstanding structure with intense artwork. After lunch short hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten in the northern part of the valley. Newly built and it is a more elaborate version of the Memorial Chorten in Thimphu. It has an astounding work of frescoes and intricate statues.
Day 05 : Wangdue- Phobjikha
Today drive to Phobjikha valley. Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the periphery of the north western tip of the Black Mountain National Park at the altitude of 9,840 feet. The valley is a wide, beautiful alpine wetland valley and is a conservation area and lies on the northern boundary of the Jowo Durshing range. The hill side vegetation is mostly pine forest, interspersed with Rhododendron trees. Phobjikha valley is also one of the roosting grounds of the Black-necked cranes that migrate each year in winter from its northern habitats in Tibet and Siberia. These elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of the March. RSPN and Phobjikha community are now working together to protect the habitat of endangered Black Necked Cranes. You will visit Gangtey Goenpa which is the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan and is situated on a ridge overlooking the Phobjikha Valley. According to a legend Gangtey Goenpa was founded by the grandson of Pema lingpa, Gyalse Pema Thinley in 1613 and later was expanded by Tenzin Legpau Dhendup. It was renovated by present Gangtey Tulku Kunzang Rinzin Pema Namgyel and was consecrated in October 2008.
Day 06 : Gangtey Paro
Morning walk to explore the village, then return to Thimphu (about 05 hours drive). From Gangtey, the road gradually descends into the balmy Punakha valley, and then begins a long climb back up to the Dochu La, where a stunning field of white chortens and colorful prayer flags send blessings up to the Himalayan sky; snow peaks line the horizon. From the La, it is only another hour to Thimphu. Stop here for lunch, then continue to Paro (just under 2 hrs), one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan with its slate-roofed farmhouses, graceful willow trees and rushing glacial river beneath snow covered peaks. En route visit Botanical garden and Takchok lhakhang built by Drupthop Thangthong Gyelpo the Iron chain bridge builder. Still you can see the iron chain bridge which is built by him.
Day 07 : Departure
After breakfast in the hotel drive to Paro airport in time to catch up your onward flight. Your escort from Bhutan Discovery will bid you farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.
Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *