Tour traverse from East to West is extremely exciting journey. See it all first hand, mesmerized by the country's staggering landscapes, wildlife, architecture and fascinating locals. Throughout the journey, you will be surrounded by dense forest, endless mountain views and cascading rivers. You'll get drawn into the daily lifestyle of the Bhutanese, as well as their living art and architecture. It's definitely a destination for those on a quest for adventure!
Our odyssey across this emerald jewel of the Kingdom begins in the East, through towns of Samdrup Jongkhar, Trashigang and then journey through the cultural heartland of Bumthang. Then you will drive your way to the Western Bhutan - including Punakha (the ancient capital of Bhutan), Thimphu and Paro where you will be Seen Off by a Representative of our company.
DAY 01: ARRIVAL - WELCOME TO KINGDOM OF BHUTAN
Upon arrival at Gauwahati Airport, you will be welcomed by our company representative and transferred to Samdrup Jongkhar. You will drive by small villages, past bicycle paths through the famous Assam Tea garden. In the evening free for a leisure walk to explore Samdrup Jongkhar town. Overnight at Samdrup Jongkhar.
DAY 02: SAMDRUP JONGKHAR - TRASHIGANG
Today after early breakfast, you will drive a distance of 180-km for about 6 hours to Trashigang. Admire the diverse flora and fauna and stops for photo session along the highway. Your today's lunch will be at Warmrong. After Lunch you will continue to drive through Kharung La pass to khaling. Visit the khaling Handloom supported by the National Women's Association of Bhutan, where you will witness the traditional style of weaving. En route you will see the Bhutan's first and premier Sherubtse College in Kanglung. Descending down the road will take you to Trashigang. Overnight in Trashigang.
DAY 03: TRASHIGANG SIGHTSEEING
Drive for an hour to the Monastic School, which is the biggest Nyimapa school in the east. En route, you will stop off to take some photos in front of rice fields, colourful houses, picturesque villages, prayer flags, chortens and prayer wheels.
Visit Radhi Village and get a tip or two about how to weave like a local! These villagers are known for their beautiful textiles, woven out of raw silks. Then, feel spiritual at the nunnery in Radhi, before you continue on to Phogme. You might even meet some of the fascinating Sakten community. They're known to venture down to trade their yak products for daily necessities.
In the evening drive back to Tashigang, stopping off en route at Ranjung Village. Overnight at Trashigang.
DAY 04: TRASHIGANG - MONGAR
The road ascends towards the Kori La Pass 23900 M (Gradient 4-6%), opening out onto breath-taking mountains and villages. On arrival at Mongar you will visit Mongar Dzong which is built in 1970s and it houses about 200 monks. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 05: MONGAR - BUMTHANG
Prepare for the journey towards the cultural heartland of Bumthang. You will be driving through dense forest, past waterfalls, remote villages and high passes. This area is a paradise for bird watchers. You can make numerous stops on the way for pictures, and stretch your legs in the beautiful nature. Head to Ura village before continuing towards Bumthang for an overnight stay.
DAY 06: BUMTHANG SIGHTSEEING
In Bumthang you can visit many sacred temples and monasteries. Today you'll be visiting Kurje Lhakhang where legend tells that the Great Indian Saint Guru Padsambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock.
The second site on the agenda is Jamphel lhakhang, which was built in the 7th Century by Songsten Goembo, the Tibetan Buddhist King. Jakar Dzong, (the fortress of the White Bird), is another must-see landmark. Next stop: Tamshing Ihakhang built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa (the founder of religious treasures); followed by Kunchosum lhakhang and Membertsho (the Flaming Lake). Legend has it that Pema Lingpa discovered several religious texts by the Lake. Overnight at Bumthang.
DAY 07: BUMTHANG - TRONGSA
Transfer to Trongsa to visit Trongsa Dzong, yet another majestic architectural masterpiece and once Ancient Bhutan's capital. Its historic significance is such that every King, before ascending the Throne, must serve as the Penlop (Governor) of Trongsa.
The Ta-Dzong or Watch Tower of Trongsa was converted to a museum in 2008. The museum hosts about 244 items used over the years by the Wangchuck dynasty. It also displays the famous Raven Crown used by the first King. Overnight at Trongsa.
DAY 08: TRONGSA - PHOBJIKHA
En route to Phobjikha, stop off at Chendipji Stupa. It resembles the Boudhanath Stupa in Nepal, with eyes painted on at four cardinal points.
Next, you will drive further south to Phobjikha Valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan and home to the rare black-necked crane, who migrate from Tibet to Bhutan for the winter (from November-March). You'll also visit Gangtey Gompa, one of the oldest Nyingmapa monasteries. Hike down to the valley to take in a stunning view of the surrounding villages. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 09: PHOBJIKHA - PUNAKHA
The journey to Punakha takes about 3 hours and consists of a scenic drive through beautiful forests of rhododendron, fields of dwarf bamboo, green meadows, wildflowers, waterfalls and ever changing vegetation. Your journey descends further south into the low-lying sub tropical valley of Punakha, which served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955.
On arrival at Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong, the "Palace of Great Happiness" built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the 'Unifier of Bhutan'. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan's first king was crowned. After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it's not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. Overnight at Punakha.
DAY 10: PUNAKHA - THIMPHU
Today you drive to Thimphu (capital of Bhutan). Two hours later, you will drive at Dochula Pass (3,100 meters), which offers a spectacular view over the snow-capped eastern Himalayan Ranges, consisting of peaks averaging massive heights of 6,000m to 7,554m! The Pass is decorated with 108 stupas (chortens) built around a mound.
Upon arrival at Thimphu you will start sightseeing tour visiting Memorial Chorten built in memory of the 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Further, we will visit the Zorig Chusum - 13 Arts & Crafts Institute where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive. The visitors can see students of different trades at work like: Sculpting, Thanka Painting, Wood Carving and other skills. In the evening free for a leisure walk to explore Thimphu city. Overnight at Thimphu.
DAY 11: HIKE TO TANGO MONASTERY
After breakfast, you will drive about 45 minutes north of Thimphu then hike to the Tango Buddhist Institute. Tango is located on a site considered sacred from times immemorial. In the year 1689 AD, the monastery was built by the Gyelse Tenzin Rabgyel, the 4th Desi (temporal ruler of Bhutan). Today, the monastery serves as the largest Buddhist institute in the country.
In the afternoon, we move on to Changangkha Lhakhang, built in 13th century overlooking Thimphu Valley. The temple boasts the only sitting Buddha of Compassion in the country. Afternight at Thimphu.
DAY 12: THIMPHU - PARO
We begin our journey towards Paro, stopping off en route to visit Tachhogang Iron Bridge. Upon arrival in Paro, you'll visit Paro Rimpong Dzong ('Fortress on a Heap of Jewels'), followed by the Ta Dzong, which was formerly a Watch Tower and now the country's national museum.
Later, you will visit Kyichu Temple, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built by King Songtsen Gyempo of Tibet in 659 AD. Legend has it that it is one of the 108 temples that the King built within a year around the Himalayan region.
DAY 13: HIKE TO PARO TAKTSHANG
A visit to Bhutan is incomplete without venturing to Paro Taktshang (Tiger's Nest), one of the most sanctified and sacred Temples in Bhutan. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometer above the Paro valley. It is perched on the cliff where Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He subsequently meditated here for three months. The cave is said to be the origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments before returning to Paro for lunch.
Return to Paro, where we may have more time for stroll around the town. Farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight at Paro.
DAY 14: EBD OF THE TOUR
The guests will be Seen Off by a Representative of our company and the Tour Guide at the Exit Gate. Wish Bon Voyage!!!