DAY 01: ARRIVE AT PARO.
While flying towards Paro, you can catch a spectacular view of the majestic mountains lining the passage, including the antediluvian Jumolhari & Jichu Drake peaks. On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by your Bhutanese friend from our Travel Agency. Discuss the Tour Programme with the Tour Guide. Afternoon sight-seeing and photography session.
DAY 02: PARO – SIGHT SEEING.
Post breakfast, a visit will be arranged for Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress), 16 kilometers away from Paro town. Although it has been in ruin but this Dzong has its great historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetan invasion and drove them back. On a clear day one can view the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari (Mountain of Goddess). Its altitude is 7,329m.Visit Kyichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means temple). Which was built in 659 AD by the King Songtsen Gompo of Tibet as one of the 108 such monasteries he built in various places to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong. It is one of the holiest places in the country, as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country.
After Lunch, the National Museum beckons, which used to be a watch tower for Paro Rimpong Dzong (Fortress). It was converted into Museum in 1968. Visit Paro Rimpong Dzong, the Dzong was built in 1646 AD, and walk down to town one the way you can see the traditional wood bridge of ancient style.
DAY 03: PARO -EXCURSION TO TAKTSHANG MONASTERY.
The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest “. On day 15th, book a day’shike or a mule ride to the ‘Tigers Nest Monastery’. One of the most revered shrines of Bhutan, this monastery hangs on the side of a cliff dropping 900m towards the Paro valley below. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here sitting astride a flying tigress and meditated in a remote cave, hence the place came to be known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as one of the most spiritual sites of the country. A sacred place, where many eminent saints did meditation. Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. The round hike takes about four hours.
DAY 04: PARO – A DAY EXCURSION TO HAA VALLEY AND DRIVE BACK VIA CHELLELA PASS.
Get up early to drive to Haa via Chele-la pass. Located four Km away at Bondey village, the road towards Haa turns towards the right and climbs up towards the chele-la pass. Drive through lush pine & rhododendron forests for about 45 km to reach Chele-la pass (3822 meters above sea level)A picnic lunch at Chellela passes. On the way back walk to Chellela Nunnery.
DAY 05: PARO-THIMPHU.
While going to Thimpu, visit Simtokha Dzong en route. One of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan, it was built in 1629 AD. It houses the largest monastic schools in the country. Visit Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the Central Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks.
In the afternoon, pay a visit to the Memorial Chorten (a mammoth stupa) built in memory of the Third King of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Visit the mini Zoo where the national animals were kept and drive to Sangeygang where you can have a spectacular view of Thimphu valley. Visit nunnery in Zulikha. Visit the Wood Craft and Painting school where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive through the instructions of painting and curving. Later, some shopping at the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts & crafts are displayed and can be purchased.
DAY 06: THIMPHU – GANGTEY VALLEY.
In the morning, enjoy the long drive to Gangtey valley, which takes around 6 hours. It is a beautiful valley situated at an altitude of 3000m, this valley was open its route very recently. The journey takes about 6 hours through Dochula Pass (3150m). On the way stop for a photo stop at Dochula Pass which is 26km away from Thimphu valley, and for Tea and snacks and to enjoy the most spectacular view of eastern Himalayan snow capped Mountains and also the spectacular view of Gasa Dzong at a distance (If the weather remains clear) and descends down to subtropical area Wangdue Phodrang. During winter one can see the endangered species of bird (Black Naked Crane). Have lunch in Punakha or Wangdue.
DAY 07: GANGTEY VALLEY – BUMTHANG.
In the morning, drive to Bumthang via Trongsa and a stop-over at Chendbji Chorten, which is patterned on the lines of the Swayambhunath temple in Nepal. Built in 18th century by Lama Shida,it covers the remains of an evil spirit that was taken down at this place. After, visit the TrongsaDzong, the most emphatic dzong in Bhutan, built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the emissary sent by Shabdrung to appease eastern Bhutan. The dzong was added to at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. This dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family; the initial two kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong. Drive to Bumthang via Yongtala & Kilakha passes. Bumthang sightseeing includes-Bhutanese Carpet Factory, where they use Yak and Sheep wool and even pure silk to create carpets and ethnic Bhutanese Textiles. Postlunch, visit the Jakar Dzong, literally meaning ‘The Castle of White Bird’. Its current structure was built in 1667. Later visit Lamey Goemba, a majestic palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi, the great warrior. Further, you can see theJambay Lhakhang, built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in AD659. This temple was blessed by Guru Rimpocheduring his visit to Bumthang. It was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life with his powers. Legend has it that under the temple is a lake in which Guru Rimpochetook refuge on several occasions. In the month of October, the colourful festival, ‘Jambay Lhakhang Drup’ unfolds at this very temple. As the evening sets, you can check out the handicrafts and all. Have your dinner downtown at Bumthang.
DAY 08: BUMTHANG – SIGHT SEEING.
After breakfast, visit Chakhar Lhakhang (the iron castle), it is the site of the palace of the Indian King, the Sindhu Raja who invited Guru Rimpoche to Bumthang. The Original palace was made of Iron and hence the name Chakhar. The saint Dorji Lingpa built the Current building in 14th century. Its correct name is Dechen Phodrang. We then visit Kurjey Lhakhang that is named after body print of Guru Rimpoche, built in 1652 by Minjur Tempa. Visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. In the evening, visit Membarstho which literally means, “The burning Lake”. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel at Bumthang.
Day 09: BUMTHANG – MONGAR.
Post breakfast, drive to Mongar and visit Ura Lhakhang. Drive to Mongar through Thrumshingla Pass (the highest pass in Bhutan). There are some spectacular drives along this road. If time permits, also visit a farm house in Sengor village. It’s just a short walk to the Temple from there.
DAY 10: MONGAR – TRASHIYANGTSE.
Finish your breakfast and head towards Mongar and Trashigang. En route, you have to drive down to the lowlands of the Dremtse and Ozorong regions, which are subtropical areas like Lingmethang.
Drive further across Chazam (Iron Bridge) towards Trashigang Market, a small, heavily populated area, and was considered the largest city in eastern Bhutan till Kurichu Project in Mongar dominated the area. Trashigang Dzongkhag has the largest number of inhabitants in the whole of Bhutan. Retire for the night at the hotel in Trashigang.
Day 11: TRASHI YANGTSE – TRASHIGANG.
Take the day’s excursion to Trashiyangtse and en route, visit famous Gomkora lhakhang.This Gomkora Lhakhang was visited by the great saint guru Rimpoche were he subdued evil spirits. You will find a small meditating cave of Guru Rimpoche.Drive further to Trashiyangtse and visit Chorten kora .This place host two religious festivals and people from Arunachal Pradesh in the north-east India also come for the festival. The Chorten is surrounded by many miniscule prayer wheels.
DAY 12: TRASHIGANG – SAMDRUPJONGKHAR.
An early morning drive brings you to Bhutan Samdrupjongkhar. On the way stop for clicking pictures.
DAY 13 DEPARTURE.
Say goodbye to your Bhutanese friends. Head to the airport.