We call this itinerary special as this package includes almost every vacation; Cultural , spiritual, trekking , adventurous and photography tour. And if your visit coincides with Festival then your vacation to Bhutan is going to be a wholesome one . For festival date please visit Bhutan Festival Calendar.
Duration : 13 Nights / 14 Days
Destination Covered : Paro - Druk Path Trek - Thimphu - Gangtey - Punakha.
Paro is a beautiful valley located in Western Bhutan with an area of 2800 Sq. Kms. Breathtaking Lhakhang and monasteries are perched on mountain hills. Two sacred rivers with its respective source at Jhomolhari and Chumo phug mountains, makes their way through Paro valley enhancing its beauty and grandeur.
The Places you can visit are :
1. Rinpung Dzong (Fortress of the heap of jewels) : was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1644AD. It is the administrative seat of Paro District. The annual Paro festival is held here.
2. Ta Dzong : It was built as a watchtower. It was converted into a national museum in 1968. You can witness finest specimen of Bhutanese art, masterpieces of bronze statues and paintings
Taktsang Monastery : The Taktsang, popularly known as the “Tiger’s Nest” is perched on the side of a cliff at a height of 900m above the Paro valley.It is considered as a signature spot for the tourist. It is a Gem of a Paro Valley. Nestled up in a cliff, it is considered as one of the twelve wonders of the world.
After breakfast, drive to Ramthangka to hike up to the view point of Taktsang (Tiger’s nest) (2950m). The round trip will take about two to three hours. The legend says that in the 8th century, Guru Rinpoche visited and meditated here for some time. The place now is one of the holiest pilgrim sites for the
Drukgyel Dzong : was built in 1649 to commemorate the victory of Bhutanese over the allied Tibetan-Mongolian forces. The Dzong as a defense fortress is said to have housed the finest armory in the country.
Kyichu Lhakhang : It is one of the oldest and sacred monasteries in Bhutan. The construction of it dates back to the 7th century by Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gyelpo.
Chumphu Nye is located on a hilltop and completely isolated from the town. The whole trek is mesmerizing and gives you the feel of divine tranquility. It may take about 7 to 8 hours hike back and forth.
The walk is nurturing. The pristine environment filled in with rich faunal diversity with the touch of old man beard will promise you to make your hike a comforting one.
The whole hike is a Pilgrim progress. The stones, caves, waterfall all have their story to tell as you pass by . You will be walking the path which was once traversed by Guru Rinpoche, Khandrola Mendharawa and Khandrola Yeshey Tshogyel.
You can also choose to sit next to the cave where Guru and his consorts have meditated and feel the divine presence. The whole energy there is conducive for silence and meditation.
Note: The Place is not touched by any kind of pollution yet. So we request you to be gentle on it and be careful of the waste.
You can also try one of the most popular trek in Bhutan, Druk Path Trek. It is the top trekking routes in Bhutan. On the trek you will encounter Yak Herders, Lakes, monastery, endangered birds, brooks and meadows. For more about druk path trek ,please visit Druk Path Trek.
Thimphu, the capital city is a bustling town on the banks of the river Wang Chhu. It is home to the Bhutanese Royal Family, the Royal Government and to several foreign missions and development projects.
The shape of the valley is likened to that of deep skull with a winding crystal river that descends into Thimphu valley from the high mountain above. It is said that eight auspicious sign can be witnessed in the features of the valley.
Places To Visit :
Tashichho Dzong : The “Fortress of the glorious religion” houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, government offices and the central monk body.
Memorial Chorten : This stupa was built in 1974 in memory of the Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk by his mother.
Semtokha Dzong : Five miles from Thimphu, on a lofty ridge, stands Semtokha Dzong the oldest fortress in the Kingdom.
The Institute of Zorig Chusum : This is the Institute where students learn the 13 traditional Arts and Crafts.
Kuenselphodrang (Buddha Point): The Buddha Dordenma Statue which is 169ft is the world’s tallest Buddha statue and it is located about 6kms from Thimphu city.
We can drive to Dodina, the northern end of Thimphu (8,600meters') and hike an hour up a steep hill to visit Cheri Monastery, or Goemba, built in 1620 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and established with an original staff of 30 monks. Today the monastery serves as the main meditation
Center of the country and has more than 70 monks undergoing their three year, three-month retreat. Inside is a silver chorten holding the ashes of the Shabdrung's father. On your return you'll visit Tango Goemba (another Steep one-hour climb), founded in the 12th century (the present building was constructed in the 15th century). It is now a Buddhist institute for higher learning. Time permitting; you'll visit Tashichho Dzong, seat of the royal government and central monastic body, upon your return from the hike. (1 hour driving; 4 hours hiking)
Druk Wangyal Chortens at Dochula : On the way to Gangtey from Thimphu is the Dochula pass from where a beautiful panoramic view of the mountain range can be seen. The place is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chortens -108 stupa built by the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk
The valley is popular for its scenic splendor and cultural uniqueness.. Phobjikha is well known as the winter home of the Black-Necked Cranes (Grus Nigricollis), that migrate from the Tibetan plateau. The birds can be observed from early November to end of March. Overlooking the valley is the Gangtey Goenpa
In the evening take natural herbal hot stone bath( Cost about USD 20) which has all the healing properties
We can visit the following place today
Gangtey Goenpa : is the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition which was established in 1613 by Gangteng Sangngak Choling.It overlooks the Phobjikha Valley.
Photography : The valley rich Faunal biodiversity may inspire photographers
Brief Walk through the Gangtey village and experience a rustic life
Crane Information Centers : of Royal Society for Protection of Nature’s(RSPN) has all the information displayed abot black-necked crane and its rich environment
Khewang Lhakhang : The Vajrayana monastery houses the Buddha of three times;past, present and future. Ample of myth and magic are associated in lieu to the construction of Lhakhangs
It served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955. It has a temperate climate and its rich fertile valley is fed by the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers.
Places To Visit :
Punakha Dzong : Punakha Dzong is a fortress that was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637-38. The Je Khenpo (the religious head of Bhutan) spends his winters here. It is one of Bhutan's most attractive landmarks and has survived 6 fires, 2 glacial lake outbursts, and 1 massive earthquake. It was built at the confluence of the Mo Chhu and the Pho Chhu, which is considered an auspicious location. The Punakha Dzong was the site of the coronation of Sir Ugen Wangchuck as the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan in 1907. More recently, the coronation of His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the 5th King of Bhutan, was held here on October 31, 2008.
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten : Built by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, this Chorten is a splendid example of the Bhutanese architecture. It was built over eight and a half years and its details have been drawn from religious scriptures.
We can visit :
Chimmi Lhakhang : Chimi Lhakhang, which stands on a small hillock is a temple built by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Legend has it he subdued the demoness of the Dochu La with his "Magic Thunderbolt of Wisdom."A wood effigy of the lama's thunderbolt is preserved in the Lhakhang, and childless women go to the temple to receive a Wang (blessing) from the saint.
In afternoon we can go for the rafting rafting
Upper Pho Chhu (Wangthangkha - Samdingkha)
Location: Punakha Valley, Western Bhutan
Length: Approximately 7 km (2 hours)
Difficulty: Class III-IV
Flow: 2000 -3000 cfs
Season: March - April, October – November
Craft: Kayaks and Rafts
Take a long scenic drive back to Paro.On the way back we can visit
Royal Botanical Park, Lamperi
It is a breath taking 125 acres botanical garden with 46 species of rhododendrond flower. You can choose to boating here.The best time to visit this place will be between April and June.
The park also has trekking routes,walk around the baritsho lake,tree house and camping space for visitors.
The annual rhododendron festival is held here.
In evening you all can walk down the stone path and through the traditional wooden bridge, which is one of the fine specimens of Bhutanese architecture and explore Paro village town
We can always shorten this tour by removing 3 days druk path trek.