Bhutan is the last bastion of Mahayana Buddhism, a spiritual practice that is known to be one of the most profound schools of teaching in the Buddhist world. The sacred monasteries that sit precariously on sheer cliffs, the fluttering prayer flags that line the high ridges, the red robed monks who chant through the day and night give this kingdom an aura that comes from another time.
Bhutan Best Inbound Tour organizes spiritual tour for those visitors seeking a place of solace, rest and recuperation. In this tour we will take you to the caves and monasteries where great enlightened master had meditated once. You can always choose to sit next to those caves and experience the mystique presence .
You can also choose to experience the divine tranquility of the monastic life. We can arrange your stay in some monasteries/Shreda for two to three nights where you can get up in the morning with the sound of the bell and monks chanting. You can participate with them in sang offering/butter lamp offering and wine offering. You can chant along with them the aspirational prayers for the benefit of all the sentient beingsWe can arrange your meeting with Buddhist Scholars, trukus and Rinpoche whereby you will get an opportunity to clear your spiritual doubt. You can take a short meditation retreat as well. If your visits coincides with 10th ,25th or 30th of the lunar calendar then we can take you to witness throema(the laughter of Dakini) practice whereby the practicioners invoke the feminine aspect of energy by using bell drum and femur.
During your spiritual visit you can also experience Tshachus(Hot springs) as they are locally known and can be found all over the Kingdom and their medicinal properties are known to cure various ailments ranging from arthritis to body aches and even sinuses. The spirtual tour can be customized as per the area of interest of the guest and time availaibility.
Duration : 12 Nights / 13 Days
Destination Covered : Paro – Thimphu - Punakha.
Fly to Paro, Bhutan, on Druk Air, the national airline of Bhutan. If you get a seat on the left side of the plane and the weather cooperates, you may have spectacular views of the high peaks of the eastern Himalaya, including Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga—five of the highest peaks in the world—as well as peaks in Bhutan such as Jhomolhari, Jichu Drakye, and Tsering Kang. After visa formalities at the Paro airport, your guide will meet you and drive you into town for lunch. Afterward, you'll transfer to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, set at 7,725 feet in the Wang Chu Valley. After Lunch we can visit Tashichho Dzong, seat of the royal government and central monastic body.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / 3 Star Hotel - Thimphu, Bhutan
After breakfast we will visit Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrangling), visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from here; National Memorial Chorten- This stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan's third King, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. Chang Gangkha Monastery, the oldest temple in the valley; Tandi nye, where guru Rinpoche had meditated once.
Afternoon we can proceed local crafts shops. Overnight in Thimphu.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / 3 Star Hotel - Thimphu, Bhutan
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)
Phajoding Monastery : If you can hike we can visit Phajoding monastery which is a 3 hour hike from the nearest road. You can always choose to use a Pony.
The monastery site was founded by Phajo Drugom Zhipo, the tibetean lama who propounded Drukpa Kagyu in Bhutan. It is one of the most sacred meditational sites in Bhutan.
Note : If you are not a walker , you may need to camp at Phajoding overnight
In the morning, you will visit the ancient Punakha Dzong (a Dzong is a fortress-monastery) which dates back to the 17th century, spectacularly situated at the confluence of the Mo and Pho Rivers. You will also have an optional short walk across the rice paddies to visit nearby Chimi Lhakhang, a lovely 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.
After Lunch we can hike to Khamsum Yulley.
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.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / 3 Star Hotel - Punakha, Bhutan
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.
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
In the evening take natural herbal hot stone bath( Cost about USD 20) which has all the healing properties.
View of the valley that you get to see as you soak yourself in hot stone bath filled in with medicinal water.
If you wish we can do the following activities in Gangtey Shreda commonly know as Kunzang Choling for 3 nights. You can stay at Shreda like a home stay and can have a touch of Monastic Life and wellness.
The other Things we can do are
Important Notes :
The above itinerary(Gangtey Shreda Stay)will not be available on the month of December and January as it is winter vacation for the monks.
In few of the occasions like Drupchen,Festival, examination , there could be slight change in activity
In order to attend this session ,it is advisable to make a pre booking. During the peak season the session will be already booked so we may not get the booking.
This programme will be supervised by authentic Buddhist master. Some of the Buddhist master are not comfortable in English but there will be an English translator.
This programme is designed by the Gantey Shreda to help the visitors to overcome day to day stress and to give a glimpse of Buddhist way of life which is full of love and compassion.(Courtesy: Sherab Lhendup, Gangtey Shreda)
Return back to Paro. In the evening you can just stroll around the river side and just relax
Dra Karpo :
Perched on a small hill top of Paro valley lies a small monastery ‘Dra Karpo ‘ (split Rock), one of the holiest site in Bhutan. Guru Padmasambhava accompanied by his consort Dakini Yeshey Tshogyal and many other yogis and great master down the ages have blessed and sanctified the place. As you circumambulate you can see the foot and hand prints and many other auspicious signs and symbols believed to have manifesrted through some supernatural powers. Maybe owing to all these there is a mystique tranquility in the vicinity of Dra Karpo . It is believed that the demon took refuge inside the rock and Guru Rinpoche had Split the rock and subdued the demons.
It is believed that even the deadliest of your sin will be washed away if you can circumambulate 108 times around dra karpo.
Nye Phu Monastery(Sacred Hermitage Place)
The first Neyphug Trulku established Neyphu Monastery in 1550 at the celestial land of Chuden. When Guru Padmasambhava personally sat foot on this land during 8th Century, he tamed the local harmful spirits and left imprints of his hand and foot on the rock.He had also concealed several treasure teachings, samaya substance and other ter here. Right now the old Neyphu monastery is dismantled due to the damage caused by an earthquake and the new monastery is being built.
Old Nyephu Monastery
About an hour walk towards the south of the monastery is the Stupa that contains the relics of Buddha Mahakasayapa (Protector of Light). It is said that this Stupa is blessed no lesser than Phagpa Shinkun pagoda in Nepal. About a three-hour walk to the right of the monastery is the Self-arisen Stone Stupa at the residential monastery of master Drugchen Gyalwang who was Avalokitesvara in human form. A three-hour walk from the backside of the monastery is the sacred hermitage Samten Tsemo (Pinnacle of Concentration), also popularly known as Bumree. Yongdzin Ngawang Dragpa, the founding master of Neyphug Monastery attained realization of the Mahamudra (the Great Seal) and turned the Dharma wheel of teachings here. Half-an-hour walk from the left of this monastery is the Menchunang, the residential monastery of the great Pandit Jamyang Palden Gyatso who was the emanation of the Great Compassionate One (Avalokitesvara).
Majestically surrounded by these sacred places, many accomplished masters, such as Drupthop Chagzampa, the extraordinary being Barawa, the lord of Dharma Kunga Legpa, Trulku Paljor Gyaltshen, Drung Drung Rinchen Choedor, Gyalwang Sogdogpa, set foot on this land and was immensely blessed. This place is so sacred that the grounds bear wish-fulfilling trees, drops of nectar appear from the rocks, mantras spontaneously appear on rocks, and it is endowed with several miraculous marks that indicate that the Celestial Land is hidden here. Details of other sacred places of wonder starting from the gate to this holy hermitage can be found in "Guide to Neyphug Hermitage (Source:neyphu.org)
We may not be able to visit all the surrounding places but we can visit Menchugang. It is famous for the medicinal water with eight qualities. And the location of the place is awesome. . . . . If you want to see the hidden place inside a hidden place. . . . . Then this is the place.
Paro(Visit to Chumpu Lhakhang) :
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.
Today you have the option of taking a steep, 1½-hour hike to a teahouse, where you can enjoy a great view of Taktsang Monastery (its name means "tiger's nest"), perched on a cliff 2,700 feet above the floor of the Paro Valley. The hike follows a steep switchback trail through the forest, and after a break with tea and cookies, you have the option to sit outside the cafe and admire the monastery and its beautiful surroundings or, if you feel energetic, to continue another thirty minutes to a closer viewpoint. Much of Taktsang was destroyed by a fire in April 1998, but it is now completely rebuilt.
This programme is organized for the welfare of all the sentient beings. The 10% of profit earned from this trip will go to the practicioners to support their practice