Bhutan: At a Glance

Duration : 06 Nights / 07 Days

Destinations Covered: Delhi~Paro~Punakha~Thimpu~Puentsholing~India
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Essence of Bhutan

Day 01 :: Delhi / Paro (Flight)
Take your flight from Delhi to Paro. On arrival at Paro CTI’s officer will receive you with warm welcome and escort you to the hotel.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 02 :: Paro
Morning take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger & rsquo;s Nest. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, the father of the Bhutanese strain of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. Taktsang was severely damaged by fire in year 1998 and now has been restored in its original grandeur. After lunch, visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons and country’s exquisite postage stamps. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong situated at commanding height, overlooking Paro valley. This Dzong is symbolic as the religious and secular center of all affairs of the valley.

Evening visit a traditional farm house to get an idea on lifestyle of local people.

Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 03 :: Paro / Punakha (125 Kms/ 3-4 Hrs)
After breakfast drive to ruins of Drukgyel Dzong. From this fortress, Bhutanese repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred temples of the Kingdom, reflecting the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Later drive to Punakha across Dochula pass (3,080m) which heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan. Until 1955, Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan and still it is the winter seat of Je Khenpo. Visit Punakha Dzong built in 17th century at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. It has been destroyed by four fires and an earthquake in 1897 and has frequently been devastated by flood water coming from the great northern glaciers. The Dzong has now been fully restored to its original splendor.
Evening free to explore the local market.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 04 :: Punakha / Wangduephodrang / Thimphu (90 Kms/ 2-3 Hrs)
After breakfast, drive to Wangduephodrang. The last town in the young lama bhutanwest before arriving at the central region of Bhutan, Wangdue is typical small Bhutanese town. The town's formidable Dzong is its most visible feature. In the 17th century Wangdue played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern Bhutanese districts. After lunch, drive to Thimphu, small charming city sandwiched in the heart of Himalayas. Thimphu's charm is not only embedded in its wealth of museums or places of historic interest but visitors must wander along the main street and into shops, all of which are decorated in traditional style. Evening at leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 05 :: Thimphu
Morning visit, Trashichhoedzong, situated on the banks of Wang Chhu. It is home of the National Assembly and the summer residence of capital's venerated monastic community. The Dzong is the impressive result of a redesign of the original medieval structure sanctioned by the Third King, HM Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, when he moved Bhutan's permanent capital to Thimphu. Bhutan's National Library is located close to the Thangkha painting school and contains arguably the best collection of religious and historic literature in the Himalayas. The Textile and Folk Heritage Museum opened in year 2001 is fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions. The Memorial Chhorten, a pious landmark for Thimphu's residents, was erected in 1974 by the mother of Third King, in memory of her son. Visit Handicrafts Emporium which displays wide assortment of beautifully hand-woven and crafted products.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day 06 :: Thimphu / Phuentsholing (180 Kms/ 5-6 Hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Phuentsholing en route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom built in 1627, which now houses the School for Buddhist studies. Thimphu / Phuentsholing road was built in

1962 by Dantak, the Indian Border road organization. The drive on this route is very pleasant with numerous scenic spots en route.Just before, arriving Phuentsholing, visit Kharbandi Goemba, the monastery built in 1967. It houses the large and attractive statues of Sakyamuni, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rinpoche.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 07 :: Puentsholing / Departure
After breakfast leave for border to enter in India.

Tour Ends

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Duration : 13 Nights / 14 Days

Destinations Covered: Paro~Thimpu~Punakha~Gangktey~Trongsa~Bumthang~Mongar~Trashigang~Samdrup Jongkhar~India 

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Indo-Bhutan Tour


Day 01 :: Arrive Paro (Flight)
The flight to Paro on a clear day is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsering ghang.Jumolhari peakThe first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the aircraft.
On arrival at Paro our officer will receive you with warm welcome and assist you to transfer to the hotel. Get relaxed for the day.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
 

Day 02 :: Paro Tour
Morning trip to Ta Dzong or National Museum, which is among the best natural history museums in Asia. Ta Dzong offers a unique and varied collections ranging from ancient armor to textiles, thangkha paintings and natural life. Then walk down the trail to visit Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong), built during the time of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646. It now houses the Paro monastic school and office of the civil administration. Also Rinpung Dzong is the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in spring. Afternoon drive up the valley to the Drukgyel Dzong or the Fort of Drukpa victory. From this fortress Bhutanese repelled invasion by Tibetans throughout the course of history. Looming above the smoldered ruins is the snowcapped peak of Mt. Chomolhari. Also visit traditional Bhutanese Farm House, nestled below the dzong. Then drive towards Paro town en route visiting Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries of the Kingdom reflecting introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day 03: Paro / Thimphu (55 Kms/ 1-2 Hrs)
After breakfast excursion to Taktsang Monastery view point. It is one of the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called "Tiger's Nest". This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang  simtokha dzong thimphuNamgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. Later drive to Thimphu, the capital town passing via idyllic countryside, through villages and paddy fields. En route visit the Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortresses of the country which now houses the School for religious and cultural studies.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 04 :: Thimphu

After breakfast full day sightseeing tour of Thimpu which includes National Library; it holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts, manuscripts, modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags. Arts & Crafts School or Painting School; famous for traditional thangkha paintings. Textile and Folk Heritage Museum; the fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions. Memorial Chorten; the beautiful stupa built in the memory of Bhutan's third King. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. Trashichhodzong; the beautiful fortress/monastery which houses Secretariat building, King's Throne room and other government's offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot.
Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 05 :: Thimphu/ Punakha (75 Kms/ 2-3 Hrs)
Morning, in Thimphu visit local market and town. Later leave for Punakha across Dochula pass (3,O8Om). In Bhutan, the passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag. Dochula pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day. wooden bridge Punakha BhutanArrive Punakha and check into the hotel. Untill 1955, Punakha served as the capital town of Bhutan and still it is the winter seat of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Visit Punakha Dzong, built by Shabdrung Ngawang, Namgyal in 17th century and situated at the junction of Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day 06 :: Punakha / Wangduephodrang /Gangtey (Phobjikha) (70 Kms/ 2-3 Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Wangduephodrang and visit the Dzong which is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. The position of Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view over both the north-south and east-west. Wangdue district is also famous for its bamboo work, slate & stone carving. The approach to Phobjikha valley is through a forest of oak and rhododendron. Phobjikha is one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan and chosen home of black necked cranes, which migrate from the central Asiatic Plateau to escape its harsh winters. Explore Phojikha valley and also visit Gangtey Monastery; the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan.
Overnight stay at the Guest House/Camp.

 

Day 07 :: Gangtey (Phobjikha) / Trongsa (128 Kms/ 4-5 Hrs)
Morning explore Phobjikha valley for Black Neck Cranes and later drive to Tongsa across Pelela pass (3,300m). This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between western and central Bhutan. Further ahead stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, built in 18th century in Nepalese style. The landscape around Tongsa is spectacular and for miles on end the dzong seems to tease you so that you wonder if you will ever reach it. On arrival, check into the lodge.
Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 08 :: Tongsa / Bumthang (Jakar) (68 Kms/ 2-3 Hrs)
Morning visit Tongsa Dzong, situated at the alt. of 2,200m and built in 1647 by the Shabdrung, it is the most impressive dzong in Bhutan. Then visit the Ta Dzong, standing on the side of the mountain and built to guard Trongsa. Later proceed to Bumthang, one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. 29 kms ahead of Trongsa cross Yutongla pass (3,400m) and from here again the landscape looks different and dense forests of conifers stretches. The arrival of Bumthang begins with wide, open cultivated Chumey valley.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day 09 :: Bumthang
Bumthang is the general name given to a complex of four valleys — Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with alt, varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. Visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in Bhutan as Guru Rinpoche meditated here. From Kurje monastery; a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to the Jambey Lhakhang. Like Kyichu Lhakhang in the Paro valley, this temple is said to be the first that King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet constructed in 7th century.  Bumthang View. Afternoon visit Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. It contains interesting and ancient Buddhist paintings. Later see the Jakar Dzong, "the dzong of the white bird".Evening take a stroll through Bumthang market area.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day 10 :: Bumthang / Mongar (198 Kms/ 6-7 Hrs)
The journey continues eastwards winding through more rugged terrain. The drive, with spectacular views will take about 7 hours. Pass through Ura village in Bumthang before climbing sharply to the highest motorable pass in the Kingdom, the Thrumshingla pass - 4000m. Gradually drop down to Sengor, watching cascading water falls on the way. The descent stops at 700m on a bridge over the Kurichu. Ascent again through pine forests, maize fields and eastern hamlets to Mongar town. Visit Mongar Dzong; built albeit quite recently, the dzong still maintains the architectural traditions of old dzongs. Overnight at the lodge in Mongar.

 


Day 11 :: Mongar / Trashigang (96 Kms/ 2-3 Hrs)
This trip of about 96 Kms takes 3 hours passing through Kori la pass (2,450m), the place marked by a pretty chorten and a stone wall. The first part of journey is through leafy forest filled with ferns. Later road descends rapidly through corn fields and banana groves arriving the famous zigzags of Yadi, which is a recent settlement. After that follows the Gamri River until the bifurcation to Dametsi, this temple perched on top of steep hill was founded by Choeden Zangmo and is the most important monastery of eastern Bhutan. This is the place from where the famous Naga Chham, masks dance with drums originated. About 30km onwards lies Tashigang at l000m. Trashigang is the centre of the biggest and most populated district in the country. Visit Trashigang Dzong, standing at the extreme end of the spur, overhanging the Gamri River. It serves as the administrative seat for the district and part of the dzong is occupied by the Drukpa monastic community. Overnight stay at the hotel.



Day 12 :: Trashigang (excursion to Trashiyangtse)
Drive for 24 km from Trashigang, visit the temple of Gom Kora, set on a small alluvial plateau, overlooking the river. Gom Kora is a famous place where Guru Rinpoche subdued a demon. Further ahead reach to Doksum village where you can see women busy in weaving traditional Bhutanese fabric and a chain bridge dating of the 15th century. Visit Trashiyangtse Dzong, situated at the alt. of 1,850 m. In former times Trashiyangtse was important centre because it lies on one of the caraven routes leading from western and central Bhutan.The dzong is new and near by are the Art school and the famous chorten Kora.Evening return to Trashigang. Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day 13 :: Trashigang / Samdrup Jongkhar (180 Kms/ 5-6 Hrs)
Trashigang - Samdrup Jongkhar road completed in 1965 and the journey takes about 6 hours. Along the way, pass by Sherubtse College, the only college in country founded in 1978. Also visit the Zangtho Pelri temple built in 1978 by the late Minister of Home Affairs. It represents Guru Rinpoche's paradise. Driving ahead, reach to Khaling to visit the Blind School and Weaving Centre. Deothang, 80 kms from Khaling is the centre of Technical training college and road maintenance head quarters for the east. From here the road descends fairly rapidly to the plain through a dense tropical forest with an abundance of teak, bamboo and ferns.
Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 14 :: Samdrup Jongkhar / Departure
After breakfast you will be transfer to Bhutan border where you will be picked up by our representative / officer for onward journey to India.

Tour Ends



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