Bhutan, the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” is located in the mighty Himalayas, between two giant countries, China in the North and India in the south. The history on Bhutan belongs to the 17th century, when Buddhism reached the land and the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel started construction of largest Bhutanese architecture Dzongs (fortress), this fortress served as religious and districts administration now.
Buddhism is deeply rooted in the culture heritage and tradition, can be witnessed in the daily life and activities of the Bhutanese people. Bhutan is a deeply spiritual land and blessed with green valleys, dense forests, rolling hills, and towering crags, picturesque ceremonies; the people of Bhutan are warm, hospitable and always smiling, they love to meet and entertain foreign visitors. Bhutan is hidden paradise and an environmentalist’s dream. Bhutan is voted as one of the world’s top travel destinations.
Bhutan holds many surprises. This is a country where the rice is red and where chillies aren’t just a seasoning but the main dish. It’s also a deeply Buddhist land, where monks check their smart phones after performing a divination. Yet while it visibly protects its Buddhist traditions, Bhutan is not a museum. You will find the Bhutanese well educated, fun loving and well informed about the world around them. It’s this blending of the ancient and modern that makes Bhutan endlessly fascinating.
|Location||Landlocked between India & China (880 45’ & 920 10’ E Longitude & 260 42’ & 280 15’ N Latitude)|
|Total Area||38,394 Square kilometers|
|Altitude||100m in south to 7500 m in the north above sea level|
|Political System||Democratic Constitutional Monarchy|
|Religion||“Drukpa Kadju” (Mahayana Buddhism)|
|Local Time||6 hours ahead of GMT|
|Capital||Thimphu (Western Bhutan)|
|National Dress||Gho (man) Kira (Women)|
|National Animal||Takin (Budorcas taxicolor)|
|National Sports||Archery (Bamboo made)|
|National Bird||Raven (Corvus corax Tibetanus)|
|National Flower||Blue Poppy (Mecanopsis grandis)|
|National Tree||Cypress (Cupresses torulosa)|
|National Day||Yearly celebrated on 17th December|
Pick-up from Paro airport & transfer to Thimphu ( Alt. 2400m/7875ft). Check in at the hotel. Afternoon you can relax in the hotel or you can visit interesting weekend market (The Centenary Farmer’s market ) (Open only on Saturday & Sunday ) -Vegetable vendors from different pockets of the country come to sell their products. In the evening you can explore the city by walk or you can explore only outer view of Tashichho Dzong or you can visit Monk Body’s block between 5:30-6:00 p.m ( In Summer) and between 5:00-5:30 p.m ( In Winter) ( Timing may change).
OR You can visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and a photo studio. The project is aimed at preservation and promotion of culture being one of the four pillars of Gross National Happiness (GNH) by involving youth as the core group because they are the future leaders of the country.
Return at hotel. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast proceed for sightseeing ( 9:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m) includes
National Memorial Chorten- This stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan’s third King, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan
The Jungshi handmade paper factory (Closed on Saturday, Sunday & Govt. Holiday), that uses traditional methods to produce the authentic Bhutanese paper known as Deh-sho;
The National Library and Archives of Bhutan (Closed on Saturday, Sunday & Govt. Holiday), a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts
Institute for Zorig Chusum Commonly known as 13 Arts & Crafts School or Painting School ( Closed on Saturday, Sunday & Govt. Holiday and in winter season –December to February month),where students learn 13 different arts used predominantly in Bhutan and local crafts shops. Overnight in Thimphu.
Afternoon proceed for sightseeing ( 2:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m) includes
Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang), visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from here;
Chang Gangkha Monastery, the oldest temple in the valley;
Motithang Takin Preserve , preserve center of Takin – National Animal of Bhutan.
Anim Dratsang (Nunnery) ; also called Thakcho Kunzang Choden Nunnery nunnery is located in Zilukha
The Institute of Traditional Medicine (Closed on Saturday, Sunday & Govt. Holiday), is worthwhile where centuries old healing arts still practiced.
NOTE: If any of the above sightseeing places is closed on Saturday/Sunday/Govt Holiday we will arrange alternative sightseeing ( Instead of the closed places) like BBS Tower & Sangaygang Hill view point, provides a vantage point view of the Thimphu Valley; Changlimthang Stadium & Archery ground; The Clock Tower Square; Centenary and Coronation Park.
After permit ( Permit is not issued on Saturdays, Sundays & Govt holidays) drive to Punakha/Wangdue, with a stop en route at Dochu La Pass ( 3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the highest mountains of Bhutan. After a photo break, drive to warm valley of Punakha. Visit Punakha Dzong ( Timing from 11:00 a.m to 1: 00 p.m and 3:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m) built at the confluence of the Po and Mo Chu Rivers in the 17th Century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and served as capital of Bhutan until 1955. (Note: The Punakha Dzong is closed in winter months when the monk’s body is in Punakha) . Overnight in Punakha/Wangdue.
After breakfast excursion to Gangtey & Phobjikha- [alt. 3000m] : The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space. On the valley floor lays the village of Phobjikha. This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang and lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park . Return at Punakha. O/n Punakha/Wangdue.
After breakfast drive to Paro ( Alt. 2200 m/7,300 ft ) On the way stop at Lamperi to visit Royal Botanical Park ( Best time to visit between March to July)
On the way enjoy the Paro airport view. Check in at the hotel. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast proceed for sightseeing (9:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m) includes
Ta Dzong (National Museum) ( open throughout the week except Govt. Holiday . Timing: from 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m ) – the first of its kind which has a collection from natural history to religious paintings and then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (also known as Paro Dzong) which has a long and fascinating history.
Afternoon proceed for sightseeing (Approx Time Frame: 2:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m) includes
Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined fortress from where Bhutanese repelled several invasion by Tibetan armies.
Later visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Evening stroll at Paro town and peep into some local handicrafts stores. Return at hotel. Overnight at Paro.
Optional: On additional cost basis/Have to book on prior basis
1. Traditional Farm house visit with dinner.
2. Hot stone bath: The traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath, known as Dotsho in local language has been practiced in Bhutan for centuries as a medicinal soak. Many Bhutanese believe that the bath helps in curing joint pains, helps in relaxing and other medical problems. River stones are heated and then put in water to heat the water.
3. Photo session with Bhutanese dress
4. Traditional game session – Khuru.
After breakfast proceed for an excursion to Chele La (pass) ( Alt. 3988 meters /13084 ft) , considered to be one of the highest motor able passes in Bhutan. After driving through blue pine & rhododendron forest for 45 km ( Approx 1.30 hrs drive one way), reach Chele-la pass. Where on a clear day from this point one can have a superb views of Mount- Chomolhari & Jichu Drakey. This is a very good place to walk around for few minutes enjoying the view. Return at Paro. Evening stroll at Paro town and peep into some local handicrafts stores. Return at hotel. Overnight at Paro.
After early morning breakfast hike to Taktsang or ‘’Tiger’s Nest’’ Monastery . It takes approx 3 hrs hike one way. Return at hotel by afternoon. Evening is free. Overnight in Paro.
NOTE: Please ensure yourself that you are fit for this hike before you do this hike. The hike is a steep climb uphill. Guide is mandatory for Tiger Nest Monastery hike. Guide charge is not included in below package cost.
After breakfast drop to Paro airport.