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ASIA

myth of central bhutan

 

DAY 00 — MUMBAI

Assemble at Sahar International Airport
Complete Your Check in & Clear Immigration Formalities & proceed for Departure Gate

 

 

DAY 01 — DEL/KOLKATA – PARO – THIMPU, 55 Km 45 minutes, Altitude 2350m

A flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchen Junga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsrim Khang. The first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. You will be received by our representative and escorted to Thimphu.

Visit Memorial Chorten built in 1974 to honor memory of Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, popularly known as the Father of Modern Bhutan. A multi storied stupa that will introduce you to the vitality of Tantric Buddhism.

Observed traditional paper making from Daphnia and Edgeworthia shrub to finished product and purchase some beautiful writing sets from the factory.

Visit the mini zoo sanctuary where one can see the Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan.

Drive up to viewpoint and take a hike beyond for about an hour to see clear picture of Thimphu valley. Visit Trashi Chhodzong capital of Bhutan

 

 

DAY 02 — THIMUR – PUNAKHA, 77 km, 3 hours, Altitude 1350 m

After breakfast, drive to Punakha to visit Punakha Dzong the winter capital for over 300 years until the time of the second King. Punakha Dzong that dominates the whole area was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, and established the central monastic body with 600 monks.

Today, Punakha is still the home for Je Khenpo (chief Abbot) and the central monastic body. It was built at the confluence of two rivers called the PO-CHU and MO- CHU. This means, Male & Female.

After Punakha Dzong, drive further 6 kilometers to make a mini hike to Khamsum Yuelly Namgyal Chorten it was built by one of the four queens. The mother of Crown prince and it represent three elements FIRE, WATER AND AIR. It is dedicated to wellbeing of the crown prince and peoples those who live in this village.

Make a village hike to Divine Madman Monastery, a man from Tibet who came to Bhutan in 15th Century to diffuse Drukpa Kagyupa set of Buddhism to our country built the monetary and he is known as the Lama

Drukpa Kuenly known as the divine mad man, his sexual in nature and joke too were a very principle the followed to diffuse the religion into local communities.

 

 

DAY 03 — PUNAKHA - TRONGSA. 125km, 5 hours, Altitude 2200m

We will drive to Trongsa. It is 128 kilometers and 5 hours drive from Wangdue. The road will climb all the way to the Pele-la pass. It is at 3300m. It is a landmark between east & west, and from here we will drive on to Trongsa. On the way we will come across Yak herders camps and encounter Yaks especially during winter. We will see high Himalayan villages like Rukubji and Chendebji. All the houses cluster at one place and fields at another.

The road then descends through Rukubji village further down to Chendebji village. Here you will see the 18th century Nepalese style stupa built by saint Shida. The drive to Trongsa from here is about an hour and half with great views of the historical Dzong and valley. Night Trongsa

 

 

DAY 04 — TRONGSA – BUMTHANG, 68km, 2 hours, Altitude 2500m +

In the morning after breakfast we will take an excursion drive to Kuenga Rabten. It was the winter Palace for our beloved 2nd King Jigme Wangchuk. It is 23 kilometers from Trongsa and it takes about 2 hours by car. Although, it is mostly empty with only one room occupied for the library. This palace is under Special Commission of cultural Affairs and we do not require any permit to visit the interior.

The trip from Trongsa to Kuenga Rabten will give you an intimate insight into the early days of Bhutan’s Monarchy. Beside you will see the beautiful large expanse of rice terraces in the lower Mangdu-Chu valley and as well the big waterfall before the drive back to Trongsa for lunch.

Visit Trongsa Dzong. It was built at different periods on a spur overlooking the Mangdu-Chu River and it is one of the longest & most impressive Dzongs in Bhutan along with Trashi Chhodzong in Thimphu.

An evening drive to Bumthang will climb all the way to the Yotong la pass 3400m.It will be the highest pass on your trip to Bhutan. After the pass we will go down through the Chhumey valley before we reach Jakar. This valley is famous for yathra weaving in central Bhutan. Night Bumthang

 

 

DAY 05 — BUMTHANG

After breakfast make a hike to Thangbi Mani countryside. It is a very easy trail and we will come across a few villages. Here they have a very old monastery with Gomchens & the local community school.

After lunch we visit Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Guru Lhakhang, and the Swiss Cheese Processing Unit. Here they produce cheese, apple juice and herbal brandies etc. Visit Jakar Dzong and more if time permits. Night Bumthang

 

 

DAY 06 — BUMTHANG – GANGTEY – WANGDUE, (Total : Approx 240 Kms: 5-6 hrs)

Gangtey Goemba was built on a small hillock surrounded by blue pine trees. The descendant of Pema Lingpa founded it. The great Bhutanese saint from Bumthang, in the 16th century. At the end of 17th century it was enlarged once and at present it is headed by the 9th reincarnation called Gangtey Trulku. At present it is under renovation and it is ringed with the family houses of Gomchens (Lay man) who work and worship at the monastery.

Further down you will reach the Phobjikha valley. This place is reserved for the migration of the black Neck Crane. The people out here have become friendly with the endangered species and every consecutive year starting from 2nd week of November to 1st week of April. The fields and marshes of this undisturbed valley are alive with the sight of these rare cranes.

 

 

DAY 07 — WANGDU – PARO (Approx 180 kms : Approx 5 hrs)

Afternoon visit to Ta-Dzong built in the 17th century, as watchtower to defend Paro Dzong below. This Ta-Dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1968, and it is filled with antique Thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and Armour. Driver to the Rinpung Dzong built in the 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now used as an administration center and school for monks. Every Dzong has dual system together with the religion section.

Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong. A flagstone path rises gradually with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan. This is the head quarter of Paro district and headed by the Governor (Dzongdag) in local call Dasho. The principle of every Dzong in Bhutan is same and it is divided in two. It is called dual system.

Religious and Political runs together from here. An every Dzong in Bhutan contains many monasteries inside which are run by the monk body under the leadership of LAM NETEN (Head of Religion) equivalent to Governor.

 

 

DAY 08 — PARO

Drive back to Ramthangkha (6 Km from ruin site) and walk to the Monastery. The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest’’ The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000ft.

Taktsang is one of the most venerated pilgrimage sites in the Himalaya. However, most people can only visit the main site called Taktsang Pel-phu according to legend Padmasambhava who founded Taktsang Monastery in the eighth century. It is believed that the Guru came to this place on the back of a tigress from Khengpajong in the Kurtoe region and meditated here for three months in a cave and converted the Paro valley to Buddhism. It has got around 6 monasteries in this location.

Hike will take 5-6 hours for round trip. On the way back from Taktsang monastery visit the Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest in Bhutan with one in Bumthang Jambay lhakhang (Maitreya).

Both of these monasteries are dated back to 7th century and first king of Tibet, Songtsen Gompo built to subdue an ogress threats to overcome the Buddhism. Another monastery next to Kichu is Guru Lhakhang built in 19th century by the Royal grand Mother of Bhutan.

 

 

DAY 09 — PARO – DEPART

Today the Drive will bid you farewell and a safe journey home.