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Duration: 05 Nights / 06 Days
Destination: Paro – Thimphu – Wangdi – Punakha – Paro
Bhutan is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. On arrival at Paro airport, immigration and custom formalities and then received by our representative and transfer to the hotel. Later in the day visit TaDzong, 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 centre of all affairs of the valley. Evening take a stroll around town’s main street.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Paro
Morning take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery (5 hr hike), also known as Tiger’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. On the way back into town visit ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, about 18 km from the town. 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.
Day 3: Thimphu
After breakfast drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. the road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphurivers at Chuzom (confluence). En route visit Simtokha, the place of profound tantric teaching, this dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language. On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. Proceed to visit National Library (sat sun, govt. holiday closed), which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion. Also visit nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (Sat afternoon, sun & govt holiday closed): Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skill staught at the school. Drive towards city centre to visit Textile (sat afternoon, sun & govt holiday closed) and Folk Heritage Museum: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life. After lunch visit Trashichhodzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.
Evening visit King’s Memorial Chorten continuously circulated by His Majesty’s subjects, spinning prayer wheels and murmuring mantras. Before dinner time, visit Handicrafts Emporium and local shops if you like to browse through example of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Here you can buy textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials, and all manner of unique objects.
Day 4: Thimphu To Wangdi (75 km, 3 hrs drive)
After breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana – finally Gangkarpuensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
After checking into hotel, visit Wangdue 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.
Later in the afternoon take a short and easy hike to Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behavior to dramatize his teachings and due to this also known as ‘Divine Madman’. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. It is about 30 minute walk across field from the road to the temple. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. It then follows a tiny stream downhill to Yoaka and across more fields before making a short climb to Chimi Lhakhang. Evening can be spent exploring wangdi located right on the bank of river.
Day 5: Punakha To Paro (125 kms, 4 hr drive)
Morning visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. The first King, Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood. The latest flood of Oct’ 1994 caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared the statue of Buddha Jojampa. Drive back to Paro descending back down from Dochu La, follow the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhuriver valleys, before crossing through Paro Town towards the north end of the valley.
Rest of the day free in Paro.
Day 6: Leave Paro
In time transfer to airport to board the flight for onward destination.