10 Nights / 11 Days

Beauty of Bhutan

Delhi-Paro-Thimphu-Punakha-Bumthang-Paro-Delhi

Overview

To the lands that hold heritage above everything else, they mostly reside at secluded places full of beauty and more. Bhutan has figured out the balance of showing off its panoramic perfection and upholding its history tight as the world around it adapts and changes to the ever evolutionary times.

Paro, a lovely valley in Bhutan, is one of the country's most popular tourist sites. One of Bhutan's most picturesque valleys, it was also historically the crossroads of two major trade routes to Tibet. Thimphu, Bhutan's capital city is noted for its breathtaking beauty and rich culture. It's also the country's largest metropolis. Tango Gompa, built in the 15th century, is also the most popular tourist destination in Bhutan. Punakha is notable for its remarkable 17th-century citadel, unique rice-growing techniques, and stunning architecture. Punakha is located at the confluence of two lovely rivers, the Pho and Mo Chhu, which adds to the beauty of the area. Bumthang is a valley which blooms with perfect views of a green carpet and a blue cover. The sacred river vessel Bumpa, which the valley is said to resemble in form, is the source of the name Bumthang.

This Beauty of Bhutan Tour which takes you around for 11 Days is a must to experience a whole new country without breaking a sweat. Dive into the cities for an in touch memory with natural surrounding and deep traditions which ooze out of this place in every way. Bring along the people you love and give them the gift of scenic bliss.

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Itinerary Details

Upon arrival, after clearing immigration and custom, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight at hotel

Paro / Thimpu (55km, 1 ½ hrs drive)

Early morning transfer to airport to connect your flight to Paro. The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Flying along the Himalyan range from Kathmandu or over the Himalayan foothills, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift to you as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative, and afterwards drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan with en-route stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Three different style of stupas; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence. On arrival in Thimphu, check-into the hotel.

The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. Although not what one expects from a capital city, Thimphu is still a fitting and lively place. Home to civil servants, expatriates and monk body, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style.

In the afternoon visit to King’s Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Later drive to Buddha Point (Kuenselphodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around. The area also provide excellent view of the Thimphu valley from the west. Evening take an exploratory leisure walk around Thimphu Main Street.

Overnight at hotel

Morning after breakfast sightseeing of the following:

National Library, 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: (Closed on Weekends & Govt Holidays) Also visit nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum: Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School (closed on Sat, Sun & Government Holidays), 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 skills taught at the school.

Textile Museum: This Textile Museum is operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs of Bhutan. The Museum was established in the year 2001 and has a good collection of exclusive and antique Bhutanese textile artifacts. The museum was set up with an objective to promote encourage weavers to continue the weaving of traditional Bhutanese textile, Promote Bhutan in the field of textile art and to preserve and promote the history and tradition of Bhutan.(closed on Sun). Simply Bhutan: Simply Bhutan is an exclusive project under the Bhutan Youth Development Fund (YDF), built to offer a unique experience to its visitors.

It is a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people. A distinctive feature of Simply Bhutan is that it fully operated by young people and job seekers, who receive here on the job training in basic business & management skills, customer care and other spheres of life. The fund generated through Simply Bhutan is utilized to run many of the youth development programmes for vulnerable and disadvantaged youth under YDF.

Hence as a visitor, while you get to experience and enjoy this special place, you are also helping to ‘make a better today’, ‘a brighter tomorrow’, for the youth of Bhutan. (Closed on Sun) After lunch, take a short drive (15 km) to Pangri Zampa, 16th century one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan located just north of Thimphu. Here is a monastic school where Buddhist students learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy.

Later in the afternoon visit to Trashichhoedzong: 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.

Overnight at hotel

After breakfast at hotel, drive to Punakha across Dochula pass (3,080m). 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.

Afternoon visit Punakha Dzong or (Palace of Great Happiness), built at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This majesticdzong served as both the religious and the administrative center of Bhutan in the past. It measures some 600 by 240 feet and has a six-story, gold-domed tower. Inside are courtyards and religious statuary that hint at the depth of history and spiritual tradition embodied here. Your guide will illuminate your understanding of this intricate culture that is exotic to us, though long established here.

Later in the day excursion to Chimi Lakhang (from hotel it is about 15 minutes’ drive till motorable road and then walk starts through paddy fields and villages. This is total about 1.1/2 hour walk, including both way)

The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, 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. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.

Overnight at hotel

After breakfast drive to Bumthang crossing Pele-la pass (3300m/10830ft) via Trongsa,. The Pela La (pass) is marked by a large white chorten prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes panted at four cardinal points. Stop at Trongsa for lunch. After lunch visit Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648 it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan.

Also visit Ta Dzong, recently opened fort in Trongsa. The Ta Dzong, a cylindrical stone structure rising five stories, was built in 1652 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, After more than 350 years, it has been resurrected into a classy museum, that represents a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity.

Further 68 km drive across the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155ft) finally brings you to wide open cultivated Bumthang valley.

Overnight at hotel

After breakfast proceed for the tour of Bumthang valley. Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries. Visit Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock, the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and perhaps take refreshments at a local restaurant.

Afternoon take a short hike to Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery:

Located above the main town, about 3 km from Chamkhar town, the monastery was founded by Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche in 1984 who was recognized at a very young age by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and H.H. 16th Karmapa as the reincarnation of a Tibetan lama.

The monastery has become part of an extensive effort to preserve and revitalize Tibetan culture. The monks regular curriculum include reading, memorizing the daily prayers, learning dharma dances, drawing mandalas, learning the melodies of sacred rituals, learning the use of ceremonial instruments and the art of making sacrificial objects, grammer, poerty, karika along with the basics of contemplation and instruction on the different stages of tantra.

Overnight in Camp

After a short stroll around the town depart for the lengthy drive to Punakha along the scenic mountain highway.

Hotel stay would be in Punakha or Wangduephodrang 17 km from Punakha

Overnight at hotel

Morning after breakfast , drive back to Paro descending back down from Dochu La, follow the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys, before crossing through Paro Town towards the north end of the valley.

En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the place of profound tantric teaching, this dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language.

Later in the day after checking into hotel, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala

Overnight at hotel

After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery (approx. 5hrs walk):- 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 recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour.

On the way back to town stop at Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, “mountain of goddess” can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. Along the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Evening an exploratory walk around Main Street and market area.

Overnight at hotel

Following transfer to airport to connect your flight to Delhi Upon arrival check in to your hotel. Later combined city tour of New Delhi and Old Delhi.

New Delhi: – Our tour of New Delhi includes visits to such sights Humayun’s Tomb (1586): Built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum, wife of Humayun, the second Moghul emperor, this is an early example of Moghul architecture. Visit the Qutab Minar 72 meters high and one of the most perfect towers in the Persian world. The Iron Pillar which has survived the vagaries of weather for over 1500 years. Continue with a drive through Embassy area, the Government buildings (1921-1930)

Old Delhi: An ancient walled city. Here you will drive past Red Fort, the most opulent Fort and Palace of the Mughal Empire: Raj Ghat, the memorial site of the Mahatma Gandhi; and Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colourful market of the old city (Red Fort Closed on Mondays)

Overnight at hotel

CLOSING DAYS OF SOME OF MONUMENTS MENTIONED IN ITINERARY

  • Ta Dzong – Paro (national museum) : closed on Government Holidays
  • National Library – Thimphu : closed on Sat, Sun & Government Holidays
  • Folk Heritage Museum – Thimphu: closed on Government Holidays and on Sat open from 10.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and on Sun open from 11.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.
  • Textile Museum – Thimphu: Closed on Government Holidays and on Sun and on Sat open from 9.00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Institute of Zorig Chusum (Arts & Crafts School) – Thimphu: Closed on Sun & Government Holidays and on Sat open from 10 a.m. to 12 o’clock.
  • Tiger’s Nest – Paro: Closed on all Tuesday from January 2016 onwards.
  • Folk Heritage Museum: Closed on Sunday & on government holidays

INCLUDED

Hotel accommodation on twin sharing with buffet breakfast.
Aircon car with English speaking driver throughout the tour for all transfers, sightseeing, intercity travel.
Car services are inclusive of all services; right from pick up from the airport till departure.
Driver allowance (food & Stay)
All toll taxes, entry permit and parking charges.
English Speaking guide at the time of sightseeing.

EXCLUDED

Any international/domestic air/train fare.
Monuments/sightseeing entry charges.
Government Service Tax (GST) 5% on the tour package.
Any expenses of personal nature such as laundry, tips, phone calls, insurance, portage, soft/hard drinks, meals unless not specified etc.
Anything which is not mentioned in the 'Inclusions' shall not be the part of this package.

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