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Book a soft adventure tour in the great Himalayas of Bhutan .

Himalayas Tour in Bhutan - 10 days

'A soft adventure in the heartland of Bhutan Himalayas'


Day 01: Arrive Paro by Flight
The flight to Bhutan is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, it is a fascinating journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift, as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be greeted by our Bhutan imagerepresentative, and afterwards transfer 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. Shortly before reaching Chuzom, you will visit on your left Tschogang Lhakhang, built in the 13th century by Thangthong Gyalpo, also known as the Iron bridge builder. Situated on a hill top, we have to cross an ancient style bridge to reach the temple which is now owned by the descendants of Thangthong Gyalpo.
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. With the population of about 1,00,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light.

Late afternoon visit Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang); A place for refreshing with a huge statue of Buddha on the top of the Kuensel Phodrang. The area also gives a very good view of the Thimphu valley from the west.

Then an exploratory walk around Thimphu city centre. Also visit the Local Crafts Bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials.

Evening drive around Thimphu valley after the dusk once the lights are on, capturing the nights view of some of Thimphu’s prominent monuments.

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2320m)

Day 02 : Thimphu
After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu valley with visit to: the National Library, a major scripture repository, with a number of important functions dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the rich cultural and religious heritage in the country ; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts like painting, calligraphy, embroidery, wood carving, sculpture etc. Later visit Textile Museum for a deep insight into Bhutan’s one of the most distinctive art form. The museum has opened its exhibition on six major themes ; warp pattern weaves, weft pattern weaves, roles of textiles in religion, achievements in textile arts, textiles from indigenous fibers and the Royal collection. Also visit Folk Heritage Museum, dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibits, demonstration, education programmes and documentation of rural life.

After lunch, drive to Sangaygang view point (2685 meters) to have view of complete Thimphu valley and walk through hundreds of colourful prayer flags that dot the hill overlooking the valley.

Then drive to Takin Reserve Centre. The takin, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen here. This particular animal is found only in the Himalayan region.

Changangkha Monastery visit is next in itinerary. This monastery is built on a hill overlooking the Thimphu valley. It was built in 15th Century by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhipo. Many parents of Thimphu take their new born babies to this monastery to be blessed by a high lama.

Afterwards visit 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.

Conclude the day with visit of 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 the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2320m)

Day 03 : Thimphu - Trongsa (200 km, approx 6 hours drive)
After early breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) 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 Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
At Dochula Pass, 108 chortens or stupas known as Druk Wangyal Chortens have been built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother. These chortens are built in three layers, the first lowest level layer has forty five chortens, the second has thirty six and the top layer has twenty seven, built around the main chorten.

Then continue onwards, reaching Wangduephodrang. From Dochu-la pass, it is a long, winding descent into the Wangduephodrang valley, which is about 1,700m below the pass. After a short exploration of Wangduephodrang town, continue on to Trongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830 feet), the traditional boundary between east & west and then entering the beautiful Mangde valley. The Pelela pass is marked by a large white chorten and prayer flags. On your way to Trongsa from Pelela, you will also come across Rukhubji village which has the shape of a giant snake. It is believed that a saint subdued the snake and that the village takes the shape from the subdued snake.
Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes panted at four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.
Arrive Trongsa late afternoon and check into the lodge for the night. Sacred and temporal heart of the Kingdom, the Trongsa district has a significant place in Bhutanese history connected with lineage of Bhutan Kings.
Evening at leisure, exploring Trongsa town.
Overnight at the hotel in Trongsa. (Altitude 2310m)

Day 04 : Trongsa - Bumthang (68 km, approx 2 hours & 30 minutes drive)
After breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong. Like almost all towns in the Kingdom, this Dzong architecture dominates the entire Trongsa horizon dwarfing the surrounding buildings. Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan.
Bhutan image Then visit Ta Dzong. Ta means ‘to watch’ in Dzongkha and this dzong was built in 1652 to watch over the massive Trongsa Dzong. After more than 350 years, Ta Dzong has been resurrected into a classy museum that represents a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity.
Afterwards drive to Bumthang, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 feet). The road winds steeply up to the pass, 28 km from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley.
Take a short stop at Chumey, a wide fertile valley where wheat, barley, potatoes and buckwheat are cultivated. Chumey is particularly known for its famous wool weaving called ‘Bumthang Yathra’.
On arrival in Bumthang, check into the hotel.

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.

Afternoon visit Jambey Lhakhang. This monastery was built in the 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century.

Then visit to Kurje Lhakhang, consisting of three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 on the rack face where Guru meditated in the 8th century. Second temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of Guru’s body and is therefore considered the most holy. The third temple was built in 1990s by Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother. These three temples are surrounded by a 108 chorten wall.

Overnight at hotel in Bumthang. (Altitude 2600m)

Day 05: Bumthang
Bumthang is often described as the spiritual heartland of the Kingdom. There are numerous monasteries and spiritual sites in this charming valley where history and mythology help to bring alive much of Bhutan’s culture and traditions. Bumthang is picturesque valley of beautiful houses and fields of buckwheat, barley and apples.

After breakfast, excursion to beautiful Ura valley, one of the highest inhabited valleys in Bhutan, located at 3100m. The cobbled streets of the traditional village of Ura give a medieval feel. People in this valley mostly live out of potato farming, mushroom business and dairy farming.

Then drive to Membartsho (‘burning lake’).This gorge is the holy site and pilgrimage place where Guru Rimpoche had hidden religious treasures later discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa.

Bhutan images

Post lunch visit to Jakar Dzong (‘Castle of the white bird’). Founded by great grand-father of the first Shabdrung, the Dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549. It was upgraded after the Shabdrung had firmly established his power in 1646. The Dzong is now used as administrative centre for Bumthang valley, and houses the regional monk body.

Then drive to Tamshing Lhakhang, the temple founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the re-incarnation of Guru Padsambhava. The monastery has very ancient religious paintings like 1,000 Buddhas and 21 Taras (female form of Buddhistava). The temple was restored at the end of the 19th century.

Later in the evening visit to Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery. Located above the main 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 evening ends with visit to a local handloom weaving house and opportunity to interact with the weavers.
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang. (Altitude 2600m)

Day 06: Bumthang - Gangtey (Phobjikha) (153km, approx 6 hours drive)
Morning, after breakfast drive to Gangtey. The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled places 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, and is an extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed. A few kilometers beyond the Gangtey Monastery, on the valley floor lies the village of Phobjikha.

Afternoon visit, Gangtey Gompa (monastery), perched on a ridge overlooking the valley. It is directed by Gangtey Tulku, the ninth reincarnation (a “Tulku” is a reincarnate) of Pema Lingpa—a famous Buddhist saint and teacher.
Then explore Phobjikha Valley, one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in the Himalayas and the winter place for the endangered Black Necked Cranes. Travelling November through February shall give you the rare opportunity to see the black necked cranes.
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang. (Altitude 2600m)

Day 07: Gangtey (Phobjikha) - Punakha & Wangduephodrang (85 km, approx 3 hours drive)
Early morning visitMonastic Schoolto witness elaborately arranged prayer ceremony with full religious musical set.
Then drive to Punakha and as you enter the town, you will have a fascinating view of the Punatshangchhu River and the Wangdue valley. Until 1955, Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan and even today, it continues to be the winter residence of the central monk body. Blessed with a temperate climate and fed by Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, Punakha is fertile valley with abundant crops from terraced rice fields, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Adjoining to Punakha, Wangduephodrang known as Sha or ‘east’ to the Bhutanese is an important gateway to the far-flung corners of Bhutan. Wangduephodrang played a crucial role in unifying the western, central and southern districts.

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 majestic dzong served as both the religious and the administrative centre 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.

Then a short excursion to Chimi Lhakhang.
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.

In the evening, leisure time for exploring Punakha town.

Overnight at the hotel in Punakha / Wangduephodrang. (Altitude 1300m)

Day 08: Punakha & Wangduephodrang - Paro (125km, approx 4.1/2 hours drive)
After breakfast, visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang nunnery. Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, gleams this impressive structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang (temple). The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig chagtong chentong). Other statues include those of Guru Padmasambawa, Gautama Buddha, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, Tsela Namsum, the 21 Taras and Tsepamay (Buddha of longevity). The Avalokiteshvara statue, one of the biggest in the country, was the handiwork of entirely local Bhutanese artisans. The temple complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangkha painting.

Then 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 oldest dzong of the country built in 1627, 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 watch tower, 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.

Evening take a stroll around Paro main street, exploring its local shops and market area.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2280m)

Day 09: Paro
Bhutan image After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery (approx. 5 hours round trip 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.

Later in the afternoon, drive to the base of 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. Nearby visit a traditional farm house, which offers deep insight into lifestyle of local people especially the village folks.
Thereafter visit to Dungtse Lhakhang, a small three storied chorten-shaped temple, built in 1421 by Thangtong Gyelpo. The temple restored in 1841 by the 25th Head Abbot of Bhutan, Sherab Gyeltshen. This temple is unique in Bhutan and shows the progressive stages of tantric Buddhism.
Before returning to the hotel, 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.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2280m)

Day 10: Depart Paro
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.




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