Nabji Korphu Trek Bhutan
Day 01: Arrive Paro by Flight & transfer to Thimphu (55km, approx. 1.1/2-hour drive)
After immigration formalities you will be welcomed by our representative and then transfer to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzom (confluence).
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.
Afternoon embark on a short drive to the north of town to Buddha Dordenma, located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park. The statue fulfils an ancient prophecy dating back to the 8th century A.D that was discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa (Religious Treasure Discoverer) and is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. This massive statue of Shakyamuni made of bronze and is gilded in gold, measures 51.5 meters in height, making it one of the largest statues, in Bhutan. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue, each of these also have been cast in bronze and gilded.
Later visit of Trashichhoedzong, ‘fortress of the glorious religion’. This is the center of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
Evening an exploratory walk around Thimphu city centre.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu (altitude 2,320m)
Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha (75km, approx. 2.1/2-hour drive)
Then visit, Textile Museum. Bhutanese textiles are an integral part of its cultural and heritage and are unique for their diversity and sophistication. Textile Museum at Thimphu has given a new platform to the nation’s textiles and Bhutanese weavers and boasts of an invaluable collection of antique textile artifacts of Bhutan.
This is followed by visit to Folk Heritage Museum, dedicated to connecting people with the rich Bhutanese Folk heritage and rural history through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs and documentation of Bhutanese rural life.
Afterwards walkdown to Bhutan Postal Museum showcasing the progress of postal services and also to some extent communication system in Bhutan & country’s rare and unique stamps issued over the years. Also visit the Postal office located next door to get your personalised stamps and check out various souvenirs.
Post lunch drive to Punakha across Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) and take in the view, 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.
Overnight at the hotel in Punakha. (Altitude 1,300m)
Day 03: Punakha – Bumthang (215km, approx. 7-hour drive)
Afterwards continue on to Bumthang 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.
Then continue drive to Bumthang across Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft). The road winds steeply up to the pass from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley which is famous for its yathra weaving.
Overnight at the hotel in Bumthang. (Altitude 2600m)
Day 04: Bumthang
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.
Jakar Dzong: Founded by great grandfather 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.
Tamshing Lhakhang: This 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.
Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery: It 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.
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang. (Altitude 2600m)
Day 05: Bumthang – Trongsa (68km, approx. 2.1/2-hour drive)
With enchanting historical landmarks, Trongsa is both the sacred and temporal heart of Bhutan. Its importance is reflected today in the fact that the future Kings of Bhutan must first be instituted as the Trongsa Penlop (governor) before assuming the throne.
Visit Trongsa Dzong, this castle-temple-fortress symbolizes Bhutan’s architectural heritage, political history and is one the biggest built without using a single nail.
Evening explore town area and its market. Overnight at the hotel in Trongsa. (Altitude 2,310m)
After breakfast, visit to 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.
Then approx. 2-hour drive from the town along the Zhemgang highway brings you to the start of the Trek, Tongtongphey.
Overnight camp in Jangbi village. (Altitude 1,370m)
Day 07: Jangbi village – Kudra village, Trek
Morning after breakfast, meeting and interaction with Monpas. Then proceed further on trek. From Jangbi, it’s an easy hike to Phrumzur village, another Monpa village which is an interesting place for lunch. The trail to Kudra also passes through stone imprints of Guru Rinpoche’s footprint, dagger and phallus. After a visit to village temple in Phrumzur, proceed to campsite in Kudra en route passing through Lekpogang, another Monpa village. The campsite at Kudra village offers enchanting view of Nyimshong village and also of Zhemgang town.
Overnight camp in Kudra village. (Altitude 1,635m)
Day 08: Kudra village – Nabji village, Trek
Today’s trek is on an ancient trail through magnificent forest, stupendous waterfalls and lovely stream. Animals such as Himalayan Squirrels, Rhesus Mecaques, and small snakes are often spotted along the trail. Himalayan black bears, Red pandas, tigers and Clouded leopards are also present in this region, but sightings are rare. Emerging from the orchid-festooned forest and bamboo thickets, the trail finally arrives at Nabji (1,300m) at a spot marked by holy tree where the villagers give you a warm reception. Today’s camp is located amidst rice fields near the village. You can also hike to the community school and enjoy a game of football or volleyball with the local school children.
Explore the village and visit its temple and historically important stone pillar commemorating an 8th century peace treaty signed between King Sindhu of Bumthang and King Nauchhe from Assam. In the village, you’ll also see the rocky remains of blacksmith, believed to be connected to Pema Lingpa.
Overnight camp in Nabji village. (Altitude 1,300m)
Day 09: Nabji village – Korphu village, Trek
It is about three hours trekking to Korphu, a picturesque village of about 600 people. Korphu is situated on a mountaintop at an altitude of 1,500m. The most noticeable thing about Korphu is its villagers exemplify hospitality, treating all visitors like royalty. Here on arrival in Korphu village, you’re greeted & welcomes by villagers with a traditional ‘Chipdrel’ procession and ‘Marchang’ ceremony. You also have the opportunity to participate in the quintessential Bhutanese games of ‘Khuru’, ‘Dego’, ‘Sok-sum’, and ‘Gee-dum’.
Visit village temple that houses sacred relics of Pema Lingpa, the famous ‘treasure reveler’. Lunch can be provided in the village campsite which also offers a spectacular bird’s-eye view of Nabji and other surrounding areas.
Overnight camp in Korphu village. (Altitude 1,500m)
Day 10: Korphu village – Nimshong village, Trek
The hike from Korphu to Nimshong is quite pleasant through a lush broadleaf forest teeming with regional fauna such as golden langurs and rufous-necked hornbills. This region is also noteworthy for bird watching and its in fact home to 395 avian species.
The walking trail is interspaced with waterfalls, streams and cantilever bridge. Arrive Nimshong by late afternoon which is a village of about 60 households. Tour the village and in the evening witness cultural performance, arranged by villagers.
Overnight camp in Nimshong village. (Altitude 1,320m)
Day 11: Nimshong – Trongsa – Gangtey (Phobjikha) (175km, approx. 7-hour drive)
Evening take a walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region. The village of Phobjikha lies a few km, down from the monastery, on the valley floor. This quiet, remote valley is the winter home of black necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet in the north, to pass the winter months in a milder climate. Explore Gangtey village and Phobjikha valley.
Overnight at the hotel in Gangtey. (Altitude 3,000m)
Day 12: Gangtey – Paro (195km, approx. 6.1/2-hour drive)
Then drive to Paro with lunch stop en route at Dochula cafeteria.
On arrival in Paro check into to the hotel followed by visit to 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 at leisure in Paro city centre.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)
Day 13: Paro
Afternoon 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.
Ta Dzong visit immediately followed by a short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro 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 the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)
Day 14: Depart Paro