|Trip Name||Happy Bhutan Tour|
|Trip Duration||06 Days|
|Price starts from||US$|
Your journey on Druk Air, the national airline, is special. Enroute your destination, the aircraft will cross over magnificent and towering great Himalayan mountains capped with snow. You will see some of the highest speaks in the world at their best. The grandeurs of the peaks, valleys and hills are breathtaking. As you enter the Paro valley, the views of rising fortress, temples and lush environment are spectacular.
At the airport, your guide from Dorji Phalam Travels will receive you and take you to hotel.
After lunch, visit one of Bhutan’s important fortresses that is in ruins – Drukgyel Dzong. The name suggests “the fortress of victory.” It lies about 15km away (northward) from Paro town. The fortress was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, in 1647. It was built to celebrate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invasions.
From the fortress site, if the weather is good, you can enjoy the view of one of the highest peaks in Bhutan – Jhomolhari. It measures about 7,314m above sea level.
While returning from Drugyel Dzong, you could visit a temple called Kichu Lhakhang. The temple bears deep religious and spiritual significance. The Tibetan King Songtsen Gempo built the temple in 659 A.D. The temple, history says, is one of the 108 temples the Tibetan king built across the Himalayan region to subdue the demons.
In the evening, you can stroll in town seeing places and meeting people.
Night stay in hotel, Paro.
Today is a special day. We hike to Taktsang Monastery, popularly known as Tiger’s Nest to foreigners. The hike to the monastery from the road point leads through a lush forest with well managed trail. The hike uphill takes about four hours. As you climb the ridge adorned with fluttering prayer flags, it gives you a different feeling altogether. You can see the Paro valley at its best as you ascend.
On the way, refreshments will be served at the Taktsang cafeteria.
The Taktsang Monastery was built by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye, one of the rulers of medieval Bhutan, in 1684. The monastery stands on the face of a rock, almost clinging. The rock on which the monastery lies plunges more than 900m into the gorge below. It is amazing.
Thus, Paro Taktsang has been described as one of the wonders of the world.
It is also believed that Guru Padmasambhava, a great master who introduced Buddhism in Bhutan, came to the place riding on a tigress (said to be his consort).
Records and beliefs of great Buddhist masters discovering treasures, including mind treasures, at Taktsang are also there.
In the afternoon, visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower. Today it is the national museum. And it is the repository of the country’s history. You will see artifacts as old as more than 12 centuries.
Then walk downhill to visit Rinpung Dzong. It serves as the administrative center of Paro District. The fortress was built by Zhabdrung Namgyel in 1646.
In the evening drive to Thimphu.
Night stay at hotel, Thimphu.
It is the day to explore Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
Visit the National Memorial Choeten (stupa). It was built in 1974 to honor His Majesty the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and for the world peace and prosperity. It stands rising into the sky at the heart of Thimphu valley. Thousands of people throng the stupa on special religious days to offer butter lamps and to get blessings. The sight of old men and women going round the stupa everyday reflects Bhutanese faith in the practice of Mahayana tantric Buddhism.
A visit to the National Institute of Zorig Chusum (13 arts and crafts) will show you how Bhutanese traditional handicrafts are made. Hundreds of students train here to keep the tradition of Bhutan’s arts and crafts alive. Then visit the Folk Heritage Museum. The museum showcases a typical Bhutanese farm house. It also has the physical evidences on Bhutan’s ancient life and ways of living. Here Bhutan’s past is alive.
After lunch, visit Tashichho Dzong. It is one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan. Any tour in Bhutan cannot miss this monument. The dzong houses the office of His Majesty the king. And it serves as the summer residence of Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) of Bhutan’s monk body.
You might like to visit Changangkha Lhakhang. It sits atop of a ridge. It is the seat of a powerful deity. It was built by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhigpo in the 13th century. The temple is considered the spiritual home of children born in the vicinity.
Later afternoon, you could go to a hilltop called Sangaygang. From there you can see the whole Thimphu valley sprawling with structures built in line with traditional architecture and Thimphu river meandering at the center of the valley. And the zoo housing the national animal Takin is nearby.
Night stay at hotel, Thimphu.
Exploration of western Bhutan begins. As you drive to Panakha, you will pass Dochula Pass. There are108 stupas and a temple. Her Royal Highness Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck built the stupas and the temple to honor His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. On a clear day, you can see some of the highest snow-capped Himalayan mountains rising into the sky.
At Punakha, visit one of the most historical and beautiful dzongs in Bhutan. It was built in 1637 by Zhadrung Ngawang Namgyel. His embalmed body is believed to be there even today. The fortress stands right at the confluence of two rivers popularly refereed to as male and female rivers. Punakha was once the capital of Bhutan. And the first National Assembly of Bhutan was convened here in 1952.
The beautiful architectural design of the fortress is believed to had beeen recollected from a vision the architect who designed it saw. It is also believed that Guru Rinpoche foretold the construction of the dzong. The fortress is widely believed to be the replica of Guru Rinpoche’s paradise (Zangtopelri). The dzong serves as the summer residence of Chief Abbot of Bhutan’s monk body. Punakha’s annual festival (Tshechu) is one of the most fascinating festivals in the country.
After lunch, visit Wangduephodrang Dzong. The fortress was built in 1638. It is said that when people were looking for a site to build the dzong, they saw four ravens flying in four different directions. It was considered an auspicious sign that represents the spread of Dharma. Therefore, they chose the present site. The fortress also has the shape of a sleeping elephant.
However, in June 2012 the Dzong was razed to the ground by fire. It was a national tragedy. It is under reconstruction.
In the evening, meet people and stroll around.
Night stay in hotel, Punakha.
A short hike to Chime Lhakhang. This temple is unusual. It is called the “temple of fertility.” If women who do not bear children get blessed from the temple, it is believed they are be gifted one. News are are there that even some female tourists have been blessed with children.
Lama Drukpa Kuenley, referred to with reverence as the Divine Mad Man, built the temple in the 15th century.
In the afternoon at Thimphu, visit the traditional paper and incense factories. Witness gold and silver smiths at work at Changzamtog. If your trip in Thimphu coincides with one of the days from Friday through Sunday, you can visit the farmers’ weekend market. Most tourists say it is awesome.
Night stay in hotel, Thimphu
Drive to Paro Airport. Your guide will accompany you and ensure you leave Bhutan safely. Farewell!