Itineraries For 12 Nights/13 days
Day 01. Arrive at Paro (2280 meters): You will be received by the Representative from ————————– at the airport and drive to Thimphu.
After lunch, visit the National Memorial Chorten, which was built in 1974 by the mother of our third king in the memory of third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The paintings and statues in the temple are dedicated to the third king then visit the tallest statue of Buddha (In the world) which is of 51 meters tall. Then visit Changangkha Monastery, Takin Preserve centre. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 02. Thimphu — Punakha (1250 meters): (76 Kms, 3 hours drive). After breakfast, drive to Punakha valley via Dochula pass (3140 Meters). We stop for a while at dochula pass where 108 stupas are built together to take photographs and if the weather is clear in far distance we will get chance to see the higher Himalayas from Dochula pass.When we reach punakha valley we visit Chimi Lhakhang which is also known as the “Temple of Fertility” built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley who is popularly known as “The Devine Mad Man” in 15th century. After that we will have a lunch at the restaurant nearby.
After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the capital of Bhutan. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche who visited this place in 8th century, who predicted that, a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like a sleeping elephant. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is sad that Zhabdrung when he visited this place he mate with a Bhutanese architecture called Zowe Palep, so ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Zhabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri (Paradise) and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang which means Palace of Great Happiness. The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Chief Abbot (Je-Khenpo) and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the First National Assembly here in 1952. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 03. Punakha –Gangtey Valley (2900 meters): After breakfast drive to gangtey valley via Wangduephodrang, on the way stop for a while to take photographs of the ruins of wangduephodrang dzong from outside, which was completely burned down by the fire in 2012.
While in Gangtey, visit Gangtey Gompa. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple then visit black necked crane center from where you will get chance to see the crane through telescoped, Black Necked Crane are the rare species bird, and are the winter visitor in few places of Bhutan and they fly back to Tibetan plateau in summer. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 04. Gangtey Valley – Trongsa (2180 meters): After breakfast drive to Trongsa, While in Trongsa visit Trongsa Museum which was a watch tower before and converted into a museum only in 2008,
After Lunch visit Trongsa Dzong which was built in 1643 by Chogyel Minjur Tempa, an official who was sent by the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to unify eastern part of Bhutan.It was then enlarge at the end of 17th century by the Desi Tenzin Rabgye. An official name of Trongsa Dzong is Chhoekhor Raptentse Dzong and it is also known by its short name Choetse Dzong.Trongsa Dzong was also the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family The first two hereditary kings ruled from this dzong, and tradition still dictates that the crown prince serve as Trongsa Penlop (governer) before acceding to the throne. The current king of Bhutan became trong penlop in 2004. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 05. Trongsa – Bumthang Valley (2580 meters): ): After breakfast drive to Bumthang, While in Bumthang, visit Jakar Dzong, Legend has it that when the lamas assembled in about 1549 to select a site for a monastery, a big white bird rose suddenly in the air and settled on a spur of a hill, so this was interpreted as an important omen, and the hill was chosen as the site for a monastery and for Jakar Dzong which is translated as “Castle of White Bird”. Zhabdrung’s great-grandfather, Ngagi Wangchuk, founded the monastery, The current structure was build in 1667and has a circumference of more than 1500m. its official name is Yuelay Namgyal Dzong, in honor of the victory over the troops of Tibetan ruler Phuntsho Namgyal. Then visit Jambay Lhakhang, it is believed to have been built in the year 659 by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo, on the same day as kyichu Lhakhang in Paro and visit Kurjey Lhakhang, kurjey was named after the body print of Guru Rinpochhe. Kur means Body and jey means Print.
After Lunch, visit Tamsing Lhakhang which was established in 1501 by a great saint known as Pema Lingpa who was born in one of the valley of Bumthang Called Tang Valley. This temple was also known by the name Tamshing Lhendup Chholing, which means “the temple of good massage”. And this temple is one of the most important Nyingma monastery in the kingdom and then visit burning lake, one of the holiest place in bumthang. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 06. Bumthang – Ura Valley (2350 meters): 48km After breakfast excrussion to a very beautiful valley called ura valley and visit ura temple, Ura valley is one of the very isolated valley and it is the highest of Bumthang ‘s vlleys and is belived by some to have been the home of the earliest inhabitants of Bhutan. Hot lunch will be served on the way back to Bumthang. Dinner and Over night in the Hotel.
Day 07. Bumthang Valley – Punakha (1250 Meters): After breakfast drive to Punakha, While at Trongsa, visit Kuengarabtan palace which is 23km south of Trongsa was the winter palace of the second king, jigme Wangchuk but now it is not used as a palace but it is used as a monastery.
After that have lunch at Trongsa and drive to Punakha, Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 08. Punakha – Thimphu (2350 meters): After breakfast hike to khamsum yuelley Namgyal chorten, The 30m tall chorten (also known as the Nyergang Lhakhang) took eight years to build and was consecrated in 1999. The Chorten is dedicated to the fifth king and serves to protect the country.
After lunch drive to Thimphu, In the evening visit Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion), built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and reconstructed in 1961 by the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is also known as the Father of Modern Bhutant. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 09. Thimphu Sightseeing (2350 meters): After breakfast hike to Tango Goamba, It takes around 45 minutes drive from Thimphu town to reach the started point of hike, and Tango Goamba is a climb of 280 m and takes about 45 minutes.
Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa founded the site in 12th century and the ‘Devine Madman’, Lama Drukpa Kunley built the present building in 15th century. In 1616 Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal visited the Tango Goamba and meditatied in a cave nearby for three years. The head lama, a descended of Lama Drukpa Kunley, presented the gomba to Zhabdrung, Who carved a sandal wood statue of Chenresig, which he install in the monastery.
After Lunch visit handicraft shop in the town for shopping. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 10. Thimphu –Paro (2280 meters): After breakfast, visit the National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts followed by visit to Folk Heritage Museum and Painting School, famous for carving and free hand art then visit nunnery.
After lunch, Drive to paro and, visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, which was built in 1656 and renovated in 1968 and converted into a National Museum of Bhutan, then visit Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong presently houses administrative offices of Paro District and Monastery. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 11. Paro –Haa Valley (2670 meters): After breakfast excursion to Haa valley via chella pass (3988 meters) the highest motorable road in Bhutan, Stop for a while at chella pass to view higher Himalayas and enjoy the flattering grove of prayer flags. Then drive to Haa valley, while at Haa valley visit lhakhang karpo and lhakhang Nagpo and also visit Haa Dzong which is now the head quarter of an Indian Army in Bhutan.
After lunch walk around the Haa town and drive back to Paro, Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 12. Paro Sightseeing (2280 meters): After breakfast excursion to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. A short drive of around 25 minutes from main town of paro takes you to satsam chorten, the trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and have tea with cookies at Taktsang cafeteria and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Tiger’s Nest monastery. The history dates back from 8th century when guru Rinpochhe, a tantric master flew to this place on a back of a flying tiger, said to be his favorite Tibetan consort known as khandu Yeshey Chogyal and meditated in a cave nearby, but the temple was just built in 17th century by the penlop (governer) of paro Gyaltse Tenzin Rbgey; this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 600 meters into the valley below.
After Lunch, visit the Drukgyel dzong, which was built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders but now it is just the ruins because the dzong was complectly burned down by the fire caused by butter lamp in 1951, the dzong name Drukgyel means indeed “ victorious Druk “. The Dzong was used as an administrative center until 1951. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest Buddist temple which was built in 659 AD by a Tibetan king Tshongchen Gyampo. In evening walk around Paro town for shopping. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Day 13. Departure: ( 2280 meters): Early morning, drive to the airport and farewell.