Itineraries For 13 Nights/14 days
Day 01. Arrive at Paro (2280 meters): You will be received by the Representative from ——————- at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
After lunch, 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 02. Paro Sightseeing — Thimphu (2350 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 completely 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 Buddhist temple which was built in 659 AD by a Tibetan king Tshongchen Gyampo. In the evening drive to Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Day 03. Thimphu Sightseeing (2350 meters): After breakfast, 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 National Library followed by folk heritage museum and painting school.
After lunch, visit Takin Preserve centre, Zhulikha nunnery and weeken market. 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 04. 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 05. Punakha – Gangtey –Trongsa (2180 meters): After breakfast drive to Trongsa via gangtey valley, 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.
After lunch, drive to Trongsa. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 06. Trongsa – Bumthang Valley (2580 meters): After breakfast 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.
After lunch, drive to Bumthang. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 07. Bumthang Sightseeing (2580 meters): After breakfast, 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. Dinnera and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 08. Bumthang — Mongar (1600 meters): After breakfast drive to Mongar, 193km and takes around 10hrs. Stop for a while in Ura valley to enjoy the view of whole valley, Then drive via Thrimshingla Pass (3750 Meters), Lunch will be serve on way in the place called sengor, 22km from Thrimshingla pass.
After Lunch, drive to Mongar. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 09. Mongar – Lhuentse — Mongar (1600 meters): Excursion to Lhuentse and Back to Mongar, 63km. After breakfast drive to Lhuentse, while in Lhuentse visit Lhuentse Dzong, and explore the valley. On the way back visit khoma village, this village is known throughout the country for its production of kishuthara, an extremely intricately patterned silk textile. The woman of Khoma work in Makeshift textile cottages, weaving delicate designs and pattern, producing and selling Kishuthara has become the primary occupation of many of the villagers and it will be much cheaper to acquire some of the beautiful material here than in the handicraft shop in the Capital.
Hot lunch will be served on the way. After that drive back to Mongar. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 10. Mongar — Trashigang (1070 meters): After breakfast drive to Trashigang, On the way visit Drametse Goemba, which is 18km drive from main road. Drametse is the biggest and most important monastery in eastern Bhutan. There are about 60 gomchen (Lay or Married Nyingma monks) at Drametse. The monastery was founded in 1511 by the great-granddaughter of Pema Lingpa, Ani Chhoeten Zangmo, and her husband, Yeshey Gyalpo in a place she named Drametse, which means “The Peak Where There is no Enemy”.
Then drive to Trashigang, Lunch will be served in the Hotel, After Lunch, relax in the hotel fro some time and then visit Trashigang Dzong. Evening stroll around the small town of Trashigang.
Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 11. Trashigang – Tashiyangtse – Trashigang (1070 meters): Excursion to Trashiyangtse and Back to Trashigang, 53km 2hr 30 Minutes. After breakfast drive to Trashiyangtse, On the way visit Gom Kora, Gom Kora is an extraordinarily picturesque temple. The correct name for the site is Gomphu Kora, Gomphu denotes a sacred meditation site of Guru Rinpoche and Kora means Circumambulation, Guru Rinpoche meditated here and left a body impression on a rock, similar to that in kurjey Lhakhang in Bumthang.,
Then again drive to Trashiyangtse, which is 28km more from Gom Kora. So while in Trashiyangtse visit Chorten Kora, Chorten Kora is a large, but not nearly as large as stupa Bodhnath, after which it was patterned. It was build in 1740 by Lama Ngawang Loday in the memory of his late uncle, Jungshu Phesan, and to subdue local sprits. The Lama himself went to Nepal and brought back the model of bodhnath curved in a radish. He copied here so that the people could visit the this place instead of making arduous trip to Nepal.
After that visit the New Dzong of Trashiyangtse and then visit Zorig Chusum ( School of 13 arts and craft), Hot lunch will be served near Chorten Kora. After lunch on the way back and if time permits you can also visit Old Trashiyangtse Dzong which is located towards the other side of the river.
After that drive back to Trashigang. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 12. Trashigang – Bumthang (2580 meters): Early in the morning, after breakfast drive to Bumthang. The distance for today is 285km which is of 11hrs drive. Lunch will be served on the way. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel in Bumthang.
Day 13. Bumthang — Thimphu (2350 meters): After breakfast directly drive to Thimphu and the distance for today is 267km which is of 10hrs drive. Lunch will be served on the way. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 14. Thimphu — Paro (2280 meters): Early morning, drive to the airport and farewell.