SHOWCASES THE SPLENDOR OF BHUTANESE ART, ARCHITECTURE, FLORA & FAUNA
Duration : 9 Nights / 10 Days
Districts : Paro, Punakha,Thimphu, Trongsa, Wangduephodrang, Bumthang
Apart from Bhutan’s unique culture, flora, fauna, architecture and the people, this package will take you to the spiritual heartland of Bhutan – Bumthang district. This trip is remarkable in that you will be able to visit dozens of Bhutan’s most sacred temples, monasteries and religious sites. Each of these places has its own unique history. Equally fascinating is the culture that evovled from these places of worship which has its origins in the 7th century when the Tantric Master, Guru Padma Sambhava, first visited Bhutan
Day 1- Thimphu: During this flight one will enjoy the view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and other
Himalayan Mountains including the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari & Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro Airport a representative will receive you and drive to Thimphu.
Memorial Chorten: Built in the year 1974 in the memory of our third king of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Buddha Point / Kuensel Phodang: Is the largest Buddha statue in the country, from there you can get a good view of the Thimphu valley.
Tashichho Dzong: The “fortress of the glorious religion” was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt
by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Tashichho Dzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 2- Thimphu: Motithang Takin Preserve: Houses the rare national animal of Bhutan. Takin is listed by international conservation agencies as a vulnerable species and it is a rare animal found only in Bhutan, Nepal and Burma.
National Institute for Zorig Chusum: Or the school of Arts and crafts is an institute where student undertake a six year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
Traditional Medicine Institute: In Bhutan, equal emphasis is given to both allopathic and traditional medicines. The rich herbal medicines made up from medicinal plants are prepared and dispensed here.
Folk Heritage Museum: The house replicates a traditional farmhouse and is furnished as it would have been about a century ago. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3- Thimphu – Punakha: After breakfast, drive to Punakha – approximately 3-hour drive through picturesque valleys and mountain slopes dotted with typical Bhutanese villages. From the Dochula pass, at over 10,000ft, vast panoramic views of the high snowcapped peaks of the Bhutanese Himalaya can be enjoyed on a clear day. Continue drive down into the Punakha valley. On the way visit Chhimi Lhakhang – This was founded in 15 Century by Lama Dukpa Kinley also known as divine mad man. It is half hour walk across a local village and rice field. After lunch visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung. It is one of the most beautiful Dzong in the country. Later walk around Punakha and Khuruthang town. Overnight stay
Day 4- Punakha – Phobjikha: After breakfast drive to Phobjikha – is a bowl-shaped valley on the western slopes of Black Mountain. After lunch visit Gantey Goenpa as it is a major attraction with an old monastery date back to the 16 century. Later walk around the valley which is also the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes, which migrate, from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia during winter to this valley. Overnight will be at hotel or farm House.
Day 5- Punakha – Tongsa: After breakfast drive to Trongsa. On the way visit Chendebji Chöten- built in the style of the great Bodhanath Chöten of Nepal, was constructed by Tshering Wangchuk son of Yon-Say and the Mahasiddha Zhidag in accordance with the prophecy of the Second Gangteng Tulku Tenzin Lekpai Dhundrup in order to subdue harmful, anti religious demons. Continue drive. Visit Trongsa Dzong – seat of the district administration, built in 1648. We will also visit Tower of Trongsa, which has been converted into a museum from a watchtower that once guarded Trongsa Dzong. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 6- Tongsa – Bumthang: After breakfast drives to Bumthang. En-route stops at Chummy village to visit yathra weaving central. Yathras are made into colourful scarves, bags, blankets and sweater. Continue drive to Bumthang. Mingle with the locals and overnight at hotel.
Day 7- Bumthang: Whole day sightseeing.
-Jambay Lhakhang: Is a sacred monastery built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen-Gampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region.
-Chakhar Lhakhang: Besides the main road, a short distance beyond Jambay Temple is Chamkhar (Iron Castle). It is the site of the palace of the
Indian King Sendha Gyab also known as Sindhu Raja.
-Kurjey Lhakhang (Kurjey means, “Body imprint”): The temple to the right was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rinpoche meditated and left his body imprint.
-Tamshing Lhakhang: This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message).
-Jakar Dzong: The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of monks.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8- Bumthang – Paro: After breakfast, fly to Paro by domestic airline. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang-one of the oldest and most sacred temple in the kingdom, dating back to the 7th century. Visit Ta Dzong former Watch Tower which now houses the National Museum and then visit Rinpung Dzong which houses the monastic school and the office of the civil administration and walk down passing close by crossing the Bhutanese typical wooden
roofed bridge to Paro town. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9- Paro: After breakfast, drive for half an hour and start the hike, which is about 5 hours (round trip.) The trail is along an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels.
As you reach Taktshang you will be struck by the architectural wonder of this most pious Buddhist shrine in Bhutan. Perched some 1000m, 3000ft on a cliff overlooking the valley, it would justifiably qualify as one of Bhutan’s wonders. Tragically wrecked in a fire early in 1998. It has been rebuilt to its original glory. It is said that the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. Hence the name, Taktshang, or the “Tiger’s Lair.”
Descend back to Ramthangka. If the time permits, drive further north to visit another symbolic structure, which is now in ruins. Drugyel Dzong, or “Castle of the Victorious Drukpa,” which was also built by the Shabdrung to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetans in the 16thcenturies.
From here, the Jomolhari Peak (“Mountain of the Goddess”) can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). Overnight at hotel.
Day 10- Departure: After breakfast, drive to Paro international airport for your onward flight. The representative of Atlas Tour and Travel will see off and bid farewell