Cultural Trip to Bhutan

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Cultural Trip to Bhutan- 6 nights

Tour Start Location

Paro

Tour Start Location

Paro

Itinerary

Day 1Arrive Paro – Thimphu

After arriving & visa formalities and collection of baggage, you will be welcomed by our tour representative who will be your tour guide during your entire trip in Bhutan.
Check into your hotel in Thimphu. Free until lunch time for some rest from early morning flight, refreshment and lunch.
Afternoon, you can choose to visit any or all of the following places:-

Tachogang Lhakhang
Tachogang Lhakhang is located in Paro district, on the way to Thimphu. It was founded by Thankthong Gyelpo after he experienced a vision of Guru Rimpochhe, Amitaba and Avalokiteshvara near site. The caretakers today are said to be descendants of Thangtong Gyelpo. Inside the temple one can see the masters relics, including his walking stick.

Tashichho Dzong
The Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery cum fortress at the northern edge of Thimpu the capital city of Bhutan. The Dzong was built on the western bank of the river Wang Chu, and has historically served at the seat of the Druk Desi or the Dharma Raja of Bhutan’s government. After the kings assumed power in 1907 this post was combined with that of the king and Thimphu severed as the summer caital of the kingdom before becoming the full time capital of Bhutan.

Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 2 Thimphu

After the breakfast we will drive to following places:

Kuensel Phodrang
The Kuensel Phodrang or the Buddha point isthe world’s largest sitting Buddha statue, the statue is 167 feet high. The statue is situated on top of a hill overlooking the city of Timphu, it can be accessed by road and is about 15 minutes away from the city’s center. The word Kuensel means everything is clear and from this place you will sure enjoy a great view of the Thimphu Valley on both sides. The statute will house a temple inside it, the statue and its adjoining car park and recreational center.

National Memorial Chorten
The National Memorial was built by Bhutan’s third king, H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who is also known as the “father of modern Bhutan.” He wanted to erect a monument carrying the message of world peace and prosperity. However, he was unable to give shape to his idea in his lifetime due to pressures of state and other regal responsibilities. After his untimely demise in 1972, the Royal Family and Cabinet resolved to fulfill his wishes and erect a memorial that would perpetuate his memory and also serve as a monument to eternal peace, harmony and tranquility.

Motithang Takin Preserve
The Motithang Takin Preserve also known as the Thimphu Zoo by many is a small natural preserve for the Takin Bhutan’s national animal.

It was originally a mini zoo, but it was converted in a preserve later on as the Takin. The mini zoo contained a small number of Takin but the King of Bhutan later decreed that it was improper for a Buddhist nation to keep an animal in captivity. The animals were set free and the zoo was shut down, but for some reason the Takin refused to leave the area for the forests nearby.

Semtokha Dzong
Simtokha Dzong also known as SangakZabdhonPhodrang (Bhutanese language meaning: “Palace of the Profound Meaning of Secret Mantras”) is a small dzong. It was built in 1629 by ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyal, who unified Bhutan. It is the first of its kind built in Bhutan. An important historical monument and former Buddhist monastery, today it houses one of the premier Dzongkha language learning institutes.

ZilukhaNunnary
ThangthongDewachen Nunnery is a Buddhist monastery in the small Himalayan country of Bhutan. The nunnery is located in Zilukha, Thimphu overlooking Tashichodzong and is a few minutes’ drive from the town. It is popularly known as the ZilukhaAnimDratshang. It was built in 1976 by the 16th emanation of ThangtongGyalpo, DrubthobRikeyJadrel. Currently, the nunnery is home to about 60 nuns.

THE CENTENARY FARMER’S MARKET
Located below the main town, near the Wangchhu River, Thimphu’s weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan.
Located below the main town, near the Wangchhu River, Thimphu’s weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market. With its wide assortment of fresh, organic produce, the Farmer’s Market has become a favourite spot for tourists and a recreational place for people from all walks of life.
Nearby, across a cantilever footbridge, KuendeylingBazaam, to the west bank is a collection of stalls selling clothing, textiles and handicrafts.

In evening we will visit weekend market of Thimphu.
Thimphu’s ‘Weekend Market’ occupies the west bank of the Wang Chhu, just north of Changlimithang Stadium. Vendors from throughout the region start arriving on Thursday and remain until Sunday night. Most people combine a visit here with some souvenir shopping in the nearby Handicrafts Market. The incense area is one of the more interesting sections, full of deliciously aromatic raw ingredients and pink cubes of camphor and saffron that are used to flavour the holy water given to pilgrims in lhakhangs.

Overnight In Thimphu.

Day 3Thimphu – Punakha

Post early breakfast, you will drive towards Punakha via Dochula Pass. We will stop over for tea at Dochula (3,100 m), where on a sunny day, you can get stunning views of the Himalayan ranges. The Dochu La Pass is probably the best known mountain pass in Bhutan. Located at an altitude of 3150 meter above sea level, the Dochu La Pass is about 30 kilometer away from the capital city Thimphu and the road to Punakha.On a clear day the pass offers visitors a spectacular view of the majestic eastern Himalayan Ranges.

Punakha Dzong
The Punakha Dzong or the Pungtang Dechen Phortang Dzong is located at the confluence of the Mo Chhu and the Po Chhu River, combine to form the Puna Tsang Chu which in turn is a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra River. The Dzhong was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal Wangchuck in 1638 on the exact spot as prophesized by the Guru Rinpoche some 800 years ago. According to the prophecy of Guru Rinpoche “a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. And lo behold! Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal found that the peak of the hill was in the shape of an elephant’s trunk and built the Dzong at that very spot.

Overnight in a hotel in Punakha

Day 4Punakha

After an early breakfast, . We will drive to Chimmi Lhakhang to start with. The Chimi Lhakang or the Chimel Lhakang is a Bhuddhist monastery located in the Punakha District of Bhutan. The monastery stands on a small hill close to the village of Lobesa and was constructed in 1499 by Ngawang Choegyel, the 14thDrukpaheirarch.

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
A beautiful hike takes one to the regal Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten, which was built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the changing world. The Chorten dominates the upper Punakha Valley with commanding views across the Mo Chhu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond.

Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery
Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, gleams the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang(Temple). The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig chagtong chentong). Other statues include those of Guru Padmasambawa, Gautama Buddha, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, Tsela Namsum, the 21 Taras and Tsepamay (Buddha of longevity). The Avalokiteshvara statue, one of the biggest in the country, was the handiwork of entirely local Bhutanese artisans.
The temple complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting.

Overnight in a hotel in Punakha

Day 5Punakha – Paro

After breakfast you will drive to Paro.

THE JUNGSHI PAPER FACTORY
The Jungshi handmade paper factory uses traditional methods to produce the authentic Bhutanese paper known as Deh-sho.

It is located approximately 1 km from Thimphu City. The factory uses the bark of two tree species, the Daphne tree and Dhekap tree in the manufacture of traditional paper. Visitors can observe the entire process of producing handmade paper using ancient traditional methods that have been practiced for generations. You can even try your hand at this ancient craft and make some paper of your very own as a souvenir. Deh-sho paper was originally used by monasteries for woodblock and manuscript books and also for writing prayer books.The Jungshi paper factory continues to preserve and promote this age-old Bhutanese tradition. It also produces various other products, such as stationery and greeting cards.

National Post Office:
Bhutan has good and reliable postal services. However, delivery services in Bhutan tend to be concentrated in urban areas and so people in rural areas tend to visit post offices to check for and collect their mail. Recently, tele-centers have been established in some of the post offices, where people can check for their e-mails too. The average distance of the post office from a Bhutanese home was found to be 11.2 km. More than half of the postal correspondence in Bhutan is in English and about one-fourth Bhutanese postal clients use both English and Dzongkha for their correspondences. Along with the post office at Thimphu, there are agency mail offices and community mail offices that are scattered in remote and isolated areas across the country.

Changlimithang Archery Ground
On weekends it’s worth checking to see if there’s an archery tournament going on at this ground near the Changlimithang Stadium: whether it’s traditional bamboo or high-tech carbon-fibre bows, the skill, camaraderie and good-humoured ribbing are always entertaining. Traditional songs and victory dances are all part of the fun. Archers often practise here in the mornings.

Rimpung Dzong
The Paro Dzhong is probably Bhutan’s best known and most iconic Dzhong. This is probably the first building you will notice when you land at Paro International Airportand will probably be your first memory of Bhutan.
The imposing Dzhong is perhaps the finest example of Dzhong architecture existing the world today, the massive buttered walls of the fortress dominate over the valley. The Rinpung Dzhong’s names translates to the ” Fortress on a heap of Jewels “.

JangtsaDumgtsegLhakhang is a Buddhist temple in western Bhutan. The temple is notable as it is in the form of a chorten, very rare in Bhutan. It is located on the edge of a hill between the Paro valley and the Dopchari valley, across the bridge from Paro.The Buddhist iconography depicted in the Chorten is considered a unique repository of the Drukpa Kagyu school.

In evening we will visit local market of Paro and overnight in a hotel in Paro.

Overnight in a hotel in Paro

Day 6Paro

After early morning breakfast, we will take you for a morning hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Hanging precariously and magically from a rather steep cliff, the Taktshang monastery is a monument of genuine pride for the Bhutanese nation. It defies architectural principles to the core and amazes tourists from around the world. It is a sight to behold.

Taktshang or the Tigers lair as the monastery is called, it is widely regarded is one of the most important monuments of spiritual significance in Bhutan. Its history is deeply associated with the visit of Guru Padmasambhava, the revered Indian saint who came to Bhutan in the 8th century AD.

Kyichu Lhakhang
The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. The temple was built by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo in the 7th Century AD. The Kyichu Lhakhang was one of the 108 temples constructed by him to subdue a demon that was terrorizing the people of the Himalayas.

The Lhakahng underwent many extensions during the ages with the last one being carried out in 1965 by the Queen Mother Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck. She added another new structure to the temple called the Guru Lhakahng. As one of the oldest Lhakahangs, it houses many important relics. One of the most important relics of the temple is a 7th century statue of Jowo Sakyamuni which is believed to have cast atthe same time as it famous counterpart in Lhasa Tibet.

Day 7Paro Departure

In the morning after early breakfast we will see you off at the Paro Airport for your onward destinations.

Tour Map
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