Day 1: April 10th Arrival in Paro
Welcome to the land of happiness, also known as Druk Yul (country of the Drukpa Lineage, the Dragon People, or the Land of the Thunder Dragon.) Upon arrival at the Paro International Airport, you will be greeted in our traditional style by our guide and driver, who will be accompany you throughout the tour.
You will drive to Thimphu (capital city, 1hr drive). On the way, we will stop for a short sightseeing at Tamchog lhakhang (Temple built by the famous saint from Tibet called Thangtong Gyalpo in 13th century.)
We will then start our sightseeing by first visiting the Buddha Point (one of the largest Buddha rupas in the world, at 54 meters/177ft)
Afternoon, you will visit the Memorial Chorten (built in memory of Third Druk Gyalpo and is dedicated to World Peace.)
Lunch will be at a Simply Bhutan (to experience the traditional style Bhutanese cuisine.)
Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan (is a national textiles museum)
Tashichho Dzong (Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952)
Day 2: April 11th Thimphu
Today we will be visiting the Simtokha Dzong (the oldest fortress to ever build in the country by Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyal) Legend says that it was built to imprison a demon that was terrorizing the junction of the eastern and western path. The first fortress of its kind, it features beautiful Buddhist paintings and carvings.)
Changangkha Lhakhang (It was first built by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhigpo(12-13 century) the founder of Drukpa Kagyu school in Bhutan.)
Takin Preservation Centre (located in the Mothitang district of Thimphu, Bhutan is a wildlife reserve area for takin (Budorcas taxicolor), the national animal of Bhutan.)
Lunch will be at Folk Heritage.
National Institute of Zorig Chusum; (Commonly known as ‘the painting school’, operates four to six years courses that provide instruction in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts.)
Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory; You will witness the art of Bhutanese papermaking.
Centenary Farmers’ Market (Only during weekend) Farmers from the nearby village come here to sell agricultural products and handmade crafts to the people.
Day 3: April 12th Punakha
After breakfast, you will then start moving to Punakha. While going to Punakha, you will need to go across the Dochula Pass (3100m). Over there you will stop for a short sightseeing and tea break, while having tea, you can also see the beautiful Himalayas across.
After that, you will then descend down towards Punakha at the elevation of 1242 m. Then visit Chimi Lhakhang (Madman’s temple)
Lunch at the Local Restaurant
Visit Punakha Dzong (fortress of glorious religion. It’s also known as Punthang Dechenphodrang, Legend says that Zhabdrung made the carpenter trulpizow balep made to sleep in chamber and he had been taken to paradise /zangtopelri of Guru Rinpoche and he got at the sketch and the model of the dzong)
Visit to the long suspension bridge in Punakha. (Approximately 160m wide)
Day 4: April 13th Trongsa
Early morning, have your breakfast and start your journey to Trongsa. The journey will take around 5 hours to reach Trongsa.
You will first cross Wangduephodrang. You will stop for awhile and take photos of the fortress which is on the hill top.
Then continue your journey. After few hours, you will then cross the first mountain pass called Chele La pass (3420m).
Then towards Trongsa district. Before reaching Trongsa, you will stop for awhile to take picture across the other side to see the largest dzong (Trongsa fortress) in the country.
Then move on to visit the Trongsa dzong and the to the watch tower (museum of Trongsa district).
Then later you can visit the small weekend market near the road side to see how Bhutanese farmers sell their organic products.
Day 5 & 6: April 14th & 15th Bumthang
Today you will drive to Bumthang. It is the most historic dzongkhag if the number of ancient temples and sacred sites is counted. Bumthang consists of the four mountain valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor, although the entire district is referred to as Bumthang valley.)
Jakar Dzong (Ngagi Wangchuk continued his journey towards Bumthang after completing Trongsa dzong and as he wanted to built a suddenly he saw a white bird flying from this place and later he knew it was a Pelden Lhamo and built a Dzong and named as Jakar Dzong in 1549.
Jambay lhakhang (The 2nd oldest Jowo temple was built by Songtsen Gampo the first dharma king of Tibet. He has built 108 temples in a day to subdue the evils/ ogress in the Himalayan region for the free flourishing of Buddhism and this temple is one of them. It was renovated by Sindhu Raja as he has promised guru to protect the Buddhism.)
Kurjey lhakhang (Kurjey the name has been derived from the body print of Guru Padmasambhava that has been left after the subjugation of the Shelzen Karpo.)
Tamzhing monastery (The foundation has been done by Terton Pema Lingpa from (1501-03) and it is the second temple built by him.)
Kenchosum lhakhang (Kencho sum lhakhang means the temple of three times Buddha (past, present and future)
Mebartsho/Burning lake (It was prophesied by a Terton Dorji Lingpa that one day the boy will come from this village and discover a treasure from this river. So as prophesied a Terton Pema Lingpa is born to a father Dondrup Zangpo and mother Pema Dolma and he was born with many miraculous birth sign. Later he gathered all the people in the village and discovered a treasure from the river. The legend says that he went into a lake with a burning butter lamp and came out without putting off the light and came out with a text and treasure so it was named as a burning lake.)
Day 7: April 16th Ura
After breakfast, you will then go to Ura to witness the first day festival. There won’t be any restaurant there so you will have a packed lunch. Its elevation is around 3100m. Once upon a time, it is believed that, the Ura Yakchoe festival was celebrated to appease and make offerings to the god of yak. It was a practice emerging from bonism, which was common before the advent of Buddhism in the 18th Century.
The festival continues to be named Yakchoe but it took a turn in terms of significance and practice. A similar practice called Yakla, which also appeases and celebrated the god of yak is celebrated each year in Ura in the seventh month of the Bhutanese calendar.
Day 8: April 17th Lobesa
Early morning after having breakfast, you will then start your journey to Lobesa. The journey will take around 7hours to reach Lobesa.
Day 9: April 18th Paro
Early morning after breakfast, you will then continue you journey to Paro. It will take around 3 hours to reach Paro. After reaching there, get checked in and rest for awhile.
Later after lunch, you will then visit, National museum / Ta Dzong / Watch tower. (Ta Dzong actually means a watch tower to look after the province of Paro valley and served as a regional administrator as well as a store house which would ensure supplies in the event of warfare.)
Paro Dzong / Rinpung Dzong (It was built by Gyalchog (brother of Gyalzom) the family of lama Pha Dung Dung in 15 centuries. He surrendered himself to the local deity Jawang Nep and built a 5 storied building and named as Hungrel Gampo.)
Then you can stroll around the Paro town and buy souvenirs.
Day 10: April 19th Tiger’s Nest
Today you will be visiting the most iconic structure in the valley of Paro, the Tiger’s Nest. The cave on the rock was there before 750 million years ago during the formation of the earth. It was only known after the arrival of Guru Padmasambhava in 746 A.D.
Kichu lhakhang (Kichu it actually means the peaceful palace. The first temple was built by a 1st Dharma king of Tibet Songtsen Gampo in 7th century). Then you can also visit the Late Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche’s Museum next to Kichu Lhakhang.
Then you can stroll around the Paro town and buy more souvenirs if you like.
Day 11: April 20th Departure from Bhutan
Our guide and driver will bid farewell to you all and have a pleasant flight back home. We will be looking forward to seeing you again in future for another place to tour around.