THIMPHU (3N) PUNAKHA (2N) PARO (1N)
CULTURE – MONASTERIES– WAY OF LIFE – VALLEYS – VILLAGES
Day 1 Arrive Paro from New Delhi / Kathmandu / Bagdogra & transfer to Thimphu 65 km 1hrs drive –
The most spectacular mountain flights you will ever experience in a life time. Flying in from the heat of the plains of India one can witness from the left side of the aircrafts window a series of the world’s highest peaks. Your pilot will announce the names of the peaks if the weather is clear. You will descend into the high mountains and as the plane lowers you will not find any airstrip or any city but instead you will enjoy the view of the approaching valley of Paro, the alpine forests, little monasteries, temples and farm houses. Before the plane touches the runaway you will get a glimpse of the fertile valley of Paro, the Paro Dzong and Paro chu(river). Our representative will be at the airport to assist you, meet and greet and transfer to the capital city Thimphu and rest of the day at leisure. O/n at Thimphu.
Day 2 Thimphu – capital city –
When in Thimphu you got to prepare for surprises where this unique capital has no traffic lights but adopted its own version of the British – Indian colonial times traffic policemen who can startle you and memorize others with his elaborate hand gestures, sometimes he may be signaling stop when it looks like go but don’t worry you can observe the flow and notice his smile as you stare at him. Sightseeing includes the Folk Heritage Museum, National Library, Handicrafts Center to view the traditional arts, the indigenous Medicine Hospital, the Painting School and from the road point take a glimpse of Tashichho Dzong. Further drive uphill and visit Takin Zoo where you will find national animal of Bhutan. Afternoon visit National Memorial Chorten a stupa dedicated to the third king of Bhutan and Buddha statue. Evening take a walk to the main city from Clock tower square. O/n at Thimphu.
Day 3 Thimphu day excursion to Tango Chari Monastery –
Morning half day excursion to Tango Chari monastery, 45 minutes drive towards north of Thimphu. These two monasteries are located in two opposite hills you can hike up to one of the monastery.
Tango Chari Monastery – is now an important centre for higher learning for monks and is associated with Lama Drukpa Kunley and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The three storied temple is dedicated to the body, speech and mind of the Buddha. The monastery was founded by Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa in the 12th century. The short hike will take about 30 minutes walk through beautiful forest from the road point. The name Tango means head of a horse and here you could look out for a rock that looks like head of a horse.
Chari Monastery – was built in 1620 on a hilltop. A silver chorten / temple inside the monastery holds the ashes of Zhabdrung father Yap Temei Nima. The short hike starts by crossing a lovely wooden bridge that spans the Thimphu Chhu(river). If you are lucky and have never seen mountain goats this is the place and find out how mountain goats can walk on steep cliffs. Return to the city and rest of the day at leisure.O/n at Thimphu.
Day 4 Thimphu – Punakha via Dochula pass 77 km 3 hours drive –
Morning drive to low lands of Punakha valley touching Dochula pass 10,000 ft and on the stop at Hongtsho village. Stop at the immigration check point to stamp in your permit. Next to the check point you will find small local stalls selling fresh juicy local apples available for sale in plastic bags you could try some. You will be driving through the first mountain pass in the western part of Bhutan. You will find the 108 Druk Wangyal chortens on the top of the pass where the ridges are draped in colorful prayer flags greet you. You could take three rounds and offer prayers, take some best photo shots. If the weather is clear you will be able to see the highest peaks towards the north,Gangar Punsum among others is the highest unclimbed peak (24,000 ft) in the world.
Proceed down towards Punakha through Thinleygang village and upon reaching Lobesa turn left and drive down further. Stop and take a short walk through the villages to Chimmi Lhakhang – The divine madman also known, as Drukpa Kinley is a famous teacher with whom the phallic symbol is associated. Tales told by your guide would have excited you to visit Chimmi Lhakhang. Do not miss the master’s deeds painted on the walls. Japanese and several American couples visited this temple and were blessed miraculously with children. Rest of the day at leisure. O/n at Punakha.
Day 5 Punakha – Wangdi sightseeing –
Morning visit majestic Punakha Dzong placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk. Drive back and head towards Wangdiphodrang via Lobesa. The Dzong strategically located on a ridge 4,430 ft that overlooks the highway that fork to the east and south of the country. On the way to dzong the old town existed here with narrow street with single storied shops now present town shifted to Bajo. The road further is the gateway to central and eastern Bhutan. The legend Mahakala, the protective deity of Bhutan appeared to tell Shabdrung of prediction, saying “at top of rocky spur where two rivers meet, at the place where a flock of raven will fly off in four directions, you will build the Dzong”. The Shabdrung built the Wangdi dzong in 1638 and Punakha/Wangdue valleys are also the winter home for many of the high altitude farmers who migrate with their cattle to the warm climate. Return to Punakha. Rest of the day at leisure. O/n at Punakha.
Day 6 Punakha – Paro 145 km 4 hrs drive –
Morning drive to Paro via same road and stop at Lamperi. Visit the Royal Botanical Park for 30 minutes. If you are lucky you could see red pandas, different species of birds, you can take some photo shot close to the natural lake. You could watch a short documentary about the park. Proceed to Paro via Semtokha and check in the hotel. Afternoon visit Kyichu Lhakhang the monastery dates back to 7th century and is one of the oldest and most sacred. Visit the town for shopping or leisure. O/n at Paro.
Day 7 Departure –
Morning transfer to Paro International Airport for your next destination.
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury : Hotel Druk http://www.drukhotels.com
Deluxe : Hotel Migmar www.hotelmigmar.bt / Hotel Kisa http://www.hotelkisa.com
Standard: Peaceful Resort www.bhutanpeacefulresort.com or Wangchuk Hotel www.wangchukhotel.com (inside the city)
Luxury: Not Available (guests will be accommodated in best properties (3 star) available in Punakha / Wangdi.
Deluxe: Damchen Resort www.damchenresort.com or similar
Standard: Meri Puensum Resort or similar
Luxury: Udumwara http://www.udumwara.com or Nak Sel www.naksel.com
Deluxe: Tashi Namgay Resort www.tnr.bt or similar
Standard: Ugyen Phendeyling Resort www.upresortparo.com or similar
- Accommodation on twin sharing in Standard hotel. (Delux & Luxury also Available).
- Meals as per plan
- All airport transfers
- All transportation within Bhutan
- All internal permits
- English speaking guide
- Entry fee to museum
- Internal taxes.
- Air fare
- Personal travel insurance
- Laundry, tipping, personal shopping, telephone calls
- Anything not specified in the “cost includes”.
- Mentioned rates are Per person on twin sharing
- Mentioned rates are valid till Dec’ 2020.