DAY 1: PARO – THIMPHU
The flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of the Himalayan scenery. Whether you are flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, Guwahati, Dhaka or Bagdogra, it is a breathtaking journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the Kingdom of Bhutan.
After clearing immigration and customs at the Paro International Airport (Altitude: 2280m), you will be met and warmly welcomed by your guide from Bhutan-Bhutan Travel by offering traditional scarf (khadhar) and then transfer to your hotel in Thimphu (Altitude: 2320M).
The drive along a winding road by the Paro Chu (Paro River) downstream to the confluence with the Wang Chu, then turn upstream along the Wang Chu to Thimphu, Bhutan’s scenically located capital city takes about an hour. After lunch at San Maru Restaurant, visit the National Memorial Chorten which was built in 1974 to honor the memory of the 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is remembered as the father of modern Bhutan. Then drive to Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park located about 6kms from Thimphu city. Walk to The Buddha Dordenma Statue in Kuenselphodrang, which at 51.5 meters is the world’s tallest Buddha Statue and then hike around the Kuenselphodrang Nature Park. The park was formally opened as a recreational park in 2011. The park conserves 943.4 acres of forest area that surrounds the Buddha Dordenma statue.
Then we will drive you to visit the mini zoo to see Bhutan’s endangered national animal the Takin at close hand.
Later in the afternoon, we visit the Tashichho Dzong – the Fortress of the Glorious Religion. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and later on rebuilt in traditional fashion without nails or written plans by the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Today it houses Throne Room of the King of Bhutan and the government secretariat. Part of this dzong also serves the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) and the clergy.
In the evening, an exploratory walk around Thimphu Main Street and market area.
DAY 2: THIMPHU –DOCHULA PASS – PARO
After breakfast, Bhutan’s National game – Archery (with traditional bow & arrow) will be arranged near Terma Linca Resort.
Then we will drive you to the Dochu La pass (3,140m). The Dochu La pass is popular because it offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snow-capped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass.
Visit the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple), built in honor of His Majesty the fourth king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The past and future appear to merge in the details of the lhakhang, and its structure tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distant future in a fine blend of history and mythology.
After lunch at Druk Wangyal cafeteria, drive through to Paro.
After reaching Paro we will visit the Rinpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”)
, the center of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
Then visit the Kyichu Lhakhang. This Lhakhang is one of the oldest lhakhangs to have been built in Bhutan. It is one of the 108 Lhakhang built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century AD. The king is said to have built 108 lhakhangs in a day throughout the Himalayan regions, of which Kyichu lhakhang in Paro and Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang are two. Most of the remaining Lhakhang can be seen in Tibet.
DAY 3: HIKING TO TAKTSANG OR TIGER’S NEST TEMPLE
After breakfast, we drive to the trailhead to take a breathtaking and memorable hike through beautiful pine forest. You will stop for light refreshments at the Taktsang cafe before walking to the famous, Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest. The primary Lhakhang or main temple was built around Guru Rinpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900m into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tigress, Dorji Drolo from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in the east.
Hiking to this holy monastery is worth and will surely be a great experience and blessing.
Lunch will be served at the Taktsang Cafeteria.
In the afternoon visit, the National Museum of Bhutan (Ta Dzong) built in 1649 as a watchtower by the first Penlop (Governor) of Paro and later converted to the National Museum by the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1968. The museum contains artifacts such as old costumes and battle dresses, together with priceless jewelry and specimens of the kingdom’s unique flora and fauna.
An evening stroll through the main town of Paro.
DAY 4. Departure.
Drive to Paro International Airport where your Bhutanese counterpart will bid you farewell as you embark on your onward journey.
End of the tour
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