Best of Bhutan
Best of Bhutan
Day 1: Arrive Paro by Air & transfer to Thimphu
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift to you as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative, and afterwards drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan with en-route stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Three different style of stupas ; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence. Shortly before reaching Chuzom, you will see on your left Tschogang Lhakhang, “the temple of the excellent horse”. It is a private temple, built in 15th century, as the result of visitation from Balaha, the excellent horse, a manifestation of Chenrezig, the compassionate Buddha.
Drive further and visit en-route Simtokha Dzong (oldest dzong) built in 1627. The Institute for Language and Cultural Studies is located here. The most noteworthy artistic feature of this dzong is the series of over 300 finely worked slate carvings behind the prayer wheels in the courtyard.
On arrival, in Thimphu check-into the hotel. The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With the population of about 90,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light.
Overnight stay in Thimphu. (Altitude 2400m)
Day 2: Thimphu / Paro (55 Kilometres / 1.1/2 hour drive)
After breakfast, visit Institute of Zorig Chusum or Arts & Crafts School, where 13 traditional crafts are taught including weaving, embroidery, painting, carpentry, carving, sculpture, casting, blacksmithing, bamboo work, gold & silversmithing, masonry, leather work and paper work. This institute not only helps preserving beautiful heritage but also equips future generations with skill and knowledge to keep heritage alive. Also visit Handmade paper factory, National Library which holds vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts ; Folk Heritage Museum.
Visit to National Memorial Chorten built in honor of His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Known as ‘Fortress of Glorious Relgion’, visit of Trashichhoedzong is other interesting visit of the day. This is the centre of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
Later drive to Paro. The beautiful valley of Paro encapsulates a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends.
Overnight stay in Paro. (Altitude 2200m)
Day 3: Paro
Morning excursion to Taktsang Lhakhang also known as Tiger’s Nest (approx 5 hours walk). It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime.
Afternoon drive to Drukgyel Dzong, with a picturesque village nestling below its ramparts. On a clear day, there is splendid view of Mt. Chomolhari (7314m) from the approach road to the Dzong. Later visit Kyichu temple to receive blessing for the tour ahead. Built in 7th century, it is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan (the other being Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang).
Overnight stay in Paro.
Day 4: Depart Paro
After breakfast transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination.