Antique Expedition in Bhutan

8 Days Enriching Bhutan Tour

7 NIGHTS 8 DAYS– ENRICHING BHUTAN TOUR

Day 01:Arrive at Paro, Paro – Thimphu

In clear weather, Druk Air’s flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of Himalayan scenery. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, it is a breathtaking journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the kingdom.You will be welcome by your Bhutan travel guide from Access Bhutan Tours & Treks.

Visit the Ta Dzong rated as one of the finest natural Museum in South Asia, and is filled with antique thanka paintings, textiles, weapons and Armour. Drive to see the Rinpung Dzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now use as an administration center and school for monks. Then walk down to Rimpung Dzong Bridge, one of the oldest bridges in Bhutan.

Travel to Thimphu,the capital of Bhutan. Check into hotel. Walk around the National Memorial Chorten built in 1974 in honor of the late King. Drive to see the Takin Zoo, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. Then drive further up to Sangaygang to enjoy the bird’s eye view of Thimphu valley.

Day 02:Thimphu Tour and Sightseeing – Wangdue

Thimphu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, is the seat of government. This bustling town is home to Bhutan’s royal family, the civil service, and foreign missions with representation in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally funded development projects. Thimphu Sightseeing includes visits to the following:

Morning:

In the morning, visit the following;

Tashichhodzong, the main secretariat building which houses the throne room of His Majesty,he King. Tashichhodzong is also the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monk body.

The National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, with some works dating back several hundred years.

The Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School), where a six year training course is given in the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.

The National Institute of Traditional Medicine, where the medicinal herbs abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed.

In the afternoon, travel to Punakha through Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft). If you have a clear sky, the view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges is spectacular and you can even see the Gasa Dzong as a white dot in the horizon. Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the security and well being of His Majesty the King of Bhutan.

Travel to Punakha continues.Punakha is the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the monk body. Visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho – Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river.

Evening, walk through the Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where couples unable to concieve come here for blessing. Overnight at hotel in Wangdue.

Day 03:Wangdue -Trongsa -Bumthang

Travel to Trongsa via Pele la pass at an altitude of 3,150 metres, a wonderful opportunity for photographs. Commanding the Mangde Chu at an altitude of 2,200 metres Trongsa Dzong is the most impressive dzong in Bhutan. Built in 1644 by the Shabdrung, the dzong is an architectural masterpiece.

Travel to Bumthang, this is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. Here the great teachers meditated and left in their wake, many sacred grounds. The Guru and his lineage of Tertons, treasure finders, have led to the sprouting of many temples in the valley. Visit Yatha Weaving Center a cooperative of the National Women Association of Bhutan where the women of the region sell their textiles and Yatha specialty. Check into Hotel.

Day 04: Bumthang Tour and Sightseeing

The sightseeing in Bumthang includes the visits to the following:

Jambay Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the King Songtsen Goempo of Tibet. In his effort to propagate Buddhism he had a plan to build a total of 108 temples in Tibet and neighboring kingdoms. Chakhar Lhakhang. Besides the main road, a short distance beyond Jambay Temple is Chakhar (Iron Castle) Lhakhang. Although it is easy to mistake it for a house and drive right by, this is an interesting temple and is worth a short visit. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. Kujey Lhakhang (Kujey means, “Body imprint”). The temple to the right is the oldest and was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rimpoche meditated and left his body imprint. Tamshing Lhakhang. This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message).

Jakar Dzong, “castle of the white bird”. According to legend, when the lamas assembled in about 1549 to select a site for a monastery, a big white bird rose suddenly in the air and settled on a spur of a hill. This was interpreted as an important omen, and the hill was chosen as the site for a monastery and for Jakar Dzong. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.

In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang valley. Dinner and overnight in Bumthang.

Day 05:Bumthang – Gangtey – Wangdue

After breakfast, travel to Gangtey Gompa with a picnic lunch. Visit Gangtey Gompa, which now houses one of the only Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The valley is also the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes (Grus Nicorocolis), which migrate, from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia during winter to this valley. Drive to Wangdue for overnight stay.

Day 06: Wangdue – Paro

After breakfast, walk to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (50 Mins) temple built by the Queen Of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world.

Visit Wangdue Dzong and travel back to Paro driving through the idyllic countryside, dotted with villages and paddy fields, crossing rivers and natural forests to Paro.

Evening, free for strolling around Paro Town, shopping, etc.

Day 07:Paro Tour-Short Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

After breakfast, drive to the base camp and then hike up to the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s nest). The climb up to the viewpoint will take approx. 3hours. Enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava flew on the back of a tiger and landed there in the 8th century, and meditated for three months. The monastery was later built in this holy place in 1684. After tea in the cafe’, walk back to the road point and drive to hotel for lunch. Drive to Drukgyal Dzong (fortress) now in ruins, which were built in 1646by Shabdrung to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders, led by Mongolian Warlord, Gushri Khan. Historically and strategically this dzong withstood all its glory and had captured western eyes in 1914 in National Geographic magazine.

In the afternoon, visit Kichu temple one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon. Visit the Dungte Lhakhang.Overnight at hotel in Paro.

Day 08:Paro – Departure

In the morning, your Bhutan tour guide from Access Bhutan Tours- Bhutan travel agent will escort you to the airport for your onward destinations.