|Duration||13 nights and 14 days|
|Guide||Knowledgeable with good command over English|
|Tour Highlights||Discover, cultural sightseeing, meeting with the local people in the villages and in their homes, beautiful landscape and nature.|
Recevied by our local team at the Gauwahati airport and transfer to Samdrupjonkhar. You will be driving through small villages, bicycles and buses overcrowded with passengers. You will pass through the famous Assam tea garden. Check in the hotel in Samdrupjonkhar and free time in the town. Overnight in hotel.
Leaving behind the plains and you will be climbing towards the foothills of Himalayas; you will be rewarded with the stunning landscape, rich tropical forest and possibilities of sighting some wild lives. Stop at Narphung village for some local products including the famous home made tea. This tea is highly demanded in the market for making butter tea.
After Wamrong, stop at Khaling textile weaving centre, founded by the National Women Association of Bhutan and helps in training Bhutanese women in weaving.
After the Yongphula pass 2800m, descend through the only public university in the country in Kanglung. Overnight Hotel.
The highlight of the day will be to visit remote villages, temples and to interact with the local people. Drive for an hour and visit the monastic school founded by Garab Rimpoche, the biggest Nyimapa School in the east. En route, you can make lots of stops for Photos of rice fields, colorful houses and picturesque villages, prayer flags, chortens (religious monuments) prayer wheel turned by water.
Visit Radhi village and visit some houses to see women weaving. These villagers are known for the textile woven out of raw silks.
Visit the nunnery in Radhi and take a short hike to Tshangkhar village known for its textiles. On the way back to Trashigang, stall around in Ranjung village. In the evening visit Trashigang dzong. Overnight hotel.
This part of the area is known for lemon grasses which grows wild on the mountains. It is one of the main resources for the local people. After Sheri chhu, road zig – zag towards Korila pass 2400m with amazing view of surrounding mountains and villages. Check in the hotel and explore the town. Visit Mongar dzong; built in 1970s, it houses about 200 monks and the district administration. It is possible to visit some temples inside the dzong. Drive 3hrs
One of the most scenic drives in Bhutan. You will be driving through tick forest, waterfalls, remote villages and high passes. This area is the paradise for the bird watchers. You can make numerous stops on the ways for pictures and to enjoy the beauty of the nature.
Stop at Ura village and stall around the village. Continue towards Bumthang for overnight. Drive 5hrs
One of the most sacred regions in the Kingdom, Bumthang valley is a blend of the abstract and concrete with innumerable legends surrounding the area.
You will be visiting Kurje Lhakhang where the Great Indian Saint Guru Padsambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock. The other is Jamphel lhakhang, which was built in the 7th century by Songsten Goembo, the Tibetan Buddhist King. Jakar Dzong (the fortress of white bird) built in the 17th century by Tenzin Rabgay (the fourth Desi) is another famous landmark.
You will also be visiting, Tamshing lhakhang built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa (the founder of religious treasures). Kunchosum lhakhang and Membertsho (the flaming lake) are other places. Legend has it that Pema Lingpa discovered several religious text from the lake. Overnight at the hotel.
Transfer to Trongsa and visit Trongsa Dzong, another majestic architectural masterpiece and once ancient Bhutan’s capital. It is very historic and every King, before ascending the Throne must, as the Crown Prince serve as the Penlop (Governor) of Trongsa. The Ta- Dzong or Watch Tower of Trongsa was converted to museum in 2008. The museum has about 244 items used over the years by the Wangchuck dynasty. It also displays the famous Raven Crown used by the first king. Drive 3hrs
En route to Phobjikha, stop at Chendipji stupa, which was built in 19th century by a lama named Shida. It resembles the Boudhanath stupa in Nepal, with eyes painted at four cardinal points. We will move further to Phobjikha valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan and home to the very rare black-necked cranes, who migrate from Tibet to Bhutan to winter (from November -March). There will also be a visit to Gangtey Gompa, one of the oldest Nyingmapa monasteries, that resembles a Dzong. Hike down to the valley with stunning view of the villages around. Drive 4hrs
The journey to Punakha would take about 3 hours and it is a scenic drive through beautiful forests of rhododendron and fields of dwarf bamboo, green meadows, beautiful wildflowers, gushing waterfalls and constantly changing vegetation.
The journey further descents down to the low lying sub tropical valley of Punakha, which served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and still is home of the Chief Abbot in winter months. On the way to Punakha, you will hike for about one hour (round trip) to Drukpa Kuenley’s monastery, built in the 15th century. A monastery where the Phallus is worshipped, it is associated with Lam Drukpa Kuenley, the “Divine Madmonk”.
Punakha Dzong (Fortress), built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal has played a prominent role in the civil and religious life of the Kingdom. From far, it resembles a giant ship, rocked on a mass of still water as it is built at the confluence of two rivers – the Pho (male) and Mo (Female) rivers. Destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, the Dzong has been now been fully restored in its original splendour. The Fortress contains some of the most sacred and significant religious relics of the nation. Drive 3hrs
After breakfast we will move to Thimphu, which is about three hours drive from Punakha. After about 2 hrs, we will reach at Dochula Pass, (3,100m), which offers spectacular glimpse of the snow-capped eastern Himalayan Ranges, consisting of peaks averaging heights of 6000m to 7554m. The pass is beautified by 108 stupas (chortens) built around a mound. Spend sometime walking around and continue towards Thimphu. In the afternoon visit Changangkha Lhakhang
Built in 13th century overlooking Thimphu valley. The temple has the only sitting Buddha of Compassion in the country.
Memorial chorten: It is one of the best places to take pictures, given the many pilgrims walking around this huge stupa. It was built in memory of the revered third king who passed away in 1972. Explore the town and its many photo opportunities. Drive 3hrs. Overnight hotel
After breakfast, drive about 45 minutes north of Thimphu and then hike to the Tango Buddhist Institute, which will take about 2 hours round trip. Tango is located at a place considered sacred from times immemorial. In the year 1689 AD, the monastery was built by the Gyelse Tenzin Rabgyel, the 4th Desi (temporal ruler of Bhutan). Today, the monastery serves as the largest Buddhist institute in the country. It also is the seat for the young reincarnation of the master who built the monastery (Gyelse Tenzin Rabgyel).
In the afternoon, visit the following places:
Buddha point: Overlooking the Thimphu town, it is one of the biggest statues of Buddha in the country.
Archery: The national sport of Bhutan
Takin reserve: The national animal of Bhutan, called the takin, is found only in the eastern Himalayas. In Bhutan, it is found only in the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park in the northern part of the country.
This photogenic animal was believed to be created by a lama called Drukpa Kuenley, who is also popularly known as “the Divine Madman.” It was said that he had joined the head of a goat and body of a cow to form the takin. See what you think…
We begin our journey towards Paro. Stop en route to visit Tachhogang Iron Bridge. Upon arrival in Paro visit Paro Rimpong Dzong (Fortress on a Heap of Jewels), followed by the Ta Dzong, which was formerly a watchtower and now the country’s national museum. Later, we visit Kyichu temple, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built by King Songtsen Gyempo of Tibet in 659AD. Legend has it that it is one of the 108 temples that the King built within a year around the Himalayan region. Drive 1hr
A visit to Bhutan is incomplete without going to Paro Taktshang (Tiger’s Lair), one of the most sanctified and sacred temples in Bhutan.
Our journey to the Lair will begin after half an hour drive to the base of the temple. It is a five hour round trip along an old trail, with prayer flags fluttering. Taktshang is not just a sacred place, but also an architectural wonder. Perched some 1000 meters on a hill overlooking a valley, it is believed that the great Indian Saint and Budddhist Master, Guru Padma Sambhava flew on a tigress in a wrathful form to this place in 746 AD, to subdue evil forces who were obstructing the spread of Buddhism. The trek, which will take about five hours (up and down) is an unforgettable one and promises every visitor an enthralling experience.
The evening will be dedicated to visiting ruins of the Drugyel Dzong,”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa” located 16 Km. from the Paro town, which was built to celebrate the victory of the Bhutanese forces over the invading Tibetan troops. On a clear day, one can view Mount Jomolhari (“Mountain of the Goddess”) standing at an altitude of 7,329m/24,029ft.
Transfer to airport for departure.