This tour gives you the insight of this Himalayan Kingdom in best possible way. You will be escorted through beautiful valleys of Paro, Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, and the picturesque and sub-tropical valleys of Punakha, Wangdue, Trongsa, Bumthang and Ura in Central West Bhutan. You will encounter magic of simple Bhutanese life that transform into happiness and contentment making the society truly peaceful and happy. Village lives are simple and pure. People’s thoughts are straight forward and undiluted.
Here you will meet monks in their monasteries during their chanting or other monastic activities. Road passes through Bhutan’s rich forest reserves and mountain environment. At all places, you will come across smiling Bhutanese faces, and you will be treated to mouthwatering international foods and drinks recipes. There are many more surprises waiting for you in Bhutan.
EXTRA MILE SERVICES INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE
- All guests receive personal VIP service.
- Tours tailored to suit personal interests
- Experience ensures a seamless journey.
- Enjoy a splendid hike to Bhutan’s most famous Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest).
- Visit sacred fortresses, monasteries, temples and special sites
- Fascinating excursions to villages.
- Special one-to-one session on Buddhism, Spirituality, Happiness and Inner Peace from revered Buddhist Monk.
- Feel rejuvenated with traditional hot stone bath.
- Hike to Chimi Lhakhang (the Abode of Fertility) to get blessed for children – either to ask for children by those who are childless or to seek protection for children by those who already have them.
- Witness cultural entertainment covering traditional folk dance, sacred masked dances and modern music. Will include refreshments during the entertainment.
- Visit typical farm house which will include cooking session on typical Bhutanese cuisine followed by lunch prepared together.
- Witness especially arranged archery game with traditional bow and arrow followed by lessons in archery.
- Offering of 100 butter lamps and special prayer ceremonies by the Buddhist monks for one’s well being, prosperity, good health or even for the loss of a family member/friend.
- In-depth guided tour to Paper Factory.
We will also arrange some surprises during the trip like putting up prayer flags along the way for safe journey and wellbeing of people. We always believe in going out of our way to please our clients and in making their visit to Bhutan most memorable.
Day 1– ARRIVE PARO & Sightseeing
Flight into Paro with Druk Air, Bhutan’s National Airline is spectacular. The flight takes you over the great Himalayas, offering most beautiful scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. You will be received by our representative at the Airport. After lunch visit to the Ta Dzong or National Museum,The Ta Dzong offers a unique and varied collection of thangkas, handicrafts, stuffed animals, masks, costumes and amour. The visit will give provide you with a good idea of the culture and traditions of Bhutan. Just below the Museum lies the Rinpung Dzong or Paro Dzong at the confluence of Do Chu and Paro Chu. It now houses the administrative offices of Paro District. Then you will be driven to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong or ‘fortress of the victorious Drukpas’ was built in 1649. In fine weather, the towering peak of Mount Jumolhari, (7,314 m / 24,000 ft) appears as a backdrop. Evening is free to explore town interacting with characteristic Bhutanese people with adjacent to nature.
Over night at Hotel.
Day 2– HIKE TO TAKTSHANG (Tiger’s Nest)(3,200m)- 5 Hrs hike both ways followed by Archery game.
Morning, hike to the most famous Taktshang, popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest, built amazingly on a steep cliff. According to legend, Guru Padmasambhava flew here on a flying Tigress and meditated there for three months in the 8th century. It was from there, he propagated the Vajrayana- Mahayana Buddhism (Larger Wheel) that was prophesied by the Buddha at the time of attaining Nirvana.
The walk uphill takes you a little more than a 1000ft above the Paro valley. It is a great pilgrim site for the Buddhists and also it is one of the most sacred sites in the Himalayan world, a pilgrimage destination for devout Buddhists. The main deity of Taktsang is Dorji Drolo, the wrathful form of Guru Rinpoche, (the precious teacher). There are 13 sacred sites at Taktsang, and several meditation caves in the cliffs above. Many saints are said to have meditated here. The return walking time is approximately five hours.
In evening witness especially arranged archery game with traditional
bow and arrow followed by lessons in archery by locals. Archery in Bhutan is more than a sport, it is a living example and a dynamic manifestation of the unique traditions and culture of the Bhutanese people, and it is a celebration of the Bhutanese way of life. No festival and no celebration is complete without a game of archery and the game itself is a combination of physical talents and spiritual influences where the deities and spirits are called upon to help a player or a team to perform better and win the contest”.
Over night at Hotel
Day 3– DAY EXCURSION TO HAA VALLEY- (2,736m)
DAY EXCURSION TO HAA VALLEY- (2,736m)
Leaving Paro to the west by road, and after driving through pine and rhododendron forest, we begin our climb of the Chele-la pass (4,200 meters), the highest mountain pass in Bhutan. From here one has splendid views of the High Himal, including the magnificent peaks of Jhomolari, Bhutan’s most sacred peak at over 6,700m, and Jichu Drakey. A 22km descent from the top of the pass brings us to the erstwhile restricted zone of Haa. The Haa Dzong is presently occupied by the Bhutanese military, but the views from outside its walls are stunning.
After a picnic lunch there are visits to the Monastery of Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) followed by the Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple). The central shrine of Lhakhang Nagpo is said to resemble that of the Jowo in Lhasa, Tibet.
The three giant hills looming over the fringes of Haa Valley are popularly known today as ‘Rig Sum Goenpa’, signifying three deities: Jambayang, Chana Dorji and Chenrizig.
Return to Paro. Over night at Hotel
Day 4– PARO TO THIMPHU
Drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan through idyllic countryside. Thimphu (2,280 mts.) a small, bustling city houses a wealth of museums or places of historical interest.
On arrival visit to the School of Arts and Crafts (National Institute of Zorig Chusum) where students undergo training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts; visit the Folk Heritage Museum which will provide an insight into traditional Bhutanese farm house and rural past through exhibits and documentation of rural life followed by visit to the Textile Museum to see a range of beautiful Bhutanese textile and Takin Preserve to see the rare national animal of Bhutan. This animal is chosen as the national animal of Bhutan for its uniqueness and its association with the country’s religious history and mythology. A further drive towards the BBS Tower will provide a bird eye view of the capital. Also visit a small family-run enterprise which manufactures paper and paper products using traditional methods.(Special in-depth tour inside the handmade paper factory)
After lunch visit to the National Institute of Traditional Medicine where Bhutan’s famed traditional medicines are compounded and dispensed where we can also seek consultation form local Amchy. The traditional medical service functions as an integral part of the national healthcare delivery system. The traditional medication can help overcome Paralysis, insanity, stiffness of hands and legs, trembling, hypertension, akinetic mutism and ailments of rlung-mkhrag. Over night at Hotel.
Day 5 -THIMPHU –Hike to Tango Monastery.
THIMPHU –Hike to Tango Monastery.
In the morning, you drive to Tango base which is around 30 minutes drive from town. Hike to Tango Monastery which will take about an hour from the road head through open oak forest. Abundant flowering rhododendrons higher on the ridge make the hike even more worthwhile in spring. Tango is a beautiful monastery and is unique in its parallel architecture. Lama Choeji Drukpa Kinley who came from Tibet built it in the 15th century. It is currently a monastic school for higher learning. After the visit, walk back to the road head and cross the traditional bridge connecting Tango Monastery and Cheri Monastery for a picnic lunch at the base of Cheri Monastery. At Tango Monastery get blessed for your long life (KURIM) witnessing exclusive ceremony conducted by monks.
After the hike drive to the town and visit the Textile Museum to see a range of beautiful Bhutanese textiles and then Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress like temple which lies perched on a ridge above Thimphu; Takin Preserve to see the rare national animal of Bhutan. This animal is chosen as the national animal of Bhutan for its uniqueness and its association with the country’s religious history and mythology. A further drive towards the BBS Tower will provide a bird eye view of the capital.
Also visit a small family-run enterprise which manufactures paper and paper products using traditional methods followed by visit to Tashichhodzong or the “fortress of the glorious religion” which is Bhutan’s administrative and religious centre and houses the throne room of His Majesty the King of Bhutan, other Government offices. It is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot.
Evening is free to relax. Over night at Hotel.
Day 6 – THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA. BY SURFACE / 77 KM / APPROX. 3:30 HR
After breakfast, drive to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan via Dochula Pass at an altitude of 10,000ft/3,080m. This pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of Eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan’s highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum, 24,770ft/7,550m (provided the day is clear). However skies are mostly clear during the month of October till mid February. Also of interest is the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang. After some refreshments, continue driving to Punakha through temperate of rhododendron and magnolia (which bloom in mid March and last till May), then a semi-tropical zone where orange, banana trees and cactuses are found in abundance.
On arrival at Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong known as the Palace of Happiness. Built in 1637, it is strategically placed at the confluence of two rivers, the Po Chu (male river) and Mo Chu (female river).
After lunch, take a pleasant hike to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) built in the 1499 by the Divine Madman” (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). It is a 45 minute leisurely walk across a local village and terraced rice. After the visit, you will be driven to your hotel. Over night at Resort.
Day 7 -PUNAKHA Sightseeing with Lunch in farm house
Today after breakfast hike to Khamsum Yuley Temple, there is no temple in Bhutan built elaborately as this. This fascinating temple was built by the Queen Mother of the 5th King to bring universal peace in this world. The best of the spiritual art works are painted on the inner walls. There are also paintings of Buddhist teachers and tutelary deities of the country. This is a great temple to study the symbolic meanings from frescoes and sculptures. Lunch in farm house which will include cooking session on typical Bhutanese cuisine followed by lunch prepared together.
Rice is the staple diet in the lower regions while at higher altitudes wheat and buckwheat are the staple food. In Bumthang, khuley (buck wheat pancakes) and puta (buck wheat noodles are also eaten along with rice. the diet also includes pork, beef, yak meat, chicken, and mutton. Traditional Bhutanese food always features spicy red and green chillies, either dried or fresh.
Most Bhutanese love spicy food. The favorite Bhutanese dishes are ema dashi ( chillies with cheese), shamu dashi ( mushroom with cheese), kewa dashi( potato wih cheese)phaksa laphu( stewed pork with radish), sikam paa( dried pork), norsha huentsey( dried beef with spinach), phaksa phin tshoem(pork with rice noodles), bja sha maroo(minced chicken with garlic). Seasonal favorites are nyakhachu dashi(asparagus with cheese) and nakey datshi ( edible wild ferns with cheese). Several Tibetan syle dishes like momos(steamed dumplings filled with meat or cheese), thukpa and bathuk( noodles are also popular. Over night at Resort.
Day 8– PUNAKHA TO PHOBJIKHA
Drive to Phobjikha. Gangtey valley is one the most important wildlife preserves in the country because of the large flock of Black Necked Cranes in winter. Gangtey meaning hilltop housing as a heart of every activity with a small population of about 6500 people/inhabitants. Today’s Exploration of the Phobjikha Valley begins with a visit to the Cranes Observation and Education Centre. We will then take a short walk viewing the roasting ground of the magnificent birds.
After lunch we will drive uphill to visit the famous Gangtey Gompa that overlooks large green expanse of the valley. Overnight at the Resort.
Day 9 -PHOBJIKHA TO TRONGSA
Morning drive to Trongsa. A fabulous 6 hour drive from Punakha to Trongsa will take you through forests of pine and cedar festooned with hanging lichens and through Pele-la Pass (10,830ft/3,300m), which will offer great opportunity for photography along the way. Stop En route to Trongsa is Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Zhida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Legend says that the evil spirit manifested as a gigantic snake.
You will be served lunch at Chendebji. After lunch resume your drive to Trongsa. Programmed as convenient on arrival. Over night at Resort.
Day 10– TRONGSA TO BUMTHANG
Soon after breakfast, take a short walk to impressive Trongsa Dzong built in 1643. Trongsa Dzong exhibits one of the most aesthetic and most magnificent works of the Bhutanese architecture and is the ancestral home of the Royal family.
Also visit to Ta Dzong( Watchtower), which once guarded Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands on a promontory above the town. It was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the 1st Governor of Trongsa in 1652. It has four observation pints resembling Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon. Climb up the path to visit Ta Dzong which now houses a shrine dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. A visit to this former watchtower provides visitors with an insight into the significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history. As of date the Ta Dzong of Trongsa is the most fascinating museum of the nation.
After the visit, resume your drive to Bumthang, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan. From Trongsa the road climbs quickly to Yutong-la pass (11,155ft/3425m) where the scenery changes to fir-covered slopes, reminiscent of the Swiss Alps and then enters the wide Chumey valley of Bumthang. We will stop for a while at Chumey to witness the skilled weavers at work at the “Yathra” (woollen cloth) weaving centre. Then continue drive to Jakar, the center of Bumthang valley. Over night at hotel .
Day 11 -BUMTHANG SIGHTSEEING
Bumthang is the Spiritual heartland of Bhutan. This region that spans from 2,600-4,500m is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Tales of Guru Padmasambhava and the tertons (“religious treasure-discoverers”) still linger in this sacred region. The district is sub-divided into the four blocks of Chokhor, Chumey, Tang and Ura. The valleys are broad and gentle carved by the ancient glaciers with wide and scenic valleys.
After breakfast, spent the day on photography and exploring the fascinating valley of Bumthang with the visit to sacred places, shrine and monuments. The religious heartland of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples. The visit to sacred places and monuments will include Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples built in 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo followed by Kurjey Lhakhang which consists of three main separately built temples surrounded by 108 chortens (stupa) symbolic of each joint of the human body. A short hike across the suspension bridge will lead you to Tamshing Lhakhang built in 1501 said to have been built with the help of the celestial bodies.
It is known for its ancient religious paintings of One Thousand Buddhas and Twenty One Taras (female form of Bodhisattvas). After lunch visit Jakar Dzong, known as the ‘Castle of the White Bird’. Evening is free to take a stroll through town to interact with the locals or shopping. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12 – BUMTHANG TO WANGDUE
After breakfast, drive toward Wangdue on arrival you will get a good glimpse of Ruin Wangduephodrang Dzong (fortress) built in 1638 which is situated on a ridge overlooking a river junction. Over night at hotel.
Day 13– WANGDUE TO PARO
Today after breakfast tour will again takes us back over Dochu La Pass, enroute take the photograph of the Simtokha Dzong, the oldest in Bhutan, now a traditional school specializing in Dzongkha and religious studies. Along this route you will come across many farmers selling farm produces like, apples, peach, plum, pears, asparagus, cucumber, wild mushrooms at numerous spots. We will stop to capture Tachogang Monastery (15th Century) just before reaching Paro. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14– DEPARTURE
After breakfast, drive to Guwahati, the capital town of the Indian north-eastern state of Assam, for flight to Delhi/Kolkota or onward program in that region.
- Will gain firsthand experience on many aspects of Bhutanese life and culture.
- Witness unique aspects of Bhutanese history and rich culture with visits to 17th century Dzongs (fortresses), sacred monasteries, temples and special sites.
- Enjoy cultural entertainment at religious dance festivals or especially arranged for the group.
- Fascinating excursions to villages, dine with locals in farmhouses
- Learn about Bhutan’s rich tradition and cultural through visit to museums, art and craft institutes and interaction with local Bhutanese.
We select the finest 3 star hotels that we consider to be the most comfortable for our clients which all are approved by the Tourism Council of Bhutan .
Most restaurants selected by us serve assortment of Chinese, Indian and Continental cuisine, as well as spicy Bhutanese dishes.
We use SUVs and 4WD vehicles which includes Santa Fe, Toyota Prado and Land Cruisers. We also provide Toyota Hiace Bus and Coaster Bus for bigger sized groups.
Depending on the duration and season, the cultural itinerary can be customized to meet your needs, requirements and interests. The cultural tour can be arranged for any duration ranging from 03 nights to 21 nights. This activity can be availed as a private or group tour. Please Contact Us for more details.