01 : Arrive Paro by Flight :The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool,
clean fresh air
as you step out if the plane. You will be received by
the representative of our counter part , in a
traditional way and drive to Hotel Olathang. Afternoon
Ta-Dzong built in the 17th century, as
watch tower to defend Paro Dzong below. This
Dzong was later converted into the National Museum in
1967, and is filled with antique Thankha paintings,
textiles, weapons and amour. Later on walk around the
main street of Paro.
Morning hike up to the Taksang Monastery (Tiger's nest).
The climb up to the view point will take around 3 hours
and enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru
Padmasambava landed on the back of a Tiger in the 8th
century, and meditated
for three months. The monastery was later built
in this holy place in 1684. After lunch in the cafe walk
back to the road point and drive to Hotel. Later visit
to Rinpung Dzong: The
“fortress of the heap of jewels“ was built in 1646
by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal on a hill above the
approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered
bridge (called the Nemi Zam) and then up a paved stone
path running alongside the imposing outer walls.
The valley’s annual springtime religious
festival, the Paro Tsechu, takes place in the courtyard
of the dzong and on the dance ground on the hillside
above. Overnight at Hotel
Note: Taksang Monastery was destroyed by fire
4 years ago and 90 percent of re-construction is
Drive to thimphu (2 hours) the modern capital of
Bhutan and Thimphu
sightseeing will include
visit to National Memorial Chorten: The building
of this chorten was originally the idea of Bhutan's
third king, H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (“the father of
modern Bhutan”), who had wished to erect a monument to
world peace and prosperity, but was unable to give shape
to his idea in his lifetime due to pressures of state.
After His Majesty’s untimely death in 1972, the
Royal Family and Cabinet resolved to fulfill his wishes
and erect a memorial that would perpetuate his memory
and also serve as a monument to peace.
The National Memorial Chorten was consecrated on
July 28, 1974. The
finely executed wall paintings and delicately fashioned
statues within the monument provide a deep insight into
Tashichhodzong: The “fortress of the
glorious religion”, was initially erected in 1641 and
rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s.
Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His
Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.
It is open to visitors during the Thimphu Tsechu
(held in autumn) and while the monk body is resident in
its winter quarters in Punakha.
Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums: These
museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide
fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and
way of life.
Handicrafts shops: A wide assortment of colorful,
hand woven textiles and other craft products is
available for purchase at the government-run Handicrafts
Emporium and many smaller crafts shops around the town.
:Drive to Punakha (70 Km) via Duchula pass. An hour
drive from Thimphu will take you to this pass (3050
meters), from here one can have superb view of the
Mountain ranges on a clear day. Drive on to Punakha
served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and
still it is the winter seat of the Je Khenpo (Chief
with a temperate climate and fed by the Pho Chu (male)
and Mo Chu (female) rivers, Punakha is the most fertile
valley in the country.
Sightseeings in Punakha & Wangdi
Punakha Dzong: Placed strategically at the
junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the dzong was
built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as
the religious and administrative center of the region.
Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic
fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully
restored in recent years by the present monarch. The
dzong is open for visitors during the Punakha festival
(early spring) and in the summer months, after the monk
body has returned to Thimphu. Afternnon 20 minutes of
drive will take you to
Located south of Punakha and the last town before
central Bhutan, Wangduephodrang is like an extended
village with a few well-provisioned shops. The higher
reaches of the Wangduephodrang valley provide rich
pastureland for cattle. This district is famous for its
fine bamboo work, stone carvings, and slate which is
mined up a valley a few km. from the town. Visit
Wangduephodrang Dzong: Stretched along the hilltop above
the confluence of the Punakha Chu and Tang Chu rivers,
the imposing Wangduephodrang Dzong is the town’s most
visible feature. Drive back to Punakha for overnight at
Hotel Zangtopelri or at Hotel YT.
Day excursion to Gangtey valley (or Khotoka). (3 hours
drive will take you to Gangtey (3,000m/9,845ft): In the
mountains east of Wangduephodrang lies the beautiful
Phobjikha Valley, on the slopes of which is situated the
great monastery of Gangtey, established in the 17th
village of Phobjikha lies a few km. down from the
monastery, on the valley floor.
This quiet, remote valley is the winter home of
black necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains
of Tibet in the north, to pass the winter months in a
milder climate. After visiting the Gangtey monastery and
the surounding village drive back to Punakha for over
Punakha-Phuntsholing: This is a long way drive (240 KM)
via Thimphu. Lunch at Punakha Café and afternoon drive
on to Phuntsholing for overnight at Hotel.
Since it is a long day there will be not much time for
sight seeing on the way, however if the time permits it
is worthwhile for visit to Kharbandi Gompa:
This beautiful monastery situated in a garden of
tropical plants and flowers at an altitude of 400m
/1,300ft above the town, was founded in 1967 by the
Royal Grandmother, Ashi Phuntsho Choedron.
The monastery contains paintings depicting scenes
from the life of the Buddha and statues of Shabdrung
Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rinpoche. From the monastery
garden there is a splendid view of Phuentsholing and the
plains of West Bengal with their tea gardens beyond.
07: Phuntsoling – Gangtok/Darjeeling
Transfer to Gangtok/Darjeeling 6-7 hrs drive passing
through the West Bengal and river Teesta.