Pilgrimages to the Center of Bhutan
Duration: 11 Night/12 Days
Price: USD 2790
This tour combines with three days famous Bumthang cultures treks, which pass through the two different valleys in Bumthang.
–Enter Bhutan amidst its breathtaking landscape from Kathmandu, Kolkata or Bagdro – and take in sights of some of the world’s tallest peaks, Everest, Kanchen Junga, Lhotshe and Jomalhari. You will be warmly received by our friendly, traditionally dressed representative with the offering of a white welcome scarf.
- Transfer to a hotel in Paro (about 25-minute drive from airport).
- Arrival at the hotel and relax with welcome tea followed by check-in at the hotel.
- Stroll around Paro town
- Visit Ta Dzong (watch tower) which was built in 1649 by Paro Governor Tenzin Drugda to protect the fortress below. The Ta Dzong was almost destroyed in 1965 but was restored by the third king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk into the National Museum of Bhutan in 1968.
- Visit Paro Dzong (built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Rimpoche to protect Paro Valley from frequent Tibetan invasions). Today it serves as the administrative office of Paro district and houses 110 monks.
- Visit Kichu Lhakhang which was founded by Tibetan King Songtshen Gyambo in 659 AD to subjugate the demon that occupied lands all over the Himalayas and prevented the spread of Buddhism. Overnight halt at a hotel in Paro.
- Hike to the Tiger Nest Monastery, the holiest monastery in the Buddhist World
- Drive to Thimphu (about 1.5-hour drive from the airport).
- Arrival at the hotel in Thimphu, relax with welcome tea followed by check-in at the hotel.
- Rest till lunch in the hotel or nearby restaurant.
- After lunch, take a 10-min drive to Changangkha Temple (built in the 15th century by famous Lama Nima). Inside the temple is “God of Compassion” made out of platinum. You may witness blessing of a newborn baby in this temple.
- Drive to Mini Zoo, Bhutan’s only zoo to see the national animal Takin.
- Drive to Sangay Gang, lookout point of the Thimphu city.
- Visit nunnery founded by 16th Drubthob Tshangthong Gyalpo in 1976. More than 40 nuns study Buddhism in this nunnery.
- Visit Zorichusum (meaning 13 arts and crafts) which is popularly known as the painting school. Students in this school learn traditional arts and crafts like painting, sculpture, wood carving, weaving and embroidery.
- Visit the National Library, which consists of 2 buildings. On the ground floor of the old building is the largest book in the world and religious books on the upper floor. English books are kept on the ground floor in the new building.
- Drive to Tashicho Dzong, a fortress built in 1772 by the temporal ruler Zhidar and Younten Thaye the Chief Abbot.
- Overnight halt at the hotel in Thimphu.
- Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Punakha, old capital of Bhutan (about 3-hour drive from Thimphu).
- Stopovers on the way at enchanting Dochula pass (3,040m above sea level). On a clear day one can see panoramic view of the Eastern Himalayas Mountains ranges from the pass.
- Arrive at Punakha Valley (1,300 m above the sea level), a fertile valley were farmers grow two crops in a year.
- Visit Punakha Dzong, which played an important role in the past. It was Bhutan’s second monastery school after the Cheri. The first king was crowned inside this Dzong in 1907 and serves as the winter residence to Central Monastic Body and the Chief Abbot.
- Hike to Chimi Lhakhang through a nice walk along the rice field and through farm houses. The temple was built by Lama Nawang Chogyel in 1499 and is today a popular temple where barren women come to pray for a child. The temple is popularly known as the Fertility Temple.
- Spend the night at a hotel in Punakha.
– After breakfast, drive to Trongsa and visit the Trongsa Dzong, Bhutan’s largest Dzong. The site was founded in the 16th Century by Lama Nagi Wangchuk but was enlarged in 1652 by first Governor of Trongsa, Chogay Minjur Tempa.
– Drive to Bumthang and spend a night at a hotel in Bumthang.
- Start the day visiting the Jampa Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan founded by the 7th king of Tibet, Songtshen Gyampo in 659 AD20 minutes’ walk to Kurji Lhakhang, the place where Guru Rimpoche meditated for 3 months to subdue the local deity who has taken the life force of the King Sindu Raja. You can see the body imprint of Guru Rimpoche in this temple.
- Walk half an hour to the 3rd temple Tamshing Lhakhang founded by Terton Pema Lingpa in 1501. The temple contains original wall painting from 1501 which it was never repainted.
- Visit Wangdicholing Dzong built by Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal in 1851. It is considered a masterpiece of architecture in the country.
- Visit Jakar Dzong, founded in 1649 by great grandfather of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyal. It was later in 1683 the 4th Druk Desi Gaysay Tenzin Rabgay added a tower water reservoir.
- Spend the night in Bumthang.
Day 7 (Trek)
- The trek starts from Thangbi Gompa, about twenty minutes’ drive from the hotel. The trail follows 1 km walk along the farm road till small mani wall chorten, take trail going right. After ten minutes’ walk, reach suspension bridge crossing Chamkhar Chu. Trail continues right side of Chamkhar Chu, through meadows and forest of Blue Pine and draft bamboo. After half an hour, reach small village. From here it is about half an hour to the camp site.
Day 8 (Trek)
- Trail starts climbing from the camp site through the dense forest. The first thirty minutes, it is muddy. After three to four hours walk, reach to the top of Fhepe la pass (3450m).The pass is marked with some prayer flags and small stupa (chorten). Trail goes down on the other side on ridge till reached to camp site.
- An hour long walk to Ugyen Chholing Palace, across suspension bridge over Tang Chu, and walk up to the hilltop that overlooks the surrounding valley. The palace was founded by great Nyingma master, Longchen Rabjampa in 14th Later his direct descendants took it over and contributed to spreading his teaching. The Trongsa Penlop, Tshoki Dorji had built the palace, which is seen today. To preserve its legacy and provide a place for religious studies, research and solitude, the family who owns Ugyen Choling has turned the complex into a museum in 2001.
- Spend a night at Bumthang.
- Drive back to Wangdi crossing two passes, Yotong la (3334m) and Pele la (3300m)
- It is a great opportunity to see Black Mountain and Mt. Gangkar Puensum from Yotongla pass and Mt. Jomolhari, Mt Jichudraki and Mt. Drakigang from Pelela pass, if you have missed while going.
- Spend the night at a hotel in Wangdi.
- Drive back to Paro, crossing Dochula pass early in the morning to get a great view of Eastern Himalayas ranges
- Spend the night in Paro.
- After breakfast at the hotel, our guide and the driver will drive you to the airport for departure.