10 Days Buddhist Itinerary


10 DAYS BUDDHIST ITINERARY

Buddhism has been the predominant religion from the 7th century and since then many saints, religious masters, mystics and scholars have visited and blessed Bhutan and its people with invaluable spiritual and cultural heritage that shapes the Bhutanese lives and history. Today, the Buddhist world, considers Bhutan with special importance as the last bastion of Mahayana Buddhism. Hundreds of sacred monasteries, stupas, religious institutions, fluttering prayer flags and prayer wheels which dot the landscapes and countryside are the strong evidence of immense living faith in Buddhism. This tour will enable you to experience the in depth spirituality and profound understanding of Mahayana Buddhism. 

 

OVERVIEW ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrive Paro and transfer to Thimphu (65 km-1½hours)

Day 02: Thimphu-Punakha (70 km-3 hours)

Day 03: Punakha-Trongsa (110 km-4 hours)

Day 04: Trongsa-Bumthang (68 km-3 hours)

Day 05: Bumthang Sightseeing

Day 06: Bumthang-Phobjikha (193 km-7½hours)

Day 07: Phobjikha-Thimphu (140 km-6 Hours)

Day 09: Hike to Taktshang (3-4 hours walk round trip)

Day 10: Departure

Day 01: Arrive Paro and transfer to Thimphu (65 km-1½hours)

After arrival at Paro transfer to capital city of Bhutan.  On arrival visit Memorial Chorten (Stupa), one of the most religious Stupa visible in Thimphu. The religious paintings and complex tantric statues inside the monument reflect both peaceful and wrathful aspects of Buddhist deities.  It was built in 1974 in memory of the Third King.  You will see lots of people circumambulating and offering Prayers. Then visit Buddha Dordenma Statue, Shakyamuni Buddha, the largest statues of Buddha in the world, measuring about 51.5 metres (169 feet) in height is situated on the hilltop in Kuenselphodrang, overlooking the entire southern part of Thimphu valley. It is meant to fulfill the prophecy of bestowing universal peace and happiness on the entire world. Towards Evening religious talk by one of the Buddhist masterfor about an hour and followed by Meditation.

Day 02: Thimphu-Punakha (70 km-3 hours)

After breakfast, drive to Punakha En route Dochula pass (10500 feet) to see the spectacular view of snowcapped eastern Himalayan Mountains, if the day is clear. You can take wonderful photographs of the snowcapped mountains and also hoist Prayer flags for one’s wellbeing, peace and happiness.  After that visit Chimi Lhakhang (Monastery), a revered temple popularly recognized as a pilgrimage site for childless couples to receive blessings. Situated on a hillock in the Centre of the valley, it is about 20 minute’s pleasant walk across the rice fields from the road. The temple was built in the 15th century. Then visit Punakha Dzong (Fortress), it was built in 1637 to serve as the religious and administrative Centre of the region. It is located strategically between the confluence of Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). Then walk around the Dzong to get a beautiful night view of Dzong and also the wooden Bridge.

Day 03: Punakha-Trongsa (110 km-4 hours)

Morning drive to Trongsa, about 7 to 8 hours’ drive En route visit Chendebji Chorthen (Stupa), erected in 18th century by Lama Zhida to subdue an demoness terrorizing the people of the valley. On arrival visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive Dzong in the country built in 1648.  It displays one of the most artistic and splendor works of traditional Bhutanese architecture. The two first hereditary kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this Dzong. Here you can take time taking photos with little monks of the dzong.

Day 04: Trongsa-Bumthang (68km-3 hours)

Morning drive to one of the religious heartland of Bhutan. 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. On arrival visit Jakar Dzong. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks. Take a walk around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang valley. In the evening Buddhist talk with Buddhist Masterand followed by question & answer session.

Day 05: Bumthang Sightseeing

After breakfast, Meditation with Buddhist Master and then explore the sacred sites of Bumthang. Visit Chakhar Lhakhang, besides the main road, a short distance beyond Jambay Temple, is Chakhar (Iron Castle) Lhakhang. Visit Jambay Lhakhang: This monastery was built in the 7th century of Tibetan King Songtsen Gembo, believed to be the reincarnation of the Buddha of Compassion. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. Later drive up to visit Kurjey Lhakhang, where the precious master “Guru Rinpoche” left his body print in the cave in the oldest of the three temples and is considered one of the most sacred sites for the Buddhist.

A few minutes’ walk from Kurjey cross over to the other side of the river over a small suspension bridge and visit Tamshing Lhakhang. This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message).

In the afternoon, drive to Mebartsho 'the flaming lake' in the Tang valley. This is where Pema Lingpa found the treasures hidden by Guru Rinpoche and thus became a terton, 'a discoverer or religious treasurer'. It is great pilgrimage site, visitors launch small lighted lamps on the water. Images of Pema Lingpa and his two sons have been carved on the rock. In the evening explore Farm House Visit, connect with the rural folks. This is special because we get to understand Bhutanese rural life better. This program brings us closer to the basic things in life from sharing a simple meal with a family.

Day 06: Bumthang-Phobjikha (193 km-7½ hours)

Drive toPhobjikha, valley paradise for nature lovers and hikers so one can enjoy the hike around the remote valley of Phobjikha. Upon arrival at Gangtey visit Gangtey Monastery, the largest and the only monastery of the Nyingmapa sect in western Bhutan.

Day 07: Phobjikha-Thimphu (140km-6 Hours)

Morning short hike through a Crane Valley and drive to Thimphu for leftover sightseeing. Visit Zangthopelri Lhakhang built in 1960s. Temple possesses some impressive murals and art treasures and is worthy of a visit. Later visit, Drubthob Goema / Zilukha Nunnery only nunnery in capital known as Zilukha Anim Dratsang. You may interact with some of the nuns who have devoted their life to spirituality and Buddhism. Visit, Dechen Phrodrang "Palace of Great Bliss" is a Buddhist monastery in Thimphu, where young monks undergo eight years courses. Visit Tashi chhodzong the “fortress of the glorious religion” Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.

Day 08: Thimphu-Paro (65 km-1½hours)

Morning drive till road point for hike to Tango Monastery. It takes about an hour to arrive at the temple and is about 900 feet. It was built in 12th century and serves as the monastic school for study of Buddhist Philosophy, metaphysics, mathematics, poetry and many other Buddhist studies. Here you will visit monks and temple and see the life of Bhutanese monk. And also Buddhist talks by Buddhist Master.

On return, drive to Paro. On arrival Paro visit Kichu lhakhang one of the oldest and the most sacred temples to have been built in Bhutan by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century AD. Later visit, Paro Dzong built in 1646, perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture as well as a local religious administrative Centre.

Day 09:Paro- Hike to Taktshang (3-4 hours walk round trip)

After breakfasthike for Taktshang. “Trip to Bhutan is never complete without climbing to Taktsang”, says one tourist. Indeed it’s true as the journey there fills you with spiritual bliss. Taktshang monastery is located atop an 800 meter cliff in Paro.

Taktshang or the Tigers lair as the monastery is widely regarded is one of the most important in Bhutan. Its history is associated with the visit of Guru Padmasambhava, the Indian saint who came to Bhutan in the 8th century AD. The cave was named Taktshang after Guru Rinpoche flew into the cave from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in eastern Bhutan riding on a tigress. Later in 1692 the fourth Druk Desi Tenzin Rabgye started to construct monastery and finally completed after three years in 1694. On reaching top, you will hoist Prayer Flags to gain well being, happiness and peace in one’s life.

Day 10: Departure 

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