8 Days Itinerary

LAND OF MONARCHY TOUR

This popular Bhutan cultural tour provides an in-depth view into the ancient way of life and rich culture that still thrives in Bhutan today through the western valleys like Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Wangduephodrang. It is a well-paced tour, designed to provide the opportunity to really savor the unique highlights of Bhutan’s western districts which offer diverse mountainous landscapes, a rich Buddhist heritage including monasteries, temples and chortens, historical fortresses and an extremely hospitable people. You will discover the vibrant history of Bhutan visiting the Ta Dzong Museum, Rinpong Dzong with its wooden cantilevered bridge and the infamous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) in the beautiful Paro Valley. In Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, you will visit The National Memorial Chorten, the Buddha statue and zoo before crossing the 3050m Dochula Pass with its 108 chortens, numerous prayer flags and spectacular Himalayan views into the sub-tropical Punakha Valley featuring the incredible Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the ‘Divine Madman’. You will finally reach to the place where black necked crane are seen in winters.

OVER VIEW

DAY 01: PARO

DAY 02: PARO-THIMPHU

DAY 03: THIMPHU-PUNAKHA

DAY 04: PUNAKHA-PHOBJIKHA

DAY 05: PHOBJIKHA-PUNAKHA

DAY 06: PUNAKHA-PARO

DAY 07: PARO

DAY 08: DEPART

DAY 01: Arrive ParoCheck in hotel and visit Paro Dzong built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture as well as a local religious administrative Centre. Next visit Paro Museum an ancient watchtower housing the National Museum, with abundant culture relics. Then visit Weekend market and watch archery match in the evening.

National Game: 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. You can explore this game and feel the taste of game

Farm House (traditional village house); the beauty of Paro valley is embellished by cluster of quaint farm houses. Bhutanese farm houses are very colorful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of single nail. All houses follow the same architectural pattern. A visit to Farm House is very interesting and offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.

DAY 02;Paro to Thimphu (65 km-1½ Hours). Upon arrival check in hotel and visit Memorial Stupa built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan‘s third King. Chorten literally means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha.  Later visit Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang): Another place from where you can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley is from the Buddha point. It is again a short drive from the town. You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley.

Cyclying (Buddha Point - Sangay Gang; 6 km-1 hour),the best place for photographers)

Cycling is an increasingly becoming popular in our country. Away from home you can test your fitness by cycling about 6 kms. You can also have a panoramic view of the valley. 

On the way back we will visit the small zoo dedicated to the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan.  In the evening visit Tashi chho dzong “fortress of the glorious religion” was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s.  Tashi chhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.

Weekend Market (Remain open from Thursday-Sunday); Every Saturday and Sunday most of Thimphu's scant population and many valley dwellers congregate on the banks of the river where weekend market is held. It is an interesting place to visit and provides opportunity to mingle with the local people.

DAY 03; Thimphu to Punakha (70 km-3 Hours) Today after breakfast you will drive to Punakha (1300m/4265ft) the former capital of Bhutan. On the way after 45 minutes’ drive from Thimphu will reach at highest pass between Thimphu and Punakha the place called Dochula pass (3140m) where you can have a superb view of the Eastern Himalayas on clear day

Then, visit Chhimi Lhakhang a temple dedicated to the Devine Madman and a sacred place where people pray for children. Upon arrival check in hotel and visit Punakha Dzong a very beautiful Bhutanese architecture armed by the Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River) rivers, built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan which houses some rich Buddhist collections.

Night View of Punakha Dzong

Day 04; Punakha to Phobjikha (70 km-3 Hours). Drive to Phobjikha (3000m/9845ft) valley a paradise for nature lovers and hikers. Phobjikha valley is one of the winter roosting grounds of the rare Black-necked Cranes. Upon arrival check in hotel and visit Gangtey Goempa the largest and the only monastery of the Nyingmapa sect in western Bhutan.

School Visit -The school in Bhutan remain open almost for 9 months except in December, January and July.  We can make appointment for your visit. Take this opportunity to interact with students and teachers during break time, and get to learn and know the education system in Bhutan, take pictures with them. Your gesture of donating stationaries like, pen, pencils, books and even desktop or in cash is always appreciated but not compulsory.

Gangtey Village: Phobjikha is a wide glacial valley with a central stream meandering through the open grassland and thickets of dwarf bamboo. Farmlands occupy the peripheral slopes where potatoes and turnips are grown. The forests beyond the farms are mostly coniferous. The general vegetation is composed of mainly blue pine, birch, maple and several species of rhododendrons. 

Day 05; (Phobjikha to Punakha (70 km- 3 Hours) In Punakha do the following activities

Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery; Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, gleams the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang(Temple). The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig chagtong chentong). Other statues include those of Guru Padmasambawa, Gautama Buddha, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, Tsela Namsum, the 21 Taras and Tsepamay (Buddha of longevity). The Avalokiteshvara statue, one of the biggest in the country, was the handiwork of entirely local Bhutanese artisans.   

Rafting (extra payment is applicable) Punakha River offers perfect opportunity for a short rafting. Day raft trips can be arranged to suit your rafting needs either in Mo Chhu or Pho Chhu River. More than a river trip, one will have the chance to embrace the culture and history of Bhutan and encounter the peaceful, fun-loving citizens as you journey down the Paro Chu, Mo Chu not to mention the amazing backdrop of punakha Dzong. Best times for River Rafting and Kayaking in Bhutan is March to April and November to December. Rafting activity is offered by rafting companies operating in Bhutan and not by inner Bhutan; however we are happy to make necessary arrangement for you.

Day 06; Punakha to Paro (125 km—5 hours). After breakfast we will drive back to Paro. Upon reaching Thimphu, you will visit the following places before the office closes at 5 pm and drive to Paro. Simtokha Dzong. Simtokha Dzong is one of the oldest Dzongs in Bhutan. The Dzong was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1627.

National Post Office. The central PO is located in the lower part of town on Chang Lam. The main attraction of this post office is getting your picture printed onto stamps and mailing them out to your friends or relatives as a surprise. Doesn't cost much and good to keep as a memento. Various stamps and other gifts to purchase at the post office

Institute for Zorig Chusum: Commonly known as the Painting School, the Institute offers you a glimpse of novices learning 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.  It is a hands-on trip for you. Enjoy few moments with the future artists of the country.

National Library; The National Library was established in the late 1960s primarily to conserve the literary treasures which form a significant part of Bhutan’s cultural heritage.  It now houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature mostly in block-printed format, with some works several hundred years old.  There is also a small collection of foreign books, stock of which mainly comprises works written in English.

Night View of Paro Dzong:

Day 07; Paro- Hike to Taktsang (Distance 3-4 Hours walk). Today, you will hike to Taktshang, Tiger’s Nest. “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.The cave was named Taktshang after Guru Rinpoche flew into the cave from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in eastern Bhutan riding on a tigress

Kichu lhakhang one of the oldest temples to have been built in Bhutan by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century AD

Day 08; Paro-Departure

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