Day 1 Arrival in Paro/Paro Sightseeing
Day 2 Paro Tshechu
Day 3 Paro Tshechu/To Thimphu
Day 4 Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 5 Thimphu to Punakha
Day 6 Punakha to Paro
Day 7 Takshang (Tiger’s Nest) Hike
Day 8 Departure
DAY 01 ARRIVE PARO
Arrival in Paro. You will land in the one and only international airport of Bhutan, squeezed in between the valleys of Paro (2,250 meters). You can enjoy the bird’s eye view of the panoramic landscapes through your aero plane window. After your check out formalities, you will be received at the exit gate of the airport by our representative in a traditional manner of welcome with offering of Tashi Khadhar (a white scarf symbolizing good wishes).
After a short welcome tea, you will visit Paro Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan that holds the assortment of ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts. Next, visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, consecrated in 1646, a centre for administrative and monastic body which served as fortress in the ancient time. The sight of this fortress with enormous walls, stunning architecture, Milarepa painting and the courtyard is fascinating.
Board the vehicle across Pachu (Paro river) after you walk along the traditional cantilever bridge Called Nyimizampa.
Visit 7th century Kyichu Lhakang, one of 108 lhakhangs constructed by Buddhist Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. This temple is one of the oldest and considered to be very holy and holds great significance in Bhutanese history.
Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Overnight at hotel in Paro.
DAY 02 PARO FESTIVAL
Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong for Paro Tshechu. Paro is a historic town with many sacred sites and historic structures. Paro Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan which begins on the 11th day of the 2nd month of the Bhutanese calendar and ends on 15th day every year. You will witness a colourful display of varied mask dances performed by highly skilled artists who transform themselves into different deities. Each of these performances holds significance of many myths and mystical glory of the past and commemorates the life of Guru Padmasambhava, who is also known as Guru Rinpoche, the whisperer of Buddhism in Bhutan. People from around the valley present themselves in best of their traditional outfits which are mostly bright and richly designed with intricate patterns. The whole show becomes a beautiful tapestry with enchanting spells. The occasion is a valid testimony of Bhutan's unique tradition and rich cultural heritage.
DAY 03 PARO FESTIVAL / TO THIMPHU
Early morning, drive to Rinpung Dzong to witness the grand unfurling of a Throngdrel, the large scroll painting of Guru Rinpoche. It is believed that one who view the painting will receive the most sacred blessings. The Thongdroel is exhibited for few hours on the final day of the festival.
After lunch drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. On the way, a quick visit to Tachogang Lhakhang (literally, temple of the excellent horse) built by Tibetan monk Thangtong Gyalpo in 15th century. It is situated on a hillock across an iron bridge constructed in a traditional style. Further, drive to Thimphu, 40 miles north-east from Paro, about 1 hour and 20 minutes drive alongside the river with awesome views of narrow valleys, mountain ridges and hill slopes.
Check-in the lodge and come out to stroll around the town. You can see modern buildings ornamented by traditional architect, people in traditional dresses and graceful gestures of a policeman controlling the traffic.
DAY 04 THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING
National Memorial Chorten (temple)
In the morning, we shall move out for sightseeing in and around Thimphu valley. Firstly, you will visit the grand National Memorial Chorten (temple), iconic monument constructed in memory of our third king of Bhutan. Here, we can find young and old customarily circumambulating the chorten and huge prayer wheels rotating with bell chimes. Memorial Chorten stands in the heart of Thimphu with its grandeur in intricate Bhutanese sculptures, designs and paintings.
Dordenma statue in Kuenselphodrang
After the breakfast, we ascend up the hill Kuenselphodrang to see 169 feet (51.4 meters) tall statue of Shakyamuni Buddha called the Dordenma. This bronze statue gilded in gold is although still under construction, it is open to tourists and safe to visit. While descending down the hill, you will enjoy taking pictures of spectacular Thimphu valley with a wide view of the city.
BBS Tower at Sangeygang and Motithang Takin Preserve
We shall visit another viewpoint of BBS Tower at Sangeygang which also tripods you to capture a different angle of astonishing Thimphu city. While driving down, we stop at Takin Park. Takin is the national animal of Bhutan found only in eastern Himalayas.
Next, visit to Changangkha Lhakhang, a 12th century monastery is often flocked by people for blessings from the protective deity Tamdrin. Here, it is believed to be auspicious to be christened with a name for new born babies. Then we further move down to the Institute of Zorig Chusum (the 13 crafts) which is the school for traditional art and crafts where we see the students amid their work.
Centenary Farmers Market
Following lunch, we drive to the Centenary Farmers Market (open only on Friday, Saturday & Sunday) where Bhutanese farmers from all over the country exhibit wide varieties of their farm products for sale. While walking around the stalls you may wish to take pictures of some unique organic products and even meet our farmers.
Jungshi paper factory
We will also visit Jungshi paper factory where Dehsho is manufactured. Itis a handmade authentic Bhutanese paper produced locally using traditional method. While you study the entire process involved in this ancient craft, you can also try your hand and have feel of it.
By late afternoon, visit Tashichhodzong, the archetype of ancient Bhutanese engineering which was constructed without using any nails or work plans. It houses the throne room, King’s office and many vital government agencies. The construction dates back to as early as 13th Century which was renovated several times until 1952 when the capital was moved to Thimphu.
In the evening, explore through temporary huts of locally made traditional goods queued along the road.
DAY 05 THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA
Journey to Punakha from Thimphu is less than three hours on road. On the way, you will see the abundance of richness in natural beauty with spectacular views of wild flora and fauna.
108 Druk Wangyal chortens in Dochula
After 45 minutes drive, stop at Dochula, a mountain pass at 3100 meters. The majestic elevation is a perfect point to capture panoramic view of the silhouettes of distant dark ridges cutting sharp edges and snow capped Himalayan mountain ranges. Experience the freshness of Mother Nature with tranquility held by 108 Druk Wangyal chortens (temples). Just above is a cafeteria for a refreshing coffee, a sip or two on a hilltop is a different experience.
Further, we descend down the mountains through meandering roads passing by the dark forests and open landscapes touching on some settlements.
Chhimi Lhakhang (temple)
Once we reach Lobesa, relatively a warmer zone, a gentle hike to Chhimi Lhakhang (temple) situated on a spherical hillock built in 1499 by Ngawang Chogyel. You will learn about Drukpa Kuenley the ‘Divine Madman’ whose unorthodox practice of Buddhism advocated use of wooden Phallus to drive away evil and to bless impotent women wishing to beget child.
Night halt in a hotel in Punakha.
DAY 06 PUNAKHA TO PARO
Khamsum Yulley Namgyel chorten
Visit to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel chorten built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk in over eight years time. This is a unique 4 storied temple on a hill top constructed by means of spiritual consultation rather than the modern engineering. It is about 30 minutes hike from a bridge, through rice fields and uphill. You will enjoy the scenic green valley downhill reverberating peace and tranquility surrounding you. A perfect pose for cameras.
Next is the Punakha Dzong visit, one of the most beautiful and majestic dzongs built in 1637 at the confluence of two significant rivers by first Zhabdrung Rinpoche, Ngawang Namgyal. It holds great historical significances.
- Had been the capital of Bhutan until 1907.
- First National Assembly was held here in 1953
- Second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan
- Winter resident of Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot)
- Held wedding of the 5th King of Bhutan in 2011
- Houses the most sacred and precious relics of Bhutan
Drive back to Paro in the afternoon.
Overnight in a hotel in Paro.
DAY 07 PARO, HIKE TO TAKTSANG, THE TIGER’S NEST
No visitors leave Bhutan without hiking to Taktshang in Paro. Built in 1692, Takshang literally means ‘Tiger’s Nest’ is perched amazingly on a rocky cliff above 900 meters above the valley. It is believed to be the cave where Guru Rinpoche, the whisperer of Buddhism in Bhutan, flew on a tigress’s back and meditated for years to subdue evil demons.
The hike of 2 to 3 hours uphill by the winding trail through pine forest to the monastery is irresistibly gratifying. The view of incredible grandeur of the structure clinging on a crag will leave a lasting impression of your journey to Bhutan. On return, take lunch in the cafeteria.
Last shopping in some handicraft shops in Paro town. Overnight in hotel.
DAY 08 DEPART FROM PARO
After an early breakfast, our tour guide will reach you to the airport for your departure to onward destination.
Upon cancelation of the tour after booking, the following charges apply: