The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan lies along the lofty ridges of the eastern Himalayas, bordered by China (Tibet) to the north and northwest, and by the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal and Sikkim on the east, south and west respectively. With an area of 46,500 square km., Bhutan is comparable to Switzerland both in its size and topography. It was the mighty Himalayas which protected Bhutan from the rest of the world and left the Kingdom blissfully untouched through the centuries. The Drukpa Kagyupa school of Mahayana Buddhism provided the essence of a rich culture and a fascinating history.
The Bhutanese people protected this sacred heritage and unique identity for centuries by choosing to remain shrouded in a jealously guarded isolation. The Kingdom is peopled sparsely, with a population of only 678,000. Four main linguistic groups constitute Bhutan’s population: the Sharchopas, who are held to be indigenous inhabitants, the Bumthangpas and the Ngalongpas who originate in neighboring Tibet, and the Lhotshampas, recent immigrants of Nepalese origin. The inhabitants of Bhutan are gracious, gentle and very hospitable. They are peace loving and possess a lively sense of humor
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Meet & Greet on arrival at NJP Railway Station / IXB Airport and transfer to Phuentsholing – The Gateway of Bhutan by Road from India. It is a thriving commercial center on the northern edge of the Indian Plains. On arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight stay at Phuentsholing.
After breakfast , proceed towards Thimpu via the wonderful mystic town Gedu, which is about 9000 ft above the sea and Chukha Dam. On the way, halt at Chojum to take photographs of confluence of two rivers of Bhutan, Thumpu Chu and Paro Chu. Reach Thimpu in the evening. On arrival check in at the hotel. In the evening, visit theTashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion). Overnight stay at Thimphu.
After breakfast, we go for a full day sightseeing tour of Thimphu, one of the smallest capital in the world . Buddha View Point: A place from where you can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley is from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). 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. Memorial Chorten: Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, The Memorial Chorten(a stupa dedicated to world peace and prosperity in 1974 in memory of the Third King of Bhutan) Trashi Chhoe Dzong: Also called Fortress of the Glorious Religion it is situated on north of the city on west bank of the Wang Chhu. The Dzong was the site of the lavish formal coronation of the fifth King in 2008 and hosts the city’s biggest annual bash, the colorful tsechu festivities. The opening times 5-6 PM Mon-Fri, 8AM-6PM on Sat & Sun. National Library: Housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the PaintingSchool) is where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. SAARCBuilding – Guest will also visit to Wonderful SSARC Building Simtokha Dzong: The monastery was built in 1627 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It houses the Institute for Language and Cultural Studies. The carvings behind the prayer wheel in the courtyard are a major attraction of this temple. Textile Museum: Get to know the living national art of weaving at the TextileMuseum. Exhibitions introduce major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and textiles made by women and men. Takin Mini Zoo: The Takin is the national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. Legend has it that the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, Drupa Kunley, and it can be found only in Bhutan. In the evening, return to your hotel and rest overnight after dinner.
After breakfast drive to Punakha / Wangdue, On the way Stop at Dochu-La-Pass (3150 mts.). to view the higher Himalayas. Arrival at Punakha check in at hotel. After noon visit Punakha Dzong – built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck convened the first National Assembly here in 1952. After that take a short excursion trip to visit the Chhimi Lhakhang – The Temple, also known as “The Temple of Fertility” was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, “The Devine Mad Man”. Evening free for leisure. Overnight stay will be at Punakha / Wangdue.
After breakfast check out from hotel and drive to Trongsa across Pele-La-Pass (11.120 ft.) traditional boundary between east & west Bhutan, There is an adrupt change in vegetation, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop EnrouteChendbji Chorten – built in the style of the great Bodhanath Choten of Nepal. Further ahead visit Trongsa Dzong – It was the seat of power over central & eastern Bhutan and Ta Dzong – An ancient watch tower. The chapel inside is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal. Then drive further to Bumthang over the Yutong-La-Pass (11,155 ft.). While in Chumey valley in Bumthang, visit the Yathra Weaving Factory – It is the most famous textile product of Bumthang. On arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight stay at Bumthang.
After breakfast, 1st half visit Jakar Dzong: Literally meaning the Castle of White Bird. The current structure was built in 1667. Lamey Goemba: A large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi Jambay Lhakhang: built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here. Chakhar Lhakhang: Literally meaning the Iron Castle, the original palace was made of Iron and hence the name “Chakhar”. Kurjey Lhakhang: Named after body print of Guru Rimpoche. Afternoon 2nd half Visit Tamshing Lhakhang: Literally meaning the Temple of the good message, established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. Membarstho: Literally meaning, “The burning Lake”. The evening ends visit a local handloom weaving house and Interact with the weavers. Overnight stay at Bumthang.
After breakfast drive to Punakha. Reach Punakha by late afternoon. On arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight stay at Punakha/Wangdue.
After breakfast drive to Paro (7,483 ft.). On the way stop at Lamperi to visit Royal Botanical Park – The park contains a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and features a huge species of plants and animals including endangered species. On arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon visit Ta Dzong – National Museum with an excellent collection of arts, relics, religious thangkha, etc. Rinpung Dzong – Meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels”. The dzong now serves as the administrative and judicial seat of Paro. Evening free for leisure. Overnight stay at Paro.
After breakfast visit Drukgyel Dzong. Also visit famous Taktsang Monastery – called “Tiger’s Nest” (2hrs hike from the base camp) & Kitchu Monastery. Overnight stay will be at Paro.
After breakfast check out from hotel and transfer to Phuentsholing. On arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight stay at Phuentsholing.
After breakfast check out from the hotel and take the departure transfer to NJP Railway Station / IXB Airport.
My life has never been in more then then being in Bhutan.