Post of BHUTAN TOURS & LUXURY EXCLUSIVE on 2018 Mar 18th at 08:29:32
10 DAYS MAGICAL MYSTICAL MYSTERY TOUR TO BHUTAN
This 10 days trip is a combination of Western and Central Bhutan, the best what Bhutan has to offer. Western Bhutan is the heartland of the Drukpa people, home to the only airport, the capital of Bhutan, oldest and most spectacular Dzongs in the Kingdom. Whereas Central Bhutan is believed to be the first part of Bhutan to have been inhabited, with evidence of prehistoric settlements, there is great variety of people, architecture and scenery to be explored.
Highlight of the trip is visiting the famous Taktsang Monastery, which is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhist. The view of Taktsang Monastery built in the cliff is an amazing sight. In central Bhutan, Bumthang is another great site; it is a magical region of saints and treasure-seekers, great demon-subduing struggles and fabulous miracles, rich with relics from the visits of Guru Rinpoche and Pema Lingpa.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL PARO SIGHTSEEING.
Arrive Paro by Druk Air, Bhutan’s national airline. The flight into the Kingdom of Bhutan gives spectacular breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks including Bhutan’s sacred Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake and particularly exciting is the section through the Bhutanese foothills and the thrilling landing. On arrival at the airport, representatives of Bhutan Tours & Luxury Exclusive, Bhutan will meet you and transfer to your hotel. After lunch the sightseeing in Paro includes, visit to National Museum (Ta Dzong), which was once used as the watchtower for the Dzong. Paro Rimpung Dzong, one of Bhutan’s most impressive and well-known Dzongs Walk from Dzong to the old traditional covered wooden bridge and stroll along the west bank of the river. Downstream from the bridge, you can get a spectacular view of the dozing.
DAY 2: PARO – THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING.
This Morning we drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The drive to Thimphu takes an hour and half. Thimphu is relatively small town with a population of just 80,000 people. Explore the sites of this least visited of Himalayan capital, which include Dupthop Nunnery monastery & the late kings memorial Chorten, and Tashi Chodzong.
DAY 3: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA – WANGDUE
After early breakfast drive to Punakha (approx. 3 hours), the old winter capital. The drive climbs a series of zigzags over the Dochula Pass, 10,500ft/3,200m. On a clear day panoramic views can be had of the eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan’s highest mountain, Gangkar Puensum, 24,770ft/7,550m. DDochula is also marked with 100 stupas, which are beautifully designed on a small hillock. The road drops down through varied forest finally emerging into the highly cultivated Punakha valley.
This morning we make a short 30 minutes gradual walk to Chimi Lhakhang, built by Drukpa Kuenley popularly known as the “Divine Madman” It is famous for the fact that infertile women visit this temple to pray for children.
THE “DIVINE MADMAN” ~ Drukpa Kuenley (1455-1520)
In Bhutanese mythology, Drukpa Kuenley is one of the most beloved and revered sages of Tibetan Buddhism. Many are the legends that surround him and he followed a wandering lifestyle and was both an eccentric and a highly regarded saint. He was renowned for his shocking behavior and his ability to perform miracles. He talked a form of Tantric Buddhism and advocated that sexual freedom was at the centre of Truth. The wooden phallus that hang from the corners of Bhutanese houses and the paintings of penises that you often see on either side of the front door of houses are a relic of his teachings.
After lunch visit Punakha Dzong located on the confluence of the Mo (female) & Pho (male) Chu rivers. The Dzong built in 1637 AD houses the district administration offices and is also the winter residence of the State Monastic Body and its Chief Abbot, the Je Khenpo. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan.
DAY 4: PUNAKHA -BUMTHANG
The drive to Bumthang over the Pele la Pass (33150 mtrs) and the Black mountain range offers spectacular views of the eastern Himalayan mountain ranges. The road climbs steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between West and East Bhutan. En route we cross Chendebji Chorten built many centuries ago to suppress a demon. We stop at Chendebji for a lunch and drive to Trongsa for another two an half hour. Trongsa has the largest fortress in the kingdom and it was from here that the present Royal Family emerged as the most powerful force at the beginning of this century. Today the king of Bhutan is required to take the title of Trongsa Penlop prior to ascending the throne as the king of Bhutan. The second pass is Yutong La pass at a height of 3400m. This valley has a unique charm, which differentiates it from other regions & is one of the most sacred in the kingdom and innumerable legends surround the area. It is often said that Bumthang has more holy pilgrim sites than any other places in Bhutan. Bumthang is also the home of great Buddhist teacher Pema Lingpa to whom descendants of the present dynasty traces its ancestry. As you descend eventually into the valley of Bumthang, you come across the first valley of called Chumey, the heart of the famous Bumthang Yathra weaving region. Yathra is cloth woven in geometric design from Sheep’s wool.
DAY 5: BUMTHANG SIGHTSEEING
Full day sightseeing in Bumthang valley with the choice of visiting some or all of the following places:
Jakar Dzong (fortress) “Castle of the White Bird”
Jambey Lhakhang (one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan)
Kurje Lhakhang (temple of Guru Rinpoche’s body print)
Tamshing Lhakhang (see old Buddhist paintings)
You can spend the evening exploring Bumthang town.
DAY 06: BUMTHANG – WANGDUE
Early breakfast and drive back to Wangdue with visit to Trongsa Dzong; the most impressive Dzong in the country built on a strategic position high above the Mangdue River and is the largest fort in the country. It is the administrative seat of the Trongsa district and the home of the monastic school. The view from the Dzong is spectacular while one can look into the horizon for many miles. In the old days, it was the vigilance point for both the eastern and western trade routes, thus a strategically important Dzong.
Enroute visit Gangtey valley, the seat of Pema Lingpa’s mind reincarnation that founded the temple in year 1613. The current abbot is the 9th reincarnation. Gangtey Gompa seats on a ridge overlooking the Phobjikha valley. Gangtey is also the home of the famous black neck crane, which migrates from Tibet in winter.
DAY 07: WANGDUE – PARO
Drive to Paro via Thimphu. Lunch in Thimphu, and after lunch visit some of the places, which you have not visited earlier. School for arts & crafts which provide instruction in many of Bhutan’s 13 different arts, National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved, Textile Museum, Handicraft emporium where you can see and purchase the unique textiles of Bhutan. General post office if you are interested in stamps. Bhutan has a collection of many beautiful stamps. Late afternoon, drive to Paro.
DAY 08: PARO – HIKE TO TAKTSANG
This morning we hike up to Taktsang, popularly known as tigers nest. It is perched some 2,000ft/610m up on a cliff overlooking the valley and was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from the region of Tibet on the back of the tigress and converted Paro valley into Buddhism. It takes approximately 5-6 hours round trip. In the afternoon, visit Drugyel Dzong, the ruined fort towards the north of the valley, which once defended the valley from further attacks. Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance that Bhutanese forces have defeated the Tibetan invasions. On a clear day, one can get a spectacular view of Mount Jumolhari, the sacred summit (24,000ft).
DAY 09: PARO – HAA VALLEY EXCURSION
This morning we drive to Haa valley across Chele la (3988 mts), tone of the highest motorable pass in Bhutan. This is another beautiful drive with the views majestic mountain Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. Haa valley was once restricted to tourist because of the border restriction with China. There is a large Joint Bhutanese and Indian Army post and a military training centre. The drive to Haa is spectacular as it begins through a beautiful valley, stunning landscape, dense forest and a great view of snow clad mountains. Your visit to Haa includes the glimpse of Lhakhang Karpo, the temple dedicated to local deity of Haa and believed to be very powerful at the times of wars in the country in the former days. Drive back to Paro in the afternoon & we organize village farmhouse visit followed by Bhutanese cultural program and a traditional hot stone bath & typical Bhutanese dinner. Tonight, we celebrate a last dinner with the Bhutanese host as we say goodbye to this magical kingdom dinner.
DAY 10: PARO DEPARTURE
Morning drive to airport for your departure.
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