Day 01: Arrive in Paro and drive to Thimphu (52 km, 1 Hour Drive)
After arriving & visa formalities and collection of baggage, you will be welcomed by our tour representative who will be your tour guide during your entire trip in Bhutan.
Check into your hotel in Thimphu. Free until lunch time for some rest from early morning flight, refreshment and lunch.
Afternoon, you can choose to visit any or all of the following places:-
Tachogang Lhakhang is located in Paro district, on the way to Thimphu. It was founded by Thankthong Gyelpo after he experienced a vision of Guru Rimpochhe, Amitaba and Avalokiteshvara near site. The caretakers today are said to be descendants of Thangtong Gyelpo. Inside the temple one can see the master’s relics, including his walking stick.
National Memorial Chorten
The National Memorial was built by Bhutan’s third king, H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who is also known as the “father of modern Bhutan.” He wanted to erect a monument carrying the message of world peace and prosperity. However, he was unable to give shape to his idea in his lifetime due to pressures of state and other regal responsibilities. After his untimely demise in 1972, the Royal Family and Cabinet resolved to fulfill his wishes and erect a memorial that would perpetuate his memory and also serve as a monument to eternal peace, harmony and tranquility.
The Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery cum fortress at the northern edge of Thimpu the capital city of Bhutan. The Dzong was built on the western bank of the river Wang Chu, and has historically served at the seat of the DrukDesi or the Dharma Raja of Bhutan’s government. After the kings assumed power in 1907 this post was combined with that of the king and Thimphu severed as the summer caital of the kingdom before becoming the full time capital of Bhutan.
Overnight Stay at Thimphu
Day 02: Sightseeing in Thimphu
After breakfast visit the followings:
The Kuensel Phodrang or the Buddha point isthe world’s largest sitting Buddha statue, the statue is 167 feet high. The statue is situated on top of a hill overlooking the city of Timphu, it can be accessed by road and is about 15 minutes away from the city’s center. The word Kuensel means everything is clear and from this place you will sure enjoy a great view of the Thimphu Valley on both sides. The statute will house a temple inside it, the statue and its adjoining car park and recreational center.
Motithang Takin Preserve
The Motithang Takin Preserve also known as the Thimphu Zoo by many is a small natural preserve for the Takin Bhutan’s national animal.
It was originally a mini zoo, but it was converted in a preserve later on as the Takin. The mini zoo contained a small number of Takin but the King of Bhutan later decreed that it was improper for a Buddhist nation to keep an animal in captivity. The animals were set free and the zoo was shut down, but for some reason the Takin refused to leave the area for the forests nearby.
This popular temple, perched like a fortress on a ridge above central Thimphu, hums with pilgrim activity. It was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo, who came from Ralung in Tibet. Parents traditionally come here to get auspicious names for their newborns or blessings for their young children from the protector deity Tamdrin (to the left in the grilled inner sanctum). Children are blessed by a phurba (ritual dagger) and given a sacred thread.
Simtokha Dzong also known as Sangak Zabdhon Phodrang (Bhutanese language meaning: “Palace of the Profound Meaning of Secret Mantras”) is a small dzong. It was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who unified Bhutan. It is the first of its kind built in Bhutan. An important historical monument and former Buddhist monastery, today it houses one of the premier Dzongkha language learning institutes.
Folk Heritage Museum: A three storied traditional building houses the Folk Heritage Museum. The earthen and timber building was renovated and restored few years ago to appear as it was century ago. Established in 2001 in Thimphu, the museum provides glimpse into the traditional Bhutanese material culture and way of life. The artifacts, which are kept inside the house, remind the visitors about how the rural Bhutanese live today. This 19th century traditional house provides you a glimpse of the Bhutanese lifestyle, and artifacts from the rural households. One can come across typical household objects, tools and equipment.
National Institute for Zorig Chusum commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.
The National Library of Bhutan was first established in 1967 under the patronage of HM Queen Ashi Phuntso Choden (1911–2003), with a small collection of precious texts. The library was initially housed within the central tower (utse) of Tashichho dzong. Later, due to its growing collection, it had to move to a building in the Changangkha area of Thimphu.
Junghi Handmade Paper Factory; the unit in Thimphu produces traditional handmade paper from natural plants mainly from ‘Daphne’ plant species which is insect-resistant. The other unit in Jimina, 22 km from the centre Thimphu town, recycles waster papers. The traditional handmade papers are widely used for religious scripts, packing materials, hand-carry bags, lampshades, envelopes, calendars. The paper looks a lot like Japanese washi, and in fact a lot of Bhutanese paper is exported to Japan also.
National Institute of Traditional Medicine strives to merge the allopathic and traditional systems of healing. A large laboratory and a production facility inside the institute monitor and ensure the quality of the components like the plants, minerals, precious metals etc. A day-care facility and clinic opened in the institute is available for public use. The institution also produces Bhutanese medicines and they have a plot inside their premise where they grow different herbs and plants. The institution premise has a small museum, a gift shop (where the famous herbal tea -Tsheringma- is produced) and also a training school for traditional medicine practitioners. After the closing of the institute, visitors can walk along the compound to view it from the outside.
Weekend Market: If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of food of Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery chillies, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. (This market is open only from Friday until midSunday).
Bhutan Postal Muesum was established in November 2015 to celebrate the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The main objective of the museum is to tell the story of Bhutan’s progress and development through the lens of the evolution of communications and postal system in the country. The story is told through anecdotes, artifacts and the rich assortment of stamps the country has produced over the years. You can ha ayour own personalised stamp made with your own picture, bring an image you like on a USB stick to avoid the line outside the photographer’s studio
Over night stay at Thimphu
Day 03: Drive to Punakha (77 kms, 03 hours drive)
After having breakfast, check-out of the hotel and proceed to Punakha. On the way to Punakha you will go through the Dochula Pass.
Stop at Dochula View Point which is the first stop after leaving Thimphu. About 45 minutes from Thimphu, it offers visitors their first glimpse of the Himalayan range with Snow. The road to Punakha branches left and curls its way down to the relatively low lands of the Punakha valley. On arrival, check-in at the hotel. Later, go for sightseeing.
Punakha Dzong: Majestically standing on an island between the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, the city’s dzong is one of the most photogenic of all Bhutan’s ancient fortresses, and you will see pictures of it hanging in hotels and restaurants throughout the country. The dzong is joined to the mainland by an arched wooden bridge and contains many precious relics from the days when successive kings reined the kingdom from this valley. In the evening, return to your hotel and enjoy a comfortable overnight stay.
Overnight Stay at Punakha
Day 04: Punakha to Paro
After breakfast this morning, check-out of the hotel and proceed to Paro. On the way visit Chimi Lhakhang (Fertility Temple): Situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley below Metshina is the yellow-roofed Chimi Lhakhang, built in 1499 by the cousin of Lama Drukpa Kunley in his honour after he subdued the demoness of the nearby Dochu La with his ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom’. A wooden effigy of the lama’s thunderbolt is preserved in the lhakhang and childless women go to the temple to receive blessings from the saint. It’s a pleasant 20-minute walk across fields from the road at Sopsokha to the temple. You will cross an archery ground before making a short climb to the temple.Upon arrival in Paro, check-in at the hotel.later visit the National Museum of Bhutan is housed inside the revamped circular Ta-dzong building, an ancient watchtower above the Paro Dzong. This unusual round building is said to be in the shape of a conch shell. The original building was constructed in 1656 but the building was converted into a museum in 1968. The necessary infrastructure was created to house some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art, including masterpieces of bronze statues and paintings gathered from different parts of the country. Suitable galleries were constructed to house the extensive collections. Works of art were elegantly displayed on scientific lines.
Some of the handicrafts items cover the history and cultural heritage of more than 1500 years. The National Museum has in its possession over 3,000 works of Bhutanese art, rich holdings of various creative traditions and disciplines that represent a remarkable blend of the past with the present and is a major attraction for local and foreign visitors.
Paro Dzong is one of the most impressive and well-known dzongs in Bhutan. One of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture, it is also known as the Ringpung Dzong, which means ‘fortress on a heap of jewels’. It is the administrative seat of the district of Paro. The dzong was built in the 16th century on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche. It was used on numerous occasions to defend the Paro Valley from invasions by Tibet.
Unlike most of the other dzongs in Bhutan, it survived the massive 1897 earthquake mostly unscathed, though it was almost burnt to the ground by a fire in 1907. All-important relics were lost to the fire and nothing could be salvaged except for the Thongdrol, a 20×20 meter-wide Thangka. The Thangka is displayed annually during a ceremony called Paro Tshechu. The Dzong was however rebuilt the following year.
Day 5: Day excursion to chelila
The 35km drive to cheli la makes an interesting road excursion and is an excellent jumping-off point for day walks. Chele la separates Haa and Paro valley and at 3810m, it is one of the highest motor able pass in Bhutan. The drive till here from either Paro or Haa is through dense spruce and larch forests according to the seasons. On a clear day, there are spectacular views of Mt. Jumolhari, Jichu Drake and adjoining peaks to the North West, as well as the view of Haa and Paro valley. Later drive back to Paro for overnight.
Day 06. Departure.
In the morning after early breakfast we will see you off at the Paro Airport for your onward destinations. Good Luck