LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY:
Bhutan is a landlocked country located in the East Himalayan Mountains of Central Asia. It is bound by the Tibetan region of China to the north as well as India to the south, east and west. The country is almost entirely mountainous except for the southern Duars Plain that extends to India from the foothills of the Himalayas. The country is nearly divided equally into two by the Black Mountain Range with the land running down through the densely forested ridges and fertile, densely populated valleys to the low foothills that meet the Duars Plain. Permanent snowfields and glaciers are found high in the Himalayas. Major Cities (pop. est.); Thimphu 30,000, Phuntsholing 10,000 (1993). Land Use; forested 66%, pastures 6%, agricultural-cultivated 3%, other 25% (1993).
JOURNEY TO DRUK YUL
(05 nights / 06 Days Tour, Paro-Thimphu-Punakha-Wangduephodrang-Paro)
Day 01: Arrive Paro by Druk Air
Druk Air flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills, each flight is a mesmerizing feat and offers exciting descent into the Kingdom. On arrival at the airport, received by our representative and then transfer to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan.
Day 02: Thimphu
After breakfast Thimphu sightseeing. Visit to Trashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government's office and King's Throne room It is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Then visit National Library which has vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts.
After that drive to Painting School, famous for traditional thangkha paintings. Here you will see, students at work producing intricate design on cloth. Also visit to Traditional Medicine Institute is worthwhile where centuries old healing arts still practiced. Later visit, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.
After lunch visit Handicrafts Emporium which displays wide assortment of beautifully handwoven and crafted products. Then drive to Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in the memory of Bhutan's Third King who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside this monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu/ Punakha ( 75 Km 2.1/2 Hours )
After breakfast drive to Punakha with a short stop at Dochula pass (3,050m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan.
Later visit to Punakha Dzong, the 17th century fortress which has played important role in building up of modern Bhutan followed by visit to local market. Then visit, Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, the newly built stupa.
After that drive to Wangduephodrang visiting Dzong and local market. The district of Wangduephodrang is also famous for its bamboo products, slate and stone carvings.
Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 04: Punakha – Paro (125 Km, 4.1/2 Hours)
After breakfast drive to Paro enroute visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom built in 1627, it now houses the School for religious studies.
Afternoon in Paro visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum of the Kingdom. Originally built as Watch Tower since 1967 it is serving as the National Museum of the country and holding fascinating collection of art, artifacts, thangkha paintings and Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong which has a long and fascinating history.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 05 : Paro
After breakfast drive north of Paro valley to ruins of Drukgyel Dozng. From this fort Bhutanese repelled several invasion by Tibetan armies. Nearby visit traditional Bhutanese Farm House which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people.
Then take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutanese monasteries. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence it is called “Tiger’s Nest”. The excursion to monastery’s view point takes about 5 hours for round trip.
While return to Paro town visit enroute Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 06: Paro Depart
After breakfast drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.
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