Spiritual Journey in Bhutan
11 Nights / 12 Days
Validity till: 31st Dec 2018
Day 1: Arrival at Paro
Paro Elevation: 2,280 m
During this flight, you will experience breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchan Junga and other Himalayan Peaks including sacred Jhomolhari and Jichu Drakey in Bhutan. Upon arrival you will be welcomed and escorted to your lodge/hotel by your host/guide from GoXimbo.
Few minutes drive to Kichu Lhakhang to receive blessing and luck for the pilgrimage ahead. Later in the evening we will take a stroll through Paro town and then visit Paro Dzong, followed by welcome dinner in the evening.
- Kichu Lhakhang: One of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan king Songsten Gampo in the 7th century to subdue an ogress. There is another temple said to be built on the same day called Jampey Lhakhang in Bumthang.
- Paro Dzong or the Rinpung Dzong - ‘Fortress of the heap of Jewels’
- Ta Dzong: It is the National Museum, a conical watch tower overlooking the Rinpung Dzong
Day 2: Paro Valley Sightseeing
If the weather is pleasant with clear sky, then we shall drive to Chelela pass at an elevation of 3900m. There you can see the picturesque view of elegant Jhomolhari, Bhutan’s sacred peak and other snow-clad mountains. In the Afternoon we shall visit Dungtse Lhakhang and Drugyel Dzong. Overnight stay at Paro.
- Dungtse Lhakhang: An unusual Chorten-like temple that was built in 1433 by the iron-bridge builder Thangthong Gyalpo.
- Drugyel Dzong: The ruins of the Drugyal Dzong, “The Fortress of the Victorious Drukpa People” stands on a scenic knoll at one end of Paro valley. It was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to commemorate victory over Tibetan invasions.
Day 03: Paro to Thimphu
Thimphu Elevation: 2,320 m
After breakfast at Paro, we will drive to the capital city Thimphu (58 km 2:00 hrs). The capital city houses the seat of the Government, many glittering monuments, temples, museums, monasteries and dzongs. Dinner and overnight stay at Thimphu.
Attractions of the day:
- The Memorial Stupa
- Folk Heritage Museum
- Changangkha Lhakhang
- Buddha Point, The 169 feet Buddha Dordenma statue
- Weaving Center
- Handicraft Stores
Day 4: Thimphu to Gangtey
Gangtey Elevation: 2,900 m
After breakfast, we shall have morning tour of Mini Zoo at Motithnag and take up a short hike to Wangditse Goemba. After lunch travel to Gangtey, 5 hours journey. En route cross Dochu-la pass (3,140 m).
- Mini Zoo, at Motithang houses Takin, the National animal of Bhutan.
- Wangditse Goemba, located at an hour walk distance from the Mini Zoo area. It provides great view of Thimphu. Wangditse Goemba was founded in 1750.
- Gangtey: A beautiful place of undulating hills and green meadows surrounded by snowcapped mountains. From Gangtey, we can view the picturesque Black Mountain ranges as well as the beautiful Phobjikha valley. Gangtey Gonpa (Gangtey Monastery) is perched atop a small hill and is the only Nyingmapa Monastery on the western side of the Black Mountains.
Day 5: Gangtey to Trongsa
Trongsa Elevation: 2,180 m
After breakfast, we will start our tour with a 3 hour (68Kms) drive from Gangtey to Trongsa. We shall visit the Gangtey Goemba and enroute visit Chendebje Chorten, Tongsa Dzong and Ta-Dzong. Overnight stay at Trongsa.
- Gangte Gonpa: 453 year old temple, the most important monastery of the Pedling tradition of Buddhism in western Bhutan.
- Chendebje Chorten: The impressive stupa was built in the traditional Nepalese style and is situated on a river confluence.
- Trongsa Dzong: It is one of the finest spectacular examples of Bhutanese architecture. It is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s Royal Family.
- Ta Dzong: Built in 1652, today this watchtower serves as National Museum, monastic residence and a place of meditation.
Day 6: Trongsa to Bumthang
Bumthang Elevation: 2,580 m
Travel to Bumthang, followed by evening walk around Bumthang valley. Dinner and overnight stay at Bumthang.
Day 7: Bumthang Holy Pilgrimage
Bumthang is the most historical valley visited by the great Buddhist saint from India, Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century A.D. Bumthang also served as the home of famous saints of Nyingma School, such as Longchen Rabjampa (1308-1521) of Tibet who was exiled to Bhutan for more than 10 years and Terton Pema Lingpa, the reincarnation of Longchen Rabjampa.
Highlights of the day:
- Jakar Dzong: It is in a picturesque location overlooking the Chokhor valley. Jakar Dzong roughly translates as the “The Castle of the White Bird”.
- Jampey Lhakhang: One of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan king Songsten Gampo in the 7th century to subdue an ogress. There is another temple said to be built on the same day called Kichu Lhakhang in Paro.
- Tamzhing Goemba: Also called “The Temple of Good Message”, it was built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa.
- Kenchosum Lhakhang: A small temple dating back to 6th or 7th century, it’s a source of many interesting stories.
- Kurje Lhakhang:The name “kurjey” translates into ‘kur - body’ and ‘jey – print’. Guru Rinpoche has left his body print on a rock inside the main old Lhakhang.
Day 8: Excursion to Tang Valley
- Membartsho: The burning lake is named so after Terton (Treasure Discoverer) Pema Lingpa went into the lake with a butter lamp in his hands and came back with the butter lamp still burning and holding a statue and treasure chest (Terma).
- Tang valley: Tang is the most remote valley in Bumthang. The hike will prove to be very interesting with bright buckwheat flowers in the valley (October) welcoming us.
- Ugyen Choling Palace: Originally built by Deb Tshokye Dorje, today the family that owns Ugyen Choling Palace has turned the complex into a museum to preserve its legacy and provide a place for religious studies, research and solitude.
Day 9: Bumthang to Punakha
Punakha Elevation:1,310 m
After breakfast we drive back to Punakha (218kms - 8hrs drive) and rest and relax at Punakha.
Day 10: Punakha to Thimphu to Paro
Today morning we shall visit Punakha Dzong and Chimmi Lhakhang. Overnight at Paro
- Punakha Dzong: The second of Bhutan’s Dzongs built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Rinpoche. The official name is Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang, which translates as "The Palace of Great Bliss".
- Chhimi Lhakhang: The fertility temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, a Tibetan Buddhist saint and a folk hero popularly known as “The Divine Madman” (1455-1529).
Day 11: Excursion to Taktshang
In the morning drive to Paro (58 kms 2:00hrs) and after early lunch hike to the Taktshang (Tiger’s lair) the most famous and sacred hanging cliff monastery in Bhutan. The Taktshang or “The Tiger’s Nest Monastery” clings precariously to a cliff of 3,000 feet above the Paro Valley.
The legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a tigress, a manifestation of his consort Yeshe Tshogyal, to subdue a local demon. He then meditated in a cave for three months. For the local people it is a place of pilgrimage, but for a tourist, a hike up to the view point opposite the monastery is exhausting, thrilling and a mystical experience.
Day 12: Departure
Farewell at airport for international departure.
Note: The itineraries can be tailored to suit your interest and convenience.