Detailed Itinerary of Journey To Drukyul
Day1 - Druk Airways flight to Bhutan is one of the most spectacular flights in the entire Himalayan region. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, each flight is a mesmerizing aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the kingdom.
On arrival you shall be received by our representative who will be waiting eagerly to welcome you with khadars (Welcome Tradition) and after which we take a 2hour drive(55km) towards Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. As we are about to reach Chuzom(Confluence of two rivers Paro and Thimphu) we stop to visit Tamchoe Lhakhang Built by Tangtong Gylepo,( The great brigde builder of Bhutan he is said to have made iron bridges with his bare hands) and now preserved by his descendants.
Along the way we have many more scenic beauties to be enjoyed. On arrival in Thimphu we check-in to the Hotel, if things go as plan plan then there is still time for an exploratory walk before dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 - After breakfast, sightseeing of Thimphu valley includes, visit to the National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts. The Traditional Medicine Institute, where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practised. The Painting School, where young monks learn the art of Buddhist Thangkha Painting .
Also visit mask maker workshop and workshop for fine metal craft, weaving, ceramics and paper making. Then visit, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.
After Lunch, we head off to Kuensel Podrang where the we can see the Buddha Dordenma Statue, measuring at a height of 51.5 meters making it one the worlds largest Buddha statue
On our way back we visit the kings Memorial Chorten continuously circumbulated by His Majesty's subjects, spinning prayer wheels and murmuring mantras.
We then move towards Tashichho Dzong, 'fortress of the glorious dharma'. It is the centre of government and religion, site of the King's throne room, National assembly hall, and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1961 in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
Then, visit Handicrafts Emporium and local shops if you like to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials, and all manner of unique objects. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3 - After an early breakfast, drive to Dochula pass (3,050m). If the weather permits, you can see a range of high Himalayan peaks towards the north east. Following peaks can be seen from this pass, on a clear day ; Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
Further drive onwards arriving Wangduephodrang town for lunch. The descent from Dochula into Wangduephodrang valley is quite long as the altitude difference is 1700 meters.
Proceed to Tongsa across Pelela pass (3,300 m ), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large prayer flag and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop enroute at Chendbji Chorten, which was built in 18th century by a Lama named Shida, it is Nepalese in style with eyes painted at four cardinal points.
Arrive Trongsa and check into the lodge.
Day 4 - After breakfast walk by Trongsa Dzong built by Zhabdrung in 1647 and visit the Ta Dzong (watch tower), dedicated to Buddhist epic hero, King Gesar of ling.
Then drive to Bumthang which is about 3 hours. 29 km from Trongsa road reaches the Yutong La pass (3,400m). Further 13 km ahead, the road enters into a wide open cultivated valley known as Chumey valley.
On arrival in Bumthang, check into the lodge. After lunch, visit to Kurje Lhakhang where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock, the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic school), the Jakar Dzong (administrative centre of the region) and Swiss Farm House.
Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 5 - After breakfast explore fascinating valley of Bumthang. Then proceed to Trongsa where lunch would be served in local restaurant, famous for its traditional cuisine.
Before arriving Punakha visit Wangduephodrang Dzong and town enroute. Evening at leisure. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 6 - Morning visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. The first King, Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood. The latest flood of Oct' 1994 caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared the statue of Buddha Jojampa.
After lunch, proceed to Paro enroute visit traditional Bhutanese farm house which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people and their culture.
On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 5 - After breakfast we drive north of Paro valley to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong the ruined fortress from where the Bhutanese repelled several invasion by the Tibetan army. 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 returning to Paro town enroute we visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 8 - After an early breakfast in the hotel, our representative will drop you to the airport for your flight to onward destination.