Arrival to Paro and lunch in Paro town, in the evening 2 hours drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
Paro valley encapsulates rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths. It is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries. The Paro valley is one of the kingdom’s most fertile, producing the bulk of Bhutan’s famous red rice from its terraced fields.
Drive from Paro to Thimphu, a distance of 65 km and journey time is approximately one hour. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan, and the centre of government, religion and commerce. The town of Bhutanese standards, relatively lively and displays an interesting combination of traditional modernity, home to civil servants, expatriates and the monk body. Thimphu maintains a national character in its architectural style.
Today’s sightseeing includes your visit to the Arts and crafts school more commonly known as painting school, the textile museum folk heritage museum and National library. After the lunch Drive to Punakha or Wangdi via Dachula pass at (3140m).
The pass is marked by beautiful prayer flags and with a 108 chorten.(Stupas) This pass often offers a magnificent Panoramic view of the Eastern Himalayas.We descend along a serious of hairpin bends to the fertile valley Punakha at 1350m, over a distance of 42kms. The road passes through leafy temperate forest and then through a semitropical zone, eventually arriving at Punakha, Bhutan’s old capital; spend some time looking around Dzong is still the winter home over 1000 monks. Night halt hotel in Punakha.
Drive to Trongsa via Wangdue Dzong. A Journey time 6 to 7 Hours. Visit to Wangdue Dzong built in 1638, the castle of wangdue Dzong sits on a ridge over looking the village of Wangduephodrang and is the site of the annual Tsechu Dance festival. Built to resemble a sleeping bull, this large Dzong is striking sight and thee are excellent views across the valley. Legend relates that’s as the people were searching for the site of Dzong, four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered an auspicious sign, representing the spread of Buddhism or religion to the for points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Wangdue Tsangche and Dangchu River. After that you can continue drive to Trongsa via Pelela Pass at (3360M).
If the weather is clear the Himalayan ranges can be seen, particularly the peak of Jhomolhari (7314m) to the west. After the Pass you will descents to Trongsa at 1800m via Chendebji, a magnificent stupa built in Nepalese style to fight the demon of the valley. Then entering the Trongsa district and follow a dramatic section of the road, curved in to a side of the cliff, high above the Mangde chu. The scenery is beautiful-old rich forest as far as the eye can see, and with a Trongsa Dzong visible 20kms away at the end of the valley. Over night hotel in Trongsa.
Tongtongphey (1,000m)-Jangbi (1,350m).
Early breakfast at your hotel. After the breakfast two hours drive from the Trongsa town along the Zhemgang high way brings you to the start of your trek from Tongtongphey to Jangbi. You could also augment your itinerary along the way, with the visit to Kuenga Rabten palace, an important heritage in Bhutanese history. After furnishing yourself with ample information about the trek from the information booth, the village guide steers you down to the Mangdi River where you cross a suspension bridge. Unless you have a strong proclivity for ants and other ground creatures, it is almost impossible to miss out on Golden Langurs that are beautiful on this stretch. The first day brings you in contract with Monpas who are believed to be the first inhabitants of Bhutan. A glimpse on their lifestyle further validates their ethnicity, coupled by mythical legends about their origins. The campsite in Jangbi stands on the valley. If you still have some energy for locomotion, you could audience yourself to a local cultural program, or better, partake in it.
Jangbi (1,350m)- Kudra (1,500m).
The morning allows you to further interact with the Monpas. Before you proceed, you could also pay a visit to the orchid garden that fences about 75 different kinds of orchids till your thirst for botanical photography get satiated. The hike to Kudra peovides a nuance of jovial atmosphere because this part of the trail meanders along stone imprints of Guru Rinpoche’s footprints, dagger and phallus, festooned by stories that espouse Guru’s praxis. Lunch is served just before you arrive at Phrumzur, one of the villages of the Monpa communities, off the trail. You could alsp visit the village Lhakhang in Phrumzur and the proceed to the campsite in Kudra. En route, you traverse another small Monpa village called Lekpogang, after which, the campsite in Kudra is just an hour’s walk. The campsite offers a bird’s eye-view on Nyimshong village and also the Zhemgang town.
Kudra (1,500m) – Nabji(1,300m)
You wake up with the distance call of the Rufousnecked hornbill. This part of the trel is a collage of strems, waterfalls and thick forests that will give you an invigorating feeling of being out in the wild. The Great Himalayan squirrel, Rhesus Mecaques, and small snakes are ofter spotted along the trail. Unseen but present, are Himalayan black bear, Red pandas, tigers, Clouded Leopards et cetera. Upon arrival at the holy tree in Nabji, the people will give you a heartwarming reception. Nabji is a beautiful village where paddy fields seem to circumambulate the clustered houses. You could also hike to the community school and indulge yourself in game of football or volleycall, where children rejoice the presence of outsider athletes.
Nabji village (1,300m)- Korphu (1,500m)
nabji trekkingEn route to Korphu, the Nabji temple is located in the middle of the paddy fields. Inside, there remains a stone pillar on which Guru Rinpoche, while traveling through Bhutan in the 8th centrury, brought consensus between the warring kings: King sSndha Gyelp of Bumthang, and King Noech, by imprinting their thumbs on each side of the stones. A unique festival is celebrated sometimes in early January at the temple grounds.
Korphu is situated on a mountaintop at an altitude of 1,500m. The most striking thing about Korphu is that the people exemplify hospitality almost treating upo like ‘A King on accession to thorn’. You have the option of being welcomed with the traditional ‘Chipdrel’ procession and a ‘Marchang’ ceremony, singing traditional songs of praise and wellbeing for new visitors. They also performed the traditional Tashi Labey’ dance to bid you farewell. If you are interested, the villagers can explaine and demonstrate and even allow you to participate in the quintessential Bhutanese games of ‘Khuru’, ‘Dego’, ‘Sok-sum’, and Gee-dum’, all on the brink of disappearance. You could also pay a visit to the village temple that houses the scared relics of Pema Lingpa, the famous ‘Treasure revealer’ of Bhutan. A local lunch could be provided in the village campsite which also provides a spectacular bird’s-eye view of Nabji and other surroundings ares.
Korphu (1,500m)- Nyimshong (1,300m).
The hike from Korphu to Nyimshong is the pleasant and arguably the best birding spot which can boast a bird lis of more than 395 species. The elusive Rufous Necked Hornbill has its nestimg holes adjacent to the trail. The walk is mixed with waterfalls and, streams and cantilever bridges. The evening brings you to Nyimshong, a village with its reticent architecture and lifestyle. The campsite is equipped with an amphitheatre. The women of Nyimshong have a penchant for singing and dancing and a cutrual show would be ideal to express certain euphoria to end your trek. Ofcourse this is optional.
Nyimshong (1,300m)- Reotala (1000m)- Trongsa
If you are lucky, the Golden Langurs will lead you to the exit. You descend down to the Mangdi River again to see some Herons and River-Lapwings. An hour’s steep ascend to the road and your driver will drive back to Trongsa and visit Trongsa.
Trongsa is home to the striking Trongsa Dzong, ancestral abode of Bhutan’s Royal family. It is the ancient seat from wher Ugyen Wangchuk, the Penlop of Trongsa and his successor King Jigme Wangchuk ruled this Himalayan Kingdom. A many leveled structure that contours the hill slope, this dzong was ordered by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to build the dzong in 1648 and was later enlarged and redecorated. Once a highly strategic position on the only connection route between the eastern and western sectors of the central region (the trail actually ran through the dzong itself), the Trongsa Penlop was able to control the whole of the east for many centuries. Over night in Trongsa.
Over night in Thinphu.
Early morning 1hour 30 minutes drive to Paro and start hiking to Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s nest). The climb up to the view point will take around 3 hours and en route you will enjoy stunning views of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambava landed on the back of a tiger in the 8th century, and meditated for three months. The monastery was later built in this holy place in 1684. After lunch in the café walk back to the road point and drive to Hotel. Over night in Paro.
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