Today you will be entering in Bhutan. On the flight to Paro international air port from Delhi, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful seen of mountains such as Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Jomolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsering ghang if the weather is clear. When plane reach to air port there will be beautiful valley with scattered and linear settlement along the river. It is known as Paro.
You will reach Paro airport and there the guide will receive you.
On the way to Thimphu on the left side of the hill you will see the private temple and down you can see that traditional wooden bridge there. We will be driving towards Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan through the Paro valley and along Pa Chhu (River flowing through Paro valley) till Chhuzom. (meeting of rivers from Paro and Thimphu) then along the Wang chhu (river flowing through Thimphu). It’s of 65 km and it will take around one and half hours to get in the capital city.
Then at chhuzom you will see three different style of stupas; Nepalese, Tibetan and Bhutanese adorn this confluence. After reaching Thimphu you will be hotel and rest some hour than we will go town and see many different things.
BUDDHA POINT ( KUENSEL PHODRANG ), MEMORIAL CHORTEN AND NATIONAL LIBRARY.
Located at a short drive from Thimphu city center, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point. You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, The largest statue in the country and then walk around the park near Buddha point and take a glimpse of the valley (Thimphu).
If the time permits, visit National Memorial Chorten (the stupa build in the remembrance of third king of Bhutan and allowed to get inside the Chorten only during the auspicious days in lunar calendar). The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into the Buddhist philosophy. After lunch we will drive to National library. Visit the National Library (Saturday, Sunday and Govt. holiday remains closed), established in 1967 to preserve many ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan text. It contains vast varieties of Buddhist texts and manuscripts of some hundreds years back and it also contains modern academic books mainly written on Himalayan culture and religion.Drive towards the textile (Saturday afternoon, Sunday and govt. holidays remain closed)
Opened under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuk. It holds many types of textile products of past and modern and the crown of the Kings of Bhutan and dress. Moreover the first version of the raven crown can be seen in it.It is in three storied traditional Bhutanese building build around 19th century. It holds varieties of grains that is consumed by ancestors and water mill (mill’s stone dates back 150 years), traditional hot stone bath and typical Bhutanese kitchen garden.
Then we will drive towards the Motithang Takin Preserve originally established as mini-zoo. It is five minute walk from the road to view the area. There are takin, the national animal of Bhutan and some few other wild animals.
Then drive down towards the National Institute of Zorig Chusum (commonly known as Painting school) established in 1971 to promote and preserve the arts and crafts in Bhutan. In this you can see mainly the students at work and the different types ofpaintings, curving, casting and other skills of thirteen arts and crafts are exhibited as the output of the students.
Move towards the vacant vegetable market. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday many farmers and small business venders gather on the bank of Wang Chhu to sell vegetables and other food stuffs. Out here you will get opportunity to mingle with the farmers and other local people.
After this we will drive to the main town of Thimphu and we will walk around the market to see or buy any Bhutanese traditional dress or things.
Conclude the sightseeing of the day by visiting the Tashichho Dzong (fortress of the glorious Religion). This fortress is secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, office of the king and various others important government officers. It is the summer residence of His Holiness the Je Khempo (Chief Abbot) and the central monastic body. Below the Dzong there is excellent example of traditional Bhutanese Cantilever Bridge. Night hold in Thimphu hotel.
Cheri Monastery is located 15 km drive north of Thimphu Valley. From a point you need to hike uphill of nearly 30-45 minutes.
On the way you will see Guru on the rock. You need to cross old traditional bridge made of wood and stones. The Monastery is near Tango Monastery. Cheri Monastery was established in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The monastery is now a major teaching and retreat center of the Southern Drukpa Kagyu sect. The Monastery serves as the monastic school for study of Buddhist Philosophy, metaphysics, mathematics, poets and many other Buddhist studies.
According to legend or history of Bhutan the place was first visited by Padmasambhava in the 8th century. In the 13th century it was visited by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo the Tibetan Lama who first established the Drukpa Kagyu tradition in Bhutan. Zhabdrung spent three years in strict retreat at the monastery and stayed for many years.
After this have lunch near the river side and drive back to hotel.
After breakfast we countinue our fascinating journey towards paro, on route visit simtokha Dzong .Simtokha Dzong is a small dzong, located about 3 miles south of the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu. Built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who unified Bhutan, the dzong 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. It recently underwent renovation
TA DZONG ( MUSEUM )
On a ridge immediately above Rinpung Dzong is the Ta Dzong, built as a watchtower to protect the Dzong from intruders and warring factions. In 1968 Paro’s Ta Dzong was inaugurated as the National Museum, and now holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings, Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, together with small natural history collection.
RINPUNG DZONG ( PARO )
Explore the Rinpung Dzong which the locals call the ‘fortress of a heap of jewels’. Built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the dzong stands on a hill above Paro Township. It is linked by the traditional cantilever bridge (called the Nemi Zam) over the Pa chu where one may pose a photograph. Experience a walk up a paved stone path running alongside the imposing outer walls. Once inside the Dzong, you will be welcomed by the monks, architecture and the ancient frescoes.
Haa Valley - Adjoining the districts of Paro, Chhukha and Samtse, Haa valley is one of the most picturesque places in the Kingdom, spread over an area of 1706 sq. km. During pre-Buddhist era, Haa valley was known for its animist tradition. Inhabitants then were enthused in offering animal blood to their local deities. Such animist belief however was transformed into peaceful Buddhist tradition in 8th century by Guru Padmasambhava. The tantric master, Guru Padmasambhava, subdued the local deities like Ap Chundu and made the guardians of the Buddhist tradition. However, the traces of this belief system are still noticed in the form of festivals and rituals.
The Haa valley was opened for the first time to foreign tourists in 2002. It is culturally rich valley and some of famous sites in this region are : 7th century Lhakhang Karpo (White temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Haa Tshechu is also performed here at Lhakhang Karpo on the 8th-10th day of the 8th Bhutanese month.
The Haa Wangchuklo Dzong built in 1915 after the Dumchog Dzong was razed to the ground by fire is worth visiting. The other place of interest which involves some walking includes the hike to the 8th century Juneydrag, Katsho Goempa, Drana Trashidingkhag, Yangto Goempa, Jamtoe Goempa, Shelkardrag, Takchu Goempa and Haa Goempa.
The valley is also unparalleled in Bhutan in terms of the diversity of the folk culture, legends and shamanistic rituals. The shamanistic traditions is vividly practiced in almost all the communities, most notable of which is the annual ceremony to honour Ap Chundu, the guardian deity of the valley. The valley is also a paradise for nature lovers and travelling there is a very rewarding experience.
The drive to Haa valley crosses 3988m Chele-la pass, from where one can have a superb views of Mount. Chomolhari & Jichu Drakey. It is also an ideal place to take short walk, enjoying panoramic vistas. Then drive back to Paro.
TAKTSANG MONASTERY ( TIGER NEST )
Often called the Tiger’s Nest, perched on the cliffs, has awestruck many a visitor. “Trip to Bhutan is never complete without climbing to Taktsang”, says one tourist. Indeed it’s true as the journey there fills you with spiritual bliss. For those not choosing the spiritual side it is the dramatic, artistically built monument that becomes a hiker’s delight. Take a trip to this dramatically set Buddhist relic hanging from a cliff. Experience the uphill climb as you ascend more than two thousand feet from the valley floor.
KYICHU LHAKHANG ( TEMPLE )
Go back in time and history and visit the 7th century Kyichhu temple. As the name suggests, the temple is a reservoir of peace, where you will really feel at peace here. Next to the temple is the house that is now turned into a museum dedicated to the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. One can come across photographs and other artifacts belonging to Rinpoche.
Depart from Paro airport.
Mr Mrs.Dechen Wangmo
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