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Paro is the only International Airport in Bhutan. Two Airlines (Druk Air and Tashi Air) fly to Paro from Bangkok, Singapore, Kolkata, Kathmandu and New Delhi. As the plane flies towards north from these cities continuously climbing higher and higher, often flying above the puffy Sea-of-Clouds, the travelers get a majestic views of the Himalayas with snowcapped peaks rising up into the sky. As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, you will see the Paro Dzong (fortress) overlooking Paro Chu (river) and Ta Dzong, the watch tower standing just above it on top of a hillock overseeing the Paro Dzong. At the airport representative from Kins Traveler will receive you, after completion of airport formalities drive you through the fascinating valley of Paro to your hotel. Afternoon visit to Paro market and take a stroll through town's main street. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Morning pay a visit to the 7th century Kichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo. It is one of the most sacred shrines in the country reflecting the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
Then drive to Drukgyel Dzong. It is a ruined fortress from where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Mount Jhomolhari, "Mountain of Goddess'' looms directly over the Dzong.
After lunch, visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum of the Kingdom and boasts antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning 'Fortress of the Heap of Jewels' which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends of Elephant, Rabbit, Monkey and Parrot, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the lore of Milarepa, Mount Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Afternoon drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. En-route visit Tachog Lhakhang. It is located on the other side of the Paro river perched on a hill top. One actually need to walk and cross the Paro river over a swinging bridge made up of iron chain. The iron-chain bridge was initially built in 14th Century by a great Tibetan Buddhist saint, yogi and blacksmith Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo. It is said that he built 108 such bridges in Tibet and Bhutan many of them are still in use today.
The road leads through the beautiful Paro valley and then enters into a narrow rock lined section yet a natural beauty by itself just before reaching the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzom (confluence). The valley then gradually widens up finally opening into Thimphu.
As you enter Thimphu, you will not miss the giant statue of Lord Buddha sitting on top of hill and Simtokha Dzong on the right. Simtokha Dzong is the oldest Dzong in Bhutan build in 1618AD by a great lama called Zhubdrung Nawang Namgyal. Simtokha means the place of profound tantric teaching.
On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. Evening, time for exploratory walk before dinner.
After breakfast, sightseeing of Thimphu valley includes the following:
King’s Memorial Chorten where hundreds of Bhutanese throng the place with spinning prayer wheels and murmuring mantars,
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 practiced.
The Painting School, where young monks learn the art of Buddhist thangkha.
The Mask Maker Workshop and workshop for fine metal craft, weaving, ceramics and paper making.
The Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.
The Tashichhodzong, 'Fortress of the Glorious Dharma'. It is the center of government and religion, seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot and King's throne room. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1961 in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
The 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.
Evening drive to Paro for overnight stay.
After early breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.
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