6 Days and 5 Nights
In 2014, Bhutan welcomed 133,480 foreign visitors. Seeking to become a high value destination, it imposes a daily fee of US$250 on tourists that covers touring and hotel accommodation. The industry employs 21,000 people and accounts for 1.8% of GDP.
The country currently has no UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but it has eight declared tentative sites for UNESCO inclusion since 2012. These sites include Ancient Ruin of Drukgyel Dzong, Bumdelling Wildlife Sanctuary, Dzongs: the centre of temporal and religious authorities (Punakha Dzong, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Paro Dzong, Trongsa Dzong and Dagana Dzong), Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP), Royal Manas National Park(RMNP), Sacred Sites associated with Phajo Drugom Zhigpo and his descendants, Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS), and Tamzhing Monastery. Bhutan also has numerous tourist sites that are not included in its UNESCO tentative list. Bhutan has one element, the Mask dance of the drums from Drametse, registered in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Bhutan is also well known for mountain adventure trekking and hiking. Jhomolhari Base Camp Trek, Snowman Trek, and Masagang trek are some of the popular treks in Bhutan.
Tachogang Lhakhang is located in Paro district, on the way to Thimphu. It was founded by Thankthong Gyelpo after he experienced a vision of Guru Rimpochhe, Amitaba and Avalokiteshvara near site. The caretakers today are said to be descendants of Thangtong Gyelpo. Inside the temple one can see the masters relics, including his walking stick.
National Memorial Chorten
The National Memorial was built by Bhutan's third king, H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who is also known as the "father of modern Bhutan." He wanted to erect a monument carrying the message of world peace and prosperity. However, he was unable to give shape to his idea in his lifetime due to pressures of state and other regal responsibilities. After his untimely demise in 1972, the Royal Family and Cabinet resolved to fulfill his wishes and erect a memorial that would perpetuate his memory and also serve as a monument to eternal peace, harmony and tranquility.
The Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery cum fortress at the northern edge of Thimpu the capital city of Bhutan. The Dzong was built on the western bank of the river Wang Chu, and has historically served at the seat of the DrukDesi or the Dharma Raja of Bhutan’s government. After the kings assumed power in 1907 this post was combined with that of the king and Thimphu severed as the summer caital of the kingdom before becoming the full time capital of Bhutan.
After the breakfast we will drive to following places:
The Kuensel Phodrang or the Buddha point isthe world’s largest sitting Buddha statue, the statue is 167 feet high. The statue is situated on top of a hill overlooking the city of Timphu, it can be accessed by road and is about 15 minutes away from the city’s center. The word Kuensel means everything is clear and from this place you will sure enjoy a great view of the Thimphu Valley on both sides. The statute will house a temple inside it, the statue and its adjoining car park and recreational center.
Motithang Takin Preserve
The Motithang Takin Preserve also known as the Thimphu Zoo by many is a small natural preserve for the Takin Bhutan’s national animal. It was originally a mini zoo, but it was converted in a preserve later on as the Takin. The mini zoo contained a small number of Takin but the King of Bhutan later decreed that it was improper for a Buddhist nation to keep an animal in captivity. The animals were set free and the zoo was shut down, but for some reason the Takin refused to leave the area for the forests nearby.
This popular temple, perched like a fortress on a ridge above central Thimphu, hums with pilgrim activity. It was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo, who came from Ralung in Tibet. Parents traditionally come here to get auspicious names for their newborns or blessings for their young children from the protector deity Tamdrin (to the left in the grilled inner sanctum). Children are blessed by a phurba (ritual dagger) and given a sacred thread.
Simtokha Dzong also known as Sangak Zabdhon Phodrang (Bhutanese language meaning: "Palace of the Profound Meaning of Secret Mantras") is a small dzong. It was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who unified Bhutan. It 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.
Thangthong Dewachen Nunnery is a Buddhist monastery in the small Himalayan country of Bhutan. The nunnery is located in Zilukha, Thimphu overlooking Tashichodzong and is a few minutes’ drive from the town. It is popularly known as the Zilukha Anim Dratshang. It was built in 1976 by the 16th emanation of Thangtong Gyalpo, Drubthob Rikey Jadrel. Currently, the nunnery is home to about 60 nuns.
Post early breakfast, you will drive towards Punakha via Dochula Pass. We will stop over for tea at Dochula (3,100 m), where on a sunny day, you can get stunning views of the Himalayan ranges. The Dochu La Pass is probably the best known mountain pass in Bhutan. Located at an altitude of 3150 meter above sea level, the Dochu La Pass is about 30 kilometer away from the capital city Thimphu and the road to Punakha.On a clear day the pass offers visitors a spectacular view of the majestic eastern Himalayan Ranges.
This temple was build in 1499 by Drukpa kinley’s best follower. Drukpa Kinley is popularly known as “ Devine Mad Man” of which his teaching is through sex. Your local guide will explain in detail when you reach there.
The Punakha Dzong or the Pungtang Dechen Phortang Dzong is located at the confluence of the Mo Chhu and the Po Chhu River, combine to form the Puna Tsang Chu which in turn is a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra River. The Dzhong was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal Wangchuck in 1638 on the exact spot as prophesized by the Guru Rinpoche some 800 years ago. According to the prophecy of Guru Rinpoche “a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. And lo behold! Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal found that the peak of the hill was in the shape of an elephant’s trunk and built the Dzong at that very spot.
After breakfast you will drive to Paro.
The Paro Dzhong is probably Bhutan's best known and most iconic Dzhong. This is probably the first building you will notice when you land at Paro International Airportand will probably be your first memory of Bhutan. The imposing Dzhong is perhaps the finest example of Dzhong architecture existing the world today, the massive buttered walls of the fortress dominate over the valley. The Rinpung Dzhong's names translates to the " Fortress on a heap of Jewels ".
Day 05: Paro
After early morning breakfast, we will take you for a morning hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Hanging precariously and magically from a rather steep cliff, the Taktshang monastery is a monument of genuine pride for the Bhutanese nation. It defies architectural principles to the core and amazes tourists from around the world. It is a sight to behold.
Taktshang or the Tigers lair as the monastery is called, it is widely regarded is one of the most important monuments of spiritual significance in Bhutan. Its history is deeply associated with the visit of Guru Padmasambhava, the revered Indian saint who came to Bhutan in the 8th century AD.
The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. The temple was built by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo in the 7th Century AD. The Kyichu Lhakhang was one of the 108 temples constructed by him to subdue a demon that was terrorizing the people of the Himalayas.
The Lhakahng underwent many extensions during the ages with the last one being carried out in 1965 by the Queen Mother Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck. She added another new structure to the temple called the Guru Lhakahng. As one of the oldest Lhakahangs, it houses many important relics. One of the most important relics of the temple is a 7th century statue of Jowo Sakyamuni which is believed to have cast atthe same time as it famous counterpart in Lhasa Tibet.
In evening we will visit local market of Paro and overnight in a hotel in Paro.
In the morning after early breakfast we will see you off at the Paro Airport for your onward destinations.
Maximus BD Tours & Travels