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Bhutan - The Himalayan Kingdom

Paro - Thimpu - Punakha - Phobjikha
6 nights and 7 days
Best Time: March to June & October to December
Tour Code: BHU01

ITINERARY
Day 01: Delhi / Kolkata / Kathmandu / Bangkok to Paro
Day 02: Paro- Thimpu
Day 03: Thimpu
Day 04: Thimpu-Punakha
Day 05: Punakha-Gyantey
Day 06: Gyantey- Thimpu-Paro
Day 07: Paro to Delhi / Kolkata / Kathmandu / Bangkok

Highlights

Visit the spectacular Buddhist monasteries and high passes in the Himalayas
Magnificent forests and over passes in Bhutan's cultural heartland
Endemic flora and fauna
Buddhist Architecture
Visit Phobjikha, the valley of the migratory Siberian Black Necked Cranes.
Stunning riverside vistas, Himalayan panoramas and friendly people
Enjoy the local cuisine and traditional artifacts and paintings

Description
Bhutan beautifully characterizes a naturally rich and unspoiled Himalayan kingdom. The culture of Bhutan is among the oldest, most carefully guarded and well preserved cultures in the world. Even today, this tiny Buddhist state considers national happiness, as its most important asset. This is one of the reasons Bhutan is loved by tourists who want to savour this unique phenomenon.
This tour is specially designed for you to try and unravel the amazing philosophy of this happy country and admire its natural, architectural and cultural treasures.
We start this tour by flying into Paro where you will stay for the first night. For a Buddhist, Paro is a land blessed by Guru Rimpoche. Over one thousand years ago, he is said to have flown on the back of a tigress and meditated in a cave over looking Paro valley. The monastery built around this cave is now a sacred place of worship for all Buddhists.
The first day is at leisure to enjoy the awe inspiring natural beauty. The rolling meadows, pristine gushing rivers, wide expanses with fluttering colourful prayer flags is bound to take your breath away. Warm and simple people dressed in gorgeous traditional attire, exotic traditional cuisine and the lovely quaint bazaars make every moment in this city fascinating.
Along with the natural beauty, Bhutan is well known for its Buddhist culture, Dzongs and shrines, which we explore next.
Without a single traffic light or a Mc Donald's, Thimpu is perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world and our next destination. With exquisite natural beauty, pristine Thimpu Chu River meanders through this valley of about 50,000 people.
Best explored on a guided tour, we start with a visit to TashiChho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion), which houses the Throne Room of the King.
We will then visit the National Library, the painting school and National Memorial Chhorten, a monument dedicated to King Jigme Dorjee Wangchk. Thimpu's charm is not embedded in its wealth and galleries, museums or place of historic interest. You must wander along the traditionally decorated main streets and shops. Every weekend, most of Thimpu's scant population and many valley dwellers congregate on the banks of the river where the weekend market is held. The fields adjacent to the market are reserved on weekends for basketball and archery players. The latter, if dressed in full costume are a lovely sight.The next destination is Punakha, which served as capital of Bhutan until 1955. Do Chula pass (3000m) has one of the most spectacular sights in all of Bhutan. With wonderful oak and hemlock forest you can sight many rare birds here.
Punakha Dzong built at the junction of the two rivers; Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery and Wangdiphodrang Dzong are worth a visit, as we stay in Punakha overnight.
From Punakha, we drive to one of the most beautiful valleys in the Himalayas and a birders paradise. A beautiful signboard on the way to Gyantey, proclaims Phobjikha, as the valley of the migratory Siberian Black Necked Cranes. The Gangtey Gompa, an old monastery dating back to the 17th century is also a popular tourist attraction of this area.
The following morning we will drive back to Thimpu and visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fort of Bhutan built in 1627. After visiting the Folk Heritage Museum we will drive to Paro to spend the last night of our trip before leaving for home the next morning.

ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrive to Paro
Meals: Dinner
Fly by Druk Air and upon arrival at Paro Airport you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at Hotel in Paro.

Day 02: Paro- Thimpu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Drive to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1644. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan's oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan in 8th century. Visit Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) built in 1646. After lunch visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower which has been since 1967, the national museum of Bhutan. In the evening you will drive (2 hours) to Thimpu. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Thimpu.

Day 03: Thimpu Sightseeing
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Guided tour of Thimpu includes: A visit to TashiChho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion) built in 1641 by Shabdung Ngawang Namgyal and reconstructed in 1961 by the Late King, His Majesty King Jigme Dorjee Wangchuk who is regarded as the Father of Modern Bhutan. Then visit the National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist Manuscripts followed by the painting school showing famous carvings and free hand arts. After lunch visit the National Memorial Chhorten, a monument dedicated to the third king of Bhutan, His Late Majesty King Jigme Dorjee Wangchk. Visit the Handicrafts Emporium to see the exquisite artistry of traditional crafts and textiles. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimpu.

Day 04: Thimpu-Punakha
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Drive to Punakha across the Dochula Pass (3000 m). While in Punakha visit Punakha Dzong, built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637, the sacred Dzong has played a prominent part in the country's life in both civil and religious fields. Punakha Dzong is opended to the visitors only in the summer when the Monk Body has moved Thimpu. After lunch visit Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery and Wangdiphodrang Dzong. In the evening return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight in the hotel in Punakha.

Day 05: Punakha-Gyantey (Phobjikha)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Drive to a beautiful valley of Gyantey. En route visit Chimed Lhakhang. Packed lunch would be served in Gyantey. Visit Gyantey Gompa and explore the Phobjikha valley, it is said to be the most beautiful valleys in the Himalayas. Overnight in the Gyantey Guest House.

Day 06: Gyantey- Thimpu-Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Drive to Thimpu (4 hours). After lunch visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fort of Bhutan built in 1627 and the Folk Heritage Museum. Drive to Paro in the evening (2 hours). Dinner and overnight at Hotel in Paro.

Day 07: Paro Airport - return journey
Drive to Paro International airport for your flight to the onward destination. Tour ends.

Services included:
-Accommodation on twin sharing basis
-Meals as per the itinerary
-Guided sightseeing tours with all entrance fee
-All surface transfers by a private vehicle

Services not included:
-Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
-Tips, laundry, phone calls, alcohol, camera fee etc.
-International and domestic air fare, visa, insurance.

Please ask for Terms and Conditions

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