Phuentsholing, Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Phobjikha, Trongsha, Bumthang, Mongar, Tashigang, Jongkar

(17N/18D) - CODE ( 41 )

Day - 1 : Phuentsholing - Paro (Khanbandi Temple ,Pass Gedu Town,Chukha Town,Tachogang Temple)

After breakfast we will depart for Paro, the city placed for only the international Airport in the country. On the way we will visit the famous Kharbandi Gonpa, from where we will have the scenic view of the plains of India. We will pass numerous small town of Gedu, Chukha and Chunzom, the confluence of Pa Chu and Thin Chu. On the way before reaching Paro, visit Tachogang Temple. Tachogang meaning the 'Temple of the hill of the excellent horse' was built by ... As the story goes,Thangtong Gyalpo was meditating at the very same spot when he had a ... Cross Pa chu (Paro River) through a 900 years old traditional bridge. Overnight in Hotel.

Day - 2 : Phuentsholing - Paro (Khanbandi Temple ,Pass Gedu Town,Chukha Town,Tachogang Temple)

After breakfast we will depart for Paro, the city placed for only the international Airport in the country. On the way we will visit the famous Kharbandi Gonpa, from where we will have the scenic view of the plains of India. We will pass numerous small town of Gedu, Chukha and Chunzom, the confluence of Pa Chu and Thin Chu. On the way before reaching Paro, visit Tachogang Temple. Tachogang meaning the 'Temple of the hill of the excellent horse' was built by ... As the story goes,Thangtong Gyalpo was meditating at the very same spot when he had a ... Cross Pa chu (Paro River) through a 900 years old traditional bridge. Overnight in Hotel.

Day - 3 : Paro festival-Morning all hours full day festival,Kichu Temple,Walk Around Paro Town

Paro Tsechu is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan. Featuring dances performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes, Tsechus (festivals) are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan. A Tsechu is a Buddhist festival in honour of Guru Rimpoche, the saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. A highlight of the Paro Tsechu is the unfurling of the silk Thangka - so large it covers the face of an entire building and is considered one of the most sacred blessings in the whole of Bhutan. 7th century Kyichu Temple, believed to have been built and one of the oldest Nyingma Buddhist Temple. Today it serves as one of the most sacred temples for the locality. Paro is a town and seat of Paro District, in the Paro Valley of Bhutan. It is a historic town with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered. Despite of modern development, the town is dominated with traditional house till today. Overnight in Hotel.

Day - 4 : Paro to Haa to Paro (Day excursion)-Chela la pass ,Lhakhang Karpo ,Haa town ,Drive back to Paro

Chele La Pass is mostly visited for its natural beauty. Chele La Pass which (3,988m) from which on a clear day the view sweeps away to Bhutan's second highest peak, Mt Jomolhari (7314m). Striding out along the Edelweiss covered ridge, we pass a sky burial site. As we continue to drive to Haa, the place will be also greets by sighting Yaks. The Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (The black temple) are two of the 108 monasteries built by SongtsenGampo, a Tibetan king in the 7th century. These temples are the guardians of the people of Haa Valley; they watch over them. The Tibetan king SongtsenGampo, when building the temples, is said to have released two doves from his consciousness, a black and a white one, to choose the perfect site to erect the temples in Haa Valley. At the time, King SongtsenGampo was on a mission to build108 monasteries in one day. Haa district is one of the 20 dzongkhag or districts comprising Bhutan. Per the 2017 census, the population of Haa dzongkhag was 13,655 in 2,952 households making it the second least populated dzongkhag in Bhutan after Gasa. The dominant language of the district is Dzongkha, the national language. Drive back to Paro. Overnight in hotel.

Day - 5 : Paro - Thimphu (Hike to Tiger Nest ,Drugyel Dzong ,Dumtse Temple)

After breakfast drive half an hour and start hike. It takes about 5 hour round trip. Follow an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels to the site of the famous Tiger's nest, the Taktsang Monastery, t-tragically wrecked in a fire early in 1998, rebuilt, it is perched some 1000m/3,000ft up on a cliff overlooking the valley. It was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru PadmaSambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tiger to defeat five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. On the way visit the Drugyel Dzong, located 16 Km. away from Paro town. Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Chomolhari "Mountain of the Goddess" can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.) Jangtsa Dumgtseg Lhakhang [zlum brtshegs lha khang] is a Buddhist temple in western Bhutan. The temple is notable as it is in the form of a chorten, very rare in Bhutan. It is located on the edge of a hill between the Paro valley and the Dopchari valley, across the bridge from Paro. The Buddhist iconography depicted in the Chorten is considered a unique repository of the Drukpa Kagyu School. Drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Overnight in Hotel.

Day - 6 : Thimphu-(Buddha point, Memorial Chorten, Textile Museum, Paper factory , Takin Zoo , Evening Tashi Cho Dzong)

There are a great many places to see in Bhutan's capital. In the morning we will drive to Buddha Point, which provides a spectacular 360-degree close-quarter view of entire Thimphu and the adjoining areas. This is the site of the world's tallest statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. Our next destination is the Memorial chorten of Third king of Bhutan the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, visit the 12th century Changangkha Temple, Takin Zoo and the viewpoint at Sangaygang. On our way back, we stopover at a nunnery, the Folk Heritage Museum and the Textile Museum. Visit to Bhutanese paper factory will sight you how the traditional Bhutanese paper is made. We will proceed to Tashichho Dzong, a 17th century castle-fortress which today houses the offices of the King, Chief Abbot and government ministries. We will also take the opportunity to see the nearby parliament complex, the School of Arts and Crafts, vegetable market, and then spend the rest of the day watching an archery match and strolling around the town. Overnight at hotel.

Day - 7 : Thimphu-(Tango Monastery Hike , Pangri Zampa Temple, Vegetable Market Watch Archery Match , Evening walk around Thimphu town)

Tango Goemba is a Buddhist monastery situated near the scenic Cheri Mountains in Bhutan. The monastery is just 9 miles (14 km) north of the country's capital city, Thimphu. Tango Goemba has a rich history and is one of the highest Buddhist learning centres in Bhutan. A vast majority of religious leaders - locally known as Je Khenpo -in the country has gone through a nine-year training program at this particular monastery. Tango Goemba has been in existence for hundreds of years. The monastery was founded in the 12th century by PhajoDrugomZhigpo. The monastery was, however, constructed to its current form by the Temporal Ruler, Tenzin Rabgye in 1688. Lama ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyal paid a visit to the Tango Goemba in 1616. The Tibetan was a descendant of Lama Drukpa Kunley (popularly known as the 'divine madman'). He is said to have introduced the Drukpa Kagyu school of Buddhism in Bhutan. In the 16th century Shabdrung, the unifier of Bhutan, had a dream that he flew as a black raven to the place where Pangri zampa is located and alighted upon a cypress tree. He interpreted this as a sign that he should go to Bhutan and spread Buddhism. Pangrizampa was the first place he visited when he got to Thimphu. Today the monastery is also used for the study of Buddhism astrology. The main highlights of the days will be watching the Archery game, the national game of Bhutan. You all will enjoy how the match is played and the traditional games still alive. Walk around Thimphu town. The town with all mixture of people from all the places of the country. Overnight in Hotel.

Day - 8 : Thimphu - Punakha (Dochula pass 108 stupa , Chimi Lhakhang, Punakha Dzong , Suspension bridge)

After breakfast process to Punakha about 3 hrs drive through beautiful forests of rhododendron and fields of dwarf bamboo breathtaking scenery of the landscape, green meadows, beautiful wildflowers, gushing waterfalls and constantly changing vegetation. About 45 min from Thimphu, lies Dochula pass (3,100m), offering visitors their first glimpse of the eastern Himalayan range. There you will see spectacular view 108 stupa or chorten at the Dochula pass. From the past have panoramic view of the eastern Himalayan peaks over 6000m to 7554m snow Cap Mountains. After pass descent down to low lying sub-tropical valley, Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and still it is home of Chief Abbot in winter months. Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal has played a prominent role in civil and religious life of the Kingdom. Destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, the Dzong has been now fully restored in its original splendour. Visit to one of the oldest traditional suspension bridge, which is used to connect the people. Overnight in Hotel.

Day - 9 : Punakha (Hike to Khamsum Yul Namgyel chorten gives best view of Punakha valley , Walk around the villages , Walk around the Punakha river side)

Standing regally on the hill above the Punakha valley, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten is a classic example of gorgeous traditions and architecture of Asian country. This chorten, however, is unique. It is not designed for community worship or for monastic retreat or education like other Buddhist Institute and Colleges. It is designed as a magical tool. It was built by the Queen Mother for heading off the negative forces and transportation peace and harmony for all living beings. The thing that sets this Chorten apart is that it was designed on the principals delineate within the Holy Scriptures instead of trendy engineering manuals. The golden spire and labyrinthine wall patterns square measure fine example of art and traditions of Asian country. Walking around the villages will give you all the typical local experiences. The living style and their day to day works in rural part of the country. Drive back to Punakha and on the way walk alongside of Punakha River. Getting fresh air and will be able to see the freshwater. Overnight in hotel.

Day - 10 : Punakha - Gangtey (Gangtey Gomba, Gangtey Gomba, Hike around Gangtey valley)

After breakfast drive to Gangtey wich is 78km it's about 3hours via Wangdue Phodrang, the road is gradually up to Lawala pass (1100 feet) passing through Nobding village, and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo, spectacular view of the snow-cap mountains, areas mostly covered with rhododendron flowers, Magnolia, fir and pine forest. Phobjikha valley is at 3,000m in the Black Mountains range. Phobjikha is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan and is the home to the very rare black-necked crane. The birds migrate from Tibet to Bhutan to winter here (from October -March). Visit Gangtey Gompa, one of the oldest Nyingma monasteries that look like a small Dzong. Hiking around one of the most beautiful Gangety valley will take to the world of natural beauty. This hike is one of the best hikes that every guest likes. Overnight in Hotel.

Day - 11 : Gangtey - Trongsa (Chendebji Chorten, Trongsa Dzong , Ta Dzong (Watch Tower)

Early morning drive to Trongsa via Wangdue Phodrang across Pelela pass (alt. 3,300m), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large prayer flag and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo.Stop enroute at Chendebji Chorten, which was built in the 18th century by a lama named Shida, it is Nepalese in style with eyes painted at four cardinal points. The first construction on the site was carried out by Ngagi Wangchuck (1517-54), the great-grandfather of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. He came to Trongsa in 1541 and built a tshamkhang (small meditation room) after discovering self-manifested hoof prints belonging to the horse of the protector deity Pelden Lhamo. Trongsa ('New Village' in the local dialect) gets its name from the retreats, temples and hermit residences that soon grew up around the chapel. The dzong was built in its present form in 1644 by Chhogyel Mingyur Tenpa, the official who was sent by the Zhabdrung to bring eastern Bhutan under central control. It was then enlarged at the end of the 17th century by the desi, Tenzin Rabgye. Its official name is Chhoekhor Rabdentse Dzong, and it is also known by its short name of Choetse Dzong. The dzong was severely damaged in the 1897 earthquake, and repairs were carried out by the penlop of Trongsa, Jigme Namgyal, father of Bhutan's first king. Trongsa Dzong is closely connected to the royal family. The first two hereditary kings ruled from this dzong, and tradition still dictates that the crown prince serve as Trongsa penlop before acceding to the throne.

This watchtower, which once guarded Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands on a promontory above the town. It was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the 1st Governor of Trongsa in 1652. It has four observation points resembling Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon. Climb up the path to visit Ta Dzong, which now houses a shrine dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. A visit to this former watchtower provides visitors with an insight into the significance of Trongsa in Bhutan's history. As of the date the Ta Dzong of Trongsa is the most fascinating museum of the nation. Overnight in hotel.

Day - 12 : Trongsa - Bumthang (Chumey weaving center, Jakar Dzong,Kurjey Temple,Jamphel Temple,Khencho Sum Temple,Lodra Karchu temple,Merb Sho (burning lake )

After breakfast walk by Trongsa Dzong, built by Shabdrung in 1647 and visit the Ta Dzong (watch tower), dedicated to Buddhist epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. Then drive to Bumthang which is about 3 hours. 29 Kms from Tongsa road reaches the Yutong La pass (alt. 3,400 m). Further 13 kms ahead, the road enters into a wide, open,cultivated valley known as Chumey valley. Visit weaving center. Bumthang valley is one of the most sacred in the Kingdom and innumerable legends surround the area. It is here that the kings are cremated and the present royal family traces their ancestry back to the famous saint, Pemalingpa. Full day sightseeing include visit to Kurje Lhakhang (where the saint Padsambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock), Jampel lhakhang which was built in the 7th century, then jakar dzong (the fortress of white bird) built in the 17th century by tenzin rabgay (the fourth desi), Tamshing lhakhang built in 1501 by terton pema lingpa (the founder of religious treasures). Then visit kencho sum lhakhang and membertsho ( the flaming lake) in fact it is a gorge where the river runs through but the story says that pema lingpa discovered religious text from this lake.Also worth seeing are the woodcraft workshop, Traditional hospital, and the cheese factory. Overnight at hotel.

Day - 13 : Bumthang - Mongar(Mongar Dzong ,Evening walk around Mongar town)

After breakfast drive to Mongar. From this days you all will enter the eastern Bhutan. On the way you will really enjoy the scenery of nature beauty of Snowcap Mountains, flowers, yak and deep forest, you'll make a stop in URA valley for view of temple and village. Ura Village has a medieval look to it because of the cobblestone streets, and the typical clothing of the women includes a sheepskin shawl. Sengor Valley separates Central from Eastern Bhutan. Eastern Bhutan is the least traveled area of the country and is where many of the kingdom's most ancient spiritual sites are found. Begin your journey to the East is one of the most beautiful. Out of Ura, the highway climbs steeply to ThrumshingLa (the second highest pass, 3,800m-12,465ft.) along the West to East highway. The descent from ThrumshingLa to Lingmithang is amazing for a number of reasons. The road drops from 3,800 meters to 650 meters in only a few hours passing from pine forest through semi-tropical forest to orange groves. Arriving at Mongar marks the beginning of your eastern Bhutan experience. Many towns in eastern Bhutan are built on the sides of the hills which contrast to the west where they develop on the valley floor. Mongar Dzong was built in 1953 by the orders of the Third King, Jigme Dorje Wangchuck. Evening walk around Mongar town. Overnight at the hotel.

Day - 14 : Mongar - Lhuntse - Mongar (Day excursion)-Lhuntse Dzong,Khoma weaving center village,Walk around the village

You will drive to Lhuentse districts and in Lhuentse you will visit the 157 feet bronze statue of Guru Nangsi Zilnon which sits atop a hill in Tequila. You will also visit Khoma village which is famous for producing the best textile in Bhutan. Intricately patterned textile known as Kishuthara which is worn as kira, the national dress for women in Bhutan. Walk around the villages. You will drive back to Mongar. Overnight in Hotel

Day - 15 : Mongar - Trashi yangtse - Trashigang-Yadhi village , Chorten Kora,Trashi Yangtse Dzong

After breakfast drive 48km it's an hour more to Trashiyangtse is a small town rich in Bhutanese arts and legend. Pass beautiful Yadhi village. On the drive to Trashiyangtse you pass the small town of Aksum located on the Drangme Chhu and its tributary. It is a few kilometers past Gom Kora A large boulder sits in the garden of Gom Kora (Gom Kora) Temple and it is said that if anyone can climb below the rock and emerge from its summit, he will be forgiven of his sins. Duksum is nothing fancy but it is a small weaver's town where you can find a fair amount of weavers producing some very nice work. Visit to Trashiyangtse Dzong. Trashiyangtse Dzong is built on a ridge past which the Dongdi chu flows.Terton Pema Lingpa built the dzong in the 15th century when he came across the ruins of the old Dongdi Dzong. The usa's main relic is a statue of Chuchizey (Avalokiteshvara). It was renovated in 1975. Other relics include a statue of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, Guru Padmasambhava, Lord Budhha, etc. Trashiyangtse Dzong was renovated and sanctified by His Holiness the Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Choeda in 2005.

Day - 16 : Trashigang-Trashigang dzong,Radhi Village,Rangjung Monastery

Begin your trip to Trashigang, passing through several villages. In the afternoon, you can visit Trashigang Dzong and stroll through the town, absorbing the culture of eastern Bhutan. Located on a mountain ledge overlooking the Drangme Chhu, Trashigang Dzong is one of the most strategically placed dzongs in the country because it is accessible only from the north. It was founded by Trongsa Penlop Chogyal Minjur Tempa when the eastern region of the country was brought under Drukpa rule according to the prophecies of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong has an inner sanctum of a guardian deity (gongkhang) and several other temples like the Lam Lhakhang, Guru Lhakhang, Tshogshing Lhakhang, etc.

Day - 17 : Trashigang - Samdrup Jongkhar

The 180km southern highway from Trashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar takes at least six hours. Shortly after leaving the town, the road winds its way up, though terraced fields up to Kanglung (22km/45min) at 1870m, where you can see extensive campus of Sherubtse College. Then the road climbs and crosses Yongphu la (2190m), cuts across the ridge into another valley, winds down slightly to Gumchu and then around the corner, arrive in Khaling, spread out in a high side valley above the Drangme Chhu. Khaling has a large High School campus, small town, an Institute for disabled (a school for blind and other disabilities) and around 3kms beyond Khaling, is the National Handloom Development Project operated by Women's Association of Bhutan. After Khaling the road traverses above the small villages, fields and crosses Khardungla (2350m) and almost immediately after a short decent, climbs and crosses another pass at 2430m. Curling around the ridges and narrow valleys, arrive at a pleasant town of Wamrong (2130m), where the travelers stop for lunch. From Wamrong it is around 20km/45min to Pemagatshel junction, mostly descending through small villages, with views of distant houses and plains below. Pemagatshel town is around 29km/45min drive each way along this side road. It is the district headquarters of the smallest district in Bhutan. Unless you have an extra day for excursion, there is not much to do in the town. From the Junction, continuing south, there is a stretch of road called Menlong Break, where the road is cut through sheer cliff and makes amazing decent till Narphung.

Then cross the ridge and climb to 1920m before making the final descent and arrive in Deothang (800m) after about 2hrs from Pema Gatshel junction. Deothang is dominated by a large Army camp with few shops and road workers homes. From Deothang, it takes around half an hour to cover 18km descent to the valley floor. The vegetation changes almost abruptly to Sal and teak forests as you enter Samdrup Jongkhar.

Day - 18 : Samdrup Jongkhar to Guwahati

Drop to Guwahati Airport.

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