Buddhism Dharma Pilgrimage Tour
#Bhutan #Buddhism #Pilgrimage #Tour #Package
This is a sample Bhutan Buddhism Tour Itinerary which can be customized as per your choice.
Apart from whats included in the Buddhism Pilgrimage/Dharma Tour itinerary there are many more places which will be added for visits like the Phajoding Monastery Thimphu, The Bay langdra Cave Wangdue, The Chumphu Nye in Paro, Dra Karpo and Ethok/Yuthok Goempa Paro, Lhe Dhe Paro and many many other sacred sites that we feel is suitable for your travel days in Bhutan.
The Bhutan Buddhism Pilgrimage Tour Package will take travelers and tourists to most of the sacred sites in Western Bhutan where the sacred “Taktsang Monastery” lies and in Central Bhutan Bumthang which is the hub for Bhutan sacred sites including many temples and sacred lakes. Tourists can book for this Pilgrimage Tour along with some Festival visits as Bhutan Festivals are all religious in nature.
We give you tips on which Buddhist Sacred Sites you should visit in Bhutan and this tour can include most religious sites plus take up treks to reach sacred sites that are tucked away in some hills, mountains or villages that have no access to roads.
Below Bhutan Jewel Travel,your agent in Bhutan has created a tour itinerary which you can do as its a great sacred tour OR you can give us your choices of site visits or maybe just the number of days you will be in Bhutan, and then accordingly we create a customized Bhutan tour best suited for you.
Tour Package Itinerary For Bhutan Buddhism Pilgrimage Tour
Day-01- Arrive at Paro
Paro is the first town you will enter when flying in to Bhutan.
You will be boarding the one of the two National Airlines of Bhutan called the “Druk Air” where Druk means “Bhutan” so in translation called “Bhutan National Airline” OR the Privately owned airline called “Bhutan Airlines” alias “Tashi Air”
When flying into Bhutan, from the left hand side of the aircraft you will see the Majestic Himalayan Range with the Peaks of Mt.Everest, Mt.Kanchanganga, Mt.Jumolhari and Mt.Jichu Drake whereby the latter two Mountains are in Bhutan.
On arrival at the Paro Airport,you will be welcomed and greeted by the representatives of Bhutan Jewel Travel so from the time you touch the Bhutan soil, we at Bhutan Jewel Travel will be accompanying you so that you experience the warmness of Bhutan Jewel Travel and Bhutan.
Check in at Paro Hotel and if time permits, you can start sight seeing in Paro. Night Halt in the beautiful Paro Valley.
Day – 02- Paro To Thimphu :
After breakfast you will be driving towards Thimphu which is at a higher altitude than the Paro Valley thus colder. The journey from Paro to Thimphu will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours as the distance is a hilly wide road of 65 kilometeres.
Enroute to Thimphu, you will stop at Simtokha for a visit to the Simtokha Dzong( Simtokha Fortress)
Simtokha Dzong was the first Dzong built in Bhutan in the year 1629 A.D by the founder of Bhutan Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Presently it houses a monk body and is the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Bhutan. This Dzong is perched on a hill top over looking the Thimphu Valley.
Thimphu is the Capital city of Bhutan with a population of 0.1 million as per the 2010 statistics. It is the busiest city in Bhutan and houses all important heads of the Government of Bhutan.
Check in at Thimphu Hotel and refresh and have lunch.
After lunch visit the other sights in Bhutan like the Memorial Chorten( Chorten means Stupa).This Chorten was built by the Royal Family of Bhutan in memory of the Third King of Bhutan who ruled Bhutan from 1952 till 1972. 1972 is also the year when the Fourth King of Bhutan was crowned the King of Bhutan after the unfortunate demise of his father the Third King. The Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was crowned the King of Bhutan at a tender young age of 17 years and was the youngest monarch in the World.
Visit the Handicrafts Emporium which has all types of textile, arts and crafts made in Bhutan and is also the sales out let, so if you like anything you can purchase it from this Emporium as it is Government run so all goods are exclusively made in Bhutan and authentic.
Visit the Tashichhodzong which is a large ancient fortress and presently houses all Government Ministries , the Royal Throne Room and is the summer residence of the Chief Abbot and the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan. Tashichhodzong has a wide flat stone court yard and recently a Gallery named “Thuendrel Thang” was built to witness the Festivals a long side the Ancient Dzong.
Night Halt in Thimphu Hotel
Day – 03- Thimphu Sight Seeing Continues:
Today after breakfast, drive to “Talakha Monastery” where tourists seldom visit as its away from the touristy places in Thimphu. Visit the temple which is on top of a hill about half an hour drive from Thimphu City. Enjoy the quiet surroundings with an amazing view of the Sitting Buddha statue and Thimphu City down below.
Lunch will be served and the in the afternoon do some meditation and be a peace,one with Nature, at the Zilukha Nunnery,which is the only nunnery in Thimphu.
If time permits visit the National Library : This Library has a vast collection of ancient manuscripts which are preserved and recently being digitized.
Then a visit to the Painting and wood craft school which show cases how the students are taught the ancient and traditional ways of handling and making arts out of wood and painting. Many sacred Thankas (religious scrolls) have been churned out from here.
Night halt in Thimphu Hotel
ALTERNATE CHOICE: After breakfast Hike to the Phajoding Monastery which lies above Thimphu and its a whole days Hike with pack lunch. Evening back in Hotel Thimphu.
Day – 04- Thimphu To Punakha and Wangduephodrang : Drive Distance 77kms and Time Taken is around 2.5 to 3 hours
After early breakfast drive to wards the Dochula Pass and then to Punakha and Wangduephodrang.
Punakha and the Wangduephodrang are two Western Bhutan Districts close by to one another.
On the drive there, stop by the enchanting and mesmerizing Dochula Pass which is at an altitude of 3150 meters and takes around 1-1.5 hours to reach from Thimphu.
Dochula Pass is a Great place to feel the cool air and see thousands of prayer flags fluttering high on tree tops. There are 108 stupas and a Temple build by the Queen Mother for the long life of the Fourth King and the well being of the sentient beings. After spending some time here and having some tea and snacks/lunch, continue journey to Punakha.
Punakha was the former Capital of Bhutan and the Punakha Dzong(Fortress) lies at the confluence of two rivers called the “Mo Chu” and the “Pho Chu”. Mo means female and Pho means male and Chu means water…so in this context it’s the Female and Male Rivers.
Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 A.D and is a beautiful fortress which has a story of its own. Your Guide will narrate the beautiful and exciting story in relation to Punakha Dzong.
Then later visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong which is just 13 Kilometers from Punakha. This Fortress was build in 1638 A.D and houses all administrative office and the Monk Body of the Wangduephodrang District so its still a vibrant important facility in Wangdue. Wangduephodrang Town and its Dzong is perched on a long hill top over looking the Punakha Chu and the road to Punakha and Southern Bhutan.
Wangduephodrang is known for its windiness where people say nothing can beat the wind here..so Guests hold on to what ever you have cause if the Wangdue Wind blows it away there is no way that you will be able to chase after the wind.
Sadly, presently you can now only see the renovation taking place at the Wangduephodrang Dzong site as it was razed by fire on 24th Hune 2012.This fire razed the 374 year all fortress and was one of the Biggest Historically Tragic Loss for Bhutan.
Night Halt in Wangduephodrang OR Punakha depending on where the Hotel is booked
Day – 05- Punakha and Wangdue Sight Seeing Continues:
After an early breakfast take a drive to the road head to the Khamsum Yuley Namgyel Temple. This is a slight uphill walk and this temple was built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan for the well being of the Country and the present ruling Fifth King of Bhutan. This temple is on top of a hill and you will be astonished and delighted to see the Bhutanese architecture as this temple was built by Bhutanese Traditional Architects.
Then after lunch drive to the road head leading to the “Chimi Lhakhang”. From the road head walk towards this temple and even a leisurely pace will take you just beyond 20-30 minutes to reach this temple.
Chimi Lhakhang is famous for couples who want children and thus known as the “Temple of Fertility” and is widely believed by the Bhutanese people that if you want to conceive,then this is the temple to pray for a child where you are blessed with an ancient Wooden Phallas. Since this temple was built by the naughty and shabby looking religious saint in the year 1499 A.D, known as” Drukpa Kuenley” meaning Devine Mad Man,thus this temple is also known as the Devine Mad Man Temple. When walking to Chimi Lhakhang you will go through the near by village having a few houses and through their paddy fields,so it’s a very refreshing and moderate walk.
Then back from Chimi Lhakhang,drive for around 20-25 minutes and again reach the Night Halt in Punakha/Wangdue
Day – 06- Wangdue – Trongsa
After breakfast,you will start moving to Central Bhutan,to a District called Trongsa. Trongsa is around 142 kilometers from Punakha/Wangdue and takes around 5-6 hours.
On your way to Trongsa you will pass by the Rukubji Village and thereafter to Chendebji where there is the Nepalese style stupa(similar to Boudanath Temple in Kathmandu if you have been to Nepal),where you can relax for a while and circumbulate this stupa if you wish to. This Stupa was built in the 15th Century.
Trongsa Town is a rural town with lane like shops all one after the other. Evening you can take a stroll in the Trongsa Town. Trongsa is connected to the Royal Family of Bhutan as they initially hailed from this District and the Fourth King was born in Trongsa. Night at Trongsa
Day – 07- Trongsa To Bumthang
Bumthang is another one of the Central Bhutan Districts. However before moving towards Bumthang, after breakfast in Tronga you will visit the Trongsa Dzong(Fortress) which is was the ancestral home of the Ruling Monarchs of Bhutan. This Fortress was built in the year 1648 A.D and is at present used as the Government Administrative Offices.
Tronga Dzong is known for its never ending view as this Fortress can be viewed from across the road leading towards Trongsa but the road goes on and on and at times you wonder when you are going to reach it. Trongsa Dzong is built at different levels and over look the river “Mangde Chu”. The position of this Dzong is such that all around the Dzong you get a clear view of all areas around,such that in ancient times, no matter from which side a person came from they had to pass the Dzong and thus no one could escape the vigilance from this Dzong. This Dzong was built in such a strategic location because of its importance to control the East and West of Bhutan. Later Visit the “Ta-Dzong” in translation known as the “Watch Tower”. This Ancient watch Tower is around a kilometer from the Trongsa Dzong. Presently this watch Tower is a Museum and many artifacts related to the Monarchy like ancient battle amours,etc are there displayed wonderfully.
Have Lunch in Tronga and then continue to the beautiful Bumthang Valley. Its about 3 hours drive to Bumthang Valley and Bumthang is also known as the Switzerland of Bhutan.
Check in at Hotel and Night in Bumthang
Day – 08- Bumthang Sight Seeing:
Bumthang is a religious hub in Bhutan with many temples, monasteries,sacred places and pilgrimage sites. Here you can visit sites like the one of the biggest Dzongs in Bhutan with nearly one kilometer circumference known as the Jakar Dzong built in 1646 by the Third Desi(Desi means temporary ruler) called Minjur Tenpa. This Dzong was facing the hardships of time and was losing its authenticity ,thus it was later repaired and restored by the Fourth Desi,Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1683 A.D. Till now too we still have a living reincarnation of this Fourth Desi and he is highly respected and worshiped by the people of Bhutan. Jakar in translation means the “White Bird”.
Then visit the Jambay Lhakhang(Temple), the Kurjey Lhakhang, Kencho Sum Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang and the Pema Samba Lhakhang.
If time permits you can visit the “Membar Tso” meaning the “Burning Lake”. When you look into this lake it is dark and black in color and passes between steep rocks.
You can visit other local area like the Swiss Farm that make the Cheese, the beer factory, the local Yatha Textile Weaving factory, etc .Night Halt in Bumthang
Day – 09- Bumthang : Day Out into the Ura Valley.
From Bumthang Town the Ura Valley is about 2 hours drive of about 65 kilometers. Ura Valley is a cluster of Bhutanese Rural Houses and they have a Monastery, so you will walk through this Village and reach the Monastery. People is Ura rear Yaks so you will see yaks here. After a Picnic Lunch in this Village,return to Bumthang for the Night Halt as there is no accommodation available in this Village.
Day – 10- Bumthang To Phobjikha Valley
After an early breakfast in Bumthang, drive towards Phobjikha Valley. Phobjikha valley is a high altitude valley at a level of 3000 meters above sea level. From this valley one can see the beautiful Black Mountain range. Phobjikha Valley is one of the widest and biggest Valleys in Bhutan and winter roosting place for the Endangered Black Necked Cranes, which come into Bhutan around the beginning of November and start leaving by mid February the following year. You can visit the Gangtey Monastery too. Night Halt in this Valley in a Local guest house.
Day – 11- Gangtey To Paro:
After breakfast continue uncompleted sights in Phobjikha and then move towards Paro which is approximately 190 kilometers from Phobjikha Valley.
Lunch on the way to Paro. Night at paro
Day – 12- Paro Sight Seeing
Morning visit the “Drugyal Dzong” which in translation means “The Victory Fort”. This Dzong is in ruins and is reminiscence of ancient Bhutan, when the Bhutanese had war with the Invading Tibetans and it was here that Bhutan pushed the Tibetans away and won the battle.
Later visit the Rinpung Dzong built in 1646. A flag stoned path leads toward the Dzong. This Dzong over looks the Paro valley and you will also cross over an ancient wooden bridge with guard houses. The Little Buddha” starring Keanu Reeves was filmed. Rinpung Dzong presently houses the Government Administrative offices, the Judiciary and a section is used by the Paro Monastic Body. Visit the Ta-Dzong(watch Tower) which was converted into the National museum of Bhutan in 1968. Here you will see many ancient artifacts of Bhutan, like the Horse Egg, rare ancient stamps, ancient thankas etc. Night halt in Paro.
Day – 13- Paro Sight Visits
Today after an early breakfast you will take a hike to the world famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery known as “Taktsang”. This is a beautiful Monastery perched precariously on a rocky cliff with a drop of 900 meters. The legend has it that in the second half of the 8th Century, Guru Padma Sambhava, also known as the Second Buddha or Guru Rimpoche in Bhutan meditated at this cliff. Guru came here flying on the back of a tigress. This Tigress was his favorite consort Khandum Yeshey Tshokey,whom he had transformed into this Tigress.
This hike takes about 2 hours uphill at a leisurely pace and about 1.5 hours down hill. Pack lunch or lunch will be served at the taktsang cafeteria.
Evening you can stroll the Paro town for some shopping or just leisure walk. Night halt in paro.
Day – 14- Depart From Paro
Today you will be departing Bhutan from the Paro International Airport. Your Bhutan Jewel Travel representative will escort you till the check in at Paro Airport and we will bid fare well with a hope to see each other once again.