Kingdom In The Cloud Tour 9 Nights
Bhutan Tour Package of 9 Nights and 10 Days taking travelers from Paro, through Thimphu,Punakha,Phobjikha Trongsa, and Bumthang.
Day 01-ARRIVE IN BHUTAN
Paro is the first valley town you will enter when flying in to Bhutan.
You will be boarding the one and only Airline of Bhutan called the “Druk Air” where Druk means “Bhutan” so in translation called “Bhutan National Airline”
When flying into Bhutan,after you cross over the Indian low lying plains, you will enter the Bhutan Forests and 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 warmth and care of Bhutan Jewel Travel Team and Bhutan, the Last Shangrila on this Earth.
Check in at Paro Hotel and if time permits, you can start sightseeing in Paro.
Altitude of Paro is at 2240mts. visit the Rinpung Dzong built in 1646 AD. A flag stoned path leads toward the Dzong. This Dzong overlooks the Paro valley and you will also cross over an ancient wooden bridge with guard houses at the sides of the Bridge.
Paro Dzong and its bridge is the location where the holly wood movie “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) built in 1656 and which was renovated and then converted into the National museum of Bhutan in 1968. Here you will see many ancient artifacts of Bhutan, like the rare Egg, rare ancient stamps,ancient statues, ancient thankas(sacred scrolls) etc. Paro Rinpung Dzong show cases the wooden architecture and wall paintings dating back many centuries.
Night Halt in the beautiful Paro Valley.
Day 02 PARO – A DAY EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY
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 for three months. 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.
In the beginning, Guru Rimpoche used to meditate in Eastern Bhutan,in a place known as the Singye Dzong and people from the Paro Valley used to go to Singye Dzong to welcome and request the Guru to come and flourish Buddhism in Western Bhutan and also to subdue the evil spirits and the demons.
Then after Guru came to the taktsang Monastery and meditated here, the Paro Valley flourished with goodness and enjoyed Happiness, had good harvest, and was protected from all evil. Then later on , other Buddhist Scholars from the neighboring Countries like Tibet meditated here and enlarged the Monastery.
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.
After the Taktsang Hike, journey to Thimphu. Thimphu is the Capital of Bhutan and you will halt the night in Thimphu.
Day 03 THIMPHU TOUR:
The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls).
After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan).
We drive to Simtokha Dzong; the oldest Dzong of Bhutan built by Shabdrung in 1627 and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu.
Hotel Stay in Thimphu.
Day 04 THIMPHU – PUNAKHA (77 Kms, 2 to 3 hours drive)
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 all sentient beings.
You will spend some leisurely time here and can take a short walk around this area. After spending some time here and having some tea and snacks/lunch, continue journey to Punakha. Punakha is at an altitude of 1300 meters and so much warmer than Thimphu and Paro.
Then we start descending to Punakha Valley and enroute visit 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 Phallus. 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 who subdued the demons with a Magical Thunder Bolt, thus this temple is also known as the Devine Mad Man Temple. When walking to Chimi Lhakhang you will go through the nearby village with a few Traditional Bhutanese houses and through their paddy fields, so it’s a very refreshing and moderate walk.
After lunch visit the Punakha Dzong.
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 by Snabdrung Ngawang Namgyaland 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.
In 1952 the first Nationa Assembly was held in this Punakha Dzong.
Night Stay in Punakha Valley.
Day 05 PUNAKHA – GANGTEY TOUR – TRONGSA
After an early break fast start drive to Trongsa and enroute we divert towards the Gangtey, where the endangered Black Necked Cranes roost during the winter months in this wide valley called Phobjikha. Visit the Gangtey Monastery too.
After Gangtey, start towards Trongsa. Night halt in Trongsa.
Day 06 TRONGSA -BUMTHANG – SIGHTSEEING
Trongsa Town is a rural town with lane like shops all one after the other. Visit the Trongsa Dzong(Fortress) which 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 Office.
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 sharp 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 called the “Museum of Monarchy” and many artifacts related to the Monarchy like ancient battle armours,etc are there displayed wonderfully.
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.
After lunch, drive to the beautiful Bumthang Valley:
Bumthang is another one of the Central Bhutan Districts and 3 Hours drive will reach you to Bumthang.
Check in at Bumthang Hotel, visit the local near by sights and the Swiss farm, and can take a leisure walk through the Bumthang Town in the evening.
Night Halt in Bumthang.
DAY 07 BUMTHANG VALLEY TOUR:
After breakfast, drive to Bumthang. Lunch at Bumthang. After lunch, visit Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of the “White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667 and is said to be the largest Dzong in Bhutan and then visit Lamey Goemba, a large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi. Visit Jambay Lhakhang said to have been built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang and was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life force. Under the temple is said to be a lake in which Guru Rimpoche hid several Terma. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here.
Over night in Bumthang Hotel.
Day 08 BUMTHANG VALLEY TOUR AND DAY EXCURSION TO THE URA OR TangVALLEY
After breakfast, Visit Chakhar (Iron Castle) Lhakhang, it is the site of the palace of the Indian King, the Sindhu Raja who invited Guru Rimpoche to Bumthang. The Original palace was made of Iron and hence the name Chakhar. The saint Dorji Lingpa built the Current building in 14th century. Its correct name is Dechen Phodrang. We then visit Kurjey Lhakhang that is named after body print of Guru Rimpoche, built in 1652 by Minjur Tempa. Visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. After lunch, visit Membartsho (Literally means “Burning Lake”), a short distance up the road leading to Tang valley. The Terton Pema Lingpa discovered several of Guru Rimpoche’s hidden Terma / relics here. In the evening, visit Mathra factory & Cheese Factory.
Night Halt in Bumthang.
Day 09 BUMTHANG – THIMPHU (212 kms)
Early breakfast, drive to Thimphu and take fresh air and enjoy the road journey and halt where you want for moments that make you feel good. Lunch will be served on the way.
Night Halt in Thimphu
Day 10 Depart Bhutan: After breakfast drive to 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 Good wishes to see each other once again.