Day 01: Arrive Paro, Paro - Thimphu
Distance: 55km, Appro 2 hours
In clear weather, Druk Air’s flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of Himalayan scenery. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, it is a breathtaking journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the kingdom.
On arrival at Paroairport and after completing your Bhutan visa formalities, you will be met by a representative from Access Bhutan Tours-local Bhutantouroperator. Then travel to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan.
Today drive to Thimphu through Paro’s traverse rice field and climbs high above the river providing a great view of Paro airport.
The road descending will lead to the confluence at Chuzom, 24 Kms from Paro and 18 Kms from Bomday.
Chuzom means confluence of two rivers Paro and Thimphu Chu Rivers which we believe this place inauspicious, thus there is a presence of 3 very unique chorten( Stupa) to ward off this inauspiciousness.
Before reaching Chuzom you can see TachogangLhakhang
It is private temple founded by ThangthongGyalpo, located few Kilometers before Chhuzom, the confluence of the Paro and Thimphu River.
ThangthongGyelpo had a vision when he meditated here of an excellent horse Balaha, an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, thus as a good omen, he built this temple.
Below this temple he built Iron Bridge who is said to have been built 108 iron bridges throughout Bhutan and Tibet by iron man called ThangthongGyelpo.
After 30 minutes’ drive from this place you will reach Thimphu city which is capital city of Bhutan.
Visit Buddha statue:
Visit Kuensel Phodrang where giant Lord Buddha statue which is 8th largest sitting Buddha is located above Thimphu city and from here it is great bird eye view of whole Thimphu city.
Visit Mini Zoo
Located on the way to the BBS tower, there in an unlimited trail leading to large fenced area.
Used to serve as a zoo with various wild animals, which were later, released in the wild as per the order from the present King.
The King decided that such facility was not in keeping with the Bhutan’s environment and religious convictions.
The Zoo has different kind of deer including barking dear, black dear and most importantly national animal Takin.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02:Thimphu - Punakha & Wangduephodrang
Distance: 71 km, estimated travel time: 2 1/2 hrs
The road to Punakha and WangduePhodrang, branches of a short distance before Simtokhadzong.
The road, which loops back as fly-over bridge, is the east-west highway, which was constructed in 1984.
About a Kilometer past the turn-off there is a magnificent view of Simtokhadzong, the first fortress of Kingdom.
The road then climbs past the forestry research center at Yusipang, then through apple orchards and forests of blue pine.
Within few minutes’ drive from here you will reach Dochula La ( Pass) at 3050m.
It is a 45 minutes’ drive from Thimphu. This pass is marked by a chorten with an array of colorful prayer flags.
Dochula cafeteria of Queen mother, located quite near to Dochula stupas which are of 108 stupas to commemorate victory over Indian insurgents .
Dochula Pass offers a breathtaking, panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day.
Such days are rare. The best chance of view is in the early morning between mid-October and mid- February.
The pointed peaks standing opposite Dochula are:
- Kang Bum-6526m
- Gangchhenta- 6840m
- Masang Gang-7158m- This mountain dominates the region of Laya
- Tshenda Gang- 7100m
- Teri Gang- 7170m
- Jejekangphu gang-7158m
- Zongphu Gang- a Table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana is 7060m
- GangkarPuensum -7497m is the highest peak in Bhutan
Gasadzong almost 50 kms to the northcan also can be seen from the Dochula cafeteria.
Drive to toPunakha from this place changes the vegetation dramatically to Oak, maple and blue pine to a moist mountain forest of rhododendron, alder, cypress, hemlock and fir.
lead to Chime Lhakhang
It is believed that a demons who has been terrorizing the valley had transformed herself into a black do to escape the wrath of DrukpaKuenley. But he had caught the dog on the WangduePhodrang route and buried it under a pile of earth shaped like a woman’s breast. He had been built a chorten( stupa) on top of this mount and prophesized that a temple would one day be consecrated over it. True to the prophecy, his brother Lam NgawangChogyel built Chime temple in 1456.
Chimi comes from” Chimi” meaning “ dog” and “med” meaning “ no”, which in all means’” no dog” meaning this black dog will never come back from underground.
After few drive from this place then reaching to PunakhaKuruthang which is settle light town.
Punakha is located at 1250m. The central School was consecrated and the village expanded in the mid-1980s.
Punakhadzong which is also known as PungthangDewachenpoePhodrang is located between Mochu (Female) and Phochu River (Male) were once lovers, flowing in the same bed. PunakhaDzong( fortress) is the second largest Dzong of Bhutan built by Unified father of Bhutan ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyel in 1637 which was blessed by Guru Rinpoche in 8th century and prophesized that name called Namgyel will come and build a fortress in this place.
Thus, true Guru Rinpoche’s prophecy ZhabdungNgawang Namgyel built a remarkable dzong which is now having the important relics of RangjungKharsapani, which is statue of Avalokistesvara(Commpasion Buddha) which appeared marvelously from the vertebrate of TshangpaGyare, the founder of Drukpa School in Tibet.
Above 10 minutes’ walk from this Dzong you will find longest suspension bridge in Bhutan ( 200m) to enjoy beautiful valleys.
Dinner and overnight stay at Punakha
Day 03: Punakha / Wangduephodrang -Paro
Distance: 125 km, estimated travel time: 3 1/2 hrs
After breakfast travel to Paro via Dochula pass and southern part of Thimphu. On arrival at Paro, check into your hotel in Paro and after lunch visit the following:
- National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here an intriguing collection of artifacts provide a wonderful introduction to
the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom
- Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. It is also known as the Rinpung Dzong which means a “fortress that sits on a heap of jewels”. This imposing dzong located above the Paro River is a fine example of Bhutanese architecture with its inward sloping walls that rise to an impressive height. The dzong was built in the 16th century on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche (who is regarded as the "second Buddha.") .From the dzong, walk further down to Nyamai Zampa, an oldest traditional cantilever bridge in Bhutan.
- In the evening stroll through the Paro town and visit local handicraft stores.
Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 04: A Day Hike to Paro Taktsang Goempa ( Tiger's Nest Monastery)
After breakfast, hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The climb up to the viewpoint will take around 1 ½ hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria.Then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former beauty.After visiting the monastery, walk back down to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further down to the road point. Then drive back to hotel. On the way visit Kichu temple, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon.In the evening relax and overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 05: Departure from Paro
In the morning, your Bhutan tour guide from 7 Brothers Tours and Travels ( Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro airport for your onward flight.