Day 01: 3th November: Arrival to Paro and transferred to Thimphu
Distance: 55 km
Estimated travel time: 1 1/2 hrs
Your festive season of Jambay Lhankang Drup will bring you the most stunning view of your trip in the Druk Air, Bhutan’s national carrier, during this month usually the weather will be clear all the time and you will view titanic plains of India you will have the spectacular view of the green wall of hills known as duars, or gateways that provide channeled air route into Bhutan. And in this particular festive season these monumental hills would have their apexes capped with snow bestowing the most golden- rare scene of the kingdom as you would be flying right over the touchline of these apexes. Your flight into Bhutan would be nothing short of adventurous and bon voyage trip as the bird eye view of the deep green valley’s with bountiful youthful streams shaping into different forms of river meandering and waterfalls as they rush down the valley, and ever rising Himalayan mountains that seem to intercept the air route would give you the most breath taking and heart beating moment yet so glamorous and harmonious. You’ll sense and feel the warmth of Mother Nature through various geological, geographical and environmental scenes. You would also take the pride of viewing the world’s highest peak Mount Everest and famous Mount Kanchenjunga, highest virgin peak Mount Chomolhari and other sacred peak like Jichu Drake. Because of this uniqueness air route, this route top 1st in the world by the international tourists and wonder lust based in London.
Finally then, you will reach Paro Airport in 3 hrs from Bangkok . As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, look down to see Paro Dzong on the hillside overlooking the Paro Chu river, with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it. Now you are stepping out from the Druk air into fresh and silent atmosphere of Paro, the characteristic of the last Shangri-La. The representative from 7 Brothers Tours and Travels will be waiting for you at the exit who will guide you throughout your stay in Bhutan
Visit to Tashichho Dzong or “the fortress of the glorious religion” which is Bhutan’s administration and religious centre and houses the throne room of His Majesty the King of Bhutan, other Government offices. It is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot.
After this visit Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress likes temple which lies perched on a ridge above Thimphu
This is one of the oldest temples in the Thimphu region and we believe that local deities of Thimphu region live in this temple to support for the newly born baby of Thimphu region. Besides support for the baby, it will also help for people who go there for the pray for peace and good fortune for their lives.
Visit Kuensel Phodrang to see world largest sitting Buddha statue located above Thimphu city and it is consider 8th wonderer of the world.
Dinner and overnight stay at Thimphu.
Day 02: 4th November: Thimphu- Punakha
Distance: 77 km
Estimated travel time: 3 hrs
Today’s exploration of Thimphu begins will take with visit to NationalMemorial Chorten, a stupa dedicated to world peace and prosperity in 1974 in memory of the Third King of Bhutan;
. Visit national Zoo where Takin a animal is chosen as the national animal of Bhutan for its uniqueness and its association with the country’s religious history and mythology.
Lunch at Thimphu
After lunch then your journey continues with travels to the east onwards to Punakha through some of the Kingdom’s richest agricultural land and most dramatic river valleys.
The first stop will allow us to stop at Dochu La, 3050meters pass; snow-capped eastern Himalayan ranges can be seen on a clear day.
The beauty is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chorten 108 stupas built by the eldest Queen Mother and then winding our way down into the Punakha Valley.
On the way you will stop at Mitsina village and visit Chimi Lhakhang the monastery of fertility. Towards evening you will visit Punakha Dzong which stands majestically at the junction of the two rivers Pho Chu and Mo chu.
Overnight stay Hotel, Punakha.
Day 03: 5th November Punakha- Bumthang
Distance: 189 km
Estimated travel time: 7 ½ hrs
Drive to Bumthang which is heart land of Buddhism where tantric Buddhist master visited Bhutan in 8th century. One will not regret to visit Bumthang because you will be blessed by spiritual land and it is said to be land of Mini Switzerland.
While en-route before reaching Bumthang you will cover important places for sightseeing:
Stop at Chendipji Chorten for refreshment: As per history Chendipji Chorten was built by Spiritual master Lama Sidha in 15th century to bless travelers like you.
Visit Ta Dzong preached above the Trongsa Dzong this is watchtower which once stood guard the Trongsa Dzong.
This is now restored from ground up and it is the museum presenting the rich historical and religious heritage of Trongsa Dzong.
After lunch you will drive to Bumthang passing Yotong La, 3425 meters pass. Here you get you first glimpse of the Black mountains and high Himalayan Mountain such as Jumolhari are in view and pass is marked by hundreds of prayers flags blessings abound.
Then our journey proceed continue through the lush valley and hilly forests. Along the way we will stop at a yathra the textile weaving handloom, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and we can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. In the evening we can stroll in Bumthang town and visit shops.
Overnight stay at Hotel, Bumthang
Day 04: 6th November: Bumthang Sightseeing and evening attend fire ceremony
- Jampa Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the King Songtsen Goempo of Tibet. In his effort to propagate Buddhism he had a plan to build a total of 108 temples in Tibet and neighboring kingdoms.
- Kujey Lhakhang Kujey means, "Body imprint". The temple to the right is the oldest and was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rimpoche meditated and left his body imprint.
- Jakar Dzong, "castle of the white bird". According to legend, when the lamas assembled in about 1549 to select a site for a monastery, a big white bird rose suddenly in the air and settled on a spur of a hill. This was interpreted as an important omen, and the hill was chosen as the site for a monastery and for Jakar Dzong. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.
.Tamshing Lhakhang;This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing Temple of the Good Message.
In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley. After dinner attend the first day of Jambay Lhakhang festival.
The first day of the festival begins in the evening around 8:30 pm. The details of the first day of the festival are as follows:
Black Hat Dance (Shana) and of the Gings (emanations of Guru Rinpoche): Costume: Dancers, wearing long brocade robes and ornate black hats, perform this dance. The dancers’ who represent the Ging wear shorter robes with masks. This dance is performed to purify the ground and to chase away evil influences.
Dance of Offering (Tshogcham): A dancer offers the body of evil spirits to the deities. After the offering is made the audience goes outside the temple where an arch of pine bushes has been erected.
Fire Dance (Mecham): The arch of pine is set on fire. The fire is said to purify the earth of evil spirits. People who pass through the arch have their sins cleansed. A dancer chases away the evil spirits.
Day 05: 7th November: Attend Jambay Lhakhang Drup and Prakhar Duchhoed
Lunch and Dinner
After breakfast,you will attend the full second day of the Jambay Lhakhang Drup (festival) which will start around 10:30 am. You will be watching many ritual dances, which are performed in the court yard of Jampa Lhakhang. There are a number of different dances, subdivided into three categories: those that are intended to give moral instruction; those that are designed to drive away evil spirits and those that celebrate the Buddhist faith in its many guises. This is the occasion where the local people, dressed in their finest clothes, come to attend the festival with packed lunches. This occasion also gives opportunity to the local businesses- there will be a number of stalls selling craftwork, jewellery, religious artifacts and thangkas. Overnight hotel in Jakar.
Details of the 2nd Day Jambay Lhakhang Drub (festival)are as follows:
It follows a ceremony where a small girl representing the daughter of Sindhu Raja blesses the villagers.Dance of Singje Yab Yum (Lord of death and his consort): The Lord of Death and his consort perform this dance to protect the four realms over which he has power.
Dance of Nyulema and Peling Ging Sum (Three kinds of Ging): The Nyulema is an evil spirit represented by a boy in a skeleton mask. The Ging with the sticks catch the Nyulema. The Durdag or the Lords of the Cremation Ground (represented with dancers wearing white skeletal masks) bring forward a box, which represents evil spirits. The Ging with swords liberate the mind of the evil spirit by killing its body of flesh. The Ging with drums dance to celebrate the victory of religion over the evil spirit.
Dance of the Jachung Bochung (Two mythical birds): Dancers wearing masks representing the auspicious birds perform the dance. The play of the Atsara Gapo Pawo Solgyo (Atsara who acts like a Pawo). Though most of the stories and plays were originally with Buddhist sub text they now serve as comedy relief for the crowd. This story is about an Atsara (clown with a red mask) who is mad. The Atsara injures his son, as he did not recognize him. He tries to save his son’s life by impersonating a pawo or medium and tries to perform a religious curative ceremony. Being unsuccessful he has to finally call a doctor and a monk to cure his son.
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.
Day 06: 8th November: Bumthang- Punakha via Phobjikha
Distance: 197 km
Estimated travel time: 7 hrs
After early breakfast, drive to Phobjikha valley. You may visit Gangtey Gompa (monastery) which now houses one of the only Nyingmapa monasteries in Bhutan. The valley is also the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes (Grus Nicorocolis), which migrate, from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia during winter to this valley. Lunch at Phobjikha and after lunch drive to Punakha.Overnight at hotel in Punakha.
Day 07: 9th November: Punakha- Paro sightseeing
Distance: 125 km
Estimated travel time: 3 1/2 hrs
After breakfast, drive through upper Punakha valley passing through farmhouse and take a leisure walk through farmhouses and then through nature to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten temple built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world. This temple is situated on the hilltop overlooking the valley below. The leisurely walk up to the temple would take about 1 hour. Visit the temple and also enjoy the breathtaking view from there.
After lunch,drive back to Paro. After a refreshment 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.)
Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 08: 10th November: Hike to Tiger’s Nest
Lunch and Dinner
After breakfast, travel to Paro which will take about 1 hour and on arrival at Paro hike to Taktsang Goempa Tiger's Nest Monastery. The hike upto the viewpoint will take about 1 1/2 hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff.You will stop here for refreshments and then hike further upto the monastery which should take another 1 1/2 hours. It was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup, a cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three months in the 8th century. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche Guru Padmasambhava flew to this location from Khenpajong, Tibet on the back of a tigress and subdued a demon. He then performed meditation in one of the caves here and emerged in eight incarnated forms manifestations and blessed the place. Subsequently, the place came to be known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. Guru Padmasambhava is known for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen caves in which he meditated. After visiting the monastery, walk back downhill to the road with lunch at the viewpoint cafeteria.
Then drive back to your hotel after visiting Kichu Lhakhang on the way. Kichu Lhakhang, 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 a hotel in Paro.
Day 09: 11th November: Departure
We wish you safe and pleasant journey.