Day 01: 3rd October, 2014: Arrival to Paro and transferred to Thimphu
Distance: 55 km
Estimated travel time: 1 1/2 hrs
During this festive season fly into Paro by Druk Air, Bhutan’s National Airline will have great snow-capped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens can be seen during clear weather. As the plane approaches Bhutan, if you look down farmhouses as dots on the hillsides can be seen.
As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, you will see Paro Dzong on the hill side overlooking the Paro Chu river, with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it.
You will be received by the representative of 7 Brothers Tours and Travels.Bhutan Tour Operator who will be your Bhutan travel guide throughout your tour.
Drive to Thimphu which will take at least 2 hours including sightseeing.
En-route stop to see Tachogkhang temple built by Tibetan Buddhist master. Thangthong Gyelpo popular known as Iron bridge builder which one can see iron bridge in the same place below the temple. One can believe that if you cross that iron bridge it will help you to achieve your goal or blessed.
After few minutes stop at Chuzom which means the confluence of two rivers, the Thimphu River and Paro River. This is also a point where two highways meet, the Thimphu-Phuntsholing highway and Thimphu-Paro highway.
After reaching Thimphu one can visit Tashichhodzong, the seat of central government, central monastic body and also king’s throne, to have external view. You can have view of 5th King’s palace below this fortress.
After that check into the hotel and dinner at the hotel. If you are interested be prepare to have photo of Fortress.Tashi Dzong in the night.
Day 02: 4th October, 2014: Attend Thimphu Festival
Some of the Details of Thimphu Festival
Dance of the 21Black hats (Zhana)
- Costume: Large black hats felts boots long colorful brocade gown no mask.
Religious origin and explanation: This ground purification rite is also perfume on the occasion of construction of dzong, temples and stupas to conciliate the malevolent beings of the ground and take possession of the site of them.
- The black hat dancers assume the appearance of yogis who show great and passionate anger extremely but actually have accomplished and peaceful minds. They possess the power of killing and recreating life. They subdue and liberate beings that cannot be led by peace. The five poisonous enemies, which are the sins, disappear in the sphere of emptiness.
- This dance is also referred to as “Gar”dance. It is derived from the different traditions of the Tantras text of northern Buddhism.It is said that with help of the Gods who have mediated deeply upon the mantras sacred formulae the “Gar” which are the gestures of the dancers hands transform into mudras sacred mystic geometric figure the.The black hat dancer performing the ritual build a Mandela and cut the demons in to pieces. They thus safeguard the earth and dance the step of the thunderbolt to impress their power on it.
Dance of the 21 black hats with drums Zhanangacham
- Religious origin and explanation: The Black hats beats the drums, the sounds of which resounds throughout the Three worlds in honor of the victory of religious over their enemies and the destruction of malevolent spirites.The drum sounds represents the dharma itself, which cannot be represent in any way because it has no visible form.
The Accompaniement Dance Kyecham
- Costume: Knee-length yellow skirts,bare-feet,animalsmasks,swords in right hand.
Religious origin and explanation: When King Norzang of a north Indian land called Naden left to subdue enemies further north, the protectors and guardians of the doctrine and the assembly of the king’s tutelary deities were his armed companions. This is the classical explanation of this dance, hence its name.
- One other explanation is related to another dance, the Phole Mole.This version talks of once compatible couple whose marriage, when shaken by the trials of a love triangle, ends with the husband cutting off his wife nose. The story reinforces the universal law that says there is no real substance in wordily components. Many people behave similarly and bring upon themselves suffering in their current lives and the lives to come. Faith in the Buddhist creed, on the other hand, allows one to realize happiness from knowing that the three jewel (Buddha,Religion,and Community of Believers) are refuges that never fail.
- Dance of the Nobleman and the ladies (Phole Mole)and the Accompaniment Dance(Kyecham)
- Religious origin and explanation: like the one that precedes it, this dance draws from the biography of king Norzang of naden of the north of India and continues the themes of fidelity tested by physical distance and mutilation. King Norzang’s Northern crusade separated him from Yidrogma, his favorites queens he married His eventual return, though, sees an ending reminiscent of the odysseus-penelope reunion.
- What really happen to dance is closer to a comical play than a dance. Two princes go to war, leaving behind two princesses in the care of an old couple. As soon as they depart, a team of clowns try to frolic with the princesses and corrupt the old women who behave immorally as well. Upon returning from war the princes are scandalized by the behavior of the princesses and the old women and cutoff their noses as punishment. A doctor is called to put the nose back but the old women stinks so much that the doctor has to use a stick to do the job. Finally the princes marry the princesses and everybody is reconciled.
Dance of the 16 Drum Beaters from Drametshe Ngacham.
- Costume: Knee-length yellow animal’s masks, Drums
- Religious origin and meaning: the learned Lam Kuenga Gyeltshen had likeTerton Pemalingpa before him, a vision of Guru Rinpoche and his Paradise. He saw the attended of Ugyen Rinpoche transform them into a hundred peaceful and terrifying deities. They danced with big drums in their left hands drumsticks in their right hands. LamKuenga Gyeltshen depicted this vision in this dance which he composed in the Eastern Bhutanese Monastery of Dremetshe.
Dance of the stags and the Hounds ShawaShachi
- Religious origin and explanation: generally performed like a play in two parts this dance represents the conversion to Buddhism of an animal’s hunter, GomboDorji, by the great saints JetsunMilarepa(1040-1123). Once, while in meditation Milarepa heard a men shouting and dog barking. Upon coming out of his cave he saw a red-haired stag sweating and trembling with fear.Milarepa sing religious song that caused the stag to forget fear and lie down on right. Chasing the stag a red dog evident fiery withwrath, appeared. It succumbed to the pacifying effect of Milarapas song just as easily and lay down as well. Then came the frighteningly fierce hunter GonpoDorji, carrying bow and arrows enraged at the sight of Milarapa and two animals at peace, he shot a poisonous arrow at the saints.Gompo Dorji bow broke into pieces ,the sting of the bow was cot and arrow turned back towards him.Milarapa then sang another song that filled GompoDorji with violent regret for all wrongful action he had committed before. Then hunter took an oath not to sin again embraced and eventually attained full realization.
- The parts of dance are somewhat comical. The hunter’s servant appeared and jokes with clowns. Then come to hunter crownedwith leaves and carrying bow and arrows. He is accompanied by two dogs. The servant jokes with clowns and even disrespectful with his master who performed pre hunting rituals in way contrary to the Buddhist tradition.
- The second parts has a more serious and religious tone.Milarapa appeared wearing along white dress, white hat and holds a pilgrim’s staff.He sings with soft voice and has his right hand near his ear. The stag, the two dogs and the hunter, one after the other, arrive in Milarepa’s present and he converts them with song. The conversion is symbolized by rope that the hounds and the hunter have to jump over.
Dinner and overnight stay Thimphu
Day 03: 5th October, 2014: Thimphu- Punakha
Distance: 77 km km
Estimated travel time: 3 hrs
Today drive to Punakha. 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
- And 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.
And lead to Chime Lhakhang. It is believed that a demon 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.
Punakha Dzong 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 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 at hotel.
Day 04: 6th October, 2014: Punakha- Paro
Distance: 132 km
Estimated travel time: 4 ½ hrs
After your breakfast you can then proceed to Wangdiphodrang. On your way you will see a different kind of village called Richengang village. Here you will see the houses are built very close together.
After this visit move back to Thimphu and en-route dochula pass for stop and above the pass. The highest point on the road is marked by a large Bhutanese chorten and prayer flags fluttering on the hill. visit Druk Wanggyal Lhakhang built by the eldest Queen mother; the past and future appear to merge in the details of the Lhakhang that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distant future.
You can visit National Museum in 1967.
Inside the museum you will find many antique thankas, different kinds of textiles, a small temple of life, different statues, etc. After this you can drive to Rimpung Dzong or Paro dzong which was built in the 17th century. This dzong is now the administration center and school for the monks of Paro district. Then you will have tea and snacks in one of the hotel in Paro.
Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 05: 7th October, 2014: Hike to Tiger’s Nest
Lunch and Dinner
After having healthy breakfast at the hotel you can straight away at the hotel you can straight away start your sightseeing programme.
You can drive 10 Kms upstream of river from Paro town to view the Takshang monastery The tiger’s nest from the road. Our guide will briefly narrate the history behind this monastery. As believed by the Bhutanese, Guru Padmasambhava who brought Buddhism into Bhutan flew here on a tiger’s back in the 8th century and meditated for three months. Later in 1684 this monastery was built. You can ask your guide to give you a detailed explanation.
As per we believe making up to Tiger’s nest in this life would be the best opportunity to rebirth in the peaceful land even attend enlightenment and this is the most important sacred place on the planet. You may also pray for your successful life.
You can walk back till road point.
We arrange horse while riding up to the tiger’s nest. But impossible to ride on the horse while moving down.
Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 06: 8th October, 2014: Departure
We wish you safe and pleasant journey