This cultural tour through the mystical Western valleys of Bhutan is an ideal introduction to the Dragon Kingdom. Experience Bhutanese hospitality, admire the ever-changing landscapes, and immerse yourself in Bhutan’s rich buddhist culture. Highlights include Ta Dzong Museum, Rimpong Dzong with its wooden cantilevered bridge and the infamous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) in the beautiful Paro Valley, The National Memorial Chorten, 12th century Changangkha Temple and the National Library exhibiting ancient scriptures in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, and after crossing the 3050m Dochula Pass with spectacular Himalayan views, a journey into the sub-tropical Punakha Valley featuring the incredible the Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakang, temple of the ‘Divine Madman’.
The ‘Glimpse of Bhutan’ cultural tour explores all of the highlights of Bhutan’s western valleys, and is ideal for those with a limited time frame.
On arrival at Paro International Airport by Druk Air Flight.. Our representatives from Bhutan Himalayan Holidays will be there to receive you with “Tashi Khada” traditional way of receiving our guest.
Check into hotel.
Visit Ta Dzong-fortress (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley.
A short walk takes you to the base of the Dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge.
Paro Dzong & Museum.
Stroll Paro Town, rows of shops line the main road built in traditional architecture. This stretch of about 250 meters, with farmers leading their horses, its occasional idlers leaning against the storefronts, the town of Paro strangely resembles a village of the old American West.
O/N Hotel in Paro. Khangkhu Resort 3 star category.
After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, from there a 3 hours hike till the viewpoint point of the monastery. The round trip is 5-6 hrs.Paro Taksang.
The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684 by the Penlop of Paro Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tartaric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favorite consort.
Visit Drugyel Dzong, ‘Bhutan’s victory fort’, overlooking the beautiful village with Mount Jumolhari in the background. This ruin Dzong (Fortress) was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders led by Mongolian warlord, Gushri Khan. Historically and strategically it withstood all its glory and had captured western eyes in 1914 vide National Geography magazine. The Dzong was destroyed by fire in 1951 and is now preserved as heritage site.
Visit Kichu Lhakhang.
To subdue demon in the entire region of Himalaya, a Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century miraculously built 108 temples. Kichu is considered to be one of them and is one of the most sacred shrines in Bhutan.
In the evening drive to Thimphu(2350m).
On the way you see Bhutanese Farm House; Bhutanese farmhouses are colorful, decorative and traditionally built without any nails or iron bars. Majority of the houses are with three stories, first floor is utilized for sheltering cattle, second floor for the family to live in and the top for storing and drying of foods and fodder for animal. Almost all the farmhouses follow the same architectural pattern.
A visit to farmhouse is interesting and provides you with an experience to the daily life of average Bhutanese.
Over night: Hotel in Thimphu. Hotel Migmar-4 star category.
Thimphu-the capital of Bhutan since 1960, lies at an elevation of over 7600 ft. Thimphu town, although small, is nonetheless a vibrant place. The Handicrafts Emporium, displaying the best of Bhutanese textiles and souvenirs.thimphu_memorial_chorten
Visit. 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.
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).
Visit Changangkha Monastery: (This monastery was built in 15th century by the lama Phajo Drugom Zhipo) where the new born child of Thimphu valley is taken to receive 1st blessing from a High Lama.
Visit Dupthop Lhakhang: One of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan.
Visit Mini Zoo, where Takin(our national animal ofBhutan). Drom there drive to Sangaygang, where you can see view of Thimphu Valley.
Visit Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls).We can visit in different class rooms, where different students follows a comprehensive course that starts with drawing and progresses through painting, wood and slate curving, and statue making.
Visit National Library: Stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts.
Visit Traditional Medicine Institute: where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices.
Visit Folk Heritage Museum-one of the oldest Bhutanese traditional House, where you can see the way Bhutanese live.
Visit National Textile Museum: Thimphu’s National Textile Museum is worth a leisurely visit to get to know the living national art of weaving.
Visit Sunday market of Thimphu (Farmers Centenary Market). Cross traditional wooden bridge, there you see handicrafts.
Witness Archery tournament.
We then and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Evening free for shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu.
Over night: Hotel in Thimphu.Hotel Migmar-4 star Category
After breakfast our representatives from Bhutan Himalayan Holidays will drive you to Paro international airport for outbound journey by Druk Air Flight.
Farewell for outbound journey