Enchanting Kingdom Tour in Bhutan
Day 01: Arrival and transfered to the centrally located Hotel. Our tour manager will give you pre-tour briefing. Rest of time is leisure.
Day 02: After breakfast, visit monkey temple (Swayambhunath Temple), Patan, Boudhanath sputa and Pashupati temple. Over night at Hotel.
Day 03: Fly to Paro - The flight from Kathmandu to Paro offers fascinating views of the eastern Himalayan range, including Mt. Everest. On arrival you will be received by your guide and escorted to your hotel in Paro. In the evening visit Paro town, stroll through its quaint two streets and browse through the shops.
Day 04: Paro sightseeing - After breakfast, visit to Ta Dzong, originally the Watch Tower for the Rinpung Dzong. It was later converted into the National Museum of the Kingdom and boasts a wide range of antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and natural and historic artifacts.
Walk down the trail to Rinpung Dzong or the 'fortress of the heap of jewels' which is the seat of the district administration and the residence of the monastic school. The dzong is famous for its wall murals depicting Buddhist parables, symbols and the lives of prominent saints.
After lunch, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, the fort of the victorious Drukpas. Although gutted by a fire, this fort is renowned as the stand from which several Tibetan invasions were repulsed. To the north can be seen in all its majesty, the dome of sacred Mt. Chomolhari or the abode of the "mountain of goddess."
En route, see one of the oldest landmarks in Bhutan. The 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang was one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo. It is revered as one of the most holy shrines in Bhutan and embodies the arrival of Buddhism here.
Day 05: Paro - Thimphu sightseeing (60 km, 2 hours)
After breakfast proceed to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom that now serves as a school for Buddhist studies. Afternoon, visit the King's Memorial Chhorten, the Handicrafts Emporium, the Textile Museum and the local market. Then, visit Trashichhodzong, the seat of the government and the monk body. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 06: Thimphu - Punakha (75 km, 2.1/2 hours)
Morning, visit Folk Heritage Museum followed by National Library, Painting School and Traditional Medicine Institute in Thimphu. After lunch, drive to Punakha, the old capital town of Bhutan . Stop at Dochula pass (3,050m) for fascinating views of the mountains. In Puankha, visit Chimi lhakhang, built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley or the Divine Madman. The temple is renowned for blessing barren women with fertility. In the evening the Punakha Dzong, straddling a junction between two rivers. Overnight at Hotel in Punakha.
Day 07: Punakha - Wangduephodrang - Gangtey (70 km, 3 hours)
After breakfast drive to Gangtey via Wangduephodrang. Visit majestic Wangdue Dzong and the local market. Drive through dense forests of oak and rhododendron before reaching Gangtey (Phobjikha). Evening take a walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. Overnight at Guest House.
Day 08: Gangtey- Trongsa (120 km, 4.1/2 hours)
Morning explore Phobjikha valley, the winter roosting ground for the Black Necked Crane. The cranes migrate here from Central Asiatic plateau to escape its harsh winters. After lunch drive to Trongsa, crossing 3,300m high Pele la pass. Evening visit to Trongsa market. Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.
Day 09: Trongsa - Bumthang (68 km, 3 hours)
Morning visit to Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture and see Ta Dzong, the watchtower, built to defend this Dzong and surrounding region. After lunch, proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 10: Bumthang sightseeing
After breakfast explore the beautiful valley which open and spacious at elevations ranging from 8'500 ft to over 13'000 ft. It is a haven for trekkers and hikers. It is also home to many prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.
Visit to Tamshing Lhakhang, the treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings and Jakar Dzong, the administrative centre of the valley.
Afternoon visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred temples here. Later visit Jambay Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan king, Tsongtsen Goembo. Evening visit to local shops. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 11: Bumthang - Thimphu (268 km, 8 hours)
After breakfast drive to Thimphu . Lunch will be served in Trongsa town. Arrive Thimphu and check into the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 12: Thimphu - Taktshang Excursion (73Km. 3hrs)
After breakfast drive to Paro. Later take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery. Drive to the foot of the Taktshang cliff before walking uphill for 2 hours to reach this monastery, giddily perched on a sheer 800m rock face. Taktshang means 'Tiger's Nest' as legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava flew to this spot on the back of a tigress in the eight century. He meditated here making this temple a sacred pilgrimage destination for Buddhists. Lunch at Taktshang Cafeteria. The trip to and fro takes four hours for which riding ponies can be arranged. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 13: Departure for Kathmandu - After breakfast, drive to the airport for flight back to Kathmandu or onward destination. Representative of Mt. Kailash Tours and Travels will bid you farewell. TASHI DELEK.
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