It’s all about the wonderful people of Bhutan. The peaceful, happy, serene, traditional and wonderful people. While covering the all the major places in Bhutan we also see two special places in Central Bhutan – Bumthang and Jakar Valley. If you see a serene white building rising from the fog and the trees around it, you have arrived at Jakar, near the foot of the Chokor Valley. Every place in Bhutan is laidback, peaceful and quiet. Bumthang and Jakar are no different. Bumthang encompasses four major valleys: Chokhor, Tang, Ura and Chhume.
Walking down these streets would almost transport you back in time. The women here still wear the traditional sheepskin shawls on their backs which double as a blanket and cushion. All this and more awaits. You however don’t have to wait, book your trip today!
On reaching Paro, our representative will receive and escort you to the hotel in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Just the drive to the hotel takes you through winding roads filled with beautiful hamlets.
Once you settle in, visit Simtokha Dzong on the way and later visit Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu. Almost every Dzong you come across has an interesting myth/story.
According to a legend, Simtokha Dzong was constructed to subdue an evil spirit, that was harassing the people in the region, and to guard the place. Hence, Simtokha translates as ‘Atop a Demon’. Simtokha is believed to be the first dzong built in Bhutan and is the gateway to Thimphu Valley. The Dzong’s antique murals are renowned for their historic and artistic value and the frescoes and images are among the finest in the country.
Tashichho Dzong: This dzong is an impressive building also known as ‘the fortress of the Dharma Raja’. It has traditionally been the seat of the Druk Desi, the head of Bhutan’s civil government. And that's it for the day.
Start the day with The Memorial Chorten, also known as the Thimphu Chorten, a large Tibetan-style Buddhist Monastery with golden spires and bells. It is a popular landmark and one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu.
Move on to the The National Library of Bhutan, a four-storied eight-cornered traditional building, which looks like the central tower temple of a Bhutanese Dzong.
The Folk Heritage Museum is set inside a 19th century three-storied traditional building and was established in 2001. The museum houses different tools, materials, objects, equipment and artifacts from rural Bhutanese households and gives a good insight of the traditional Bhutanese lifestyle.
We then, head out to see the Buddha Dordenma or Buddha Point, a gigantic 51m tall statue of the Buddha. Located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park it overlooks the entrance to Thimphu Valley. It was built to bring peace and happiness to the entire world.
This is the largest Buddha statue in the world, it was made in China in 2015. The statue has engraved over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues, each of which, like the Buddha itself, are made of bronze and gilded in gold.
We then close the day with a visit to The School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
Right Time. Right Place:
Weekend Market: Thimphu’s weekend market is a lively atmosphere bustling with vendors, bargaining customers and the pungent smell of various spices. The market sells all kinds of food, the holy incense, clothing and handicrafts, dried fish, fatty pork, chillies and the Bhutanese favourite, datse (soft cheese), unique red rice and kapche, also known as tsampa, the ground roasted barley. All this with the distinct aroma of light incense fills the space with an assortment of sorts.
If you are there on weekends, you know where to head!
Day 3 drives us to Punakha. Visit Dochula Pass on the way for a a 360-degree of beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range, especially on clear winter days, and upon reaching Punakha visit the famous Chimi Lakhang and Punakha Dzong.
Chimi Lhakhang flanked with hundreds of prayer flags sits on a round hillock near Punakha. The monastery, built in 1499 is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kinley, also known as ‘the Divine Madman’ or the ‘Mad Saint”.
The majestic Punakha Dzong, also known as ‘the palace of great happiness or bliss’ is the second largest dzong in Bhutan. We close the day here.
Start with a hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten which is a fine example of Bhutanese architecture and artistic traditions. Built out on a beautiful ridge above the Punakha valley, this 4-storey temple has been dedicated for the wellbeing of the kingdom, its people and all sentient beings. The Chorten was built to remove the negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the ever changing world. Didn't we tell you every Dzong comes with a great legend?
An hour hike to the Chorten, through a moderately inclined trail surrounded by pine trees, this site offers beautiful view of the Punakha Valley. Once on the top, the place offers commanding views of the Mo Chhu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond. Hike and back is all we can do for the day!
Explore Paro at your pace, fill it with memories that are solely yours!
On reaching Bumthang, take the day to explore the town.
After a good breakfast, we head to Jakar Dzong, which means ‘Fortress of the White Bird’, is the first place in Bhutan that Guru Rinpoche visited. Jakar is considered as the birth place of Buddhism in Bhutan.
We then proceed to Jambay Lhakhang, which is the oldest monastery in the country, having been built in the 7th century. After that we reach Kurje Lhakhang located further along the valley. It has three temples - one of which was built in 1652 by Trongsa Penlop (Governor of Trongsa) against the rock face where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century. We then visit the Tamshing Lhakhang, which houses, very old religious paintings around the inner walls of the temple, which was restored at the 19th century. We close the day with this.
We start with The National Museum of Bhutan, a unique circular building also known as Ta-dzong which is an ancient watchtower above the Paro Dzong. The building houses some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art, including masterpieces of bronze statues and paintings gathered from different parts of the country with cultural heritage of more than 1500 years.
Paro Dzong, also known as Ringpung Dzong means ‘Fortress on a heap of jewels’. Even though there is no treasure under the Dzong, this impressive dzong is the finest example of Bhutanese architecture and is one of the most popular and well known dzongs in Bhutan.
Close the day with an exploration on your own.
We have all seen the pictures, we have all craved to go there. Well, the day is really here. Perched on the side of a vertical cliff at 3000m altitude north of Paro, the beautiful Taktsang Monastery also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’ is the most famous and an unofficial symbol of Bhutan.
Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) flew to this location from Khenpajong, Tibet on the back of a tigress and subdued a demon. He then meditated in a cave here for three months and emerged in eight incarnated forms (manifestations) and blessed the place.
And Guru Padmasambhava, known for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan, was said to have meditated here.
This is not just beautiful for a hike, it's a place where you truly find peace. An hour hike up to a small wooden teahouse called Cafeteria provides a close view of the monastery. A further and a rather challenging hike will lead you to the glorious Taktsang Monastery itself.
It's a hike like none other!
We then check out Kyichu Lhakhang, located close to the Paro Airport, its an important Himalayan Buddhist Temple, built in the 7th century.
The temple is one of 108 built by Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo to subdue a she-demon who prevented the spread of Buddhism. With this our trip to Bhutan comes to an end. Dream on for the night about peaceful dragons and dzongs!
Its time to bid Log Jay Gay to the beautiful Bhutan, and head back down to earth.
- All necessary arrival and departure transfers.
- 2 nights’ hotel accommodation in Thimphu - in a twin sharing room on bed breakfast basis.
- 2 nights’ hotel accommodation in Punakha - in a twin sharing room on bed breakfast basis.
- 3 nights’ hotel accommodation in Paro - in a twin sharing room on bed breakfast basis.
- All the sightseeing tour and transfers as per the itinerary with English speaking guide by private vehicle.
- Bhutan Visa Fees.
- Tourism development fee Entrance fee in Bhutan.
- International airfare.
- Insurance and rescue of any form.
- Items of personal nature such as bar bills, alcoholic beverages, laundry, telephone calls, extra mileage, personal gratuities as tips to guide, porters, drivers etc.
- Personal insurance policy - suggested a comprehensive travel insurance covering tour and flight cancellations, loss of valuables, thefts, illness, accidents and hospitalization.
- Excess baggage.
- Gratuities, tipping to guides and drivers.
- Expenses incurred by re-routing, inclement weather, floods, famine, political disruptions, strikes, riots and other disturbances.
- Any meals and services not mentioned on cost inclusions.