Come on! Let’s visit the Land of Dzongkha and Dragons. Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan, also the language spoken in Dzongs. Best of Bhutan is easy enough to frame inside one itinerary, but the actual trip is one for the lifetime! In this glimpse, we take a trip to the must-not-miss places in Bhutan – Paro, Thimpu, Punakha and of course the Taktsang Monastery. Let’s get going!
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.
Drive 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 by driving back to Thimpu.
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. Then the National Institute of Traditional Medicine: Established in 1988, the institute that strives to merge the allopathic and traditional systems of healing. Close the day with a head full of information!
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 descend back 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.