A beautiful, peaceful, tranquil Shangri-La on the earth. With the mighty Himalayas as the backdrop, no matter where you stay it’s paradise.
Visit the Sandalwood Ornamented Kingdom Of Bhutan, also known as the Land of Peaceful Dragon. Actually, it’s called Thunder Dragon, Druk Yul. This is due to the thunderstorms that whip down through the valleys from the Himalayas, it almost looks like a dragon is breathing fire! But Druk is the Thunder Dragon of Bhutanese mythology and a Bhutanese national symbol. It appears on the flag, holding jewels representing wealth. But, the dragon is always peace-loving.
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. 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!
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!
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 take off on an excursion to Haa Valley, which is often known as the ‘Hidden-Land Rice Valley’, one of the most picturesque places in Bhutan with great views, dramatic scenery and cultural interaction.
According to the legend, before the 8th century, animist tradition was very significant in the Haa valley. The tantric master Padmasambhava visited the valley in the 8th century and transformed some blood sacrificing animist beliefs into peaceful Buddhist traditions. Wrap the day with a lovely Bhutanese dinner.
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.