The Hidden Kingdom of Bhutan Until 1960s all the travel into Bhutan was still on the horse back. Druk Yul, the land of Thunder Dragon is only just emerging from the mist of its self –imposed isolations. Hidden in the folds of the great Himalayas it is an exciting land of surprises, towering peaks, vast impenetrable Dzongs, indigenous forests and a people whose way of life is steeped in culture and tradition.
Nestled deep in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is situated between two big nations, India in the South and China in the North. The simple pleasure that Bhutan offers to many visitors that come to Bhutan from different parts of the globe is a sense of kinship in its developmental policy being guided by the Philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH). This philosophy of GNH has left many development planners around the world thinking and many great thinkers had to give second thought as how this philosophy indeed could turn into a pragmatic reality.
Owing to deep traditional reverence that the Bhutanese people have for nature, the Kingdom is one of the leading countries in environmental preservation. More than 70% of land area is still under forest cover. Its rich Himalayan flora and fauna, astounding white peaks and lush green valleys provide Bhutan with its aesthetic grandeur. It is often said “even the most experienced explorer will find Bhutan to be a revelation”. The air is clean and unpolluted; the mountains majestic and the architecture awe inspiring.
Bhutan is a predominately Buddhist country, practicing the Mahayana Buddhism in the Himalayan region. Buddhism is not just a religion for the people of Bhutan but a philosophy practice as a way of life. It creates an ambiance through out the country, which can be best described as “open heartiness and amicability”.
Day 01 : Kathmandu to Paro-Thimphu Fly to Paro over one of the virgin mountain ranges from Kathmandu in the morning with Druk Air. Meet our representative at the airport and transfer is provided to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan (65kms/2 hrs). Stay overnight at hotel.
Day 02 : Thimphu sightseeing: Visit the national library, painting school, famous for traditional Bhutanese painting, The traditional Medicine Institute, the Memorial Chorten built in memory of the late king of Bhutan, Tashichhodzong (beautiful medieval fortress which houses the king’s throne room) and is the summer residence of the head abbot of Bhutan and the handicraft emporium, it displays wide range of beautiful hand woven and crafted products. Stay overnight at hotel.
Day 03 : Thimphu to Trongsa Early morning, drive to Dochula (3100m). If the weather permits, you will have the view of the beautiful mountain ranges to the northeast. Lunch will be provided at Wangdiphodrang. Proceed to Trongsa across Pelila Pass (3300 m); a large prayer flag marks the pass. Stop en-route at Chendbji Chorten. On arrival at Trongsa, check into a lodge for overnight stay.
Day 04 : Trongsa to Bumthang After breakfast, visit the Trongsa Dzong and visit the Ta Dzong. Then drive to Bumthang. After lunch in Bumthang, visit Kurje Lhankhang, Jambey Lhankhang (one of the 108 monasteries built by the Tibetan King in the 7th century), Tamshing monastery, the Jakar Dzong (the administrative center of the region) and the Swiss farmhouse. Stay overnight at a lodge in Bumthang.
Day 05 : Bumthang to Punakha After breakfast, explore the fascinating valley of Bumthang. Lunch will be provided in Trongsa. Before arriving Punakha en-route visit the Wangdiphodrang Dzong and the local market. Evening at leisure. Stay overnight at a hotel in Punakha.
Day 06 : Punakha to Paro Morning visit the Punakha Dzong. After lunch, proceed to Paro en-route visit Chimme Lhankhang (famous for shaking off the sterile curse, built by Lama Drukpa Kinley, the divine mad man). Stay overnight at a hotel.
Day 07 : Paro Paro sightseeing: visit Ta Dzong and Paro Dzong. In the afternoon hike to Taktsang monastery. Stay overnight at a hotel.
Day 08 : Paro to Kathmandu Transfer to Paro airport. Your guide will help you with the airport formalities. Fly back to Kathmandu. Transfer to a hotel in Kathmandu.