Bhutan Paro Thimphu Punakha -A

 

Itinerary

PHUENTSHLING-THIMPU-PUNAKHA-PARO

DAY-1-Bagdogra airport – Phuentsholing (Approx. 5 hours’ drive)
Upon arrival at Bagdogra transfer to Phuentsholing – The Gateway of Bhutan by Road from India, Phuentsholing (also sometimes spelled Phuntsholing) is the second largest town in Bhutan (population around 40,000) and is located on the Indian border, next to the town of Jaigaon. Our representative will meet you on arrival at Phuentsholing gate. Evening free.ay
DAY-2-Phuentsholing - Thimphu (Approx. 5 hours’ drive)
After breakfast, we will transfer you to Thimphu, on the way we will make our first stop to visit Kharbandi Gompa about 5 km above Phuntsholing. This monastery was built by Royal Grandmother, Ashi Phuntsho Choedron in 1967. From this point the road climbs steeply up into the hills, to an altitude of approximately 2,000m/6,560ft. We will make stops along the way from time to time, so as not to miss the magnificent view of the Indian plains and the Toorsa River below. On the way you will also see the first hydropower electric project ever built in Bhutan. Leaving Chukha we will stop at the small town of Chimakothi. Lunch is served en route (Direct payment). After passing through Captcha the road reaches its highest point of about 2,800m/9,185ft, then descends steeply and runs along the banks of the Wang Chu (river) to Chuzom (meaning confluence), where the Paro Chu runs into the Wang Chu. From here it is only about 30 min drive up the valley to Paro. On arrival in Thimphu, check in at the hotel. 3
DAY-3-Thimphu Sightseeing
Morning after breakfast you will visit the following places:- Visit King’s Memorial Chorten, continuously circulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wang chuck (‘the father of modern Bhutan’) who has wished to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Takin Reserve Centre, The takin, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen here. This particular animal is found only in the Himalayan region Buddha Point (There is a statue of a sitting Buddha made of Bronze and a diamond on his forehead. This is of 169 feet tall). It is considered as the largest sitting Buddha statue in the World. The National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for ZorigChusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later Textile Museum, which provides insight into Bhutan’s one of the most distinct art form. Also visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people. After lunch, drive to Sangaygang view point (2685 meters) to have view of whole Thimphu valley and walk through hundreds of colorful prayer flags that dot the hill overlooking the valley. Changangkha Monastery is next in itinerary. This monastery is built on a hill overlooking the Thimphu valley. It was built in 15th Century by Lama PhajoDrugomZhipo. Many parents of Thimphu take their new born babies to this monastery to be blessed by a high lama. Evening visit Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of Glorious Religion). Evening at leisure or take a walk to the main city from Clock tower square for shopping. Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2320m). Evening at leisure or take a walk to the main city from Clock tower square for shopping. It provides excellent opportunity to mingle with local people.
DAY-4-Thimphu– Punakha Transfer (Approx. 77 Kms / 2 hours’ drive)
After breakfast drive to low lands of Punakha valley touching Dochula pass 3,100 m and on the stop at Hong Tho village. Stop at the immigration checkpoint to stamp in your permit. Next to the check point you will find small local stalls selling fresh juicy local apples available for sale in plastic bags you could try some. You will be driving through the first mountain pass in the western part of Bhutan. You will find the 108 Druk Wangyal chortens on the top of the pass where the ridges are draped in colorful prayer flags greet you. You could take three rounds and offer prayers, take some best photo shoots... If the weather is clear, you will be able to see the highest peaks towards the north, Gangkar Punsum among others is the highest unclimbed peak (24,000 ft.) in the world. If you are lucky you could see red pandas, different species of birds, you can take some photo shot close to the natural lake. Proceed down towards Punakha through Thinleygang village and upon reaching Lobesa turn left and enter Punakha valley. On the way have Lunch (Direct payment) at Lobesa and take a hike to ChimiLhakhang (Temple). This monastery is dedicated to Lama DrukpaKunley” Divine Madman” known for his outrageous behavior. It was built in 1499 by Ngawang Chogyal, 14th Drukpa Hierarch. Many childless women visit this lhakhang (Temple) and seek blessings for a child. The existing footpath to ChimiLhakhang (Temple) passes through beautiful terraces of paddy field after crossing paddy field. You will come across a Lobesa Village with lots of traditional house. Lobesa Village is situated in a valley, surrounded by paddy fields on the way to important Buddhist Shrine “ChimiLhakhang” in Punakha. You can very well interact with local people and here also, you can visit some village houses to understand their lifestyle and proceed towards ChimiLhakhang (Temple). After that drive towards Punakha Sightseeing covering Suspension Bridge and Punakha Dzong.y 5
DAY-5-Punakha to Paro Valley (Approx. 125 Kms -4 hours’ drive)
After breakfast drive to Paro descending back down from DochuLa, follow the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and ParoChhu river valleys, before crossing through Paro Town towards the north end of the valley. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the place of profound tantric teaching, this dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language. Later in the day after checking into the hotel, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons & amp; armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
DAY-6-Paro to Tiger’s Nest Hiking
The hike to Taktsang would take us around 2 ½ hrs. To reach a cafeteria, a point from where one can enjoy a great view of the monastery. Those interested can walk further 45 minutes uphill to get a closer view of the monastery. Walk down back to the road. The journey downward to the road would take us less than 1½ hrs. Have lunch (direct payment) at a restaurant in town. After lunch take in Paro Bazar. Overnight stay in a hotel. 
DAY-7-Paro to Lataguri (Approx. 250 Kms -6 hours’ drive)
After Breakfast drive towards Lataguri. Evening is free for leisure. Overnight at a hotel in Lataguri.
DAY-8-Lataguri to Bagdogra Drop (Approx. 85 Kms -4 hours’ drive)
After Breakfast drive towards Bagdogra from Lataguri with sweet memories.

 

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