The Himalayan Wonderland
Day 01 : Arrive Paro
Fly into Himalayans with Druk Air, Bhutan’s National Air Carrier. The green walls of the hills known as dooars or gateways into Bhutan from the plains climbs continually higher as the plane flies north towards the Tibetan border. Silvery rivers thread the valleys, waterfalls plunge down the forested mountain sides, and to the north, the great snowcapped peaks of the inner Himalaya rise up into the sky. As the aircraft enters the Paro Valley, look down and you will see the Paro Dzong overlooking Paro Chu (river) with Ta Dzong, watch tower, now the National Museum, above it. Upon arrival, meet and assist by our representative and drive through the fascinating valley of Paro. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. O/N in hotel. Evening visit to Paro market and take a stroll through town’s main street. O/N in hotel.
Day 02 : Paro – Thimpu (55 kms/02 hrs)
After breakfast, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress from where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari “ mountain of goddess” looms directly over the Dzong. Along the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo. One of the most sacred shrines in the country, it reflects the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. After lunch, visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watch Tower, it now houses National Museum of the country and boasts antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and armor, 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 courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong 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.
Proceed to Thimpu, the capital town of Bhutan. The road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzom (confluence). Three different style of chortens adorn the confluence. A short way beyond on the left is Tschogang Lhakhang, the temple of the hill of excellent horse. It is private temple, built in 15th century, as the result of visitation from Balaha, the excellent horse, a manifestation of Chenrezing, the compassionate Buddha. After the narrow, rock lined section of the road opens up as Thimphu approaches, Simkotha Dzong lies enroute. Simtokha means the place of profound tantric teaching, the dzong now houses a school for the studay of the Dzongkha language.
Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. Evening time for exploratory walk before dinner. O/N in hotel.
Day 03 : Thimphu – Paro
After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing of Thimphu valley which includes, visit National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts. The Art & crafts school, where young students learn the art of thirteen crafts of Bhutan. Also visit mask maker workshop and workshop for fine metal craft, weaving ceramics and paper making. Then visit, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.
Afternoon, visit Traschichhoedzong, ‘fortress of the glorious dharma’. It is the centre of government and religion site of king’s room, National assembly hall, and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shahdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1961 in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans. Also visit King’s Memorial Chorten continuously circumnutated by His Majesty’s subjects, spinning prayer wheels and murmuring mantras. Then, visit handicrafts emporium and local shops if you like to browse through example of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Here you can buy textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery , interesting items made from local materials, and all manner of unique objects.
Evening drive to Paro. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. O/N in hotel.
Day 04 : Dapart Paro
Final departure transfer to airport to board flight for onward journey.