Bhutan Buddhist Tour

Duration : 10 Nights / 11 Days
Destinations :
Paro – Thimphu - Punakha - Phobjikha Valley - Bumthang – Wangdue - Paro - Thimphu

Buddhism is the soul of Bhutan. Experience the soul of the last Buddhist kingdom with a trip through the monasteries and rich spiritual traditions of the country. Here, Mahayana Buddhism is followed with great zeal. Explore the rich heritage of Buddhist traditions and explore your hidden self with Bhutan Buddhist Tour.

Day 1: Arrival at Paro

Ta-Dzong National Museum
On arrival at Paro international airport, meet Destinations beyond India tour representative for assisted transfers and check-in. After lunch, visit National Museum (Ta-dzong). Visit the watch tower of Paro Dzong, which now the National Museum.

After this, continue to Rinpung Dzong, which means fortress of the heap of jewels. This particular complex has the administrative and religious headquarters for the Paro district. Post lunch, take a short drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a historic landmark in ruins. Bhutanese defeated the Tibetan invasions and drove them back to their wilderness. From this place, the majestic peak of Jumolhari, the 'Mountain of the Goddess' can be admired on a sunny day (Alt. 7,329 m /24,029 ft.). On the way back, don't miss the 'Kichu Lhakhang', the oldest and the most sacred shrine of Bhutan built in 8th century by Tibetan Monarch Songtsen Gampo.

Day 2: Paro to Thimphu.
Paro to Thimphu. After breakfast transfer to Thimphu. Check into hotel on arrival at Thimphu and visit Bhutan National Bank and Bhutan General Post Office for currency exchange and then you can get an opportunity to purchase exquisite collector Bhutanese stamps. In the afternoon visit the National memorial chorten which was built in 1974 in Memory of the third king; the Folk Heritage museum, arts and crafts, and visit Chang Gangkha Monastery. In the evening you can walk in the town and then Dinner at Bhutan Kitchen.

Day 3: Thimphu to Punakha.

108 Bhutanese Stupas
Post breakfast, you will be taken on a drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass, to view the 108 Bhutanese Stupas. If the weather remains fine, you can admire the glory of the snow-capped Himalayan Ranges. After the stupas, you can further drive to Punakha and see the Punakha Dzong. Situated amid Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River, it is one of the largest Dzongs in Bhutan. You will have to take the suspension bridge to reach the Dzong. Named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness), for many years till the second king assumed power, the great Dzong was the seat of the Government. The war materials seized during the Tibetan battle are kept here. Punakha still remains the winter residence of Je-Khenpo; King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the novel national Assembly here only in 1952. Take a short evening hike to Chimi Lhakhang, built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century. (The monk is commonly known as the Divine madman for his thought, 'Salvation through sex'). The monk tended to subdue the devils with his 'Magical Thunder bolt'. This particular Temple is also called "The Temple of Fertility". Sterile women from far and wide come to here to get blessed. Pay homage and head towards your hotel at Punakha. Recently an article was published in The Washington Post about this temple. Have a wholesome dinner before retiring to your hotel.

Day 4: Punakha to Phobjikha valley.
After breakfast, visit the Chimed lhakhang, the fertility temple of Saint Drukpa Kuenley known popularly as 'the divine madman'. Then take a hike to the Wangduephodrang Dzong, which sit majestically on a steep ridge over looking the highway those forks to the east and south of the country. Then drive to Phobjikha valley, on the way visit one of the most ancient monasteries in Bhutan that was resurrected by the 9th Gangtey Tulku Rimpoche.

Day 5: Phobjikha-Bumthang.
Post breakfast, we will move towards Bumthang passing over Pele la (11,000 ft) And Yotungla pass. Here we get our first glimpse of the Black mountains. High Himalayan Mountains Such As Jumolhari are in view amidst hundreds of prayers flags; blessings abound. As we continue onwards we begin to get our first glimpse of the incredible massive dzong - Trongsa dzong; an architectural Wonder! Trongsa medieval watchtower and the great Mangde chu (river) enhance Trongsa dzong in its exceptional beauty and grandeur. We now stop to visit Trongsa dzong; ancestral home of the royal family. Built in 1648 ad it is presently the administrative seat of the district and the home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the dzong offers magical wonder. The watchtower, located directly above the dzong, has on display many interesting armors and other weapons of war used by ancient warriors. Continue onwards to Jakar.

Day 6: Bumthang Sightseeing.
The Bumthang valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the whole of Bhutan. It is also the religious heartland where many saints and masters meditated leaving their imprints as sacred places of worship and pilgrimage Tales of Pedmasambhava dominate these holy shrines. In the morning visit, Jampa Lhakhang which is built by Tibetain King Songtshen Gempo in 7th century and then drive to Kurji Lhakhang were body imprints of Guru Rimpoche remain s preserved upon a rock. Then short hike to Tamzhing Monastery. If the weather is clear, you will enjoy the view of green valley, dotted with hundreds tempals, thousand flags and beautiful chamkhar river flow through the valley. The valley is also known as the mini Switzerland of Bhutan. You will be driven to Swiss Guest House for an English lunch, prepared by the guest house owner himself. Later in the day, you'll be taken to the Jakar Dzong and the old residence of Wangdicholling.

Day 7: Continue sightseeing.

Ugyencholling Place
Visit Tang Member Tsho (Burning Lake), Saint Pemalingpa had discovered several hidden treasure from the Lake. Then drive to Tang valley then hike to Ugyencholling Place. There you can see the dzong and museum and cluster village of ugyencholling. You can also see the view of whole valley valley from the ugyencholling. Then on the way back, visit the only Buddhist Institute who provides degree in Buddhist philosophy for women. It is founded by 9th Gangtey Tulku Rinpoche.

Day 8: Bumthang To Wangdue.
A drive from Bumthang towards the west, taking around seven hours sees you in Wangdue. Enroute stop for lunch and photographs on the way when you come across good spot for your pictures.

Day 9: Wangdue to Paro via Thimphu.
You will be driven to Thimphu today, for shopping and lunch. Continue onwards to Paro.

Day 10: Excursion to Tiger Nest.

Tigers Nest Monastery
After breakfast book a day's hike or a mule ride to the 'Tigers Nest Monastery'. One of the most revered shrines of Bhutan, this monastery hangs on the side of a cliff dropping 900m towards the Paro valley below. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here sitting astride a flying tigress and meditated in a remote cave, hence the place came to be known as 'Tiger's Nest'. This site has been recognized as one of the most spiritual sites of the country. A sacred place, where many eminent saints did meditation, it is now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their life. The hike up toTaktshang, along a smooth path, takes around 2-3 hours at an average pace. On a bright, sunny day, it is advisable to carry sunglasses, sunscreen, adequate water, a walking stick and a hat (the bigger, the better). Lunch and refreshments at the cafeteria which offers an impressive view of the cultural landmark. (The hike can be quite strenuous and a pony ride to the monastery can be arranged at additional cost). In the afternoon, you can relax inParo.

Day 11: Departure
After breakfast, bid farewell to your guide and be transferred to the airport for flight.

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