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Duration

8 Days

Activities

  • Religious and Spiritual Tours
  • Cultural and Historical Tours

Accomodation

  • Twin sharing

Meals

  • Three meals per day

Price special offer

from 3100 USD

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Overview

Trip highlights

Trongsa, the sacred and the temporal heart of the country is a two days journey from Thimphu. Situated in central Bhutan, it was once the seat of power over central and eastern regions. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat and it is customary for the crown prince to serve as the Trongsa Penlop (“governor”) prior to ascending the throne.

The local people in this valley celebrate their annual five-day festival after the harvest during the winter, generally in the month of January but sometime in the month of December. This festival held in the courtyard of the fortress which bring together people from all walks of life and falls. In addition to traditional mask dances and unfurling of huge sacred Thongdrol (ancient old Thangkha - Buddhist Religious Scroll) the Visitors can receive blessings from high ranking monks. People also receive blessings from the sacred Nangtens that is opened during the last day of the Tshechu.

Activities:

Itinerary

During the flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga (if flying from Kathmandu or Delhi) and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Chomolhari and Mount Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by our representative and transferred to Thimphu. The drive will take around 1.5 hour. Thimphu has a population of about 100,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. 

After lunch visit to National Library, It contains Bhutan’s history in the form of religious & historical literature. Most of the books here are about Buddhism & Himalayan History. You will also find the world’s largest book here; Tashichho Dzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government's office and King's Throne room it is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot; the National Memorial Chorten. The building of this landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan's third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk ("the father of modern Bhutan") who has wished to erect 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. Evening is free. Overnight at hotel.

After breakfast drive to Punakha, leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Stop at the pass to visit Druk Wangyal Chortens, 108 stupas built by the eldest Queen. Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha valley. Before proceeding further to Punakha town, we will hike up to the Chimi Lhakhang temple on a small hilltop. This temple is dedicated to the great Yogi in 14th century known as Drukpa Kuenley or popularly known as “Divine madman” to the westerners. It is believed that this temple blesses women who seek fertility. Finally reach Punakaha and visit the Punakha dzong, the winter residence of the Je khempo (chief abbot).   Punakha Dzong is the most Magnificent and Largest Dzong in Bhutan located beautifully in between the two largest rivers Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River); it is an outstanding structure with intense artwork. After strolling through the town of Punakha, drive towards the hotel for overnight.

The drive to Trongsa takes approximately 5 hours. We start early for the fabulous drive to the central valleys of Bhutan through the breathtaking beauties and serenity of Bhutan’s rich flora and fauna. As we cross the fertile valley of Punakha and enter into the valley of Wangdue Phodrang. We take an opportunity to photograph the majestic fortress of Wangdue Dzong, which stands on a spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers.We then climb steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pele la Pass (3,300 m). With an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo, the Pass is traditionally considered the boundary between West and East Bhutan. During the clear weather, we can view the high snow capped peaks specially the Mount Chomolhari (7,314 m). As we descend from the pass through the dwarf bamboo and quite often Yaks grazing we reach Chendebji Chorten. A Lama known as Shida, in order to nail into the ground a demon that had been terrorizing the inhabitants of this valley and the Ada valley just over the ridge, built this Chorten or Stupa in 18th century. Continue the drive towards Trongsa. Finally, reach Trongsa. Trongsa is picturesque with spectacular landscapes and the Trongsa Dzong near looks like a huge apparition in the radiant sun and is stretched along a ridge. Overnight at hotel.

After breakfast you will drive to Trongsa Dzong (It is the biggest Dzong in the country. The view from the Dzong extends for many miles and in former times nothing could escape the vigilance of its watchmen) and attend the festival. The day will spend witnessing the masked dances and the fair around the monastery ground. Meet the local people and exchange information. Overnight at the hotel.

Early morning drive back to Wangduephodrang via the same highway. After 5 hours scenic drive, finally reach WangduePhodrang and visit the WangduePhodrang Dzong, built in 1638. It is believed to be built on the back of the giant Elephants back and is considered one of the most important Dzongs of the 17th century as it controlled west - East and to the South. Evening is leisure time. Overnight at hotel.

After breakfast drive towards Thimphu. Upon arrival at Thimphu visit Simtokha Dzong (6 km from Thimphu) the oldest Dzong in Bhutan built in 1629 AD for sightseeing of Thimphu. Visit Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts are displayed and can be purchased. Visit the School of Traditional Paintings - Known as ‘Zorig Chusum’ where 13 traditional arts of Bhutan be trained. Afternoon is free and can do last minute shopping in Thimphu. Evening drive back to Paro. Overnight at hotel.

In the morning hike to Taktsang Monastery. Taktsang meaning “Tiger’s Nest”, is built around a cave in which Guru Rimpoche (also known as Guru Padmasambhava) meditated. The eighth century's monastery is perched on a rock overlooking a sheer drop and clings seemingly impossible to a cliff of rock at 2,950 m above the sea level.

After lunch visit Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fortress, which was once, defended this valley from Tibetan invasions.  After then proceed towards Kyichu Lhakhang (Monastery). One of the oldest monasteries in bhutan, was built in 659 A.D by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet as one of the 108 such monasteries he built in across the Himalayas to spread Buddhism. Rinpung Dzong, the massive fortress is located on a small hill just above the Paro River (Pachu). The Dzong houses the district administration office and the District Monk body. It was built in 1645 A.D. Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars which now house the nation’s heritage, Bhutan’s National Museum.

After breakfast free till departure time. Transfer to the airport for onward journey.

Inclusion

    Price Includes:

    • Necessary airport, hotel and airport transfers
    • Bhutan Visa Fee
    • Government approved A and B category hotels on twin sharing basis
    • Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan.
    • Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu airfare
    • Airport tax
    • Entrance fees and permit
    • Overland transport in comfortable private vehicle
    • Sightseeing as per itinerary
    • Experienced English speaking  guide
    • Government royalty, tax and Fees
    • Service Charge

    Price Excludes:

    • Travel Insurance
    • Beverages
    • Expenses of a personal nature
    • Tips to guides and drivers
    • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

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Trip reviews

Annapurna round trek was well organized by Raj from BDEx. Gide Amrit Pandey is very skilled and intelligent. Weather on the trek was rather different so we were about ready to turn back from Pissang. Nevertheless next day was clean and we immediately decided to continue. Finally we did Thorang La 5416 m. On the way we saw many people coming back because of deep snow. I am happy that we were lucky to pass Thorang La on second day after it was opened. Many thanks for the trip to BDEx and my guide!!!

Mikhail Grevtsev

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