The scope for trekking in Bhutan is immense from short walks to arduous treks. A trekking holiday provides an opportunity to see the beautiful Kingdom of Bhutan at its most magnificent. From the towering snow peaks of the inner Himalayas to the verdant forests that cloak the hills above its peaceful valleys, the trails are clean, unspoilt, and the wilderness still pristine in its' beauty. The rich Himalayan flora and fauna, snow capped peaks and beautiful rural landscapes leave a lasting impression upon the minds of those who have the chance to visit this last Buddhist Kingdom.
At certain times of year, festivals draw thousands of local people, some of whom walk for days, to see the masked dances or tsechu performed in the courtyards of ancient dzongs and monasteries. The ideal way to witness these festivals is as part of a tour or trekking holiday.
Fly from Kathmandu to Paro by Druk Air flight. You enjoy sightseeing in Paro. After Tea, drive to Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower which now houses the National Museum. This unusual round building is said to be in the shape of a conch shell. The centerpiece of this Museum is a complex four-sided carving depicting the history of Buddhism and its propagation. One side is Sakyamuni and the great teacher Atisha, representing the Sakya School. On the next is Geylup, a disciple of Dalai Lama. Another is Nyingma lineage, the head is Guru Padmasanva, and the final is Drukpa Kagyu with the figure of Vajra Dhara. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning ?Heap of Jewels?, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. Here you can see finest example of Bhutanese architecture. Enroute visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. This Monastery is one of the 108 monasteries built across the Himalayan region by the Tibetan King to subdue the Demoness that lay across the Himalayan region. The rest of the monasteries lie in other neighboring countries. In the evening drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 by the Great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). You stay in hotel at Paro.
Sightseeing in Thimpu. After breakfast, visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls).You can visit in different class rooms, where different students follow a comprehensive course that starts with drawing and progresses through painting, wood and slate curving, and statue making. Next you visit Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. Visit Handicraft Emporium for shopping Bhutanese Various Arts and Textiles. After lunch you will hike to Tango Monastery. The trail Tango is a climb of 280 meters and it takes an hour to reach the monastery. Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa founded the monastery in 12th century. The present building was built in 15th century by the ?Divine madman?. This is one of the best places for meditation. In the evening, you visit Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion). In 1216 the lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa built Dohon (Blue Stone) Dzong on the hill above Thimphu Where Dechen Phodrang now stands. A few years later Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who brought the Drukpa Kagyu line age to Bhutan, took over Dohon Dzong. In 1641 the Zhabdrung (The one who unified the country) acquired the dzong from the descendants of lama Phajo and renamed it as Trashi Chhoe Dzong. He then arranged to house both monks and civil officials in the same Dzong. At present it is a seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). You stay overnight at hotel.
You enjoy sightseeing in Punakha. After early breakfast, you drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass, where you can see 108 Bhutanese Stupas. If the weather is clear you can see all Himalayan Ranges with all snow covered. Further drive to Punakha and visit Punakha Dzong. The Dzong is situated between the two rivers and it is one of the biggest rivers in Bhutan. You have to walk through the suspension bridge to reach the Dzong. The Dzong was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, ??a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant?. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952. In the evening short hike to Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century? (This monk is popularly known as the Devine madman for his philosophy, ?Salvation through sex?). He subdued the demons with his ?Magical Thunder bolt?. The Temple is also known as ?The Temple of Fertility?. Sterile women from far and wide come to this Temple to get blessed and an article about this temple also appeared in newspaper, The Washington Post some years back. You stay overnight at hotel in Punakha.
ive from Punakha to Wangduephodrang. You enjoy sight seeing in Wangdue. After breakfast, you drive to Wangdue and visit Wangdiphodrang Dzong built in 1638. Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong; four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered auspicious sign, representing the spread of religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers. You further drive to Gangtey valley. It is one of the most beautiful glacial valleys of the Himalayas. Visit Gangtey Gompa from outside. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Explore Phobjikha valley, famous for the Black Necked Cranes during winter. These cranes are very rare and endangered and highly protected by the Government. These cranes fly to Phobjikha valley which is their winter Habitat. The Cranes circle three times in a clock-wise direction around the Gangtey Gompa as a reverence to the Monastery before landing in the valley. They repeat the same practice before flying back to Tibet in early spring. You can watch the cranes. En route you will stop in different places for the photography and have the view of different valleys. In the evening drive back to Wangduephodrang. You stay overnight at hotel in Wangdue phodrang
Drive from Wangduephodrang to Thimphu. Enjoy sightseeing in and around the place. Drive from Thimpu to Paro. After breakfast, you drive to Thimphu and visit Simthokha Dzong. It is the oldest Dzong in Bhutan. Then you visit Bhutanese Traditional paper making Factory. After lunch you drive to Paro. You stay overnight in Hotel at Paro.
Fly out from Paro.
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