Glimpse of Bhutan

For a very busy professionals, a Glimpse of Bhutan provides a refreshing time and fresh air.

Glimpse of Bhutan- 5 Days 4 Nights

For a very busy professionals, a Glimpse of Bhutan provides a refreshing time and fresh air for re-energizing with a taste of unique and rich culture and tradition while giving insights into the living of warm people and country, all of which will enthuse you into longing for a return to Bhutan for a longer period. You will during this maiden visit uncover Bhutan’s two of the most popular cities – Paro (where the only international airport is) and Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan). Visits to sacred religious site like the temple, political remains like the fortress, historical place and museums and memorable icons, hike up the hill to the monastery, stroll in the cities and drive though villages are all included. Attractions and sightseeing covered will be in and around the two popular western cities of Bhutan: Paro,which is the only international airport and Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. We will take first to Thimphu and then return back to Paro.

Day 1: Paro to Thimphu

Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan is located at an altitude of 2,300 meters. and in its on way distinguishes itself by being the most unusual capital city in the world, by keeping a strong national character in its architecture. Thimphu is a bustling town and home of the Kingdom’s royal family, monk body, civil servants and expatriates.

Tashichhodzong: Means “fortress of glorious religion”. The Dzong was initially erected in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and later the third king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk rebuilt its present form in 1965. It was built in traditional fashion, without using nails and architectural plans. It is also the home of the throne room of His Majesty the king of Bhutan, the summer residence of central monastic body and ministries and various government organizations.

Memorial Chorten: Built in 1974 in memory of the Third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is popularly considered as the Father of Modern Bhutan. The religious paintings and complex tantric statues inside the monument reflect both peaceful and wrathful aspects of Buddhist deities. It is one of the most visible religious stupas in Thimphu and for many Thimphu residents it is the place where they come to circumambulate the stupa andpay their daily worship.

Overnight: Thimphu

Day 2: Sightseeing In Thimphu

Heritage Museum: Living farmhouse of the 19th century depicting the harmonious living style of the Bhutanese family with the domestic animals in the premises.

National Library: Houses a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts and texts including the imprinted and archaic text of Bhutanese history. The library also has research documents and printing blocks for prayer flags.

Traditional Painting School: Centre where children learn traditional drawing and painting, wood carving, sculpture and other forms of traditional arts. On a visit, one can view the students at work.

Traditional Medicine Institute: The rich herbal medicine found abundant in Bhutan are prepared and dispensed from here. The institute also researches the use of medicinal herbs and plants and operates a trial experiment on the premises.

Textile Museum: This museum has a wide collection of colorful and intricately hand woven ancient and new textiles, depicting the unique and traditional art of Bhutan.

Weekend Market: Worth visiting the weekend market in Thimphu held on Friday afternoon and remains until Sunday evening. The weekend market certainly offers the best opportunity to see agriculture and dairy products and handicrafts, and to mix around with the local people.

Some Excursions and Hikes possible around Thimphu (time permitting):

Tango Temple (Monastery): Initially built by Gyalwa Lhanampa in 12th century and later built into its present form by “Divine Madman” Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century. In the 18th century, the eighth Desi Tenzin Rabgye built a three storey tower and several other surrounding buildings.  Presently, it serves as a monastic school for Buddhist studies. It is about 12 km drive from Thimphu and takes about an hour’s hike to reach the temple from the road end.

Cheri Temple (Monastery): This temple lies next to Tango Temple. Once dropped off, the trail starts by crossing the traidtional wooden bridge. It will take about an hour or so of steep climb. Cheri Temple was founded by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1620. The ashes of Zhabdrung’s father are preserved in a silver stupa inside the temple

Phajoding Temple (Monastery): Located at 3,700 meters, the temple provides commanding height overlooking Thimphu valley. It has several little retreat houses and temples spread around the temple. From Thimphu city, it is about three and half hours of steep climb through mixed conefer forest. Return takes about two hours.

Overnight: Thimphu

Day 3: Thimphu to Paro

Before leaving back to Paro Valley visit Dochula pass. It is located on the way to Punakha from Thimphu. The pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass.
Paro valley is one of the most fascinating valleys in Bhutan. As you disembark at Bhutan’s International Airport at Paro, you will be enthralled by the pleasant atmosphere, the absence of noise and scenic beauty of the valley. A unique tourist destination of its own, Paro valley is home to many venerated monasteries, oldest temples, National Museum and Bhutan’s most impressive and well known Dzongs in the country. Paro is also known for producing the bulk of our famous red rice from its fertile terraced fields.

Attractions and Sightseeing in Paro:

Drukgyel Dzong: About 14 km away from Paro town, stands the ruins of Drugyel Dzong, which was built in 1649 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to commemorate the victory of Bhutan over Tibetan invaders, led by the Mongolian warlord, Gushri Khan in 1644. Drukgyel Dzong captured the eyes of western visitors when it was featured on the cover of the National Geographic magazine in 1914. Above the ruined fortress, appears the towering peak of Mount Jomolhari, “mountain of goddess” which is about 7,315m high. The fortress served as an administrative centre until 1951, when a fire caused by a butter lamp destroyed it. The ruins still attract lot of tourists for its rich history and glorious past.

Ta Dzong: On top of the hill above the Rinpung Dzong is the Ta Dzong, originally built as a watch tower of Paro Dzong in1951. Unlike the rectangular shape of the Dzongs, Ta Dzong is round and is said to be in the shape of a conch shell or more like the parts of a European castle. It was converted to the National Museum in 1968. It has a unique and varied collection of ancient paintings, textiles, weapons and armour, bronze statues, old household objects, exquisite postage stamps, jewellery and many other decorative arts.

Paro Dzong: Also known as Rinpung Dzong, which means ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’. It was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and is one of Bhutan’s most impressive Dzongs in the country which depicts the finest examples of Bhutanese unusual architecture. It serves as the administrative centre of the Paro district and also houses the state monastic community. The courtyard of the Dzong serves as a venue of Paro Tshechu (festival), held annually in spring.

Kyichu Lhakhang: It is one of the two oldest monasteries built in the seventh century by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet in Bhutan. The other one is Jambay Lhakanhg in Bumthang. It is believed that a giant demoness lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples in one day which would be placed all over her bodies to pin the ogress to the earth forever and at the same time, to convert Tibetan people to Buddhism. Kyichu Lhakhangs holds the left foot and Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang pins the left knee.

Overnight: Paro

Day 4: Day excursion to Taksang Monastery (Tiger nest) at Paro

Taktsang Monastery: Literally meaning ‘Tiger’s Nest’ because Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site of the monastery on the back of a tigress and then meditated in a cave for three months in the eighth century.  It is precariously perched on the right side of a cliff, at 2950 metres above sea level and is considered one of the holiest places of pilgrimage for the Buddhist world today. In April, 1998, a fire destroyed the main structure of the monastery. The present king commanded the government that Taktsang be constructed to its original structure and architectural splendor.  Accordingly the reconstruction was commenced in March, 2000 and finally completed and restored to its original splendor in early 2005. A visit to this monastery is challenging and amply rewarding. It is about 5 hours round trip including a lunch stop at the view point where there is a cafeteria.

Overnight: Paro

Day 5: Depart Paro

Morning transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination




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