Glimpses of Bhutan Tours

Glimpses of Bhutan Tours

Day 01: Arrive Paro

The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some world's highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport, after arrival & visa formalities and collection of baggage, who will be your tours guide during your entire trips in Bhutan.
Check into your hotel in Paro. Free until lunch time for some rest from early morning flight, refreshment and lunch.
Afternoon, visit to the following Places:

Ta Dzong (National Museum)

-The National Museum of Bhutan is housed inside the six storied circular Ta Dzong. The Ta Dzong is a medieval watch tower situated above the Rinpung Dzong. The Ta Dzong was constructed in 1656 with a purpose to give advance warming to the Paro Dzong in case of an approaching army, in fact the world Ta means “to see” in Dzongkha. The future first king was imprisoned here for a brief period in 1872. In 1968 the Ta Dzong was converted into the National Museum of Bhutan. The museum houses a priceless collection of textile, costumes, painting, appliqué, wooden handicrafts, weapons, armor and jewellery. There is a small section dedicated to the natural history of Bhutan. There is a small chapel on the top of the building with icons representing Himalayan Buddhist traditions.

Rinpung Dzong

-The Paro Dzong is probably Bhutan’s best known and most iconic Dzong.
This is probably the first building you will notice when you land at Paro International Airport and will probably be your first memory of Bhutan. The imposing Dzong is perhaps the finest example of Dzong architecture existing the world today, the massive buttered walls of the fortress dominates over the valley. The Rinpung Dzongs name translates to the “fortress on a heap of Jewels”. The fortress was constructed in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal on the foundations of an ancient monastery. The fort played a crucial role in the history of the Paro valley as the Dzong helped keep the marauding Tibetans away from the Paro valley. The Dzong was hit by an earthquake in 1897 but survived unharmed, but a fire in 1907 ended up causing several damage to the Dzong. The Dzong is built on a steep hill alone the banks of the Paro Chu River. The front part of the Dzong is home to the District administration while the other courtyard toward the rare house district monk body.

The approach toward the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called the NemiZam. A paved stone path runs alongside the imposing outer walls of the structure. The valleys annual springtime religious festival called the Paro Tshechu is organized each year in the courtyard of the Dzong and is attended by tourists from all over the world.

Kyichu Lhakhang
The Jowo Temple of the Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in the Bhutan. The temples was built by the Tibetan King songsten Gampo in the 7th century AD. The Kyichu Lhakhang was one of the 108 temples constructed by him to subdue a demon that was terrorizing the people of the Himalayas. The temple is believed to have been visited by the Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century during his visit to the Paro Valley. Other important personalities to have visited the temple in antiquity include Lam KhaNga and the PhajoDugomZhigpo. The Lhakhang underwent many extensions during the ages with last one being carried out in 1965 by the Queen Mother Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck.

She added another new structure to the temple called the Guru Lhakhang. As one of the oldest Lhakhang, it houses many important relics. One of the most important relics of the temple is a 7th century status of Jowo Sakyamuni which is believed to have cast at the same time as it famous counterpart in Lhasa Tibet.

There are 2 orange trees located in the courtyard of the temple; there is a belief amongst the locals that these orange trees bear fruit all year long. This site is one of the most sacred holy sites is all of Bhutan, and our companies travel consultants recommend every traveler to visit this sacred temple.

National handicrafts emporium
The National Handicrafts Emporium is a states run Handicrafts showroom in 4 different cities of Bhutan. The emporium is runs by the National women’s Association of Bhutan as a Non-Government Organization that is run under the royal supervision of Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Choden Wangchuk. The Handicrafts Emporium is a showcase the finest handicrafts of the country and supports one of Bhutan’s most important income generating activities. The lacks of an organized handicrafts industry in Bhutan is one of the biggest concerts of the organization running the Emporium as they strive to create some form of organization in this otherwise unorganized sector.

The products of sales at the emporium include; locally manufactured hand woven fabrics ,wooden masks, cane and bamboo product, traditional wooden utensils such as cups and bows, handmade paper, statuettes ,prays wheels ect. Most of the good are manufacture in the winter month, since business is slow for farmer in the winter months families turn to the production of handicrafts goods to supplement their income during lea winters. Apart from its central branch in Thimphu the emporium has now opened its doors in 3 more locations including one at the Paro International Airport, Bumthang and the Rural Handicrafts Sales center at Trashigang. The Rural Handicrafts Sales Center is known as good place to pick up woven kiras, table runner and scarves, particularly if you cant’s makes it to the weaving center in Khaling.Kirasarent’s cheap (Nu 4000 to 16000)but do keep in mind that an elaborates piece can take up to six months to create. Overnight in a hotel in paro

Day 02: Hike to Taktshang (5hrs, total Hike)

After breakfast, we will take you for a morning hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Hanging precariously and magically form a rather steep cliffs, the Taktshang monastery is a monument of genuine pried for the Bhutanese nation. Its defiles architectural principles to the core and amazes tourists from around the world.

It is a sight to behold. Taktshang or the Tiger’s lairs as the monastery is called, it is widely regarded is one of the most important monument of spirituals significances in Bhutan. Its history is deeply associated with the visit of the Guru Padmasambhava, the revered India saint who came to Bhutan in the 8th century AD.

The cave was named Taktshang after Guru Rinpoche flew into the cave form Kurtoe Singye Dzong in eastern Bhutan while riding on a tigress. When he landed in the cave, he took the watchful form of Guru Dorji Drolo who is regarded as one of the eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche to decimate the demons. Several saints have chosen this sanctuary to pray and meditate in solitude. The Monastery was built in 1692 by Gyalse Tenzin rabgaye who is said to be one of the reincarnations of Guru Rinpoche. The Monastery consists of four main temples along with their residences that are constructed along the rock ledge. There 8 caves in total out of which 4 are relatively yearly to access.

The monastery was ravaged by fire twice in the 1900s first in 1951 and later the fire of 1998, which nearly destroyed the monastery completely. The government then undertook a comprehensive reconstruction in 200 with funding from foreign donors. The monastery was recreated to its original splendor and re-opened to the public shortly thereafter. From the road, the hike toward Taktshang follows an uphill route and takes approximately 3-4 hours at an average walking pace on a clears, sunny day. We recommend that you carry sunscreen lotion, large quantities of drinking water, a walking sticky just in case you need to the birds and a hat to further protect yourself from the sun.

Later after the hike, drive to Thimphu. Night halt at hotel in Thimphu

Day 03: Thimphu- sightseeing

-After breakfast visit Tashichho Dzong. The Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery cum fortress at the northern edge of Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan. The Dzong was built on the western bank of the river Wangchuk, and has historically served at the seat of the Druk Desi or the Dharma Raja of Bhutan; government. After the king assumed power in 1907 this post was combined with that of the King and Thimphu severed as the summer capital of the kingdom before becoming the full time capital Thimphu.

The original Thimphu Dzong (the Doe-Ngye Dzong) is said to have been constructed in 216 by Lama GyalawLhanangpa. And was later taken over by Lama PhajoDrrukgomShigpo before the Dzong was conquered by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who found the Dzong to be too small and expanded it to what is now Known as the Tashichho Dzong is called the ‘’fortress of glorious religion’’. It was erected in 1641 and was subsequently rebuilt by King Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s.

The Dzong has been seat of the Royal government since 1952 and presently houses the Throne room and the Kings secretariat. The Tashichho Dzong is also home to several ministries of the Bhutanese government and the Central Monk Body which is the apex organization of the country’s main spiritual order. The monument welcomes visitor during the Thimphu Tshechu festival which is held in autumn each year. The Dzongs mains structure is a two striped quadrangle with 3 storied tower on each of its four corners.

-Folk Heritage Museum:
The Folk heritage museum was open to the general public in 2001 upon completion. It treasures troves of culture and rich Bhutan heritage provide rich insights into the Bhutanese ethos. Try to schedule your visit during the morning hours since the museum is less crowded at that time and there is plenty of sunlight to go ground.

The folk heritage museum is housed in a replica traditional Bhutanese house learn first-hand about Bhutan’s rich culture traditions, its deeply rooted heritage which spans thousands of years and the Bhutanese way of life. The tour of this almost living museum will also give you a glimpse onto how many rural folk of the country live today following the ancient Bhutanese ways.

-National textile museums: The second important Museum that also opened its doors in 2001 is the National Textile Museum of Bhutan. During trips to this museum you will get an up close and personal experience of the living national art of weaving. The changing exhibitions at the museum will introduce you to the major weaving techniques that the weaves employ to make these beautiful fabrics. It also gives you a change to see the various styles of dressing of the men and women from different parts of Bhutan.

The museums exhibits follow 6 major themes:
  1. Wrap Pattern Weaves
  2. WeftPalttern Weaves
  3. Role of Textile in Bhutan
  4. Historical achievement in textile
  5. Textiles made from different indigenous fibers
  6. The royal textile collection.

Later in the evening you will visit National memorial chorten. The National Memorial was built by Bhutan’s third kind, H.M.Jigme Wangchuck who is also known as the ‘’Father of Modern Bhutan’’. He wanted to erect a monument carrying the message of world peace and prosperity. However, he was unable to give shape to his idea in his lifetime due to pressure of state and other regal responsibilities. After his untimely demise in 1972, the Royal Family and Cabinet resolved to fulfill his wishes and erect a memorial that would perpetuate his memory and also serve as a monument to eternal peace, harmony and tranquility. The National Memorial Chorten is located in the centre of the capital city, Thimphu and is designed like a Tibetan style Chorten. The chorten is patterned of the classical Stupa design with a pyramidal pillar crowned by a crescent moon and sun. One of the most distinct features of the Chorten is its outwards flaring rounded part that makes the Chorten look more like a vase rather than the classical dome. The interior of the Chorten has a large number of paintings of Tantric deities, in explicit sexual poses that sometime can be a little disconcerting to visitors.

-Kuensel Phodrang
The Kuensel Phodrang or the Buddha point is the World’s largest sitting Buddha statue, the statue is 167 feet high. The statue is situated on top of a hill overlooking the city of Thimphu, it can be accessed by road and is above 15 minutes away from the City’s center. The Word Kuensel means everything is clear and found this place you will sure enjoy a great view of the Thimphu Valley on both sides. The statue will house a temple inside it, the statue and its adjoining car park and recreational center are currently under construction and is expected to be ready by December 2012. The statue is constructed out of bronze and is studded with many semi-precious stones. Since they are no factories in country that can make such a large bronze cast structure statue is begin manufactured in China and the pieces are brought to Bhutan and are assembled here. On the driven to the statue the steep winding hill road offers an unparalleled view of the City of Thimphu and is an excellent place to capture a view of the City especially after dark. A journalist once described them as ‘’seeing an oasis of light in the desert of darkness’ ‘as the City light of Thimphu shin very bright in an otherwise dark Thimphu valley. Evening drive back to Paro. Day 04: Paro Departure

-In the morning after early breakfast we will see you off at the Paro Airport for your onward destinations.

Total Cost per person: USD600 (off season Rate)

Trip Facts

Trip Duration: 3 Days

Starting Price: $---

Group Size: Above 2 Person

Difficulty: Easy

Best Season:Whole Year

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