Valley of Delight
Day 1. Arrive Phuentsholing:
The drive through the plains of West Bengal will be a different experience. The slow moving rivers, the Indian Tea estates and a lot of linear settlements will always be an unforgettable experience to the travelers. You will also come across a lot of different vegetations and farms. Sometimes one can see animals like elephant on the way to Phuentsholing.
On arrival you will be received by your Bhutanese guide from Bhutan Greenland Expeditions and escort you to Hotel. The evening ends leisurely strolling around the town. Over night in Hotel.
Day 2. Phuentsholing – Thimphu:
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. The journey from Phuentsholing will show you how the foothills grow into big mountains. The views of the plains are perfect as you drive the winding roads along the slopes of the forested Himalayas. Stop at places to view scenery and for photography. The evening ends with a walk around the Thimphu town.
Day 3. Thimphu:
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu (Capital). Visit the Sangaygang view point, from where the bird’s eye view of the Thimphu Valley can be seen. Visit the Takin Preserve Centre. Takin is the National animal of Bhutan. Then visit the Drupthob Lhakhang, one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan followed by the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
After lunch, visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Zorig Chusum (The School of Thirteen Arts). Then visit the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices and the Folk Heritage Museum. In the evening, visit the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the National Government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan).Over night in Hotel.
Day 4. Thimphu – Punakha – Wangduephodrang:
After breakfast, drive to Punakha. Stop at Dochula pass to view the higher Himalayas, if the weather is clear. Visit the Chhimi Lhakhang on the way to Punakha. The Temple, also known as “The Temple of Fertility” was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, “The Devine Mad Man”.
After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck convened the first National Assembly here in 1952. Then drive to Wangduephodrang. Visit a village and meet local people. Over night in Hotel.
Day 5. Wangduephodrang – Thimphu:
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. After lunch, visit the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory. Witness an archery Match followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Over night in Hotel.
Day 6. Thimphu – Paro:
After breakfast, drive to Paro. Visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan. Then visit the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646.
After lunch, excursion to Dzongdrakha. Over night in Hotel.
Day 7. Paro:
After breakfast, excursion to Taktshang Monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built surrounding Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684 by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava flew here on the back of a tigress.
After lunch, visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Jumolhari ‘Mountain of the Goddess’ can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329 m /24,029 ft.). Then visit the Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and the most sacred shrine of Bhutan built in 8th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. Over night in Hotel.
Day 8. Departure:
Early morning drive to Airport and Farewell.