Bhutan is country of diverse altitudes, climates, vegetation and scenery. There are number of active Buddhist temples and monasteries, many of which date prior to 17th century and they are very interesting to see. The architectures of Bhutan is unique, colourful and well kept.
Bhutan is haven for trekkers, providing mountain views and travel through virgin forests, remote villages, with almost no other tourists around.
Understand Bhutan’s religion by visiting the many dzongs, which can better describe Bhutan’s religion and history than words. Besides, you’ll not miss out the fun of hiking and the chance to know about local life.
Jaigaon/Phuntsholing (Zangtho Pelri,Crocodile park, Kharbandi Monastery, Thimpu Chukha /Tala Hyde project, Takti Chu), Thimpu (National Memorial Chorten, BBS Tower, ChangangkhaLhakhang, Takin Preservation Centre, Folk Heritage museum, TashichhoDzong.), Punakha, Paro.
Transfer from Alipurduar to Phunsholing
After beakfastdrive toward Thimphu, visit to Memorial Chorten, stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan’s third King, His Late Majesty, KingJigmeDorjiWangchuk, who is popularly egarded as Father of modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang) Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley. Trashichhoedzong, also known as “fortress of the glorious religion”, it was initially built in 1641 and later rebuilt in its present form by King JigmeDorjiWangchuk in 1965. The Dzong houses, main secretariat building which houses the throne room of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan. The National Assembly Hall is housed in a modern building on the other side of the river from the Dzong. During the warmer summer months, the monk body headed by His Holiness, the Je Khenpo, makes its home in the Dzong.
After breakfast visit National Textile Museum with the opening of Textile Museum, under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Sangay Choden, Bhutanese textile has reached new heights as one of the most visible distinct art form. The textile museum has opened its exhibition on six major themes – warp pattern weaves, weft pattern weaves, role of textiles in religion, achievements in textile arts, textiles from indigenous fibers and the royal collection. The crowns of Bhutan’s Kings, namzas (dresses), the first version of Royal Crown and other accessories used by members of Royal family can be found in the museum. The goal of the museum is to gradually become a center for textile studies that will carry out documentation, research and studies on Bhutanese textiles. Institute for Zorig Chusum Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school. The Folk Heritage Museum (Phelchey Toenkhyim) it is dedicated to connect people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programmers and documentation of rural life. The principal exhibit in the museum is a restored three storey traditional rammed mud and timber house, which dates back to the mid 19th century. The design and form of house is that of an average household in the Wang area during that era. The age of structure demonstrates the durability and performance of the building materials. From ground to top floor, household objects, typical domestic tools and equipments that would have been used by a family during that period are put on display. The museum is also developing some of the native trees and plants that were used for various domestic purposes in the rural households. After Lunch visit Changangkha Lhakhang it is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley. Takin Preserve, Motithang The Takin is the national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. Legend has it that the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, DrupaKunley, and it can be found only in Bhutan and nearby areas. Taxonomists place the animal in a category of its own as it is not similar enough to any other animal to fit established categories. Simtokha Dzong, the dzong, built in 1627 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, stands on a low ridge 8 km down the valley from Thimphu. The Institute for Language and Cultural Studies is located here. The most note worthy artistic feature of this dzong is the series of over 300 finely worked slate carvings behind the prayer wheels in the courtyard.
After breakfast drive toward Punakha- visit Chimi Lhakhag, it is built in 1499 by the cousin of Lama Drukpa Kunley, in his honourDochu La with his “magic thunderbolt of wisdom”. A wooden effigy of the lama’s thunderbolt is preserved in the Lhankhang, and childless women go to the temple to receive a wang (blessing or empowerment) from the saint. Punakha Dzong, was the second of Bhutan’s dzongs and until the mid-1905s it served as the seat of the government. It’s arguably the most beautiful dzong in the country, especially in spring when the lilac-Colured jaracanda tress brings a rare sensuality to the dzong’s characteristically towering white-washed walls. Punakha Dzong was built by Zhabdrung in 1637, it stand majestically at the junction of the two rivers-pho chu and mochu. The Dzong is open for visitors during the Punakha Tshechu and during the summer month when the monk body moves to Thimphu. Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, Built by Third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk this chorten is a splendid example of the Bhutanese architecture and art and is the only one of its kind in the world.
After Breakfast drive toward to Wangdue, visit Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, was founded by the Zhabdrung in 1638. It is obvious that the site was selected for its commanding view of the valleys below. Legend relates another reason for choosing this spot: as people searched for the site for the Dzong, four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered an auspicious sign, representing the spreading of religion on the four points of the compass. Wangdi is important in the history of Bhutan because in the early days it was the country’s second capital. Khewaang Lhakhang,It has a tshechu on the first day of the nine month, which local men (not monk) do the dancing. Gangtey Goemba, it is also known as the winter home of the Black necked crane (GrusNigricollis), 600 black necked cranes with Phobjikha being one of the popular places that the birds migrate to in the winter month from the Tibetan plateau. The elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of March. This is an old monastery that dates back to 17th century. Enjoy the valley’s prime chunk of real estate, on a hill overlooking the green expanse of the entire Phobjikha valley. The extensive complex consists of the central goemba and outlying monks’ quarters, meditation centers, schools and small guesthouse. Black-necked cranes information centre, situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the maun road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane information centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best views of the cranes. The centre also offer display information that outline the nature and culture and culture history of the areas.
After breakfast drive to Paro, visit National Museum, at the top of the hill above ParoDzong is an old watchtower that was renovated in 1968 to house the National Museum. ParoDzong, is one of the Bhutan’s most important preserve and well-known dzongs, and perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture you will see. The massive buttress walls tower over the town and are visible through the valley.
After breakfast hike toTaksang Monastery “Tiger’s Lair” is perched on the side of a cliff at a height of 900m above the Paro valley, where the only sounds are the murmurs of wind and water and chanting of monks. The hike up to the monastery takes about 3-4 hours monks. After Lunch Visit, KyichuLhakhag, is one of the oldest beautiful temple. This temple is popularly believed to have been built in 659 by King SongtsenGampo of Tibet, to pin down the left foot of an giant ogress who was thwarting the establishment of Buddhism into Tibet.VisitDrukgyelDzong, this dzong was built in 1649 by ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyal in a location chosen for its control of the route to Tibet. The dzong was named ‘Druk’ (Bhutan) ‘Gyel’ (Victory) to commemorate the victory of Bhutan over Tibetan invaders in 1644. After breakfast drive towards to Paro.