Kindly be at the check-in counter at least 2 hours ahead of your flight departure time. Your check-in luggage limit is 20kg on Economy Class / 30kg on Business Class, and hand luggage must not exceed 5kg. Your guide will be waiting for you at the airport with your name on placard, traditional manner by offering a khader (greeting scarf)
DAY 1 PARO ARRIVAL-THIMPHU (-L/D) (65KM, ABOUT 1 HOUR)
Drive to Thimphu valley, at an elevation of 2,350 m / 7700 ft. Urbanization began here when Thimphu was proclaimed as a national capital in 1952 and the Dechenchoeling Palace was built at this time. Even today the city retains its ethnic architectural style and is the only capital in the world with no traffic lights. Yet unlike other capital cities in the world, Thimphu remains essentially pastoral in character and changes its demeanor with the seasons.
On arrival, check into the hotel.
– Visit Buddha point known popularly known as Kuensel Phodrang which has a 160 feet statue of The Present Buddha- Buddha Sakya Muni (Sha cha Thupa). This is one of the biggest statues of Buddha in the World. From here on can get a beautiful view of the Capital city, Thimphu.
– Visit Memorial Chhorten in Thimphu built in 1974 in memory of the Third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who passed away in 1972. The Memorial Chhorten is one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu, and for many people it is the focus of their daily worship. Evening free time to scroll around Thimphu town.
– Walk down to Changlimithang where a decisive battle in Bhutanese history was fought in 1885, and it gave virtual control of the whole country to the future First King, Ugyen Wangchuk. Archery tournaments and football matches take place every holiday.
– Visit Thimphu Dzong (Tashichhodzong) which houses the throne room of our King. And it is also summer residence of Central monastic body.
Evening free time to walk around Thimphu town.
Overnight at hotel – Thimphu
DAY 2 THIMPHU-PARO (B/L/D) (65km, about 1 hour)
After breakfast start the journey towards the Phajoding Monastry.
The Phajoding monastery site was founded in the 13th Century by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo (1184-1251), the Tibetan lama who spread the Drukpa Kagyu teachings of Buddhism in Bhutan and known as the ‘current of compassion’. It is one of the most sacred meditational sites in Bhutan.
Most of the buildings at Phajoding however were constructed in 1748 by Gyelwa Shakya Rinchen (1710-1759), the 9 th Je Khenpo (rje mkhan po) who is considered to be the reincarnation of Rechungpa, the heart disciple of Milarepa. His reincarnation is currently studying at the Nalanda Buddhist Institute in Punakha in central Bhutan.
It also overlooks beautiful whole Thimphu Valley. You will take whole to reach the monastery and to come back. Visiting Phajoding Monastery will be your one of the most amazing and memorable visit ever.
On the way back to Thimphu,in the evening.
Begin local sightseeing of the following places:
– Drive to see the Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal of Bhutan seen only in Bhutan at high Altitude.
– Further, drive up to BBS tower to get a view of capital City of Thimphu.
Evening drive towards Paro.
Overnight at hotel – Paro.
DAY 3 PARO DAY EXCURSION (B/L/D)
The day begins with a short drive towards the road point for start of hike to see the famous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) which clings precariously to a cliff 800 m / 2,600 ft above the Paro valley. The climb up to the view point will take around three hours (depending on one’s fitness). In the second half of the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche, alighted here upon the back of a tigress, and upon meditating for three months in a cave, assumed the form of Dorje Droloe, the Terrifying Thunderbolt and subjugated the Eight Evil Spirits who hindered the propagation of Buddhism. Thereafter, the Buddhist Dharma was introduced to Paro valley and soon spread to the rest of Bhutan. Taktsang is one of the holiest sites in the country and one of the most venerated Buddhist monuments in the Himalayas.
A vegetarian lunch will be served during the hike after which all will walk back to the road point.
Next In fine weather, the towering peak of Mount Jumolhari 7314 m high appears as a backdrop. This mountain which marks the frontier with Tibet is sacred and the dwelling place of goddess Jomo.
– Drukgyal Dzong, now in ruins, was built in 1646 by Shabdrung to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders, led by Mongolian Warlord, Gushri Khan. Strategically built over the only passage into Paro valley, the Dzong helped to repel numerous invasions all through the course of Bhutanese history. It so impressed the early English visitors in 1914 that the Dzong was featured on the cover of the National Geographic Magazine. In fine weather, the towering peak of Mount Jumolhari 7314 m high appears as a backdrop. This mountain which marks the frontier with Tibet is sacred and the dwelling place of goddess Jomo.
– Visit Kyichu temple one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demoness lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demoness.
In the afternoon visit the National Museum which is a repository of not only precious work of art but also costumes, amour and other hand crafted objects of daily life that provide a good snapshot of the rich cultural traditions of the country. It is rated as one of the finest natural history museums in South Asia and it is a wonderful insight into Bhutan the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Of special interest is the gallery of thangkhas which exhibits exquisite pieces of different vintages – those depicting Zhabdung Ngawang Namgyal, the first Je Khempo and first Druk desi are of particular significance.
Stroll by the Ugyen Pelri Palace in a secluded wooden compound south of the river, which was built by the Paro Penlop, Tshering Penjor, in the early 1900s. It is designed after the Second Buddha’s celestial paradise, Zangdhopelri and one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture.
After that, in the evening visit a local Farmhouse: The visit to a Farmhouse is very interesting to get an idea of how Bhutanese people live. The Farmhouses are very decorative, built and painted in a classical style. The houses are normally three stories; the ground floor is used for cattle, the top floor is used as a store, while the family live in middle one.
Try a hot stone bath.
Overnight at hotel – Paro.
Day 4 PARO DEPARTURE (B/L/D)
After breakfast your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight onward.