Day 01. New Delhi – Gawahati – Samdrup Jongkhar
On arrival you will be greeted by our representative and drive to Samdrup Jongkhar, South-eastern part of Bhutan bordering the Indian states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Overnight in hotel.
Day 02. Samdrup Jongkhar – Trashigang
After breakfast drive to Tashigang, passing through several villages. En-route visit hand loom (weaving center) in Khaling and then visit blind School. Continue drive to Tashigang, Vividly colored handloom cloth and end silk spun from cocoons bred from castor oils plants are local specialties. The dominant language of the region is Sharchopkha instead of Dzongkha. Trashigang is used as the market place for the hill people from Merak & Sakteng, who are known for their exceptional features and for their costume made of Sheep skin and Yak wool. The hat they wear is unusual but has a significance of its own. We might be able to meet a few of these people. Overnight in hotel.
Day 03. Trashigang – Merak – Trashigang
After breakfast drive to Merak. Visit local community, temples and mingle with local. Witness native dances of Merak and Sakteng – Achulamoa Cham and folk dances which is worth witnessing. Drive back to Trashigang. Overnight in hotel.
Day 04. Trashigang – Excursion to Trashiyangtse
After breakfast drive to Trashiyangtse, on the way visit Gom Kora temple and continue drive to Yangtse. The main attractions in this valley, is a great stupa, Chorten Kora built in 1940 and modeled on the style of the Boudhnath stupa in Nepal. After lunch walk to old dzong which is about 1 hour (Both ways). Later visit Trashiyangtse town is small but very beautiful with traditional designs and colors of the houses. This place is also famous for wooden products like dapa (wooden plate), phob (cup) and others. One of the traditional painting schools is located in Tashiyangtse. Drive back to Trashigang. Overnight in hotel.
Day 05. Trashiyangtse – Mongar
After early breakfast drive to Mongar. Afternoon visit Mongar Dzong and stroll around the town. Overnight in hotel.
Day 06. Mongar – Excursion to Lhuentse
After early breakfast drive to Lhuntse. The steepness of the region lends itself to some spectacular views, with rushing waterfalls and sheer drops. Lhuntse district is one of the most rural and isolated districts in Bhutan. The landscape is spectacular with stark cliffs and gorges, beautiful conifer and pine forests, and remote villages. The Kurtoe region of Lhuntse is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s Royal family. And also consider being the best for KishuThara textiles. Visit Lhuntse Dzong and weaving village. Drive back to Monger. Overnight in hotel.
Day 07. Mongar – Bumthang
After breakfast drive to Bumthang and you would notice a change in the weather condition and that the place becomes cooler. Stop at Sengor where you would get to see the locals there. On the way there are a few places where we will stop. Overnight in hotel.
Day 08. Bumthang – Halt
Morning drive to visit Jampa Lhakhang, a ten minute drive from Jakar town . Walk from Jampa Lhakhang through fields and meadows to Kurjey Lhakhang. On the way you will pass a beautiful Chorten and the newly built temple, Zangdo Palri. The trail continues past a water source, Kurjey Drupchhu (Holy water). After crossing suspension bridge, will take to Padmasambhava Lhakhang. Hot lunch will be served. After lunch visit Tamshing Lhakhang – This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message). And visit Khonchosum Lhakhang.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 09. Bumthang – Halt
Morning drive up to Tang valley and visit the mystical Ugyen Choling Palace. After lunch drive back to Bumthang on the way take short walk on the riverside to Menbar Tsho (the burning lake). Continue drive to Chumey. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10. Bumthang – Phobjikha
After early breakfast drive to Phobjikha. En-route visit Trongsa Dzong – seat of the district administration, built in 1648. And visit Tower of Trongsa, which has been converted into a museum from a watchtower that once guarded Trongsa Dzong. Continue drive to Phobjikha. Overnight in hotel.
Day 11. Phobjikha – Halt
Explore Phobjikha Valley. Overnight in hotel.
Day 12. Phobjikha – Punakha
After breakfast, drive to Punakha approximately 3 hours drive. Lunch near Chimi Lhakhang. After lunch visit Chhimi Lhakhang. This was built in 15 Century (dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley also known as divine mad man). It is half hour walk across a local village and rice field. Visit Punakha Dzong (old capital of Bhutan) built in 1637 by Zhabdrung. It is one of the most beautiful Dzong in the country. Overnight in hotel.
Day 13. Punakha – Excursion to Khamsung Yulley Namgyel Chorten
Drive up to suspension bridge and hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten that has great views of Punakha valley. This beautiful monument was built under the royal patronage of Her Majesty Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, The Mother of the 5th King. Walk back to the bridge. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in hotel.
Day 14. Punakha – Thimphu
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu-approximately 3 hours drive through picturesque valleys and mountain slopes dotted with typical Bhutanese villages. From the Dochula pass, at over 10,000ft, vast panoramic views of the high snowcapped peaks of the Bhutanese Himalaya can be enjoyed on a clear day. Lunch will be served at Dochula cafeteria. And you even have an opportunity take a picture of Dochula, 108 stupas. Continue drive to Thimphu.
- Memorial Chorten – built in the year 1974 in the memory of our third king of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
- Motithang Takin Preserve – houses the rare national animal of Bhutan. Takin is listed by international conservation agencies as a vulnerable species and it is a rare animal found only in Bhutan, Nepal and Burma.
- Thimphu Centenary Farmers Weekend Market – Thimphu weekend market is one of the largest domestic market for Bhutanese farmers. The weekend market is crammed into a set of stalls on both banks of the Wang Chhu, just north of Changlimithang Stadium. It’s an interesting place to visit, where village people jostle with well-heeled Thimphu residents for the best and cheapest vegetables and food stuffs. The market essentially is a farmers market, where every week vendors from throughout the region start arriving by Thursday evening and stay at the market till Sunday. And
- Tashichho Dzong – Is a Buddhist Monastery and fortress on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu. It has traditionally been the seat of the Dharma Raja, the head of Bhutan’s civil government, an office which has been combined with the kingship since the creation of the monarchy in 1907, and summer capital of the country.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 15. Thimphu – Sightseeing – Paro
After breakfast visit
- Buddha Point/ Kuensel Phodrang – Is the largest Buddha statue in the country. From there one can get a good view of the Thimphu valley. Plant sapling at Happiness Garden, Kuensel Phodrang.
- Traditional Medicine Institute – In Bhutan, equal emphasis is given to both allopathic and traditional medicines. The rich herbal medicines made up from medicinal plants are prepared and dispensed here.
- Folk Heritage Museum – the house replicates a traditional farmhouse and is furnished, as it would have been about a century ago.
- National Institute for ZorigChusum – or the school of Arts and crafts is an institute where student undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
After lunch drive to Paro and visit Kyichu Lhakhang- one of the oldest and most sacred temple in the kingdom, dated back to the 7th century. Visit Ta Dzong former watch Tower which now houses the National Museum and then visit Rinpung Dzong which houses the monastic school, monk’s residence and the office of the civil administration. Walk down and cross the Bhutanese typical wooden roofed bridge. Overnight in hotel.
Day 16. Paro – Excursion to Taktsang (Tiger nest)
After breakfast, drive for half an hour and start the hike, which is about 5 hours (round trip.) The trail is along an ancient path marked by river-powered prayer wheels. As you reach Taktsang you will be struck by the architectural wonder of this most pious Buddhist shrine in Bhutan. Perched some 1000m, 3000ft on a cliff overlooking the valley; it would justifiably qualify as one of Bhutan’s wonders. Tragically wrecked in a fire early in 1998. It has been rebuilt to its original glory. It is said that the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. Hence the name, Taktsang, or the “Tiger’s Lair.”
Descend back to Ramthangka. If the time permits, drive further north to visit another symbolic structure, which is now under reconstruction. Drugyel Dzong, or “”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa,” which was also built by the Shabdrung to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetans in the 16thcenturies. From here, the Jomolhari Peak (“Mountain of the Goddess”) can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). Overnight at hotel.
Day 17: Paro – Departure
After breakfast, drive to Paro international airport for your onward flight. The representative of Bhutan Soul Tour and Travel will see off and bid farewell.