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14 Day depth of Bhutan
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Highlights Itinerary / Inclusions Select Lodging

This Visit gives you some of the best highlights of Bhutan.

Highlights
Ta Dzong
Rinpung Dzong 
Taktsang Monastery
Trashichhoedzong
Punakha Dzong
Trongsa Dzong
Mongar Dzong
Trashigang Dzong
 

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(approx OK)
Click on the cities in the map and calendar for more details

Itinerary Highlights Lodging Close

14 Day depth of Bhutan

Scroll down for Inclusions or click here.

 
Day 1: Arrive at Paro. Our Services begin here. You will be greeted at the airport by our travel facilitator or your Tour Director. You will then be ushered to a chauffeur driven vehicle and driven to your hotel, where you will be assisted with your check in. The next day’s plans are briefly reviewed and the travel facilitator or Tour Director hands over travel documents such as your air tickets and hotel vouchers to you.
Evening – Take an exploratory walk around Paro's main street and local market. 



Day 2: Paro. Start the exploration of Bhutan with a city tour of Paro, which contains a wealth of attractions. Visit Ta Dzong (fortress), once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during the inter-valley wars of the 17th century. Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968. From here, walk-down a hillside trail to visit ‘Rinpung Dzong’ (fortress that sits on a heap of jewels). It has a long and fascinating history and is a fine example of Bhutanese architecture. The wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard of the dzong have fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore. 
There is a break for lunch. 
Afternoon – Drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of the sacred Mount Chomolhari (mountain of the goddess) can be seen in all glory from the approach road to the dzong. Also, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan King, Songtse Gampo. 



Day 3: Paro – Thimphu. Check out from your hotel and visit the Taktsang (Tiger’s Lair) Monastery. This is the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries and is spectacularly perched on the side of a cliff, 800m above the Paro valley floor. Taktsang is a place of pilgrimage and every Bhutanese tries to visit it at least once in his lifetime. It is said that in the 8th century, Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for three months, hence its name, ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The site has long been recognized as the most sacred place in Bhutan and was visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646. The main structure was severely damaged by fire in 1998, but after many years of painstaking renovation work, the complex has now been fully restored to its former glory. The picture of the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ is symbol of Bhutan in many tourist guide books.
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon – Proceed on a drive to Thimphu. Stop en-route visit to Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortresses of the country, which now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies.
Arrive at Thimphu and check in to your hotel. 



Day 4: Thimphu. Start the day with the Visit to the ‘Trashichoedzong’ (fortress of the glorious religion). This is the centre of the Bhutanese government. It houses the monarch’s throne room and the seat of Je Khenpo or the Chief Abbot. The spectacular dzong (fortress) was built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was reconstructed in the 1960s, in traditional Bhutanese style by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the father of modern Bhutan. It was made the seat of the government of Bhutan in 1969.
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon – Visit the King's Memorial Chorten (Buddhist funeral monument), which is continuously circled by people, murmuring mantras and spinning prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the father of modern Bhutan. His plan was to dedicate this monument to world peace and prosperity. It was completed in 1974 after his untimely death. Today, it serves both as a memorial to the late King and as a monument of peace. Then, visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to browse through examples of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangka (religious banner) paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery and interesting items made from local materials. Also visit the Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums, a fascinating testimony of Bhutan’s living traditions. 



Day 5: Thimphu – Punakha. Check out from your hotel after an early breakfast and drive to Dochu-la (a pass at 3,088m/ 10,130 ft), stop here and admire the view of chorten and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right) - Masagang (7,158 m), Tsendagang (6,960 m), Terigang (7,060 m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497 m.
Once at Punakha visit its claim to fame, the Punakha Dzong which was known in ancient times as the ‘Pungthang Dechhen Phrodang’(the palace of great happiness). It dates back to 1637. It is the second Dzong to be built in Bhutan and resembles a gigantic ship and is located at the confluence of the rivers Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. The dzong was the coronation site of Ugyen Wangchuck, the first king of Bhutan in 1907. It was also here the historic treaty was signed with the British 1910, wherein they agreed not to interfere in the internal affairs of Bhutan. Although four catastrophic fires and an earthquake in recent past destroyed many historic documents, Punakha Dzong still houses many sacred and historic artefacts including the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
Arrive at Punakha and check in to your hotel. 



Day 6: Punakha – Wangdi Phodrang – Gangtey (Phobjikha). Check out of your hotel after breakfast and proceed on a drive to Gangtey, en-route visit Wangdi Phodrang. This is the last town on the highway before entering Central Bhutan. Situated on a ridge overlooking a river junction is the formidable Wangdi Phodrang Dzong, the town’s most visible feature. In the 17th century, Wangdi played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country. Also visit the local market. The district of Wangdi Phodrang is also famous for its bamboo products, slate and stone carvings. Visit majestic Wangdi Dzong and the interesting local market.
Arrive at Gangtey and check in to your hotel.
The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. It is surprising to find such a wide flat valley without any trees, after a climb through dense forests. The valley also gives an impression a vast area. This is an extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed. 
Evening – Walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region. 



Day 7: Gangtey (Phobjikha) – Trongsa. Explore Phobjikha valley in the morning and view the black necked cranes, if you are there at the right time of year. Phobjikha is one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan and is the winter home of the rare black necked cranes which migrate from the Tibetan plateau. 
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and proceed on a drive to Trongsa across Pele-la (a pass at 3,300m/10,830 ft). This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between western and central Bhutan. Stop en-route to visit Chendbji Chorten erected in the 18th century by a Tibetan lama to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. It is built in the Nepalese style, with painted eyes at the four cardinal points. The landscape around Trongsa is spectacular and its impressive dzong, stretched along a ridge above a ravine, first comes into view about an hour before the winding road suddenly leads you into the town. Arrive at Trongsa and check in to your hotel. 



Day 8: Trongsa – Bumthang (Jakar). Check out from your hotel after breakfast and proceed on a drive to Bumthang, en-route visit the Trongsa Dzong. This dzong architecture dominates the entire Trongsa horizon, dwarfing the surrounding buildings. Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second King ruled the country from this ancient seat.
Arrive at Bumthang and check in to your hotel.
Late afternoon – You are at leisure. 



Day 9: Bumthang. Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura. The altitude of this area varies from 2,600 m to 4,000 m. It is home to many prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries. Visit Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock. Visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom, as Bhutan’s “patron saint”, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. From Kurje monastery, a tar road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang. This temple was erected by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and is one of the two oldest in Bhutan (the other being Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro). Explore the Jambey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang (houses some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan). Stroll around the village and visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town.
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon – Visit Jakar Dzong (the dzong of the white bird) and then take a stroll through Bumthang’s market area before returning to the lodge. 



Day 10: Bumthang – Mongar. Check out from your hotel after breakfast and proceed on a drive to Mongar. The drive takes about six hours and the views en-route are spectacular. You will get to see interesting village sights and panoramic views of the valley of Sengor.
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon – Visit to Mongar Dzong which was built in the 1930s and is one of Bhutan’s newest dzongs. It is constructed in the same way as all previous dzongs, which is without any architectural plans or nails. 



Day 11: Mongar – Trashigang. Check out from your hotel after breakfast and drive to Trashigang. Drive through the Kori-la pass (2,450m/8,040ft), marked by a pretty chorten and a mani wall. The drive meanders through corn fields and banana plantations via the famous ‘road zigzags’ just below Yadi, a fairly recent and fast growing settlement. Visit Drametse, the temple, perched on top of a steep hill above the village. This village was founded by Choeden Zangmo and is today the most important monastery of eastern Bhutan. This is where the famous Drametse Nga Chham, a masked dance with drums originated from. Trashigang is an important township and the biggest and most populated district in the country. Arrive at Trashigang and check in to your hotel.
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon – Visit to Trashigang Dzong which stands majestically at the extreme end of a rocky outcrop far above the river gorge. It serves as the administrative seat for the district and part of the dzong is occupied by the local Drukpa monastic community. 



Day 12: Trashigang. Excursion to Trashiyangtse – Visit the temple of Gom Kora which is located on a small alluvial plateau, overlooking the river, 24 km from Trashigang. Gom Kora is famous as Guru Rinpoche is said to have subdued a demon here, trapping it in a rock. Continue down the road to Doksum village, where you can see women weaving traditional Bhutanese fabrics. You can also see a chain link swing bridge, dating back to the 15th century. The road turns into the hills here, running up the side of a winding river valley to Trashiyangtse. Trashiyangtse is an important centre as it lies on one of the caravan routes running from western to central Bhutan. Trasiyangtse is now a rapidly growing town and the administrative centre of this district. The area is famous for its wooden containers and bowls. These are inexpensive and attractive and make wonderful souvenirs. Also visit to Trashiyangtse Dzong – built in the late 1990s when the new district was created. If time permits, you can also visit the dazzling white stupa of Chorten Kora on the riverbank below the town.
Evening – Drive back to Trashigang. 



Day 13: Trashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar. Check out from your hotel after breakfast and proceed on a drive to Samdrup Jongkhar. En-route see the Sherubtse College, the only college in the country founded in 1978. Also visit the Zangtho Pelri temple, built in 1978 by the late Minister of Home Affairs. It represents Guru Rinpoche’s paradise. Stop at Khaling to visit the Blind School and Weaving Centre. From here the road descends fairly rapidly to the plains through dense tropical forest which is densely forested with teak, bamboo and ferns. 
Arrive at Samdrup Jongkhar and check in to your hotel. 



Day 14: Samdrup Jongkhar – Guwahati. Check out of your hotel and drive across the Indian border to board the flight from Guwahati to your next destination. Your vehicle and driver stay with you till your assisted check in at the airport.
Our services end at Guwahati airport.




 
Inclusions:
* Daily Breakfast at all the hotels.
* All other meals as specified.
* Hotel check-in is at 2 pm & check-out is at noon for almost all the hotels.
* All transfers and sightseeing by your personal Luxury vehicle.
* Services of the best English speaking local guides at all destinations as per the itinerary.
* Representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
* Govt. royalty & taxes.
* Tourism Development fee.
* Bhutan visa fee.
* Bottled water during sightseeing/excursions and long drives.
All currently applicable taxes. 

Not included:

* International Travel.
* Any expenses of a personal nature like tips, laundry, telephone calls, drinks etc.
* Meals other than those specified above.
* Travel insurance.
* Camera fees – still & video.
Itinerary Highlights Lodging Close



 

 
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