After bf transfer to Tribhuwan international airport to fly Paro Bhutan.
Landing in Paro valley is a perfect entry into this other world, with its transparent purity of the air and its absorbing serenity. Paro retains its bucolic nature in spite of the existence of development projects. Fields of brown or green depending on the season cover most of the valley floor while hamlets and isolated farms dot the landscape. On arrival, our visa is processed and we then pass through customs. Our Bhutanese guide meets us outside the customs enclosure for an hour journey to the capital Thimphu, which is situated in a large valley traversed by the Wangchu River and overshadowed by high peaks. Viewpoints around Thimphu.
Taking enclosure - On the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin; a strange looking beast some say looks like a beestung moose.Overnight: Thimphu
Our day is for the sights of Thimphu, beginning at the Memorial Chorten, with its golden spires shining in the sun, its tinkling bells and an endless procession of elderly people circling around it. Erected by the Late Royal Grandmother Ashi Phutsho Chodoen in memory of her son the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, it contains a fine collection of Buddhist statues and is a center of tantric Buddhism in all its complexity.
Visit the Folk Heritage Museum, founded by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The museum is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through an exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households, demonstrating customs, traditions, habits and skills. The principal exhibit is the museum building itself, which is a restored three-story traditional rammed mud and timber house. It contains household objects, typical domestic tools and equipment used by a rural family.
After lunch, we will visit the weekend market where the locals come to do their weekly shopping. This will be one of the highlights of your trip as you observe the Bhutanese people's culture and life styles. Later we will make a stop at the Centenary Park where the walking Buddha resides; the entire statue was built by Thai workers who specifically came to Bhutan to build the statue. It stands at 45 feet tall.
Buddha point tour: Drive to Kuensel Phodrang and take a short leisure hike to the Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park and enjoy the full view of Thimphu Valley below.
Visit Buddha Point and offer your prayers to the largest Buddha statue in the country and walk around to enjoy the great view of Thimphu valley below.
As evening falls, we will visit Trashichho Dzong, the beautiful medieval fortress /monastery is Bhutan’s administrative and religious center which houses most of the Government's office and the King's Throne Room. It is also the summer residence of Je - Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. The National Assembly hall is located in a new building across the river. This evening, enjoy a walk up and down the high street lined with little shops of all descriptions is fascinating. There is always a colorful gathering passing from ubiquitous monk bodies to Bhutanese businessmen, to nomadic farmers that come to trade supplies.Overnight: Thimphu
Leaving Thimphu, we start our journey into the countryside towards the Punakha valley, the winter capital of Bhutan. The drive ascends gradually to the Dochula pass over 10300 ft., with magnificent vistas of the Himalayan range.
The Dochula Monastery also known as the Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chortens is a tribute to the service and leadership of His Majesty the Fourth King. The design inspired by the Queen Mother is a unique cluster of 108 Chortens seen from all directions. The descent to Punakha is vibrant and colorful, with the fluttering prayer flags adding to a rich topography dotted by terrace farming and rivers flowing through.
We will visit the historic Punakha Dzong sprawled at the confluence of the Phochu (male) and Mochu (female) rivers. It was built by Zhabdrung Nagwang Namgyel in 1637 and serves as the winter residence of the head abbot, Je Khenpo and headquarters of the district administration.
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten - Built by the third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon wangchuck this Chorten is a splendid example of of the Bhutanese architecture and art and is the only one of its kind in the world. It has been built over eight and a half years and its details have been drawn from religious scripture.Overnight: Punakha
After breakfast, we will drive to Paro Taktsang base also known as Ramthanka base. From Ramthanka base we will see the view one of Bhutan’s most revered pilgrimage sites of the Buddhist world, the Taktshang Monastery, popularly known as the“Tiger’s Nest” Monastery. The trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched precariously on a sheer rock face 3000 ft. above the valley floor. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche, father of Bhutan’s stream of Mahayana Buddhism arrived in the Paro valley more than a millennium ago on a back of a tigress. He meditated for 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days in a cave, which was converted into this monastery. The only sounds heard here are the murmurs of wind, water and flutters of the beautiful prayer flags.
We will begin our hike from the base to the cafeteria, which will take us at least an hour and a half. From here it’s about an hour’s trek through some stunning landscape to reach the monastery. On our return, we stop by once more at the Cafeteria for lunch. Later, we begin our descent to Ramthanka base.
© The Best Tour of India 2019 All Rights Reserved