Cultural Bhutan

'The land of thunder Dragon' and 'the last Shangri La' on earth, is situated in the lap of Eastern Himalayas between India and the People's Republic of China. Covering an area of 18000 sq miles, the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is one of the most isolated nations in the world. Spectacular mountain terrain, varied flora and fauna and unique ancient Buddhist monasteries have made Bhutan an exemplar tourist destination, it is bestowed with rich bio-diversity harboring around 300 medicinal herbs and 165 endangered species. Each part of Bhutan has its own, Historical, Geographical, Cultural, Traditional and Religious significance.

This journey takes you to four distinctly different, as well as breathtakingly beautiful valleys with lush green paddy fields, incredulous fortress-like monasteries known as Dzongs and majestically flowing rivers.

Itinerary at a glance

Day01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day02: Kathmandu:
Day03: Arrival
Day04: Paro sightseeing
Day05: Paro to Thimphu
Day06: Thimphu sightseeing
Day07: Thimphu to Punakha via Dochula pass
Day08: Drive to Wangduephodrang
Day09: Punakha to Paro
Day10: Paro – Kathmandu
Day11: Departure

 

 

Detailed Itinerary

Pashupatinath

Pashupatinath

Arrival in Kathmandu:

Receive upon arrival in Kathmandu airport and escort to the hotel. Overnight at the Hotel in Kathmandu.

Kathmandu:

AM: Proceed on sightseeing tour to Pashupatinath & Boudhnath stupa:

Pashupatinath temple: One of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, Pashupatinath lies in the bank of river Bagmati. The two-storied pagoda houses a sacred lingum, or the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. Although the temple dates back to the 4th century, it was brought into its present shape in the early 18th century. The temple is most noted for its gold-plated roofs and silver-coated doors. Sadhus and sages, who follow the lifestyle of Lord Shiva, are seen covered with ashes and loincloths. The banks of the river Bagmati, is also considered one of the holiest places in which to get cremated and cremations can be witnessed here. All tourists are requested that respect is shown for the grieving.

Boudhnath stupa: Also known as Khasti Chaitya, Boudhanath Stupa is one of the world's largest stupas. The unique aspect of this great Buddhist monument is that it is set in the octagonal Mandala design. Hundreds of prayer wheels and the 108 images of the Buddha set into the niches around this huge structure make it even more mesmerizing. It is believed to have been constructed in the fifth century and is said to entomb the remains of Kasyap Rishi, a sage respected by both Buddhists and Hindus. Another notable aspect of the area is the presence of about four dozen monasteries around it. It lies some eight km to the east of the city center. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Pashupatinath

Pashupatinath

Thimpu

Thimpu

Arrival

Kuzuzangpola – Welcome to Bhutan! The flight to Paro is an experience like no other. During the journey, you will get inspiringly beautiful glimpses of some of the worlds most famous Himalayan peaks. At the airport, our representative will welcome you and escort you to your hotel. Drive up to your hotel, check in and begin the sightseeing with Ta-Dzong, the National Museum (closed on Sundays and Mondays), which was originally the watch tower of the Paro Dzong and stands imposingly on a hillock overlooking the Paro valley. A short visit here will give you an idea of the cultural and ecological richness of Bhutan. Ramble down to visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong, the ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’. Overnight at the Hotel in Paro.

Paro sightseeing

The main highlight of the day is the hike to one of Bhutan’s most venerated pilgrimage sites, the Taktsang Goemba, commonly referred to as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche miraculously flew here on the back of a tigress, meditated in a cave here for three months and converted the whole of Paro valley to Buddhism. Resting at an altitude of 900 m above the valley, Taktsang is an architectural wonder and the spectacular four hour walk will be your most overwhelming experience ever.

Drive on to visit Drukgyel Dzong (the ruined fortress -17 km from the town), built in 1647 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetans in 1644. Drukgyel means ‘fortress of the victorious Drukpas’. The Dzong, with a delightful village nestling at its foot, and the Mount of Jumolhari (Alt 24,000 feet) appearing as a back drop on a fine weather is an awe-inspiring sight. On the way back, stop at one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the Kyichu Lhakhang built by the famous Buddhst Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

punakha dzong

punakha dzong

bhutan leute

bhutan leute

 Paro to Thimphu

The 1½ hours picturesque drive (57 km) along the course of the Paro Chhu (Paro River) and the Wang Chhu (Thimphu River) will bring you to the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. Check into your hotel and begin the sightseeing with a visit to the Memorial Chorten and the Changangkha temple. In the afternoon visit the Post Office in town to see/buy a wondrous collection of Bhutanese stamps and postcards, then visit Paper factory & drive up to the BBS tower view point and enjoy the stunning view of the entire Thimphu town. On the drive back, stop at the mini Takin zoo (Takin is the national animal of Bhutan). Ramble along the numerous handicraft stores in town in the evening to check out intricately woven Bhutanese textiles and exclusive handicrafts which you can take back with you as a souvenir of your trip to Bhutan. Overnight at the Hotel in Thimphu.

Thimphu sightseeing

Morning: Visit Zangdopelri Temple, Folk Heritage Museum, and the Institute of Arts and Crafts, Afternoon: Visit the Institute of Traditional Medicine, and the National Library and later drive to “the fortress of the glorious religion”, TashichhoeDzong (Open to visitors in the evening after 5:00 PM during the week days and throughout the day (morning till evening) on Saturdays, Sundays and Government holidays). It’s a majestic fortress in all its grandeur and serves as the seat of Bhutan’s government. The Dzong houses the secretariat, the throne room, the offices of his majesty the king and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Overnight at the Hotel in Thimphu.

Thimpu

Thimpu

Dochula Pass

Dochula Pass

Thimphu to Punakha via Dochula pass

Drive on to the beautiful valley of Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. After a dramatic one hour drive, the zigzag course of the road brings you to Dochula, a beautiful mountain pass (alt 3,140 m) with its fluttering prayer flags and a spectacular set of 108 miniature chortens. On a clear fine day, you will also get awe-inspiring glimpses of the towering Himalayan peaks around. The remaining part of the drive is mostly a gradual descent into Punakha valley. Check in to your hotel in Punakha and begin the sightseeing. Start with the Punakha Dzong, strategically built between the two rivers, the Phochu (male river) and the Mochu (female river), the winter residence of the Je-Khenpo (the religious leader of Bhutan). This is followed by an evening hike to Khamsum Yule Namgyel Chorten, a three- storey shrine built by the Queen of Bhutan. It’s a brief 30-40 min walk uphill through terraces of paddy fields, chilly plantations etc. Overnight at the Hotel in Punakha

Drive to Wangduephodrang

Visit Chimi Lhakhang in the village of Lobesa (20 mins from Punakha), the auspicious fertility temple built by the famous divine madman. It’s a beautiful 30 min walk amidst paddy fields and typical Bhutanese houses. Stop at some of the local village homes here to get a feel of the traditional Bhutanese way of living. The temple is beautifully perched on a small hill top overlooking the entire village.

Take a drive to the small town of Wangduephodrang. Right before arriving Wangduephodrang, you will catch a glimpse of the very distinctive Rinchengang village whose inhabitants are all celebrated stonemasons. Visit the impressive Wangduephodrang Dzong built in 1638 A.D and local market and later return back to Punakha. Overnight at the Hotel in Punakha.

bhutan leute

bhutan leute

punakha dzong

punakha dzong

Punakha to Paro

An early morning drive back to Paro valley. Once in Paro, check into the hotel. Evening: Free. Overnight at the Hotel in Paro.

Paro – Kathmandu:

Transfer to the airport to connect the flight to Kathmandu. Receive from Kathmandu airport and transfer to the hotel. Remaining time will be at leisure. Overnight at the hotel in Kathmandu.

Pashupatinath

Pashupatinath

Tribhuvan International airport

Tribhuvan International airport

Departure

Free till departure. Later, transfer to the International airport to connect the flight to onward destination.

includes

3 nights twin sharing accommodations at the hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast.

7 nights / 8 days trip to Bhutan as per the itinerary on full board basis with accommodation at A class hotels.

All the surface transfers as per the itinerary in Kathmandu and in Bhutan using excellent conditioned AC vehicle.

All the sight seeing tours as per the itinerary in Kathmandu and Bhutan with English speaking local guide escort.

Entrance fees to the monuments during the sight seeing tours.

excludes

Any international airfares, Airport tax, Visa fees etc.

Any other services which is not specified in the COST INCLUDES section above.

Expenses of personal nature such as alcoholic, non-alcoholic beverages, telephone & laundry bills, camera fees etc.

Any extra cost arises due to unforeseen circumstances, any incidentals and due to force majeure, which is beyond the control of yacca travels & tours.

Gallery

TRIP INFO

#Two way airfare for Kathmandu /Paro /Kathmandu sector.

# Visa fee for Bhutan of US$ 20 nett per person to be paid directly on arrival at the entering point.

# TSF for Bhutan of US$ 10 nett per person.