Day 01: Arrive Paro then Drive to Thimphu
(Elevation: 2,320m, Distance: 65km, Time: 1.2 hr)
- On the way visit Tachogang Lhakhang. Tachogang Lhakhang, ‘temple of the hill of the excellent horse’, rises in austere surroundings on the left bank of the river. This private temple was founded by the Tibetan saint, Thangtong Gyelpo (1385-1464), while he was meditating here, Thangtong Gyelpo had a vision of the excellent horse Balaha-an emanation of Avoloketeshvaras. He decided thereupon to build a temple at this spot in addition to one of his famous iron bridges (later carried away by floods in 1969).
- Leisure in the Town.
Overnight in Thimphu Hotel
Day 02: Thimphu (sightseeing)
- Visit Largest Buddha Statue.
Visit Buddha Dordenma Statue. It is a bronze statue gilded in gold. It is one of the largest Buddha Statue in the world, at a height of 51.5 metres (169 ft). The statue alone is being built at a cost of US$ 47 million by Aero sun Corporation of Nanjing, China, while the total cost of the Buddha Dordenma Project is well over US$ 100 million.
Visit the National Library, established in 1967. Among the highly prized collections, there is a book reported to be the heaviest in the world, weighing 59 kilograms (130 lb), known as “Bhutan Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom”.
- Visit Changangkha Lhakhang.
The Lhakhang was built in the 12th Century on a site chosen by Lam Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, who came from Ralung, Tibet. It is an old fortress-like temple perched on a ridge above Thimphu and it has a beautiful view of Thimphu from the courtyard. The main chapel houses a unique statue of the seated Avoloketeshvaras, the Buddha of Compassion.
“Zorig Chusum” means the Thirteen Crafts. To preserve our invaluable heritage and promote arts in Bhutan, the Royal Government initiated this institute in1971. Students are taught painting, calligraphy, embroidery, wood carving, sculpture, etc. They also learn to understand the traditional meaning and spiritual values enshrined in Buddhist art.
With the opening of Textile Museum, under the patronage of His Majesty the Queen Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, Bhutanese textiles have reached new heights as one of the most visible traditional crafts and as a distinctly Bhutanese Art form. The textile museum has opened its exhibition on six major themes: warp pattern weaves, weft pattern weaves, role of textiles in religion, achievements in textile arts, textiles from indigenous fibres and the royal collection.
This stupa was built in 1974 by Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck in the memory of her son Bhutan’s late third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is popularly regarded as the Father of Modern Bhutan.
It was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is the oldest fortress of The Kingdom and now houses the School for Buddhist studies. The site is said to have been chosen to guard over a demoness that had vanished into the rock nearby, hence the name Semtokha (‘sinmo’ meaning demoness and ‘do’ Meaning stone).
Overnight in Thimphu Hotel
Day 03: Thimphu to Paro
This is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century to subdue the ogress that lay across the whole of the Himalayas.
- Morning visit Dungtse Lhakhang.
The temple is notable as it is in the form of a chorten, very rare in Bhutan. It is located on the edge of a hill between the Paro valley and the Dopshari valley, across the bridge from Paro. The Buddhist iconography depicted in the Chorten is considered a unique repository of the Drukpa Kagyu School.
National Museum was built as a watch tower. Unlike the rectangular shape of the Dzongs, Ta Dzong is conical, more like that of a European castle. Since 1967 the Dzong was re-established as the National Museum and holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps.
This is also known as the “fortress of the heap of jewels”. It was built during the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 after the small Hungrel fortress built by Lam Drung Drung was offered to Zhabdrung. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional cantilever bridge.
This Dzong, with a delightful village nestling at its foot, was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invasions. “Druk” Means the land of the thunder dragon or the land of dragon people; “Gyel” means Victory. The dzong caught fire in 1951 and now it only remains as ruin.
Overnight in Paro Hotel
Day 04: Paro (Excursion)
- Hike to the Tiger’s Nest.
Built amazingly on a cliff, it brings pride to the Bhutanese about the work of their ancestors. It is said that Guru Rimpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and Meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’.
You will have supper with the President/Representative of SNG Tours & Treks and bidding farewell to the Guest(s). Hold night at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m).
Day 05: Departure
You will be transferred to Paro Airport for departure.