6 Nights – Gross National Happiness (GNH) Tour
This tour is very special and not found in any other rival agents in Bhutan. The main objectives of SNG Tours and Treks for introducing this tour is to let our guest experience the realm of happiness, to let our guest accomplish relief and joy from their tiring life, to meet students and see how Bhutanese youths are groomed with GNH values and ethics. In short, to let our guest find happiness in Bhutan and take home some good lessons to remain happy ever after. You shall experience the essence of ‘The Last Shangrila’ in this tour.
This tour will basically show you how GNH values are being implemented at Schools in Bhutan as GNH is considered as, ‘an agent of change’ for happy Bhutan. SNG would like to recommend this tour to the students of all level.
Destinations: Arrive Paro & Sightseeing at Paro
- Representative of SNG Tours will welcome & receive you at the entrance gate.
- Visit Kichu Lhakhang. 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. Later in 1968, Her Majesty, the Royal Grandmother Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck, built a second temple alongside the first one.
- Visit National Museum. It is 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.
Overnight in Paro Hotel
Destinations: Paro to Thimphu
(Elevation: 2,320m, Distance: 65km, Time: 1 hr. approx.)
- Visit Yangchenphu Higher Secondary School or Jigme Loselling Middle Secondary School located at Lungtenzampa and Changjiji respectively and interact with the students and teachers about GNH for an hour. You can also note the main differences of schooling in Bhutan and your country. (OR) Make an audience to the Head, Gross National Happiness Commission or Centre for Bhutan Studies & GNH Research for an outline on GNH.
- 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 Memorial Chorten. This Chorten (Stupa) was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928-1972). It is designed as a Tibetan style Chorten, also called as the Jangchup Chorten (Stupa).
- Visit mini-zoo where we have preserved the National Animal of Bhutan. This animal called Takin was declared as the National Animal on 25 November 2005 as it is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kuenley.
- 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 National Institute of Zorig Chusum. It is the centre for Bhutanese Art education. It was set up by The Government of Bhutan with the sole objective of preserving the rich culture and tradition of Bhutan and training students in all traditional art forms.
Overnight in Thimphu Hotel
Destinations: Thimphu to Punakha
(Elevation: 1,350m, Distance: 77km, Time: 3 hrs.)
- You will come across the Dochula Pass. Here you can see 108 Stupas built by Queen Mother to honor the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed when fighting the Indian rebels in 2003 and also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang.
- Visit Dashiding Higher Secondary School located at Metsina, Lobesa under Punakha District. You will have around an hour to interact with the Principal, Teachers & Students. You will also visit some classes and see how GNH values are imparted in the school. If you like to you can present some gifts to the school (e.g.: sweets, pens, cash, books, etc.).
- Later on visit Chime Lhakhang. Chime Lhakhang is a small 15thcentury temple famous for its fertility endowments/rites due to the blessings of Lama Drukpa Kuenley. The temple sits on a hillock shaped, as only Drukpa Kuenley could describe it “like a woman’s breast. The word ‘chime’ translates as “No dog”.
- Later visit Punakha Dzong (the Palace of Great Happiness) built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung. The Dzong is beautifully located in between the two rivers called Pho (male) and Mo (female) Chhu (river). It was the capital of Bhutan till 1955. The establishment of the Wangchuck Dynasty on 17th December, 1907 took place here and the first National Assembly was also held in the Dzong in 1953. Punakha Dzong continues to be the winter residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monk body.
Overnight in Punakha Hotel
Destinations: Punakha to Gangtey
(Elevation: 3,000m, Distance: 83km, Time: 3 hrs)
- After reaching the Phobjikha valley visit Gangtey Gompa dating back to the 17th The Construction of the Gompa was prophesied by Terton (Treasure revealer) Pema Lingpa.
- Later, on the valley floor is the village of Phobjikha. This is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass their winter in milder and lower climate. You can witness black necked cranes and their dances which is a breath-taking moment for everyone but you should be really fortunate to witness this moment. You should be here at the right time indeed!
Overnight in Gangtey Hotel
(Distance: 140km, Time: 6 hrs.)
- Right after breakfast visit any of the schools in Phobjikha/ Gangtey and you will be attending the morning assembly so that you can observe how prayers are offered to the God of Wisdom and National Anthem being sung for the welfare of King, Country & People. It would be a pleasant surprise because this does not happen in many countries around the globe. You are not restricted from giving away the gifts.
- After visiting the schools, for the whole day you will be in the vehicle driving towards Thimphu.
- You can have some leisure time in the evening and if preferred you can go around Thimphu market on your own.
Overnight in Thimphu Hotel
Destinations: Thimphu to Paro
- Today will be your last day to stay in Bhutan and also the foremost sightseeing in Bhutan. Hike to the Tiger Nest, where you could find amazing monastery built in the hill of the rock, it brings pride to the Bhutanese about the work of our ancestors. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this Monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as most sacred and visited by Zhabdrung Rinpoche in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime.
- Evening leisure in the town, if you want to have shopping.
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).
Destinations: Paro (Departure)
Your Guide and Driver will take you to the airport and they will see-off till the Exit Point.
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