pure bhutan

Paro - Thimphu - Gangtey - Bumthang - Punakha - Paro

Paro - Thimphu - Gangtey - Bumthang - Punakha - Paro

Day 1, Paro - Thimphu
A Bhutanese tradition of wrapping "tashi khaddar" (auspicious white scarf) welcome you to Paro.
Transfer to Thimphu (55 km, approx 1hr 30 mins)
Overnight: Taj Tashi

Day 02, Thimphu
Visit the National Library, King's Memorial Chorten, and Trashichhoedzong, "fortress of the glorious religion" and the nearby areas of Jigme Dorji National Park.

Pure Experience:
Visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, interesting items made from local materials.
Evening witness a traditional cultural performances at the hotel.
Overnight: Taj Tashi

Day 03, Thimphu-Gangtey (5 hrs)
Drive to Gangtey across Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the roadWitness Thangkha paintings at Dochula cafeteria. Drive further en route visiting majestic Wangduephodrang Dzong. Sitting on top of the hill at the confluence of Punakha Chhu and Tang Chhu rivers, Wangduephodrang Dzong is town's most visible features. Visit a fascinating Gangtey village and meet a local family.
Overnight: Amankora

Day 04, Gangtey
This is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang and lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park. Explore Phobjikha valley for Black Necked Cranes.
Overnight: Amankora

Day 05, Gangtey - Trongsa - Bumthang (6 hrs)
Drive to Trongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830 ft), the traditional boundary between east and west. Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu's Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes pointed at four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Drive further and visit Trongsa Dzong en route. Like almost all towns in the Kingdom, 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. Protected from invaders by an impenetrable valley, Trongsa Dzong is an impregnable fortress. The Dzong itself is a labyrinth of temples, corridors and offices holding court over the local community. It is built on many levels into the side of the hill and can be seen from every approach to Trongsa heralding its strength as a defensive stronghold. Later drive onward to Bumthang, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft). The road winds steeply up to the pass, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley. Visit traditional weaving in Chumey valley.
Overnight: Amankora

Day 06, Bumthang
Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys - Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.
Visit to Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock., the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). A short interaction / meeting with a learned lama can be arranged.
Overnight: Amankora

Day 07, Bumthang / Punakha
Morning witness a special prayer ceremony for long life and world peace. Bhutanese prayer ceremonies can be very uplifting and are a unique experience to partake in. Then drive to Punakha. En route visit Ta Dzong, a cylindrical stone structure rising five storeys, built in 1652. After more than 350 years, it has been resurrected into a classy museum, that represents a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity.
Overnight: Amankora

Day 08, Punakha
Embark on trek to the regal Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten, which was built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the changing world. The Chorten dominates the upper Punakha Valley with commanding views across the Mo Chhu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond. Later visit Punakha Dzong. Built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan's history. Visit the famous Chimi Lhakhang. Situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, this temple is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behaviour to dramatise his teachings and due to this also known as 'Divine Madman'. Visit the traditional farm house near Chimi Lhakhang and meet a village family.
Overnight: Amankora

Day 09, Punakha / Paro (125km, approx 4 hrs drive)
After breakfast drive to Paro en route visiting Simtokha Dzong, standing on a lofty ridge. Built in 1627, the oldest Dzong in the country, it now houses the School for Buddhist studies. On arrival in Paro visit Ta Dzong. One time watch tower built to defend Rinpung Dozng during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, since 1967 Ta Dzong is serving as the National Museum of the country. It holds fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps. The museum circular shape augments its varied collection displayed over several floors. Later walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal , the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. Afternoon witness Archery exhibition match. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and very village has its own archery range. High spirited competitions, usually accompanied by a banquet, are a part of all festive occasions. Using bamboo bows (although modern compound bows are now common in cities) team of archers shoot at targets only 30 centimeters in diameter from a distance of 120 meters. Each team has a noisy crowd of supporters who, as well as encouraging their own side, try to put off the opposition. Archery competition are among the most picturesque and colorful events in the country and are the integral part of all festivities.
Overnight: Zhiva Ling

Day 10, Paro
After breakfast excursion to famous Taktsang Monastery also called Tiger's Nest. It is one of the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. 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 recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour. Then drive to Drukgyel Dzong. This Dzong, with a delightful village nestling at its foot, was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Historically and strategically this Dzong withstood all its glory and was featured in 1914 vide National Geographic magazine. The glory of Drukgyel Dzong remained even when its was destroyed by fire in 1951. On a clear day, one can see the commanding view of Mount. Chomolhari from the village, below the Dzong. Afterwards visit Kyichu Lhakahng. It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to 7th century (the other is Jambey Lhakahng in Bumthang). The lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and in 1968, H.M. Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in same original pattern. Evening Special dinner will be an outdoor bar-be-cure under the starts. The moon is so bright in Bhutan that you can read a book in its light. The pollution free atmosphere will show you the starts like you have never seen them before.
Overnight: Zhiva Ling

Day 11, Depart Paro
After breakfast transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination.