Wangdi Festival Tour, Cultural tour
Price on request
All land transfers in Bhutan, english speaking tourguide, mainmeals, accomodation, entrance fees according program, visa for Bhutan
Flights, drinks, tips for driver and tourguide
Duration: 12 days
Accomodation in comfortable hotels (3 stars)
Arrival in Paro, Drive to Thimphu
On a clear weather, flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, it is a breathtaking journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the kingdom. Upon arrival at Paro you will immediately notice the transparent purity of the air and the absence of noise. After the Immigration and customs formalities you will be welcomed by your local host and the tour guide from Druk Eye Tours & Travels.
Afterwards we shall drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. It is exactly 1 hour drive from Paro. In the evening we will visit the Memorial Chorten which was built in 1974 by Ashi Phuntsho Chhoden in honour of her late son, the third king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Overnight in Hotel in Thimphu.
Today we will visit Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress-like temple and a monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu. It was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lam Phajo Drugom Zhigpo. The central statue is that of Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. A short distance up the road to the telecom tower is a trail leading to the mini zoo where we can see our national animal takin. There is a wonderful view of Thimphu valley from the hillside below telecom tower. Next we will visit the National institute of Zorig Chusum and National institute of Tradional Medicine where the children are being trained in all 13 different Arts and Crafts. Overnight in Hotel in Thimphu.
Thimphu - Wangdu (1250m)
After breakfast we will drive to Punakha through Dochula Pass (3,150m). On clear weather, the view of the spectacular Himalayan Mountain ranges can be seen. Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the well being of His Majesty the King, country and the people of Bhutan. We shall continue our drive onto Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan and also the winter residence of the central monk body. Visit Punakha Dzong which is located on the island of the Pho - Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river. Later we shall hike to Chimi Lhakhang, the Divine mad man’s temple. Chimi Lhakhang popularly known for its fertility shrine, where couples unable to conceive come here for blessing. Overnight in Hotel in Wangdu
Today we attend Wangdu Tsheschu, which is held inside Jaker Dzong. As we enter its impressive courtyard, our senses awaken to be among the costumed Bhutanese people who have gathered from across the region to pay respect and be blessed. Dressed in their finest clothes and jewellery, the people come not only for religious merit but to join in joyful celebration and feasting. Watch this magical celebration unfold as we witness the dances, marvel at the elaborate masks and costumes, and immerse ourselves in the intense colour and festive atmosphere amid horns, drums, and mystical dancers. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the festival grounds and mingle with some of the celebrants to learn more about this fascinating aspect of their culture. Evening we return to our hotel.
Wangdu - Trongsa (2200m)After having early breakfast we shall drive to Trongsa. Our next stop will be at Chendibji, a large white structure beside a stream. The Chorten is patterned after Swayambhunath in Kathmandu and was built in 19th century by lama Shida from Tibet to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was killed at this spot. The proper name of this structure is Chorten Charo Khasho. Nearby is the Bhutanese style chortens constructed in 1982. We will have lunch at this place. We will continue our drive to Trongsa. We shall visit the historical Trongsa dzong. Trongsa lies in the middle of Bhutan, and in time past, all east to west traffic passed through the dzong. Overnight in Hotel in Trongsa.
Trongsa - Bumthang (2600m)
Yotongla pass lies in-between Trongsa and Bumthang. After about of 30minutes drive through the pine forest, we will arrive at a village called Zungney which is very popular for its handloom productions especially the Yathra, a hand woven and boldly patterned woolen cloths. Overnight in Hotel in Bumthang.
Bumthang region is composed of four smaller valleys of great significance: Tang, Ura, Choskhor and Chhume. The name ‘Bumthang’ can be interpreted in various ways. The valley is shaped similar to a ‘bumpa’, which is a vessel that contains holy water and is placed on the altar of a lhakhang (literal meaning, House of God). ‘Thang’ means a field or a flat piece of land. After the breakfast we shall visit Jambay Lhakhang. It was supposedly built in 659 by a Tibetan king Songtsen Gyampo on the same day as the Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro. In October the Jambay Lhakhang Drup is held in this Lhakhang. Infertile women are blessed so that they may bear children. Next we shall visit Kurje Lhakhang, which is one of the most sacred lhakhangs in Bhutan. It is named after the body of Guru Rinpoche, which is preserved inside a cave in the Lhakhang. The Lhakhang stands at a height of 2640mtrs. The three Chortens at the courtyard marks the cremation sites of Bhutan’s first three kings. We shall also do a short hike towards Tamshing Goemba across the suspension bridge to the other side of the river. The Tamshing monastery which was founded by Pema Lingpa.Tamshing has religious painting which may be the oldest extent painting in Bhutan. Below Tamshing Goemba stands Konchogsum Lhakhang. It was built in the 6th century but was renovated in 1995, which accounts for its fresh look. Overnight in Hotel in Bumthang.
Bumthang - Gangtey (2900m)
After breakfast, we shall drive back to Phobjikha valley. Phobjikha is Bhutan’s largest wetland and are designated conservation area and border on the Black mountain National Park. Because of the presence of the large flock of Black Necked Cranes. This comes to Bhutan from Tibet in late October and leave in early spring. It is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country. Phobjikha lies at an elevations of 2900m. We shall visit the Crane Observation and Education Center. This area is a habitat for many different species of wildlife and birds. On the way, visit historic Gangtey Gompa, a monastery built in the 17th century. Situated on a prominent hilltop, this Monastery that is the home of the Gangtey Tulku, a highly respected reincarnate lama, dominates the scenery; Pema Lingpa predicted that a Goemba would be built on a hilltop that would spread his teachings. As predicted, Gangtey (meaning hilltop) Goemba was founded in 1613 by Gyalse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa. Overnight in Hotel in Gantey.
Gangtey - Thimphu (2280m)
After breakfast you will drive to Thimphu. In the aftenoon you will visit the weekend market, where villagers from all over the country come here to sell their goods. Later in the afternoon we shall walk through the Thimphu town for some souvenirs and gifts shopping. Overnight in Hotel in Thimphu.
Thimphu - Paro
We drive to Paro and start our sight seeing with the visit of the National Museum. The National Museum of Bhutan is housed in an old watch tower (the Ta-Dzong) over looking the Paro Rinpung Dzong. The cameras are not allowed inside the museum. Its exhibits include a spectacular collections of Thangkas (religious scroll paintings) both ancients and modern, a display of antique weapons and shields, a colorful costume collection, and also collections of prehistoric artifacts, jewelry, decorative arts, old and the new traditional household objects. The natural history section includes mounts of snow leopard, Takin and some of Bhutan’s rare birds. A doorway leads to the Tshogshing Lhakhang, the temple of the Tree of Wisdom, which are built between 1965 and 1968. The centerpiece of this temple is a complex four sided carving depicting the history of Buddhism and its propagation. Next we shall visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. Paro Dzong is quite different than those of the dzongs that we may visit later on the tour. Its setting and its spacious upper courtyard and prayer halls are filled with a simple, quite and stately spiritual power. The dzong’s correct name, Rinpung Dzong means ‘a fortress on a heap of jewels’. After visiting the dzong we will walk down to cross the ancient cantilever bridge over the Paro Chu. Overnight in Hotel in Paro.
Paro - Hike Tigers Nest
Taktsang, Bhutan’s most famous monastery, and one of the most venerated pilgrimage sites in the Himalayan Kingdom. The trip is an uphill walk of about 2 and half hours. We will be walking firstly through the pine forest and as we get higher the vegetation consists mainly of Oak. Taktsang Monastery is the most famous of Bhutan’s many monasteries. Taktsang literally means – Tiger’s nest. This monastery was built in the 1600s and clings to a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900m above the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, also known as Guru Padmasambhawa in the form of Dorji Drolo arrived at this site on the back of a flying Tigress from a place called Khenpajong which is in kurtoe, Lhuntse, to subdue the eight evil spirits who were preventing the propagation of Buddhism in that area. An accidental fire destroyed the monastery in 1998; but many of the precious relics and treasures were retrieved from the ruins. It has recently been rebuilt in its original form. Farewell dinner and overnight in Hotel in Paro.
After breakfast we drive to the airport for your departure flight.
(subject to change)