Best Season : Whole Year
Minimum Group : 2 / Maximum group : 25
Day 01: Arrival Paro
you will be by the representative Bhutan eco tours and Adv, and transfer to your hotel. During the lunch review the itinerary, discussion and exchange ideas with your guide. The tour begins with the visit to the national museum constructed in 1645 located high on ridge overlooking the Paro Ringpong Dzong and the Paro Valley, is now converted in to a beautiful and rich Museum. Walk to the massive Paro Dzong/Fort is built in 1646 and it is now the District Administration Office and the Monk Body. You could still see the traditional stone path, which leads, all the way from the bridge and the National museum on the top. Afternoon at leisure in the town.
Day 02: Paro - Hike to Taksang
This morning we hike up to Taksang, popularly known as tiger's nest. It is perched some 2,000ft/610m up on a cliff overlooking the valley and was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from the region of Tibet on the back of the tigress and converted Paro valley into Buddhism. It takes approximately 5-6 hours round trip. Traditional Bhutanese dinner with your Bhutanese host and also you can enjoy the traditional Hot stone bath.
Day 03: Paro -Thimphu
Early morning, drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The drive to Thimphu would be about an hour and half. Thimphu is relatively small town with a population of just 80,000 people. A full day to explore the sites of this least visited of Himalayan capitals & the sightseeing include the late king's Memorial Chorten, the Textile Museum and National Library. Other places you may visit are the indigenous hospital specializing in herbal medicine, the weekend market, the School of Painting, the Bhutanese paper factory, Zilukha nunnery monastery and Motithang at Takin preserve centre to see the National animal of Bhutan. This afternoon we visit Handicraft emporium, where you can see and purchased the unique textiles of Bhutan.
Day 04: Thimphu - Punakha Sightseeing
In the morning you drive to Punakha (approx 3 hours), the old winter capital. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs via a series of zigzags over the Dochu La Pass, 10,500ft/3,200m. On a clear day panoramic views can be had of the eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan's highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum, 24,770ft/7,550m. The road drops down through varied forest finally emerging into the highly cultivated Punakha valley. You visit Drukpa Kuenley's temple built in the centre of the Punakha Valley called Chime Lhakhang. The "Divine Madman" built this temple to celebrate his victory over the demoness of the Dochu La. It is famous for the fact that infertile women visit this temple to pray for children. Later Visit Punakha Dzong (monastery/fortress), which was the power base for the old system of re-incarnate rulers.
THE "DIVINE MADMAN" - Drukpa Kuenley (1455-1520)
In Bhutanese mythology, Drukpa Kuenley is one of the most beloved and revered sages of Tibetan Buddhism. Many legends that surround him and he followed a wandering lifestyle and was both an eccentric and a highly regarded saint. He was renowned for his shocking behavior and his ability to perform miracles. He talked a form of Tantric Buddhism and advocated that sexual freedom was at the centre of Truth. The wooden phalluses that hang from the corners of Bhutanese houses and the paintings of penises that you often see on either side of the front door of houses are a relic of his teachings.
Day 05: Punakha - Gantey
This morning you will drive the 80kms to Phobjikha valley in Gangtey. It is a wide glacial and beautiful valley in the western slopes of the Black Mountain range located at 3300 mt. above sea level. It is an officially declared conversation area as it is one of the two major winter habitats of the rare and endangered crane Black Necked Cranes in Bhutan. Gantey is also the seat of Pema Lingpa's mind reincarnation that founded the temple in year 1613. The current abbot is the 9th reincarnation. Gantey Gompa seats on a ridge overlooking the Phobjikha valley. Gangtey valley (Phobjikha village) is the protected area for the Black neck crane. The beautiful and majestic Black Necked Crane (Grus Nigricollis) has been described by conservationists as the least known of all the 15 crane species. This species was last of the world's crane species to be discovered in 1876 by the Great Russian naturalist – explorer Prejevalsky near Lake Koko Nor in northeastern Tibet. Black Necked Crane is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the conversation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN 1988) and the recent count indicate less than 5000 individuals worldwide. Bhutan has about 250 Black neck cranes residing in this valley every winter for three months.
Day 06: Gantey - Bumthang
Todays drive climbs steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pelela Pass (3,300 m) with an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between West and East Bhutan. If the weather is clear the Himalayan ranges can be seen, particularly the peak of Jumolhari (7,314 m) to the west. En route we cross Chendebji Chorten built many centuries ago to suppress a demon. After lunch, visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive Dzong in the country built on a strategic position high above the Mandge River and is the largest fort in the country. It was from here that the present Royal Family
emerged as the most powerful force at the beginning of this century. Visit the Ta Dzong, museum that highlights the monarch of Bhutan. We then drive over the second pass Yutong La at a height of 3400m to Bumthang. Bumthang has a unique charm, which differentiates it from other regions. The valley is one of the most sacred in the kingdom and innumerable legends surround the area. It is often said that Bumthang has more holy pilgrim sites than any other places in Bhutan. It is also the home of great Buddhist teacher Pema Lingpa to whom descendants of the present dynasty traces its ancestry. As you descend eventually into the valley of Bumthang, you come across the first valley of called Chumey, the heart of the famous Bumthang Yathra weaving region. Yathra is cloth woven in geometric design from Sheep's wool.
Day 07: Bumthang - Sightseeing
Full day sightseeing in the valley, which includes the visit to Swiss cheese factory, Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic schools built by Terton Pema Lingpa) and Kurjey Lhakhang (where the Guru Rimpoche subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock). Visit Jambay Lhakhang (one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in 7th century) Afternoons, visit Jakar Dzong known as the "Castle of the White Bird" and Wangdicholling place from outside. Evening stroll around the small tonw of Chamkhar.
Day 08: Bumthang Mongar
The drive to Eastern Bhutan passes over Thrimsung la pass (3,800 mt; 12,465 ft) is the most spectacular drive of 198 kms. The drive first takes via Ura, the last valley of Bumthang, which is the last valley of Bumthang. Visit Thrimsungla park Manager's office if time permits. The drive takes you through the dark conifers and deciduous forest and onto Lingmitang after the Namning cliff. Your drive crosses over the Kuru River and the big stupa here was built in Nepalese style and was founded during the 1800. After crossing the river the road climbs in a zigzag up the side of the mountains until you reach Mongar.
Day 09: Mongar - Trashigang
This journey takes covers 96 kms and takes 3 hours crossing Korila pass (2,450 m; 8000 ft) which is marked by a pretty chorten and stone wall and then through a leafy forest filled with ferns. Your drive will cross over the old Chazam (Iron Bridge); Trashigang Dzong comes into view at the top of a spur overlooking the river. Trashigang is the urban centre in mountainous Bhutan with its population of 1, 90,000 inhabitants and the altitude is 1,150 m (3,775 ft). Visit Trashigang Dzong overhanging the Gamri River. Unlike most other Dzong's it has only one courtyard and serves as the administrative seat for the district and also Drukpa monastic community occupies part of the Dzong.
Day 10: Trashigang - Trashiyangtse Excursion
Today drive to Trashi Yangtse via temple of Gom Kora, a famous meditation site of Guru Rimpoche. Most of the people in this area are farmers who also produce good quality bamboo and wood works, especially the finely turned wooden bowls that you see in the markets of Thimphu. These are generally for sale at the Zorig Chusum an institute for the teaching of 13 traditional crafts in addition to giving its students a basic education. Close to Trashi Yangtse is the Chorten Kora a faithful rendition of the Boudhanath Stupa in Nepal. Then late afternoon drive to Trashigang.
Day 11: Trashigang - Samdrup Jongkar
The Trashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar road was completed in 1965 and the journey down it to the Indian border takes about 6 hours. Along the way we pass by Sherbutse College in Kanglung, which was founded in 1978 and is a degree granting institution affiliated to the University of Delhi. En route, visit Khaling, a large village where the Handloom Development Project operated by the National women Association of Bhutan. They contract out weaving and provide cotton yarn on credit to villagers, who then returned the finished products to be sold mainly in Thimphu. They have samples of natural dyes that they use and have created a small display showing the various parts of plants. Further drive will take you to Deothang which is remembered in history as the site of a famous 19th century battle fought during Duar Wars in which the Bhutanese Army led by Jigme Namgyel defeated the British. The road then descends fairly rapidly to the plains through the dense tropical forest with an abundance of teak, bamboo and ferns.
Day 12: Samdrup Jongkar - Exit
After breakfast your representative will help you with the exit formalities and drive to Guwahati airport in Assam for your onward departure.