You will arrive and the picturesque Paro International Airport where our travel representative and trip guide will greet you with a traditional Bhutanese welcome ceremony and transfer you to your hotel. After lunch we will go birding along the banks of the Paro Chu river and continue onwards to the Drukgyel Dzhong. En-route you will encounter the Ibis Bill, Black Faced Laughing Thrush, Brown Dipper, Spotted Laughing Thrush, the Fire-capped Tit etc.
Day 2: Paro - Thimphu
In the morning we will drive to the Chele La Pass which is located at an altitude of 3950 meter above sea level. After a 90 minute drive to the pass we will go bird watching in to the coniferous forests of the area, popular birds in the are include Kalij pheasant, blood Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan etc. Later we will drive down to the capital of country Thimphu our over night stop for this leg of the trip. En route you will get to see many Cormorants along the river bank.
Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha
After a filling breakfast we will drive up to the Dochu La pass from where one can see a panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas. We will take a short hike into the mixed coniferous forests in the area and may get to spot the Satyr Tragopon, Spotted Nutcracker, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Yellow Billed Magpie, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Collared Blackbird, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Brown Bullfinch etc. After lunch we will continue birding in the upper regions of the Punakha and Wangdue valley before calling it a day at a camp setup along the banks of the Mo Chhu River.
Day 4: Punakha
Today we will go birding the the warm forests along the banks of the Mo Chu river, where we will be looking to find; White Bellied Herons, Great Barbet, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Osprey, River Lapwing Ruddy Shelduck, the European Wigeon, Kingfisher, Bulbuls etc. We will spend the night at a Traditional Bhutanese hotel near Wangdue
Day 5: Wangdue - Trongsa
Today we will drive down to Trongsa along a road that will take you through a a warm broad leaved forest. We will be driving by the Black Mountains up to the Pele La pass at 3400 meters above sea level. Today list of birds we will be on the lookout for include; Scarlet Finch, White-throat-ed Laughing Thrush, Eurasian Jay, Verditer Flycatcher and a variety of exoctic pigeon species. During the winter months we will also visit the Phobjikha Valley to spot the rare Tibetan Black Necked Cranes that come to roost in the valley. Over night stay at a local Bhutanese hotel.
Day 6: Trongsa-Shemgang-Tingtibi
The district of Trongsa is located in the centre of Bhutan and is home to some of the most magnificent and imposing Dzhongs in the country. Today we will drive down to Yeshi Zam in the south with to hope of catching a glimpse of the Yellow-Rumped Honey guide amongst others, en route to our campsite, at Shemgang you might also catch a glimpse at the beautiful Nuthatch Bird. Overnight camping near Tingtibi
Day 7: Shemgang / Tingtibi
We will drive along the Gonphu road to go birding in some of Bhutan's rarely visited broad leaf forests. We hope to find some interesting animals like the Golden Langur, Yellow throated martin, Giant Squirrel etc, we also hope to spot the Rufous-Necked Hornbill, Blue Throated bee- eater, Collared Falconet etc.
Day 8: Shemgang - Trongsa
After our to day long excursion into the Trongsa Valley we shall retrace our route back to the town of Trongsa where we will take some time out and visit the Trongsa Dzhong, the largest of its kind in Bhutan. Today the Dzhong is home to the district administration and district monastic council. We will also visit the the Dzhongs watch tower which houses a museum dedicated to the Kings of Bhutan.
Day 9: Trongsa - Jakar
Today we will undertake a 3 hour drive to Jakar via the Yotong La pass which is at an altitude of almost 3500 meters. En route we stop and the village of Zugney in the Chumey valley, the village is famous for its Yathra fabric. The Yahtra is a color full wool weave, whose pattern is native to central Bhutan. We will take the opportunity to visit a few shops in the village, where you may be able to see how they dye the wool using natural dyes. We will also take a hike through the bamboo and coniferous forests of the Valley in the search of the Great Parrotbill, Black billed Magpie, Red Billed Chough, Eurasian Hobby and the White - winged Grosbeak. You may also get to spot the Red Panda, an animal that is frequently sighted along the road. Over night stay at a traditional Bhutanese hotel.
Day 10: Jakar - Yonkola
To we will drive towards eastern Bhutan via the Thrumshingla pass along the diverse and unique landscape of the Thrushmingla National Park. As we drive along we will have the chance to spot ; the Beautiful Rosefinch, Gold-Naped Finch, Little fork-tail, White-capped Redstart, the Coal Tit, Green- Tailed Sunbird etc. You will have a very high chance of spotting the Red Panda in the dense bamboo forest between Ura and Thrumshing La pass.
Overnight stay at a Camp in the forest.
Day 11 : Yonkola
In the morning we will go to Namling, Namling is considered as the best bird watching loaction in all of Bhutan and many avid bird watchers spend weeks in the area. The forests along Namling are virtually unexplored. here you can hope to spot ; Ward's Rrogon, Satyr Tragopan, Grey chinned Minivet Chestnut Breasted Partridge amongst a host of other birds.
Day 12 : Yonkola - Mongar
En route to Mongar we will go birding in the sub tropical forestsof Lingmithang, where we have a chance to encounter the Blue Throated Bee-eater, Maroon Oriole, Racket Tailed Drongo, Red headed Trogon, Grey Treepie, Grey Nightjar, Hill Prinia, the Asian emerald Cuckoo amongst a host of exotic birds that are native to the area. We will reach the town early in the evening and you will have the rest of the day at leisure to walk around town. Overnight stay at a tradition Bhutanese hotel.
Day 13: Mongar- Trashigang
En-route to Trashigang we will take a short diversion along a feeder road at Kori La Pass to go birding in the areas surrounding the pass. After arriving at Trashingang you have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the town and visit the nearby Dzhong.
Day 14: Trashigang- Morong
We will now start our journey southwards along a tight cliff hugging road that leads to Morong. Along the way you will have one last chance to see rare birds such as the Beautiful Nuthatch, Rufous Necked Hornbill and the Sultan Tit.
Overnight in a camp.
Day 15: Morong - Samdrup Khongkar
We will continue our journey further south towards the border town of Samdrup Jhongkar which will the our final stop for this tour. Along the way we might be able to catch a glimpse of rare birds such as the Voilet Cuckoo, Blyth's Kingfisher and the Dark Rumped Swift. Over night stay in Local Bhutanese hotel.
Day 16 Samdrup Jhongkar - Guahati
After a hearty breakfast we will tranfer you to the Airport at Gauahati from where you can catcha flight to Delhi or Kolkatta. We hope you had a great trip and take some fond memories that will last you a lifetime.
Day 1: Paro Arrival
Total Distance 36 kilometers; 16 kilometers uphill, 16 kilometers downhill
Paro: You will arrive at Paro Internatinal Airport via a Druk Air flight. Upon clearing immigration and customs you will be greeting with a traditional scarf welcome by one of our travel host tour guide, from where we will proceed to your designated hotel for check-in. Once you are ready we will board our cycles and being our tour of Paro we will cycle to the picturesque town of Paro to the Paro Dzhong and its Ta Dzhong which is home to the Bhutanese national museum.
Bhutan National Museum
Visit the watch tower of Paro Dzong, which is home to the Bhutan National Museum. The museum literally preserves the history and culture of the land through ancient Bhutanese artifacts and history. Enjoy a rare collection of Bhutanese art, crafts, paintings and sculptures from a by-gone era carefully preserved for posterity. The museum is especially famous for the amazing range of colors and shades used in the fabrics on display many of which probably don't even have a name.
You will then proceed to Rinpung Dzong also known as Paro Dzong, which means "fortress of the heap of jewels." The monument was built in 1646 AD and is today the seat of the Bhutan Government. The monastery, by the way, is fully functional and is a classic example of a traditional abode in which "the church and the state" co-exist in harmony. Feel free to take lots of pictures as evidence! The historical and architecturally rich complex houses the administrative and religious headquarters for the Paro district. A short scene of Bernardo Bertolucci's famous movie, "Little Buddha," was shot inside this Dzong. Feel free to take a leisurely walk over to the Pachu river and cross over a traditional cantilever bridge, a wooden covered bridge, to the other side of the river.
After visiting the 2 we will proceed towards the Drukgyel Dzhong.
The Drukgyel Dzhong is an abandoned 16th century fortress that was built by the legendary Bhutanese warrior Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. The Dzhong was abandoned after a fire destroyed it in 1951. On a clear day you have a spectacular view of mount Jomolhari from the village below the Dzhong.
Kyichu Lhakahng Temple:
The Kyichu Lhakahng Temple is one of the 108 temples that are believed to have been constructed by the Tibetan King Songtsent Gyanpo in the 8th century AD. These temples are believed to have constructed over the body of a demon that once upon a time held sway over the Himalayas and stopped to the spread of Buddhism in the region.
After visiting the temple we will return back to our hotel for a warm dinner and a nights rest.
Day2: Paro to Haa Valley
Total Distance 66 kilometers; 36 kilometer uphill with a accent of about 1600 meters, 22 kilometers downhill.
After breakfast we will climb on to our bikes and ride towards the Haa valle, we will cycle up to the Chele La pass which is the highest point of our trip at an altitude of 3822 meters above sea level. We will stop here for a while to rest and enjoy the spectacular view of the eastern Himalayan Mountains. We will then proceed downhill to enter the Haa Valley and reach the village of Haa our stop for the 2nd night.
Day 3: Haa Valley to Thimphu
Total Distance: 111 kilometers; 28 kilometers uphill and 70 kilometers downhill with the rest on flat roads.
Today after breakfast we begin our journey towards Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan we will be biking along a route that takes us past the Shari Village, Chuzom and the fortress of Simthokha finally onwards to the city of Thimphu . Today we will be visiting the .The King's Memorial was built in memory of the third king of Bhutan who reigned for three decades from 1952-1972. We will also visit the Tashichoe Dzhong and the Weekend Market
National Memorial Chorten
It was built in 1974 to pay tribute to the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk who is also known as the Father of Modern Bhutan. The Memorial was built in a unique Tibetan style and has scores of religious paintings and occult statues that represent both the pacifist and wrathful aspects of Buddhist spirituality. The Memorial is also a center of worship for the residents of the capital.
You will next visit the Trashicho Dzhong also known as the Fortress of the Glorious Religion. Initially built in 1641 AD and later remodeled by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1965, the Dzhong is the home of the main secretariat of the Government. The throne of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan, is situated here. The National Assembly Hall is in a modern structure on the other side of the river. During summer, the main monk groups led by His Holiness, the Je Khenpo, reside in the Dzhong.
If time and energy permits we will also visit the local market to get a feel of Bhutanese city life and may be doing a bit of souvenir hunting. We will then return to our hotels for dinner and a nights rest.
Day4: Thimphu to Punakha
Total distance: 89 kilometers; 23 kilometers uphill and 58 kilometers downhill.
Post breakfast, we will begin our journey towards the Phunakha valley. We will fist climb up t the Dochu La pass the gateway to the Punakha and Wandue Phodrang.
Dochu La Pass:
Your first destination of the day is the Dochu La pass and the 108 Bhutanese Stupas, is revered by the people of the land as an emblem of religious sanctity. Notice their architectural beauty and the manner in which they have weathered the four seasons over the years. If the weather decides to cooperate, you can admire the glory of the snow-capped Himalayan Ranges from this vantage point.
From here we will descend in to the valley towards the Chimi Lhakhang Temple.
Chimi Lhakhang, one of Bhutan's most famous monasteries. It was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century AD. It is dedicated to Drukpa Kinley who is also known as the Divine Madman. The spiritual leader inherited the accolade since he revolted against the principles of orthodox Buddhism. The monk, it is believed, was bestowed with the powers to subdue the devils with his magical thunder bolt.
After paying our respects and receiving the Lama's blessings we will continue our jouney onward to the town of Wangdue Phodrang and stop by to visit the Wangue Phodrang Dzhong.
Wandue Phodrang Dzhong:
The Wandue Phodrang Dzhoing is a 16 century fortress atop a hill that dominates over the Wandue valley according to a prophecy, the one builds a fort at the spot, will one day be able to unite the country under his / her power. After enjoying a tour of the Dzhong, we will cycle on to the village of Chuzomsa our rest spot for the night.
Today we take a break from cycling and retrace our steps back to our strating point at paro via the capital city Thimphu. En route will be cover a few places of interest in Thimphu or take your straight to the hotel for rest and relaxation as per your choice. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 6: Paro to Taktshang Monastery
Today we will be visiting the world famous Taktshang Monastery, one of the lost wonders of the world.
Taktsang monasteryis also known as "the Tiger's Lair" when translated. The short trek to the monastery passes through a dense pine forest. You can hear the insects chirp as you pass along the clearly marked and maintained pathway. You will stop at a traditional Bhutanese cafeteria for rest and refreshments Bhutanese style. You will then continue the hike till you arrive at the ruins of the ancient Taktsang monastery. This abode of traditional Buddhist religious prayer and worship was built in the 17th century AD. It literally hangs from the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. According to a legend, Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, came to Bhutan from India flying on a tiger.
You will have Lunch and refreshments at the cafeteria. Take in the amazing views of Bhutan's majestic peaks and valleys as you enjoy your meal. The hike may be quite a challenge for the uninitiated and your tour guide can arrange for a pony for you at a nominal expense. The pony ride is very safe and an experience in itself.
Following the visit we can either bike or drive back to the hotel depending of your level of fatigue after the hike. Once back you will have evening at leisure either to do some last minute shopping or indulge yourself with a spa treatment before having dinner and calling it a night.
Day 6 : Departure
After a heavy breakfast we will drop you off to Paro International Airport for you flight back home. We hope you had a memorable trip to our little nation and wish you al the best !
DAY 01: ARRIVE AT PARO.
While flying towards Paro, you can catch a spectacular view of the majestic mountains lining the passage, including the antediluvian Jumolhari & Jichu Drake peaks. On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by your Bhutanese friend from our Travel Agency. Discuss the Tour Programme with the Tour Guide. Afternoon sight-seeing and photography session.
DAY 02: PARO - SIGHT SEEING.
Post breakfast, a visit will be arranged for Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress), 16 kilometers away from Paro town. Although it has been in ruin but this Dzong has its great historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetan invasion and drove them back. On a clear day one can view the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari (Mountain of Goddess). Its altitude is 7,329m.Visit Kyichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means temple). Which was built in 659 AD by the King Songtsen Gompo of Tibet as one of the 108 such monasteries he built in various places to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong. It is one of the holiest places in the country, as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country.
After Lunch, the National Museum beckons, which used to be a watch tower for Paro Rimpong Dzong (Fortress). It was converted into Museum in 1968. Visit Paro Rimpong Dzong, the Dzong was built in 1646 AD, and walk down to town one the way you can see the traditional wood bridge of ancient style.
DAY 03: PARO -EXCURSION TO TAKTSHANG MONASTERY.
The name Taktsang means "Tiger's Nest ". On day 15th, book a day'shike or a mule ride to the 'Tigers Nest Monastery'. One of the most revered shrines of Bhutan, this monastery hangs on the side of a cliff dropping 900m towards the Paro valley below. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here sitting astride a flying tigress and meditated in a remote cave, hence the place came to be known as 'Tiger's Nest'. This site has been recognized as one of the most spiritual sites of the country. A sacred place, where many eminent saints did meditation. Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. The round hike takes about four hours.
DAY 04: PARO - A DAY EXCURSION TO HAA VALLEY AND DRIVE BACK VIA CHELLELA PASS.
Get up early to drive to Haa via Chele-la pass. Located four Km away at Bondey village, the road towards Haa turns towards the right and climbs up towards the chele-la pass. Drive through lush pine & rhododendron forests for about 45 km to reach Chele-la pass (3822 meters above sea level)A picnic lunch at Chellela passes. On the way back walk to Chellela Nunnery.
DAY 05: PARO-THIMPHU.
While going to Thimpu, visit Simtokha Dzong en route. One of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan, it was built in 1629 AD. It houses the largest monastic schools in the country. Visit Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the Central Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks.
In the afternoon, pay a visit to the Memorial Chorten (a mammoth stupa) built in memory of the Third King of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Visit the mini Zoo where the national animals were kept and drive to Sangeygang where you can have a spectacular view of Thimphu valley. Visit nunnery in Zulikha. Visit the Wood Craft and Painting school where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive through the instructions of painting and curving. Later, some shopping at the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts & crafts are displayed and can be purchased.
DAY 06: THIMPHU - GANGTEY VALLEY.
In the morning, enjoy the long drive to Gangtey valley, which takes around 6 hours. It is a beautiful valley situated at an altitude of 3000m, this valley was open its route very recently. The journey takes about 6 hours through Dochula Pass (3150m). On the way stop for a photo stop at Dochula Pass which is 26km away from Thimphu valley, and for Tea and snacks and to enjoy the most spectacular view of eastern Himalayan snow capped Mountains and also the spectacular view of Gasa Dzong at a distance (If the weather remains clear) and descends down to subtropical area Wangdue Phodrang. During winter one can see the endangered species of bird (Black Naked Crane). Have lunch in Punakha or Wangdue.
DAY 07: GANGTEY VALLEY - BUMTHANG.
In the morning, drive to Bumthang via Trongsa and a stop-over at Chendbji Chorten, which is patterned on the lines of the Swayambhunath temple in Nepal. Built in 18th century by Lama Shida,it covers the remains of an evil spirit that was taken down at this place. After, visit the TrongsaDzong, the most emphatic dzong in Bhutan, built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the emissary sent by Shabdrung to appease eastern Bhutan. The dzong was added to at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. This dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family; the initial two kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong. Drive to Bumthang via Yongtala & Kilakha passes. Bumthang sightseeing includes-Bhutanese Carpet Factory, where they use Yak and Sheep wool and even pure silk to create carpets and ethnic Bhutanese Textiles. Postlunch, visit the Jakar Dzong, literally meaning 'The Castle of White Bird'. Its current structure was built in 1667. Later visit Lamey Goemba, a majestic palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi, the great warrior. Further, you can see theJambay Lhakhang, built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in AD659. This temple was blessed by Guru Rimpocheduring his visit to Bumthang. It was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life with his powers. Legend has it that under the temple is a lake in which Guru Rimpochetook refuge on several occasions. In the month of October, the colourful festival, 'Jambay Lhakhang Drup' unfolds at this very temple. As the evening sets, you can check out the handicrafts and all. Have your dinner downtown at Bumthang.
DAY 08: BUMTHANG - SIGHT SEEING.
After breakfast, visit Chakhar Lhakhang (the iron castle), it is the site of the palace of the Indian King, the Sindhu Raja who invited Guru Rimpoche to Bumthang. The Original palace was made of Iron and hence the name Chakhar. The saint Dorji Lingpa built the Current building in 14th century. Its correct name is Dechen Phodrang. We then visit Kurjey Lhakhang that is named after body print of Guru Rimpoche, built in 1652 by Minjur Tempa. Visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. In the evening, visit Membarstho which literally means, "The burning Lake". Dinner and Overnight in Hotel at Bumthang.
Day 09: BUMTHANG - MONGAR.
Post breakfast, drive to Mongar and visit Ura Lhakhang. Drive to Mongar through Thrumshingla Pass (the highest pass in Bhutan). There are some spectacular drives along this road. If time permits, also visit a farm house in Sengor village. It's just a short walk to the Temple from there.
DAY 10: MONGAR - TRASHIYANGTSE.
Finish your breakfast and head towards Mongar and Trashigang. En route, you have to drive down to the lowlands of the Dremtse and Ozorong regions, which are subtropical areas like Lingmethang.
Drive further across Chazam (Iron Bridge) towards Trashigang Market, a small, heavily populated area, and was considered the largest city in eastern Bhutan till Kurichu Project in Mongar dominated the area. Trashigang Dzongkhag has the largest number of inhabitants in the whole of Bhutan. Retire for the night at the hotel in Trashigang.
Day 11: TRASHI YANGTSE - TRASHIGANG.
Take the day's excursion to Trashiyangtse and en route, visit famous Gomkora lhakhang.This Gomkora Lhakhang was visited by the great saint guru Rimpoche were he subdued evil spirits. You will find a small meditating cave of Guru Rimpoche.Drive further to Trashiyangtse and visit Chorten kora .This place host two religious festivals and people from Arunachal Pradesh in the north-east India also come for the festival. The Chorten is surrounded by many miniscule prayer wheels.
DAY 12: TRASHIGANG - SAMDRUPJONGKHAR.
An early morning drive brings you to Bhutan Samdrupjongkhar. On the way stop for clicking pictures.
DAY 13 DEPARTURE.
Say goodbye to your Bhutanese friends. Head to the airport.
Paro Chhu (Bondey – Isuna Bridge)
Location: Paro Valley, Western Bhutan
Length: Approximately 10 km (3 hours)
Difficulty: Class III-IV
Flow: About 500 cfs
Season: March – April
Craft: Kayaks recommended due to narrow and steep rapids
Upper Pho Chhu (Wangthangkha – Samdingkha)
Location: Punakha Valley, Western Bhutan
Length: Approximately 7 km (2 hours)
Difficulty: Class III-IV
Flow: 2000 -3000 cfs
Season: March – April, October – November
Craft: Kayaks and Rafts
Mo Chhu – Tashitang Devil’s Gorge Section (Tashithang- Below Punakha Dzong)
Location: Punakha Valley, Western Bhutan
Length: 12 km, 5 -7 hours with scouting
Difficulty: Class V
Flow: 1000 cfs
Craft: Kayaks only (too steep for rafts)
(Caution: Higher than medium flows makes this run dangerous. High water runs are not recommended for amateurs)
Mangde Chhu – Upper Section (Yundo Choling Palace- Langthel)
Location: Trongsa, Central Bhutan
Length: Approximately 5 km (2 hours with scouting)
Difficulty: Class IV
Flows: Approximately 3000 cfs
Season: March – April, November – December
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