Thimpu > Punakha > Paro
18 Dec 2020 - 25 Dec 2020 ** Indicates tentative date.
2 people in 1 Room (s)
IVAT REPRESENTATIVE will receive you on arrival at the DELHI AIRPORT and transfer to your hotel. DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land. A window to the kaleidoscope - that is India. Overnight will be at Delhi.
We will fly this morning from Delhi to Paro, Bhutan. In clear weather this flight affords a breathtaking view of Himalayan scenery, culminating in an exciting descent past forestedhills into the kingdom.
Upon arrival in Paro, you will be met by IVAT Representative and will drive from Paro to Thimphu, the modern capital city of Bhutan. Bhutan is a tiny remote country with a population of only 970,000 people.
Lunch will be en route.
After arriving in Thimphu, and checking into our hotel, we will visit the National Library, which houses an extensive collection of sacred Buddhist literature in both Bhutanese and Tibetan languages.
There will be time to walk around the town of Thimphu.
Dinner will be at the hotel.
Thimphu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, is the seat of government.. It has a population of 45,000, composed of monks, the royal family, government and civil service and a growing middle class. Small and secluded, the city is quiet and without traffic lights, which is true throughout this startling land.
After breakfast we will visit Tashicho Dzong. A dzong is a fortress monastery which is the center of government and religion in each district of the kingdom. This dzong is the capitol building and palace of the reigning king. He and the supreme religious leader rule side-by-side to provide for the welfare of their peoples secular and spiritual well-being.
They are both equally loved and venerated by the Bhutanese.
We will next visit the School of Painting and Arts while in session where a six-year training course is given to talented students in the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Another visit is to the Textile Museum and Handicrafts Emporium,which off a wide range of handicraft products, including the splendid thankha paintings, exquisitely woven textiles and wood carvings for which Bhutan is famous.
Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
After lunch there will be a visit to the Folk Heritage Museumopened in 2001. There will be time to explore Thimphu on your own before enjoying a traditional dinner this evening.
After breakfast we will drive to Punakha, en route enjoying the dazzling views of the majestic Himalayan peaks. In good weather 200 miles of the mountain summits are visible. Vegetation consists mainly of broadleaf and coniferous forests. We cross the Dochu La Pass at 10,000 feet before descending into Punakha Valley. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 when it moved to Thimphu. It still serves as the winter residence of the central monastic body
Originally situated on the riverbank and dominated by the towering walls of Punakha Dzong,the township was relocated in 1960 to a safer site a few miles down the valley. At that time extensive renovation work was undertaken on the massive Punakha Dzong, which had withstood damage from fires, an earthquake and floods. Only traditional restoration techniques were used in the process, eschewing nails, plans and power tools. Now it is a breathtaking and glorious sight as you first glimpse it from the road. It houses many sacred and historic artifacts.
After lunch, visit a small rice-producing village. Then take a short walk to Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility shrine built in the 15thcentury by one of Bhutans most beloved figures.
Dinner at a local restaurant.
After breakfast drive to Wangduephodrang, situated on a ridge overlooking a river junction and the valley below. The formidable Wangduephodrang Dzong is the towns most visible feature. In the 17thcentury Wangdue played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country.
We will visit the local lively and colorful town market. After a picnic lunch we drive to Paro visiting Simtokha Dzongen route. This dzong, built in 1620, is the oldest in Bhutan and now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.
Continue to Paro and check into our hotel.
The valley of Paro contains a wealth of attractions. The houses in the town are built in traditional style and painted with colorful designs. The caravan drivers load their horses to drink from the river that winds through town. The sense of tranquil serenity that defines this land is apparent at once.
This morning we will visit Ta Dzong. Once a watchtower built for defense, it became Bhutans National Museum in 1968. Viewing its well-interpreted collection of historic artifacts makes for a great prologue to the countrys rich culture and tradition.
We will walk down a hillside trail to Paro Rinpung Dzong,which dominates the valley and is one of the finest and impressive dzongs in the country. It is an introduction to the Bhutanese version of the blending of church and state, as Tantric Buddhism is at the center of the countrys political organization.
Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
After lunch we will see Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in the kingdom. Bhutanese lore says it was one of 108 temples built in a single day in 660 AD.
After breakfast we will have a marvelous and beautiful hike to Taksung Monastery,known as Tigers Nest, icon of Bhutan, its most famous spot and one of the most venerated pilgrim sites. You can go on foot or a combination of foot and horseback. This magical, holy monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 3,000 feet above the valley. Legend has it that Guri Rinpoche, who first brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8thcentury flew to this spot on the back of a flying tigress. Built in 1650, it is a pilgrimage every Bhutanese tries to make once in his or her lifetime.
We will enjoy lunch and wonderful views at the monasterys cliffside caf. In the afternoon we will visit the ruins ofDrukayel Dzong. This fortress, sitting on a strategic route to Tibet enjoys expansive views of the Paro Valley below and the sacred mountain above. It was built in 1620 to commemorate the Bhutanese victory over the invading Tibetan armies.
The rest of the afternoon is free.
This evening is our farewell dinner.
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It’s nice to hear from You, the trip was fine, the Gozz had a lovely time in India and they Love Tariq the Spanish speaking guide, Our experience in Buthan was lovely the only thing I would loved to
have was to stay in Paro at the COMO UMA hotel we went there for Lunch and the food was superior than the Nak Sel ,but the location of our hotel it is much better, we love our guide Bella and the lunch
places were just ok, I don't know if we could have been having better places ? The festival made our trip incomparable with any other, there was a group of people from home that they where doing the same
trip staying at the amankoras and the only difference I saw was the quality of their Van was newer and they had a private lunch made for them at the river in Punakha. Another thing good to know it is if the traveler wants to go up the tiger nest all the way UP I would wanted to be suggested to take the horse the first leg of the trip and then walk until the top , I was almost dead by the time I reached cafeteria and I wanted to do it until the top but was impossible for me and my group.
Nepal we like our guide he was so funny but we could not understand him very much, for next time I would preferred Spanish speaking guide for Us. My program was short one day I had to hire from them one more
day of car and guide but I could managed very well I did not noticed that I had that day free in the program. Try to check that next time so we do not have any surprises. we loved the hotel and the city and of course the mountain flight that Only We could do it ( on the third day)
Amritsar. the hotel was beautiful and New the only thing is a little bit noisy of the pipe lines we could hear all the showers being taken by other guest at night but that was the only thing
And the problem we had at the airport with the tickets, that fortunately Rajnish solved them in minutes. We love our program in Amritsar and the guide was very nice. India is changing I noticed the difference from the first trip to this one. The guides and the chauffeur are more modern not as they us to be. But I can understand the change.
If I had to rate this trip comparing to the other two trips- they were 9.5 and this trip is 8.5 very close.
I just had a bad time during the time I had to wait for the plane tickets to be fixed.
I would send you some pictures.
Missing Don Victor greatly I would like to thank You for all your help. Mr Manish was very kind and helpful too.
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