Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan has two sides, the modern and the traditional. Located on the west central part of the country, in the valley formed by the Raidak River, it is the main centre for government, trade and religion. Modern Thimphu has Bhutan’ s cultural identity, values and is home to many of its most important Buddhist monasteries and monuments. Tourism is an important activity in Thimphu but it is strictly regulated to preserve the fragile ecology of this small mountainous country.
Paro , Thimphu
Day 01: Arrive Paro and transfer to Thimphu
Fly into Himalayas with Druk Air, Bhutan’s only National Air Carrier. The green walls of the hills in to Bhutan from the plains of India rise ever higher as the plane flies north towards the Tibetan border. Silvery rivers rush along the valleys, waterfalls plunge down the forested mountainsides, and to the north, the great snowcapped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens.
As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, look down and you will see the Paro Dzong on the hillside overlooking Paro Chu (river) with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it. You will be welcomed by our representative at the airport and transfer to Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02: Thimphu
After breakfast, the day will begin with sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit to the following: the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later visit Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.
After lunch, also visit King’s Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulator by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.
Later, 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, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials.
Evening visit Trashichhoedzong, “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the centre of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu - Paro
After breakfast, drive to Paro. Later sightseeing in Paro valley.
Visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which is now house of National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artefact’s.
From there walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru.
After lunch, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess’’ can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong.
Along the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 04: Depart from Paro
After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.
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