Day 01: Delhi Arrival - Flight To Paro/ Drive Thimpu

Arrive Delhi. On arrival, you will be greeted and assisted by our representative. On arrival, the executive will hand over the documents and shall assist you for the departure to Paro.

On arrival in Bhutan you will be greeted and escorted by India Holiday Mall Executive and continue drive to Thimpu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some of world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Paro Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below.

Arrive Thimpu and transfer to the Hotel.

After lunch, visits the following’s in Thimpu.
Evening visit King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated 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 to Trashichhoedzong, “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center 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.

IMP: Tashichhodzong in Thimphu is open only after Office Hours (4 – 5 pm in winters and 5 – 6 pm in summers)

Lunch + Dinner & Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 02: Thimpu

After breakfast, excursion to Tango Goemba.

This monastery was founded by Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa in the 12th century and the present building was built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’, Lama Drukpa Kunley. In 1616 Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal visited Tango and meditated in a cave near the monastery. His meditation helped ensure the defeat of an invading Tibetan army. The head Lama, a descendent of Lama Drukpa Kunley presented the goemba to Shabdrung, who carved a sandalwood statue of Chenrezig which he installed in the monastery. The picturesque three-storey tower and several surrounding buildings were built in the 18th century by the eighth Desi.

Druk Rabgye and Shabdrung Jigme Chhogyel added the golden roof in the 19th century.

Afternoon visit the National Library (closed on weekends), housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (closed on weekends) 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.
Evening take a stroll around Thimphu main street visiting shops and local market.

Also 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, jewelry, interesting items made from local materials.

Lunch + Dinner & Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 03: Thimpu – Punakha/ Wangdue (Approx 75 Km/ 3 Hrs Drive)

After breakfast, visit Changangkha Lhakhang. It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley. Then drive to Takin Reserve. It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang.

After that drive to Punakha across Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. Later visit to Punakha Dzong, Built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region.

Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan’s history. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored by the present King.

Lunch + Dinner & Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 04: Wangdue – Trongsa – Bhumtang (Approx 205kms/ 7 Hrs Drive)

After breakfast, proceed to Trongsa across Pelela pass (3,300 m), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large prayer flag and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop enroute at Chendbji Chorten, which was built in 18th century by a Lama named Shida, it is Nepalese in style with eyes painted at four cardinal points.

Visit Trongsa Dzong. Like almost all towns in the Kingdom, this Dzong architecture dominates the entire Trongsa horizon dwarfing the surrounding buildings. Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second King ruled the country from this ancient seat.

Also visit Ta Dzong, a cylindrical stone structure rising five storeys, was built in 1652 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, a task entrusted to him by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. After more than 350 years, it has been resurrected into a classy museum, that represents a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity. There are 224 items on display including a sacred image of Sung Joenma Dorji Chang (self spoken Vajradharna), a bronze statue of Pema Lingpa, made by himself, and a number of centuries-old treasures like dance and ritual costumes and objects, ancient prayer books, paintings and scrolls, and textiles. Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.

Lunch + Dinner & Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 05: Bumthang

Visit to Tamshing Lhakhang, This monastery was built in the 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits n the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century.

Then visit, Jakar Dzong, founded by great grand-father of the first Shabdrung, the Dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549. It was upgraded after the Shabdrung had firmly established his power in 1646. The Dzong is now used as administrative centre for Bumthang valley, and houses the regional monk body.

Afternoon visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places. Later visit Jambay Lhakhang, This monastery was built in the 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits n the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century.

Lunch + Dinner & Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 06: Bumthang – Paro (Flight)

After breakfast, transfer to airport to board the flight to Paro. On arrival assistance at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

Afternoon in Paro, visit Ta Dzong (closed on Sundays and Mondays), originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Then 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 and other cosmic Mandala.

Lunch + Dinner & Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 07: Paro

After breakfast, excursion to Taktsang Monastery. It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor.

It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour. Afternoon 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.

Lunch + Dinner & Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 08: Paro – Delhi (Flight)

After breakfast, in time transfer to the airport to board the flight back to Delhi with home with sweet memories… Arrive Delhi. On arrival, you will be greeted and assisted by our representative. On arrival transfer to hotel.

Optional: Visit the Raj Ghat on the banks of the river Yamuna, Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial, where he was cremated following his assassination in January 1948.

The memorial lies in the midst of landscaped gardens and made of a simple square platform of black marble inscribed with his last words "Hey Ram". An eternal flame burns 24 hours.

Sightseeing of Red Fort (Closed on Mondays) the 17th century imposing fortress built in red sandstone is surrounded by a huge 33m high boundary wall. Inside are exquisite palaces and beautiful gardens.

Opposite the Red Fort lies Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) made of red sandstone and white marble, completed in 1656 at a cost of one million Rupees has perfect proportions. Jama Masjid is India's largest mosque where more than 20.000 people can kneel in prayer. The interior of the prayer hall is divided into aisles by arches. The walls and floors are of marble inlay panels.

After sightseeing of Old Delhi, afternoon break for Lunch (Optional).

Later drive for New Delhi sightseeing. You will drive Past Rashtrapati Bhawan once the Viceroy's residence is now the official residence of the President of India.

Photo stop at India Gate Built of Bharatpur stone, commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in the 1st world war. 13516 names of British and Indian soldiers killed in the Afghan War of 1919 are engraved on the arch and foundations.

Visit the Humayun's Tomb, built by his wife Haji Begum in the 16th. Century. An early example of Mughal architecture considered the predecessor of the Taj Mahal.
After sightseeing back to the hotel & evening free for own activities.
Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 09: Delhi Departure

Today you will be transferred to the airport to connect the flight back home.

Pickup from the hotel at 2230 hrs on 04th April 2015.

(Flight KLM 871 at 0315 Hrs)

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