Trip Facts

  • Trip Duration : 5 Days
  • Start - End : -
  • Highest Altitude : m
  • Difficulty :
  • Season :
  • Activity : Tours
  • Trip Grade : 1

The Old Capital

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This is a short tour and you will visit Paro valley at 2183 meters above the sea level.

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This is a short tour and you will visit Paro valley at 2183 meters above the sea level which boasts of the only International airport in the country. You can see beautiful snowcapped Mountains around. The visit to Taktsang monastery is spectacular. 56 kms away from Paro is Thimphu, the Capital city of Bhutan. The only capital city in the world that has no traffic lights. This small city also the host to the tallest statue of sitting Buddha in the world (Sangay Dorderma). There are many hiking routes in and around Thimphu and Paro. As you drive to Punakha, you pass through Dochula pass which has 108 small chortens. The view of the Higher Himalayas from the Dochula pass is spectacular. Punakha is an old capital of Bhutan and Punakha Dzong is still the winter residence of his Holiness, the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot).

Day 01 : Arrive at Paro (2280 meters) - Thimphu
Day 02 : Thimphu – Punakha - Thimphu (83 Kms, 3 hours drive)
Day 03 : Thimphu (2320 meters) sightseeing – Paro
Day 04 : Paro Sightseeing: (Altitude 2320 m)
Day 05 : Departure

Day 01 : Arrive at Paro (2280 meters) - Thimphu
We will pick you up at the airport and drive to Thimphu. After lunch, visit Sangay gang view point and the Takin Preserve center. In the evening, visit Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion), built in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and reconstructed in 1961 by the Late King, His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is regarded as Father of Modern Bhutan. Then visit Handicrafts Emporium to see the exquisite artistry of traditional crafts and textiles. Over night in Hotel.

 

Day 02 : Thimphu – Punakha - Thimphu (83 Kms, 3 hours drive)
After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. Enroute stop a while to view Chimi Lhakhang also called the “Temple of Fertility” built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley also popularly known as “Devine Mad man” in 15th century

After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “…a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri (Paradise) and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and The third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the First National Assembly here in 1952. In the evening, drive to Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

 

Day 03 : Thimphu (2320 meters) sightseeing – Paro
After breakfast, visit the National Memorial Chorten, a monument dedicated to the Third King of Bhutan. His Late Majesty King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The inside paintings and statues provide a very rare insight into Buddhist Philosophy. Then visit the National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts followed by visit to Painting School, famous for carving and free hand art and Folk Heritage Museum. Then visit Sangaygang view point and the Takin Preserve center and to the largest statue of Buddha (In the world) and drive to Paro.

After lunch, visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, which has been, since 1967, the National Museum of Bhutan then visit Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong presently houses administrative offices. Dinner and over night in Hotel.

 

Day 04 : Paro Sightseeing: (Altitude 2320 m)
After breakfast, drive to Paro. Excursion to Taktsang Monastery: A short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, the trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay; this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort.

In the evening, visit the Drukgyel dzong, now in ruins was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders in1644; the dzong name’s means indeed “ victorious Druk “. The Dzong was used as an administrative center until 1951 when a fire caused by butter lamp destroyed it. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century and Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Paro.

 

Day 05 : Departure
Early morning, drive to the Airport and Farewell.