Day 01: Paro to Thimphu
Day 02: Thimphu to Talo
Day 03: Talo to Lobesa
Day 04: Talo to Lobesa
Day 05: Gangtey
Day 06: Gangtey to Trongsa
Day 07: Trongsa to Bumthang
Day 08: Bumthang (Ura excursion)
Day 09: Bumthang to Paro
Day 10: Paro (Taktsang Hike)
Day 11: Exit
Day 1: Paro to Thimphu
Transfer to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. Even today the city retains its ethnic architectural style and is the only capital in the world with no traffic lights. Yet unlike other capital cities in the world, Thimphu remains essentially pastoral in character and changes its demeanor with the seasons. On the way see Tachogang Temple or the �Temple of the Hill of Excellent Horse� which rises in austere surroundings on the left bank of the river, a few km before Chhuzom at the confluence of the Paro and Thimphu rivers.
Drive to visit Semtokha Dzong, which is the oldest Dzong built in Bhutan by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1629.Visit the painting school in the afternoon if it falls on working day Evening: Walk around the Memorial Chorten in Thimphu built in 1974 in memory of the Third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who died in 1972. The memorial chorten is one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu, and for many people it is the focus of their daily worship. Overnight stay in a hotel.Day 2: Thimphu to Talo
Four hrs drive from Paro, you will be welcomed by your host from the village of Talo. Talo is not only a beautiful clustered village but also a very important historical Place under Punakha Dzongkhang.
This village was a summer residence of the founder of Bhutan. The Magnificent fortress like looking temple has most unique architecture designed by founder himself. Your overnight stay will be in one of the village farm house.Day 3: Talo to Lobesa
This morning you will participate in any kind of farm related works depending upon the season of your visit. Follow the ancient trail towards Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong is the most beautiful dzong in the Country located between two Rivers. Until 1957, it was used as the Capital of Bhutan.
After lunch drive towards the Temple of Devine Mad Man for a short hike. Our stay will be in the village of Tshokonga which is in the middle of the Rice Fields.Day 4: Lobesa to Gangtey
Drive to Gangtey one of the most beautiful open valleys and home to the endangered black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis), which migrate from the Tibetan plateau to avoiding the extremely cold winters from end of October to the end of March.
The Black Necked Cranes, Grus nigricollis, is the least known of the 15 species of cranes in the world. It was first discovered in 1876 by a Russian naturalist, Prjezhwalsky in Lake Koko-nor in the northeast corner of the Tibetan Plateau. Endemic to the Himalayan region,it has been listed in the Red Data Boo of the International Union for Conservation of Nature as globally threatened with a total count of 5000-6000 individuals worldwide.After a long drive from Lobesa you will be rewarded by a traditional hot stone bath.Day 5: Gangtey
We will spend our day doing few short hikes from village to village observing their day to day activities. Late in the afternoon Gangtey Monastery is a must visit for its best wood works in the country. We might also come across the monks while they are attending their evening prayers.
Phobjika valley is surely one of the loveliest high altitude valleys in Bhutan. Phobjikha is one of Bhutan�s few glacial valleys, and chosen winter home of black necked cranes, migrating from the Tibetan plateau. Explore Phobjikha valley and also visit Gangtey Gompa (Monastery), the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan.Day 6: Gangtey to Trongsa
Drive to Tongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830ft). This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between western and central Bhutan. Further down the road, stop to visit Chendebji Chorten erected in the 18th century by a Tibetan lama to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. It is built in the Nepalese style, with painted eyes at the four cardinal points.
The landscape around Tongsa is spectacular and its impressive dzong, stretched along a ridge above a ravine, first comes into view about an hour before the winding road suddenly leads you into the town. On arrival, check into the lodge.Later in the afternoon visit to:
Tongsa Dzong: Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. All four kings were invested as Tongsa Penlop (�governor�) prior to ascending the throne, and the present Crown Prince now holds the post.
The dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built. Because of the dzong�s highly strategic position, on the only connecting route between east and west, the Tongsa Penlop was able to control effectively the whole of the central and eastern regions of the country from here.
Ta Dzong: This watchtower, which once guarded Tongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands on a steep slope above the town. Climb up the path to visit Ta Dzong which now houses a shrine dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. A visit to this former watchtower provides visitors with an insight into the significance of Tongsa in Bhutan�s history. Nice hot shower will be waiting for us after a four nights of stay at farm house.Day 7: Trongsa to Bumthang
This lovely valley is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Tales of Guru Padmasambhava and the tertons (�religious treasure-discoverers�) still linger in this sacred region.
Jambey Lhakhang: This monastery was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of 108 monasteries which he built to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century.
Kurje Lhakhang: Located further along the valley, Kurje Lhakhang comprises three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 against the rock face where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century. The middle temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of the Guru�s body, and is therefore considered to be the most holy. The temple on the left was built in the 1990s by H.M. Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother. These three temples are surrounded by a 108 chorten wall.
Tamshing Lhakhang: Located across the river from Kurje Lhakhang, this temple was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, a re-incarnation of Guru Padmasambhava. There are very old religious paintings around the inner walls of the temple, which was restored at the end of the 19th century.
Jakar Dzong: Constructed in 1549 by the great grandfather of the first Shabdrung, the dzong was initially built as a monastery. It was upgraded in 1646, after the Shabdrung had firmly established his power. Jakar Dzong is now used as the administrative center for Bumthang valley, and also houses the regional monk body Overnight stay at a farm house.Day 8: Bumthang (Ura excursion)
From Jakar to Ura is 48 km., about one and a half hours� drive. To reach here, the road climbs through amazingly open countryside, only occasionally running into forest. Sheep pastures line the road up to 20 km. behind the southern tip of the Tang valley. The road crosses Ura-la pass (3,600m), on the approach to which there is a magnificent view of Mt. Gangkar Puensum.
Villages in Ura have clustered houses, which is quite unusual in Bhutan. Above Ura village (3,100m) there is a new temple is dedicated to Guru Rinpoche. Inaugurated in 1986, it contains a huge statue of the Guru and remarkable wall paintings of the cycle of his teachings. Within the last 25 years Ura has been transformed from a marginal community to a prosperous valley. Today enjoy the festival and later drive back to Bumthang for over night.Day 9: Bumthang to Paro
Flight to Paro from Bumthang is the only domestic flight in the country and it takes less than 30 minutes which will actually take you two days to reach by car.visit the Dzong of Paro and the National Museum in the afternoon.
Overnight at Farm house.Day 10: Paro (Taktsang Hike)
This most famous of Bhutan�s monasteries is perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said the Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress, and meditated at this place, hence the monastery is also called �Tiger�s Nest�. This site, which has long been recognized as a most sacred place, was visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646.
This most famous of Bhutan�s monasteries is perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said the Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress, and meditated at this place, hence the monastery is also called �Tiger�s Nest�. This site, which has long been recognized as a most sacred place, was visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646.Day 11: Exit