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Bhutan Spiritual and Cultural Tour is your gateway to experiencing the rich Bhutanese culture which is deeply embedded in Buddhism, the country’s major religion. Your 10-day tour begins in Paro where you visit Rinopung Dzong (fortress), Kichu Lhakhang temple and others. You will spend the next day getting acquainted with the teachings of the Buddha and a learned Lama (priest) will help you do just that. Take a pony ride to Bumdra Monastery and soak in the beautiful sceneries that the journey offers. Spend the next day at the monastery awakening your spiritual self. From here you trek to the much revered Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. End theÂ Bhutan Spiritual and Cultural Tour in Thimphu. Enjoy a village walk on the outskirts of the capital city and tour the it’s many wonderful landmarks.
|Day 01 Arrival and sightseeing in Paro||2,250m/7,382ft|
|Day 02 Buddhist Teaching||2,250m/7,382ft|
|Day 03 Paro to Bumdra||3,500m/11,484ft|
|Day 04 Spiritual retreat in Bumdra||3,500m/11,484ft||4 hrs|
|Day 05 Bumdra to Paro via Tigers Nest Monastery||3,180m/10,434ft|
|Day 06 Namseling village-walk, free time in Thimphu in the afternoon||2,320m/7,612ft|
|Day 07 Thimphu to Punakha||1,250m/4,101ft|
|Day 08 Day hike in Punakha||1,250m/4,101ft|
|Day 09 Punakha to Paro||2,250m/7,382ft|
|Day 10 Final departure||-|
As our flight nears Bhutan we can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. After lunch, we visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’. Next, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From here we will visit the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day we can see Mount Chomolhari, Bhutan’s second-highest mountain, at 7,314 meters. Overnight in Paro.
We visit a Buddhist monastery in Paro today. Here, we meet a learned lama (Buddhist teacher) who will help us immerse ourselves in the teachings of the Buddhawe are most interested in. The lama is also open to answer any of our spiritual queries with regards to the teachings of the Buddha. Thanks to the Lama, we will also have the opportunity for mediation and awaken our spiritual side. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, we drive to Sang Choekor Buddhist University to meet our ponies. We ascend for around two hours on a forested ridge which will bring us to a clearing. From here, we get good views of both Paro and Do Chhu valleys below. We continue on our trail and reach Chhoe Tse Lhakhang (temple) which boasts commanding views of the snow-capped Himalayas. Next, we climb through ruins, prayer flags and a forest before reaching a meadow dotted with sacred chortens and prayer flags. We set our camp on a location just under the Bumdra Monastery (Cave of a Thousand Prayers) and enjoy unhindered views of the Himalayan range.
We are expected to explore our inner selves in a spiritual retreat in Bumdra. Today is set aside to practice meditation. We can apply whatever we learned about meditation and spirituality on day 2 today. However, we will have to practice meditation on our own and relax throughout the day. Overnight in Bumdra.
After breakfast we start our trek on a winding trail that takes us to an ancient pine and rhododendron forest. We descend for sometime before seeing golden roofs of the monasteries below. Our path snakes across the mountainside between these monasteries before reaching the gardens of Zangto Pelri (Heaven on Earth). From here we can peer over the edge, straight down onto the ornate rooftops of Taktsang Monastery perched against the cliff-face far below. We descend on a steep trail to a waterfall then ascend to the most venerated Bhutanese monastery, the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). After touring the monastery we descend to Paro Valley floor and drive to Thimphu. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Our village-walk starts from Namseling road descending 30 m to a bridge. From here we walk through big farm houses to a distinct-looking giant mud house, with smoke-stained wood windows and a golden pinnacle. This was the place where the famous yogini of Bhutan Khandro Sonam Peldon was born in the 14th century. During the walk we also get a glimpse of the lifestyle of local farmers. We walk to a small temple at 24300 m and admire excellent views of the Thimphu valley. We continue our walk for some time before heading back to the city. We have the rest of the afternoon to ourselves. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast, we drive to Punakha via Dochu La Pass (3,100m), where on a clear day we get spectacular views of the Himalayas. Next, we drive downhill through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. On the way, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. After reaching Punakha, we also visit Punakha Dzong which was built between 1637-1638 and is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. Overnight in Punakha.
We begin our day-hike after breakfast. We begin the walk on a leveled trail along the Mo Chu River before reaching a local village. We spend some time visiting farm houses and meeting families. Our host will happily indulge us with a cup of butter tea. We also enjoy a picnic lunch on the river bank. After lunch, we hike further to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, a delightful 3-story chorten that looks down on the upper Punakha Valley. From here, the views of the entire valley and the surrounding snow-capped peaks are stunning. We spend some time admiring the general splendor before calling it a day. After hiking for a short while, we hop on our vehicle and drive back to Punakha. Overnight in Punakha.
Today, we return to Paro. Upon reaching Dochula pass, we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only one of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. Overnight in Paro.
Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after breakfast, we will be taken to the airport in the morning for final departure.
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All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included during your stay in Bhutan. A variety of meals are available in most hotels the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non--vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season.
Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of booking, we will be accommodated in A grade hotels in Paro and Thimphu and a B grade hotel in Punakha. We use Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro, Hotel Migmar in Thimphu and Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost USD 530.
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