19 Days Eastern Bhutan Jeep Safari (Intensive)

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Eastern Bhutan Jeep Safari (Intensive)

 Arrive Delhi IGI Airport. On arrival, met by representative and transferred to hotel. Overnight hotel at Delhi.

Delhi Sightseeing-Delhi-Paro: Full day sightseeing of New and old Delhi historical monuments also including the parliament house, India Gate and the National Museum. Evening transfer to International airport. Fly Delhi Paro. Arrive at Paro Airport, met by our Bhutan representative and transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight hotel at Paro.

Paro: Morning visit Drugyel Dzong, 18 kilometers away from Paro town. On a clear day one can get a glimpse of the sacred Mount Chhomolhari, Mountain of Goddess, (24,000 ft). Visit a typical Bhutanese farm house and sightseeing trip to the Paro Bazaar. Visit also Ta Dzong which houses the National Museum followed by a short walk to Paro Rimpung Dzong.

Excursion to the Tiger Nest: Morning after breakfast at the hotel, drive up to Ramthangkha (10 Km from Paro Town) and walk to the Monastery (800 Mtr). The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000ft overlooking the Paro valley.

Taktsang (Tak=Rock Tsang=Nest) is one of the most venerated pilgrimage sites in the Himalayas. However, most people can only visit the main site called Taktsang Pel-phu. According to legend Padmasambhava founded Taktsang Monastery in the eighth century. It is believed that the Guru came to this place on the back of a tigress from Khengpajong in the Kurtoe region and meditated here for three months in a cave before converting the Paro valley to Buddhism. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Paro-Thimphu (65 Kms / 02 Hrs): Morning after breakfast at the hotel visit Drugyel Dzong which is a short drive of 18 kilometers from Paro. You can have a magnificent view Mount Chhomolhari (24,000 ft). Later on visit the Ta Dzong, which houses the National Museum and see also a typical Bhutanese wooden bridge. Post lunch drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Dinner and overnight hotel at Thimphu.

Thimphu : Morning after breakfast visit to the National Library, Zelukha Nunnery, Painting School, Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion) and Memorial Chorten. Afternoon, stroll through Thimphu town. Dinner and overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Drive Thimphu to Punakha (77 km./ 03 Hrs./ 1350 M): Morning after breakfast drive to Punakha via Dochula -Pass 3150m  If the weather is clear, the Dochu- la pass offers the most spectacular views of the eastern Himalayas mountain ranges. we stop for lunch at Punakha. Visits includes the exquisite Punakha Dzong, which it was the old capital of Bhutan. On the 17th December 1907, the first king of Bhutan was crowned here and every consecutive year on this date we celebrate national day in Bhutan. After visiting the Dzong drive further to do a mini hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten and once you reach the top you will see the winding view of the Mo-Chu River and villages below. If you look towards the north you will see the snow capped mountains.

Punakha Trongsa. (128 km./ 05 Hrs. /2200 M): Drive from Punakha to Trongsa Enroute visit Wangdue, another district when is half n hour drive from Punakha. The Dzong was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1638. The road will climb all the way to Pele-la pass at 3300m. It is main landmark between east & west and from here we will drive all the way down to Trongsa. On the way we will come across Yak herder camps and encounter Yaks especially during the winter, we will also see high Himalayan villages like Rukubji and Chendebji. All the houses cluster together separate from the fields.

Trongsa Bumthang: (68 km./ 03 Hrs./ 2600 M): Trongsa is the ancestral home of Bhutan Royal Family. Both the First and Second King ruled the Kingdom from  this ancient seat. All the Kings of Bhutan have to become Trongsa Penlop (Honorary post of Governor) prior to being crowned as the Druk Gyalpo (King of Bhutan). Trongsa Dzong (Fort), is one of the largest & most impressive in the country. It was first built in 1648 and later enlarged many times. Visit the ancient watchtower (Ta- Dzong), which is situated above the town.

About three hours drive from Trongsa; we will reach to the famous valley of Bumthang. Bumthang is made up of four main valleys, Chummey, Tang, Ura and Choskhor (Jakar). A few miles after crossing Yotong La Pass (3400m), you will encounter buckwheat fields and the only straight road in the country entering the first valley of Bumthang, Chummey. The main development center of the province is situated in Choskhor commonly known as the Jakar valley where you can see a little bit of the modern touch with Swiss influence.

Bumthang: Bumthang is different from all the other valleys in Bhutan. It is very spacious and open ranging in altitudes from 2600m to 4000m. Bumthang is a heaven for hikers and Trekkers, not to mention the numerous beautiful and important Buddhist monasteries and pilgrimage sites, making it the Cultural and Historic heartland in Bhutan.

One could spend months exploring this fascinating valley. Almost every little valley or hill has a background of interesting myths and legends about Kings, Buddhist masters and Serpents. Bumthang is especially dominated by the religious influence of Padmasambhava (believed to be the second Buddha 7th 8th A.D) and his reincarnation the Treasure revealer. Terton Pemalingpa 1450-1521, who is known to have discovered many sacred Buddhist texts hidden by Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) in various places.

Take a walk up to Tamshing monastery, founded by Terton Pemalingpa, where about 200 monks reside. Visit the historical temple. Visit the Wangdichholing Palace, Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, and the oldest monastery in the Kingdom. All the Kings of Bhutan are taken for their cremation rites to Kurjee Monastery. Visit some more temples.

Drive to the sacred Mebartsho (meaning Burning Lake). The importance of this site is indicated by the extensive array of prayer flags and is considered as one of the most holy places for Buddhist pilgrimage. After this visit drive back to Chamkhar and stroll in town.

Bumthang - Mongar. (193 km/ 07 Hrs):  After Breakfast the drive will take you through the pine forests keeping the Jakar Dzong view behind us. Taking a half hour drive you will cross the Tang Chu climbing towards and through Tangsebgi village. The drive reaches Ura valley the highest and most eastern part of Bumthang. It takes around 2 hours drive through blue pine trees, villages and onto the high pass of Sheltheng la 3600 m/11800 ft. Looking towards the north in clear weather one can see the high white Gangkar Punsum (7541m/2974ft) the highest peak in Bhutan.

The landscape of Ura valley is different from that of the others, with round sweeping slopes, fertile pastures and wide fields. At the bottom you will see the large and unusual village with its cluster of big houses united by the paved flagstone alleys, a rare sight in Bhutan. The big community monastery dominates the village. It is dedicated to Guru Rinpoche (the great teacher). Ura festival usually takes place in the 2nd week of May & sometime in June, depending on the Bhutanese lunar calendar.

Thimshingla National park starts here and if one wishes one can visit the field office at Ura. It is open Monday to Friday and closed on holidays. The drive from here will take you through the National Park. There is also the Rhododendron Flower Park this way (only worth seeing in spring time). Today you will cross the highest point of the road in Bhutan. The Thimshing La Pass at around 3800 m. and you will see a lot of changes in vegetation and villages. Night Mongar.

 Mongar Lhuntse Mongar: After an early breakfast take excursion to Lhuntse (another district in the eastern part of Bhutan). In this part of the District, villages produce the most hand woven fabric, which is called Khusuthakra. This tradition has been passed down through the centuries. Evening drive back to Mongar.

Mongar - Trashing. (92 km / 01 Hr): After breakfast drive to Trash gang, crossing a low pass between these two Districts called Kori – La Pass 2400 m. You will go through villages like Yedi and cross the Chakzam, the iron Bridge.

Trashigang is considered to be one of the Biggest Districts in Bhutan and it holds the headquarters of Trashigang. The 3rd Temporal Ruler of Bhutan Menjyur Tenpa built it in the 17th century overlooking the convergence of Drangme Chu & the Gambri Chu. Night Trashingang. 

Trashigang Trashi Yangtse Trashigang. (53 Kms/ 1.5 Hrs): Today we shall have a day excursion to Trashi Yangtse. If time permits you can drive to the southeast Khaling Weaving center and blind school as well as the only University in Bhutan. 

Trashigang-Mongar: After breakfast follow the same route back to Mongar and having free time on this day, explore anything you have missed.

Trashigang-Mongar: After breakfast follow the same route back to Mongar and having free time on this day, explore anything you have missed.

Bumtang-Via Gangtey Wangdue: Gnagtey Gonpa was built on a small hillock surrounded by blue pine trees. A descendant of Pema Lingpa (the great Bhutanese saint of Bumthang) built the Gonpa in the 16th century and it is a Nyingmapa monastery At the end of the 17th century it was enlarged once and at present it is headed by the 9th reincarnation called Gangtey Trulku. It is under renovation at present. It is run by the family houses of Gomchens (layman), who worship and work at the monastery

Further down you will reach the Phojikha valley. This place is reserved for the migration of the black neck crane. The people out here have become friendly with the endangered species and every consecutive year starting from the 2nd week of November to the 1st week of April the fields and marshes of this undisturbed valley offer a truly magnificent sight as you watch the cranes. 

Wangdue Thimphu Paro: Drive back to Thimphu for lunch and last stop for shopping. You could also see some more sights in Thimphu. In the evening drive back to Paro for tomorrow departure. 

Wangdue Thimphu Paro: Drive back to Thimphu for lunch and last stop for shopping. You could also see some more sights in Thimphu. In the evening drive back to Paro for tomorrow departure. 

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