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10 Days Valleys Of Bhutan


Destination Covers: Paro - Thimphu - Punakha
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Visiting this beautiful Himalayan kingdom that is emerging out of its self imposed isolation is a nature and culture lovers dream come true. There are the imposing white Dzongs (fortresses used for administrative and religious purposes) that cling to the mountainside, emerald rivers that tumble down the valley, clouds that drift over an isolated hamlet surrounded by luxuriant forests and snow peaks that stand as silent sentinels in the distance. wherever you go, traditions and architecture that date back to centuries and the serenity and peace that prevails.</span></p>

Arrive Paro . The green walls of the hills known as dooars or gateways,  in to Bhutan from the plains of India rise ever higher as the plane flies north towards the Tibetan border. Silvery rivers rush along the valleys, waterfalls plunge down the forested mountainsides, and to the north, the great snowcapped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens. Farm houses dot the hillsides on either side of the plane.As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, look down and you will see the Paro Dzong on the hillside overlooking Paro Chu (river) with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it. Received by our representative at the airport and transfer to Thimphu, the moden capital town of Bhutan.Overnight in Thimphu.

After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu valley visit the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (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.After lunch 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, Evening drive past 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, Overnight in Thimphu.

After early breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.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, Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored by the present King.Overnight in Punakha.

After breakfast excursion to Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley. It is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behavior to dramatise his teachings and due to this also known as ‘Divine Madman’. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is about 30 minute walk across field from the road to the temple. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. It then follows a tiny stream downhill to Yoaka and across more fields before making a short climb to Chimi Lhakhang.Overnight  in Punakha

After breakfast, drive to Wangduephodrang, visiting Dzong and local market. The district of Wangduephodrang is also famous for its bamboo products, slate and stone carving.Drive further across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830 ft), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large white chorten prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes panted at four cardinal points.Then drive further to Bumthang, 68 km from Trongsa, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft). The road winds steeply up to the pass, 28 km from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley.Overnight  in Bumthang.

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After breakfast explore Bumthang .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. The fascinating valley is the heartland of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Its gentle sloping hills offer plenty of walking opportunities to many tempels that dot this valley. The valley is also famous for the production of honey, cheese, apples and the yathra – woolen colourful material that has multiple uses.Visit to Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock., the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, Overnight in Bumthang

After breakfast drive to Punakha enrotue 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.Overnight in Punakha.

After breakfast drive to Paro.Afternoon visit Ta Dzong, once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968.Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal , the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district.Overnight in Paro.

After breakfast drive up the valley to view the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong. It was from here that the Bhutanese repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. Nearby visit traditional Bhutanese Farm House which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people.later excursion to Taktsang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutanese   monasteries. Overnight  in Paro

After breakfast transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination

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