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The flight to Paro will give you the first glimpse of this ancient Buddhist kingdom hidden by snow-capped, which you will see as you descend into an airport surrounded by high hills and terraced rice fields. BHTC will be there to receive at the airport and drive you to your hotel. After you have rested and refreshed we can begin sightseeing in Paro valley, which is home to some of the oldest and most sacred Buddhist sites in Bhutan. Start your day visiting Kichu Lhakhang, which is one of the oldest temples of Bhutan, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Songtsen Geonpo. You can sit inside the temple for an hour or two and soak in its ancient spiritual legacy. Later, we visit Paro Rinpung Dzong built in 1646 followed by Ta Dzong which now serves as the National Museum which showcases our cultural & tradition and lots of other useful information about Bhutan. Overnight stay in a hotel, Paro.
After breakfast, we drive to Dotey village following a dirt road to hike to Singye Drak Temple. Singye Drak temple is the sacred place blessed by Guru Rinpoche and his disciple, Khandro Dingdong ma, blessed in the 8th century. It is the holy place for meditation. The monk here will brief you on meditation and teach you to do Buddhist yoga. Overnight stay in the hotel, Paro.
Today, you drive to Thimphu; the first stop on the drive is to view the beautiful 14th-century Tachocho Temple, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s Iron Bridge Builder. The drive follows the course of the Paro Chu until Chuzom where it joins the Wangchu River flowing from Thimphu valley. You cross the bridge and follow the Wangchu to the nation’s capital. Along the way you will come across farms, village homes and highway stalls selling organic vegetables and fruits as well as hardened cheese, the Bhutanese candy.
In the capital city, Thimphu, you will visit the National Memorial Chorten, dedicated to world peace and prosperity. It was built in 1974 in memory of the Third King of Bhutan, who is known as a Father of Modern Bhutan. You will find Thimphu residents circumambulating the Stupa throughout the day praying for universal harmony and all sentient beings. Then we visit Buddha Point to see the statue of a Largest sitting Buddha Sakyamuni overlooking Thimphu valley, so glimpse the stunning bird’s eye view of Thimphu valley. Your next visit is to National Library that holds thousands of ancient Buddhist texts and scriptures. Then drive to Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress likes temple, perched on a ridge above Thimphu and the place from where the people in valley get their names from; after that visit, Takin Preserve to see the Bhutan’s national animal which is associated with the country’s religious history and mythology. Then you visit Tashichho Dzong or “the fortress of the glorious religion” which houses offices of the central government and the throne room of His Majesty the King. Overnight stay in a hotel, Thimphu.
Today, you will drive about 45 minutes north to Thimphu to hike to Cheri monastery. It is located at the northern end of the Thimphu valley. Cheri Monastery was established in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel who unified Bhutan. The monastery sits on the hill above the end of the road at Dodeyna and it takes about an hour to walk up the steep hill to reach the monastery. The place was first visited by Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th century. Later in the 13th century, it was visited by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo the Tibetan Lama who established the Drukpa Kagyu tradition in Bhutan. Overnight stay in a hotel, Thimphu.
Today we drive to Punakha, the old capital crossing Dochula pass (3,100 meters above sea level), on a clear day which provide a panorama views of the Mighty Eastern Himalayan ranges in the distance. From here the highway winds down to the warmer and fertile valleys of Punakha and Wangdue. In the afternoon, we visit Chimi Lhakhang (the Fertility Temple of Divine Madman) walking through rice fields and the village of Sepsokha. Then drive to Punakha Dzong, which is indeed one of the most Magnificent Fortress and also very important in the history of Bhutan. It’s also a winter residence of the Je Khenpo (chief abbot) and the Monk Body. The Dzong sits at the confluence of two rivers. Later evening drive back to Thimphu. Overnight stay in the hotel, Thimphu.
After breakfast, we drive to Paro all the way to the northern end of the valley to hike to the Taktshang monastery, Tigers Nest which is the Iconic landmark of Bhutan and also its very sacred pilgrimage site for the Buddhists all over the world. This is the place where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the eighth century. The hike, which is all the way uphill, takes about 2 hours through pine forests. The monastery clings to a huge granite cliff 900 meters above the valley floor. This is the best place where you can take an opportunity mediate in the temple for a couple of hours. Overnight stay in a hotel, Paro.
Please book your flight to arrive at Paro International Airport (PBH). Transfer from and to this airport is included in the package. Bhutan Hospitality Travel Club will pick you up from the airport.
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