Arrive in Paro. Visit the Paro Rinpung dzong and the national Museum or the Ta-Dzong.Visit National Museum, located on a ridge, overlooking the Rinpung Dzong. Unlike the rectangular shape of the Dzongs, Ta Dzong is conical, more like that of a European castle, since 1967 the Dzong was re-established as the National Museum and holds a fascinating collection of art, relics thangkha paintings and Bhutans’s Exquisite stamps. Rinpung Dzong, also known as the “ fortress of the heap of jewels.” It was built during the time of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 after the small Hungrel fortress built by Lam Drung Drung was offered to Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.
Hike to Taktsang Monastery. This monastery is built on a cliff, it is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and mediated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as most sacred and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. The Monastery built in 1692 caught fire on 19th April 1998, it was renovated later.From the road point the hike up to Taktsang, on a well maintained path, is quite uphill and it takes 4-5 hours at an average walking speed for to & fro journey. Visit the Drugyal dzong and the Kichu Monastery ,this is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan Songtsen Gyampo in the 7th Centuryto subdue the ogress that lay across the whole of the Himalayas. This temple has a orange tree that bears fruits, which is quite amazing because no where in the valley you can find orange tree bearing fruits. Visit Dungtse Lhakhang it was constructed by the great bridge-builder Thangtong Gyelpo in 1433. It is said to have been built on the head of demoness, who was causing illness to the inhabitants. The building was restored in 1841 and is a unique repository of Kagyu lineage arts. You may or may not be permitted inside but can walk around this three-storey Chorten-type building. Drive to Thimphu
Visit the private weaving unit at Changzamtop Industrial estate,here you can find and watch the beautiful Bhutanese dresses woven for both men and women. Visit the National textile Museum,it has opened its exhibition on six major themes: wrap pattern weaves,weft pattern weaves, role of textiles in religion, achievements in textile arts, textile from indigenous fibre and the royal collection. The crowns of Bhutan’s kings, namzas( dresses)’ the first of the Raven crown and other accessories used by members of the Royal family can be found in the museum. The goal of the museum is to slowly become a center for textiles studies that will carry documentation, research and studies on textiles. Visit the Bhutanese paper making unit, the traditional gold and silver smith unit. and the Folk heritage museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibits, demonstration, education programmes, and the documentation of rural life.you can see the following in this museum. Prayer wheel, Mustard Oil making process, Hotel stone bath and the process of Ara( distilled spirit made from fermented grains). Visit the Institute of Arts and Crafts, to preserve our valuable heritage and promote arts in Bhutan, the Royal government initiated this institute in 1971. Students are taught painting, calligraphy, embroidery, wood carving, sculpture. The thirteen arts & crafts comprises of : Paintings, carpentary, carving, sculpture, casting, black smithing, bamboo work, gold & silversmithing, weaving, embroidery, masonry, leather work, and paper-making. And visit the Tashi chodzong, initially erected in 1702 by Sherab Wangchuk, the 13th Desi and later in 1955 after moving the capital to Thimphu from Punakha, this Dzong was redesigned and sections were rebuilt. It houses the main secretariat building and the central monk body.
Drive Thimphu - Trongsa ,After an early breakfast drive for six hours to reach Trongsa, the distance is 142 kms.The drive takes you all the way from Dochula pass, crossing Wangdue valley till Trongsa.
Visit the Trongsa dzong, it is the ancestral home of the Royal family and its watch tower built in 1648, it is presently the administrative seat of the district and the home of the monastic school.The watch tower, located directly above the Dzong, has on display many interesting armours and other war parapharnelia used by ancient warriors.Further drive to Bumthang. On the way visit the Chume weaving center. Yathra Weaving Center, Chume; Yathra Textile Shop, Chume. Yathra is a hand-woven fabric made from hair of Yak and fleece of sheeps, a specialty of the region. A common vertical back-strap loom and a horizontal chair-positioned loom are the two conventional tools they used for weaving. Chungphel Yathra Tshongpa (Community Committee) to see women weave Yathra and other textiles and merchandize on display for sale at the Sale’s Counter. Visit the historical Jakar Dzong, the Jambay Lhakhang and the Kurjey Lhakhang temples.
Drive Bumthang – Mongar, distance 136 kms, Things to See and Do en route: Thrumshingla National Park: For nature lovers; Red, White, and Pink rhododendron flowers bloom during spring and autumn Seasons; For bird lovers, Lingmethang is the place for you; also look out for ruin fortress of Zhongar Dzong on the ridge top; Nepali-Styled Stupa built after the model of Boudhnath temple in Nepal at Kuri Zampa. Off the highway from Zero point following the road up the Kurichu is Gyalpozhing high school, new township of Gyalpozhing, and a 45-Megawatt Kurichu Hydro Power Plant, and a new highway construction bypassing Monggar town & Trashigang is underway connecting the south-east borden town of Nganglam under Samdrup Jongkhar district adjoining is the Indian State of Assam.
Excursion to Lhuentse, distance 336 kms,Things to See and Do in Lhuentse: Retrace 14 kms south and drive off the highway to Lhuentse. In Lhuentse, from the suspension bridge, get off to a beaten path to the village of Khoma for 1.5 hours to see the weavers of silk textiles called Kushuthagra. See, witness, and learn from the traditional dying process of fabrics using different indigenous plants, leaves, barks, and flowers and produce lasting and colorful textiles.
Drive Mongar - Trashigang. Visit the Trashigang dzong This dzong, or fortress, was built in 1659 by the third Druk Desi to defend against Tibetan invaders. Because of its altitude invading armies remarked that “it is not a dzong on the ground, it is in the sky”.Also visit Gom KoraAn ancient lhakhang or temple in the district, known for its rock garden, contains a sacred footprint said to be either that of Guru Rimpoche or that of a khandroma (angel). 24 km. from Trashigang, the temple of Gom Kora is set on a small alluvial plateau overlooking the river. Surrounded by rice fields and clumps of banana trees, it looks like an oasis in an arid landscape. It is one of the famous places where Guru Rinpoche meditated in order to subdue a demon which dwelt in a huge black rock.
Excursion to Radhi.Radhi is a well-known community in the east for production of Bura (Raw silk) textiles. About 200 households here fully depend on Bura Weaving in off-agricultural seasons. Textiles production has become one of the main sources of income to the people of Radhi. All weavers here use the simple traditional back-strap loom. View women in the Bura Weaving in progress. Women here will also show you the dying process involved in raw silk weaving; Weaving Centers developed from the Constitutional Development Fund for women coming from non-weaving sections of the community to improve their livelihood through provision of training and equipments.Drive back to Trashigang
Drive Trashigang to Bumthang
Drive Bumthang to Thimphu
Day free until departure transfer to the airport for onward journey.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
- Henry David Thoreau
Get lost and feel the mystic energy of the Himalayas with Shiva Treks