Arrive in Paro. Visit the Paro 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. Visit the Paro 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. Further visit the Drugyel Dzong, this Dzong, with a delightful village nestling at its foot, was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetans invasions. The Dzong caught fire in 1951 and now it only remains as ruin.
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 Kichu temple,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 Paro – Thimphu. Visit the Semtokha dzong,seven kms away from Thimphu city, it was built in 1629 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, today it houses the school for Buddhist studies. Visit the Memorial chorten, built in 1974 by Her Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as the Father of Modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide deep ingight into Buddhist philosophy. The chorten is one of the most visited religious structuresin Thimphu. Visit the National Library,it was established in 1967 with the primary objective of collecting and preserving mainly ancient Bhutanese written and printed resources. Visit 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. Visit the Institute of Traditional Medicine, In Bhutan equal emphasis is given to both allopathic and traditional medicines. The rich herbal medicines abundant in kingdom are prepared here. The institute also imparts training courses to practioners/students on traditional medicine and also carries out research and quality control functions. Visit the national textile museum Day 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.
Drive Thimphu - Punakha via Dochula pass. Visit the Takin sanctuary,Takin is the National Animal of Bhutan.Atleast 17-18 of these animals can be seen.Visit the Punakha Dzong,the Dzong was built in 1637 and it was named as Pungthang Dechen Phodrang( Palace of Great happiness).The war materials captured during the Tibetan invasion can be found inside the Dzong. It is beautifully located in between the two rivers called Pho( Male) and Mo( Female) Chhu( River).It was the capital of Bhutan till 1955.It continues to be the winter residence of the Je-Khenpo( Chief Abbot) and the central monk body. wangduephodrang Dzong wasfounded by Shabdrung in 1639. It is situated on a hill top with a commanding view of the valley.Wangdue means to bring under one’s power.
Drive Punakha - Gangtey. Visit the Black Necked Crane centre which is in the valley floor in the village of Phobjikha.Visit the Gangtey Monastery dating back to the 17th century. The construction of the Goempa was prophesied by Terton( Treasure revealer) Pema Lingpa.
Drive Gangtey - Paro via Dochula pass, La in Bhutanese means pass. There are 108 chortens called Druk Wangyel Chorten, colorful prayer flags surrounding the area.These chorten were built to honour His Majesty the 4th Druk Gyalpo and his people for their victory in the war fought in the southern region of Bhutan in 2003 and for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Excursion to Haa Valley. Visit the Wangchulo Dzong, the Lhakhang Karpo and the Narpo Lhakhang.In this valley you can see many Indian soldiers as the place is camped by the Indian Imtrat, as being the border to China.
Day free until departure transfer to the airport for onwards 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