Day 01: Arrival at Paro Elevation: 2250m/7382ft
At your arrival at Paro International Airport you will be greeted by our local tour representative from Wild Mountain Adventure. After short refreshment and brief description of your tour, you will then transfer to your hotel for short relaxation. After the break, your day sightseeing in the enchanting Paro valley begins with a visit to Paro Rinpung Dzong locally known as the ‘fortress of the Heap of Jewels’. This giant overlooking fortress was built during the time of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyelin 1646 after the small Hungrel Dzong was offered to him by Lama Dung Dung literally known as “ Hungrel Lama”. We suggest you making a short walk through the only cantilever bridge below the dzong. It provides a stunning view of the architectural wonders of the dzong. Your next stop is the Watch Tower ‘Ta Dzong’ today turned into a National Museum in 1967 housing collections of Bhutanese treasures. It is located on a ridge overlooking the Paro Rinpung Dzong and the valley below. Drive downhill to the main town en-route stop to visit the Jangsa Dumtse Lhakhang, a small temple located just outside of town. This beautiful temple is one of the ancient temple built in the shape of chorten and is literally chained down since the local people belief otherwise it will fly off to heaven. The temple was built by the Tibetan Saint Thongtong Gyelpo in the year 1421. The inside shrine provides you with calm and with no light taking you back to your old days. We encourage you spending a valuable time sitting in meditative posture in inhaling calmness, peace and healing your mind.
Optional Attraction Available in Paro
Paro Dzong, Ta Dzong (the National Museum), Kyichu Lhakhang, Drukgyel Dzong, Taktsang Goemba, Dungtse Lhakhang, Bitekha Dzong, Zori Dzong, Dzongdra Ney, Dra Karpo, Zangtopelri Lhakhang, Bumdra Ney.
Day 02: Day Excursion to the famous Taktsang Goempa Elevation: 3200m
It is now time for you to embark on your somewhat adventurous journey. We suggest you making an early start as hike to Taktsang Goemba is more a uphill task and takes around 3-4 hours walk at an average speed. To get to the starting point your drive from the hotel takes you crossing the town and several village through pine forest until you reach a large parking lot at the base. Your adventure begins here taking you uphill climb through mixed pine and rhododendron forest. Taktsang Goemba was built amazingly on a Cliffside bringing pride to all the Bhutanese about the hardship of their ancestors. It is said that the Saint Guru Rinpoche visited here on the back of a tigress and meditated in the cave transforming himself into a wrathful deity of ‘Guru Dorji Drolo’ to subdue the evil spirit residing in the region. From this time the site has been recognized by many permanent Buddhist leaders and now visited by thousands of pilgrimage. The saddest part of the monastery is that the 1692 historical monastery was caught fire in 1998 and damaged the main building and lost many ancient religious contents. The rebuilding started immediately to the present look, which was consecrated in 2005.
While in Taktsang our leader will help you learn the basic meditation technique and experience which will help your mind to become more positive and your action to become more constructive and finally how your experience leads you become more satisfying. A valuable hour together can be spent in meditating and appreciating the world around at the goemba by gradually overcoming your negative minds such as anger, jealousy and ignorance and developing positive minds such as love, compassion and wisdom through this to learn to experience lasting peace and happiness. 06:00am – 06:30am Morning Yoga, 06:00pm – 07:00pm Evening Yoga with class
Day 03: Paro – Thimphu Distance: 58km 01 hour Thimphu Elevation: 2320m/7610ft
Today after your breakfast you will be transferred to the capital Thimphu. The drive takes you through rich traditional settlements and terrace of rice fields. A guided tour in the sprawling city includes Semtokha Dzong, 7km away from the main town. It is the first and oldest dzong built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1629 and today it house the school of Buddhist studies. Returning back visit the National Institute of Painting School or ‘School of 13 Arts’. Visitors can see students actually in work where students learn and taught painting, calligraphy, embroidery, wood carving and sculpture etc.,. The student also get to learn the traditional meaning and spiritual values enriched in Buddhist art. If you are here in the weekend visit the weekend busy market opened every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is a place where farmers and small business vendors gather to sell their local products. Walk up to visit the Zangtopelri Lhakhang which is closed to the vegetable market. It was built in 1990 by Dasho Aku Tongmi the great Bhutanese musician. The temple is the replica of Guru Rinpoche’s celestial abode. Drive further 10 minutes uphill to visit the Changangkha Lhakhang which was built in 12th century on the site chosen by Saint Lama Phajo Drukgom Zhipo. It is the old fortress-like temple perched on the ridge above Thimphu and is one of the oldest temple in Thimphu. Turning back from the spot drive to visit the National Memorial Chorten. This place serves as a gathering place for both young and old who are in search of spiritual journey. The chorten was built in 1974 by Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Choden in memory of her late son King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk the third king of Bhutan. After spending a valuable time here in the memorial chorten drive further uphill to visit the newly constructed Buddha statue. It is probably one of the largest seated Buddhastatue in the world. The spot offers a good view of the city. Returning back your last stop of the day is Trashichhoe Dzong – visitor are allowed to enter only after 5pm in the evening and on days of Saturday and Sunday. The dzong is known as the ‘Fortress if the Glorious Religion’. The dzong house the main secretariat building and the central monk body. Initially the dzong was erected in 1702 by 13th Druk Desi Sherab Wangchuk and later in 1955 after moving the capital to Thimphu from Punakha, the dzong was redesigned and sectioned were rebuilt to today’s structure. In the evening before you go to hotel stroll through the downtown of Thimphu. 06:00am – 06:30am Morning Yoga, 06:00pm – 07:00pm Evening Yoga with class
Day 04: Thimphu Sightseeing
Day Excursion to Droley Goempa, Tango Goemba and Cheri Goemba
After breakfast drive further north of Thimphu city. The drive takes you pass through the Dechencholing Palace and Pangrizampa Monastery and the finally arrives at Dodena. Your morning trail takes you with a steep uphill climb until you reached the stunning and fascinating Droley Goemba retreat centre which is more connected with the 69th formal Je Khenpo Je Gyeshy Geduen Rinchen. The site offers many retreat and meditational centre for Buddhist meditational practitioners. It also gives you a stunning view of the whole Thimphu valley. Heading downhill your next stop is Tango Goemba.The site is originally chosen by Saint Phajo Drukgom Zhipo in the 12th century and later by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in the 14th century. It was rebuilt to the present glory by the 4th Druk Dest Tenzing Rabgyel in the year 1688. Today the goemba is one of the biggest Buddhist University in the kingdom. The site also offers many hermitage huts and retreat centers. After the goempa your last stop of the day is Cheri Goempa which was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgley in 1620 and is the place where he established the first body of monks in 1633. The main shrine here in the temple contain the stupa relics of Zhabdrung’s father Yab Tenpi Nyima whose body has been brought from Tibet. Cheri was always a renowned meditation place and also it is the only place where Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel spent three years in meditational retreat. Following back drive to Thimphu city. 06:00am – 06:30am Morning Yoga, 06:00pm – 07:00pm Evening Yoga with class
Optional Attraction Available in Thimphu
Tashichho Dzong, Simtokha Dzong, Buddha Point, Memorial Chorten, Phajoding Goemba, Handicraft Emporium, Paper Factory, Changangkha Lhakhang, Mini Zoo, Zangtopelri Lhakhang, Vegetable Market, Tango & Cheri Goemba, Droley Goemba, Drubthob Nunnery Goemba, Weaving Centre, National Library, National Institute of 13 arts & crafts, Institute of Traditional Medicine, Folk Heritage Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, Talahka Goemba, Wangduetse Goemba.
Day 05: Thimphu – Punakha Distance: 74km 03 hour Elevation: 1350m/4430ft
After your early morning breakfast in the hotel drive to Punakha, which takes around 3 hours. The drive takes you pass Semtokha Dzong and the through apple orchards and settlement until you reach the Dochu-La Pass which is negotiable in 22km. The Dochu La Pass offers one of the finest view of the panoramic snow-capped peaks of the eastern Himalaya like – Mt. Masa Gang (23512ft/7165m), Mt. Tsenda Gang (23288ft/7100m), Mt. Teri Gang (23944ft/7300m), Mt. Jejegangphu Gang (23484ft/7158m), Mt. Kangphu Gang (23524ft/7170m), Mt. Zongaphu Gang (23163ft/ 7060m), Mt. Gangkar Punsum (24735ft/7541m). The top also consist of 108 chortens built in 2004 called Druk Wangyel Chorten. From this lofty spot your drive takes you all the way downhill until you reached Lobesa village. The descent takes you through virgin forest, terrace of rice fields and settlement. If you are here in the spring the flowers are in bloom. Reaching Lobesa and en-route to Punakha stop to visit Chemi Lhakhang located atop a round hillock. It is a pleasant 30-40 minute walk from the road head, taking you through terrace rice fields, farm house and a gentle uphill. It is built in 1499 by the 4th Drukpa hierarch, Ngawiang Chogyel on the site formally blessed by the famous ‘divine mad man” locally known as Lama Drukpa Kunley who built a chorten on the spot. The temple is visited by many people until today and especially visited by women who cannot have children. Drive to Punakha and visit the impressive Punakha Dzong which is only 6km from the hotel. The dzong saddles the confluence of Pho Chhu (Male River) and Mo Chhu (Female River) lies at an altitude of 1300m/4430ft. The site has been occupied as far back as 1328 by Saint Ngagyel Wangchuk who built a small dzong (dzong chu) or ‘little dzong’ which is seen even today next to Punakha dzong. In additional the site has been blessed and prophesied by Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century. The main Punakha dzong was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637 and named it Pungthang Dechen Phodrang or Palace of Great Happiness. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for the unification of Bhutan. It is also linked to some of the most momentous event in the history of Bhutan and has served as the capital of Bhutan until 1907. After the dzong drive to your hotel for leisure. 06:00am – 06:30am Morning Yoga, 06:00pm – 07:00pm Evening Yoga with class
Optional Sightseeing Available in Punakha
Punakha Dzong, Khamsum Yueley Namgyel Temple, Chemi Lhakhang, Chorten Ningpo Shedrag, Jeligang Goemba, Nalandra Buddhist Institute, Talo Goemba, Nunnery, Laptsakha Goemba.
Day 06: Punakha Sightseeing
Punakha Day Excursion
Today after your early breakfast you will drive further north of Punakha passing several village and rice fields until you finally reached Kabji Serigang the starting point of your day excursion. The trail takes you through many village settlements and paddy fields and finally takes you to Chorten Ningpo Goemba one of the earlier temple dated back to 14th century. This trail recently ranked as the best waling place in Punakha offering many interesting places and visit to some of the permanent historical Buddhist temples. Beside many beautiful natural valleys, the trail takes you through visiting the local farmhouse and share a meal together in the local farm house. It also give way to lush, green and mountain where trees and orchids flowers in great profusion. The trail from the goemba takes you all the way downhill until you reach the highway express. After crossing the road you then pass through crossing the suspension bridge over Mo Chhu River and through the bank of the river and then finally with a 30-40 minute steep climb you will reach the impressive Khamsum Yueli Namgyel Temple on the hilltop overlooking the valley below. This hilltop temple was consecrated in 1999. Enjoy the view of the surrounding valley, settlement, and terrace rice field. After the temple walk downhill until you reached the parking lot. Drive to hotel. 06:00am – 06:30am Morning Yoga, 06:00pm – 07:00pm Evening Yoga with class
Day 07: Punakha – Paro Distance: 128km 04 hour
After your late breakfast in the hotel drive to Paro which takes around 4-hour’s. The drive leads you via Dochu La Pass and then Thimphu city. The enchanting Paro valley is more than beautiful; it is visually stunning and historically fascinating. This beautiful valley is home to the kingdoms only airport and is believed to be one of the first valley to have received the influence of Buddhism with its two historical temple located in the region like – Kyichu Lhakhang and Taktsang Goemba. Reaching Paro stroll around the small town of Paro for your last day shopping.
Day 08: Depart