ARRIVE PARO (BY DRUK AIR FLIGHT)
Your guide will receive you from the airport and drive you to the hotel. After Tea or coffee, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 by the Great Shabdurng Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by accident fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. In a clear day one can see an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhmolhari (7,314). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan King Srongsen Gampo. The monastery is one of his 108 monasteries built across the Himalayan region by the Tibetan King to Subdue the Demoness that lay across the Himalayan region. The rest of the monasteries lie in other neighboring countries. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
PARO, EXCURSION TO TAKTSHANG MONASTERY
After breakfast a short drive takes you to Satsam Chorten, the trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. Stop for a rest their and light refreshments at the Taktshang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until clear sight seen of Taktshang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche's meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabhay. The incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has its Guru Padmasambhaya, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 746 A.D. After lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in 1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which is now the National Museum. Below the museum is the Romping Dzong (literally meaning "Heap of Jewels"), the central of civil and religious authority in the valley, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. In Evening, drive to Thimpu. Overnight in hotel.
PARO - THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING
After breakfast, visit the National Memorial Chorten (1974) which was built in the honour of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk of Bhutan. Then visit the National Library, which stocks a collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional arts are still kept alive through instruction in the art of painting Thanks (scared Buddha religious scrolls). After lunch drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices, and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). Finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel.
THIMPHU - PUNAKHA
After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If weather is clear, stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. On the way, visit Chimi Lhakhang, which is also known as "the Temple of Fertility ". In Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it serves as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, "A person named Namgyal arrives at a hill that looks like an elephant". A small building they called Dzong chu (small Dzong) which houses a statue of Buddha. It is also said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From this vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the traditional, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Place of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved their. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khempo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly there in 1952. After Lunch, Excursion to Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
PUNAKHA - GANGTEY
Wangdiphodrang Dzong (from outside) built in 1638. Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong; four raves were seen flying away in four directions which were considered an auspicious sign representing the spread of Buddhist religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Rang Chu rivers. Drive to Gangtey. Visit Gangtey Gompa. Gyalte Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind re-incarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Explore Phobjikh valley which is famous for Black Naked Cranes during winter. After lunch, explore the valley. Dinner and Overnight in Guest House.
GANGTEY - THIMPHU
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. After lunch, visit Folk Heritage Museum and Excursion to Cheri Monastery. In the evening, drive to Paro. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Early in the morning, drive to the airport and farewell.