(9 nights 10 days)
On this trip you traverse across Bhutan from Paro in the west all the way to the eastern plains that border with Assam. It is a complete Bhutan tour that goes over several high passes covering all the known destinations as well as the hidden valleys of Phobjika and Bumthang.
- Day 1: Arrive Paro – Thimphu 65 km / 1 ½ hrs
Board a Druk Air flight in the morning and reach Paro Airport. Meet
up with your guide, board waiting vehicle and reach Thimphu around noon.
Check into your hotel room. Freshen up, have a sumptuous meal, and post lunch visit
the Memorial Chorten (temple) built in memory of the late 3rd King. Drive
to the quaint Dodena Bridge – a typical Bhutanese wooden bridge; and
do a 2.5 km return / 2 hr hike to the beautiful Tango Gompa. On return to
the bridge, if time and an inclination are both there, a rigorous but rewarding
hike of about an hour to Cheri Gompa is also possible.
- Day 2: Hike to Phojoding Gompa
Leave after an early breakfast on a beautiful 5 kms / 5 – 6 hrs return hike through
forests of Chirpine & Rhododendron to this gompa. Enjoy great views of Thimphu
valley and a picnic lunch. Be back at your hotel by late afternoon. Evening at leisure
- Day 3: Thimphu – Dochu La 21 km / 1 hr drive - hike to Lungchuzekha Gompa & back 7 km return / 4 hrs walk - Punakha 51 km / 2 hrs
Post breakfast we leave on the drive towards Punakha (the Winter Capital
during monarchial rule). Enjoy the exquisite views and leave on a beautiful hike
to Lungchuzekha Gompa through dense forests of Hemlocks, Junipers, Birches
and Rhododendron, interspersed with meadows. Once at the gompa enjoy
superlative 360° views covering various ranges in the Bhutanese Himalayas
crowned by 7000 M + giant peaks like Jhumolhari, Gangkar Puensum – the highest
unclimbed mountain in the world, high peaks of the Lunana. Walk back to Dochu
La and drive about 2 hrs to reach Punakha by evening and check into
your hotel room.
- Day 4: Punakha – hike to Khansum Chorten, the Giligang Temple & Punakha Dzong 11 ½ kms / 5 hrs
Post breakfast a short drive to the starting point of the day’s hike. The first
part is a steep climb of about an hour on a twirling trail to reach this chorten
– considered by many as one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture.
Enjoy stunning views of the valley below towards both sides and a well earned rest.
The hike from here to Giligang is a gradual climb over about 4 ½ km / 3 hrs
all the way up to the temple. At several points you get awe inspiring views of sprawling
forest covered mountainside with snow covered peaks for a backdrop. After an al
fresco lunch here do the last part of the hike – a gradual downhill stretch of about
4 km that should not take more than an hour, and end at Changyul Bridge, just before
Punakha Dzong. Built at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu
rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and
administrative centre of the region, this Dzong has played an important role
in Bhutan’s history. In its 300+ years of existence the building was devastated
by four catastrophic fires & an earthquake, but it is now gloriously restored to
its original glory. Drive back to be in your hotel by evening.
- Day 5: Punakha - Phobjikha Valley at Gangtey 78 kms / 3 hrs
Check out of the hotel and visit Chimi Lhakhang on foot, the temple of fertility
associated with religious art of phallus. Drive to Phobjikha over the second
highest road pass on your trip at 3140m.Visit Gangtey Gompa, the largest
and the only monastery of the Nyingmapa sect in western Bhutan. Evening
relax in your hotel or take a stroll.
- Day 6: Phobjikha Valley at Gangtey
The valley of Phobjikha is full of hikes. Phobjikha Natural Trail
take about 2 hours walk through crane feeding areas and gives wonderful opportunity
to see close up cranes. Further walk around the village to meet locals, taking pictures
give us perfect knowledge about the Bhutanese rural life. There are many
such hiking trains in an around Phobjikha valley. Explore the day.
- Day 7: Phobjikha – Paro (190 kms/6 -7hrs)
Post breakfast, start retracing the drive to Paro. Reach Paro by afternoon
and check in at the hotel room. Later leave for some sightseeing; the National Museum
- the first of its kind it has a collection that covers everything from natural
history to religious paintings. Visit the 17 century Paro Dzong on foot and
continue walking through the oldest wooden bridge still in use followed by an evening
stroll in old Paro town to take a peek into some local handicrafts stores.
- Day 8: Paro – hike to Tiger’s Nest 8 km / 5 hrs return hike
Morning hike up to Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang, the most revered temple
in the country that literally hangs on a granite cliff overlooking Paro Valley.
Late afternoon visit, Kichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest temples in the
country and the historic Drukgyal Dzong. Evening at leisure
- Day 9: Paro - Chele La 35 km / 1 ½ hrs drive each way – hike to Kila Nunnery & back 3 ½ hrs return
Full day excursion to the stunning & pristine Haa Valley over Chele La;
from this pass you get a panoramic view of the two valleys Paro & Haa and
of course the beautiful Himalayan ranges of Bhutan. You then do a
lovely hike through forests with lots of rhododendron clumps to the isolated Kila
Nunnery, nestled high up on a ridge. Have an al fresco meal and hike back
to your vehicle. Drive to be back in your hotel in the evening.
- Day 10: Departure flight to Kolkata/Delhi/Mumbai
Morning transfer to the airport in time to board your Druk Air flight back
to Kolkata/ Delhi.