One word to describe Bhutan – Shangri La – a paradise of complete bliss, delight, and peace. The land of happiness – where wealth is measured by your happiness quotient. Yes, Bhutan is the only country in the world which has a measure for happiness, GNH (Gross National Happiness). Surprised?? Don’t be!!! This country has inculcated a culture of staying happy and imparting happiness.
From mesmerizing mountains to rich cultural heritage to spotlessly clean cities and towns, Bhutan offers it all. Bhutanese adore their mountains, admire their Dzongs, and revere their Lakhangs. Bhutanese cuisine is a veritable treat to gastronomes. Located at the foothills of the great Himalayas, this paradise comprises rather unique cultural landscape which has witnessed the country’s customs, traditions, history, and ways of living.
The diversity of the landscape at Bhutan is like a kaleidoscope – from serene Samdrup (the oldest town in Bhutan) to baffling Bumthang to perplexing Phobjika to Tranquil Thimpu to placid Paro to humble Haa (the humility and innocence of the people here is astounding).
Witness the culture of “the awakened one” Buddha. Get bewitched in the land of unique customs and people with deeply held beliefs – join us in exploring and experiencing the mystical land of happiness.
Day 01: 29th April 17
Reporting Time – Max 10.30Am @ Guwahati
Assemble at Guwahati Airport latest by 10.30 am
Depart for Samdrup by 10.30 Am
Arrive at Samdrup by 3pm, Get Permits, Leisure walk, Dinner & Retire @ Samdrup
Travel Distance – 75Kms (3 Hours)
Samdrup Jongkhar is the gateway of the country’s east and shares borders with Assam. It is by far the largest urban center in eastern Bhutan. Jongkhar town holds the distinct honor of being the oldest town in Bhutan. This border town is a bustling little settlement packed to the brim with shopkeepers and hawkers from across the border. Dzong at Jongkhar is known for its heritage value.
Day 2: 30th April 17
Wake up @ 5.30am and leave for Mongar by 6,.30am.
We will be covering Trashigang & reaching Mongar by 6Pm
We can shop for traditional clothing here
This is the most hectic & tiring day of the entire trip.
We will be covering the maximum distance & some bad roads.
Distance – 290 Km, Time – 11 Hrs
Trashigang is set on a scenic hillside & was once a bustling trade center for merchants looking to barter their goods in Tibet. It is the junction of the East-West highway, with road connections to Samdrup & then into the Indian state of Assam. Trashigang is also the principle market place for the semi-nomadic people of Merak and Sakteng, whose unique way of dress stands out from the regular Bhutanese Gho & Kira.
The road approaching Mongar is one of the most spectacular journeys, It passes over sheer cliffs and through beautiful fir forests and green pastures. Passing this way will have the opportunity to see countless varieties of rhododendrons, on clear days you can even catch a glimpse of Gangkhar Puensum (7541 meters), the world’s highest unclimbed mountain. The region is known for its weavers and textiles and fabrics produced here are considered some of the best in the country.
Day 3: 1st May 17
Wakeup early & walk around the local places. Head for Bumthang – the Switzerland of Bhutan
Journey has many spectacular views. Keep your camera battery charged & camera handy.
Distance – 190Kms, Time – 6 Hrs
Day 4: 2nd May 17
Leisure day to enjoy the Bumthang valley & Local sight seeing
Bumthang Valley consists of 4 main valleys Ura, Chumey, Tang & Choekhor. Choekhor. The valleys are broad and gentle carved by the ancient glaciers. The wide and scenic valleys draws a large number of tourists each year. The name Bumthang has two probable origins; the first is that it is named after a Bumpa, a vessel for holy water which the valley resembles in shape. The second origin implies that it is the Valley of Beautiful Girls as Bum translates to ‘Girl’ and Thang means ‘flat piece of land’.These fertile valleys are covered in fields of buckwheat, rice and potatoes. Apple orchards and dairy farms are also common sights here. This serene region is one of the most peaceful places in the kingdom
Day 5:3rd May 17
If you are a bird watcher, or nature lover, you are in for a Treat. Phobjika Incredible valleys
Start early to gain more time at Phobjika
Enjoy the scenic viewa & take a leisure trip with ample photography enroute.
Best nature trail you will get, Enjoy a leisure evening midst of the valleys & your soul
Distance – 170kms, Time – 5 Hours
Phobjikha is a bowl-shaped glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains, bordering the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. Because of the large flock of black-necked cranes that winters here, it is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country. In addition to the cranes there are also muntjacs (barking deer), wild boars, sambars, serows, Himalayan black bears, leopards and red foxes in the surrounding hills. The Nakey Chhu drains the marshy valley, eventually flowing into the lower reaches of the Punak Tsang Chhu. Some people refer to this entire region as Gangte (or Gangtey), after the goemba that sits on a ridge above the valley. The valley is snowbound during the height of winter and many of the valley’s 4700 residents, including the monks, shift to winter residences in wangdue Phodrang during December and January, just as the cranes move in to take their place. The local residents are known as Gangteps and speak a dialect called Henke
Day 6:4th May 17
Punakha Dzong – architectural marvel with the best historic values from Budhism.
You will carry the image & the history of this place in your memory for the rest of your life.
Chimilakhang – Only monastery in the world which celebrates reproduction & life.
Reach Thimphu late in the evening & retire
Distance – 135Kms. Time – 7 Hrs
Punakha Dzongkhag has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. It is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of the most majestic structures in the country. Two major rivers in Bhutan the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu converge in this valley. Punakha Dzong is built at the confluence of these two rivers and is an especially beautiful sight on sunny days with sunlight reflecting off the water onto its white-washed walls. In addition to its structural beauty, Punakha Dzong is notable for containing the preserved remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifer of Bhutan as well as a sacred relic known as the Ranjung Karsapani. This relic is a self-created image of Avalokiteswara that miraculously emerged from the vertebrae of Tsangpa Gyarey the founder of the Drukpa School when he was cremated.
Chime Lhakhang or Monastery is a Buddhist monastery Located near Lobesa, it stands on a round hillock and was built in 1499 by the 14th Drukpa hierarch, Ngawang Choegyel, after the site was blessed by the “Divine Madman” the maverick saint Drukpa Kunley (1455–1529) who built a chorten on the site. In founding the site He is also the saint who advocated the use of phallus symbols as paintings on walls and as flying carved wooden phalluses on house tops at four corners of the eves. The monastery is the repository of the original wooden symbol of phallus that Kunley brought from Tibet. This wooden phallus is decorated with a silver handle and is used to bless people who visit the monastery on pilgrimage, particularly women seeking blessings to beget children.The tradition at the monastery is to strike pilgrims on the head with a 10 inch (25 cm) wooden phallus (erect penis). Traditionally symbols of an erect penis in Bhutan have been intended to drive away the evil eye and malicious gossip
Day 7: 5th May 17
A Leisure day at the capital of Bhutan
Local Sight seeing covering – Bhudha Point, Monastery, Zoo & local market visit
Have a relaxed day, walk around the local market, shopping
Enjoy the Bhutanese cuisine
Distance – 40Kms, Time – 6 / 7 Hrs
Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan with an abundance of restaurants, internet cafes, nightclubs and shopping centers, however it still retains its’ cultural identity and values amidst the signs of modernization. Thimphu is one of the few towns in Bhutan that have been equipped with ATM banking facilities and is a good place to stock up on some currency. One of the most curious features of Thimphu is that it is the only capital city in the world that does not use traffic lights. Instead a few major intersections have policemen standing in elaborately decorated booths (small pavilions), directing traffic with exaggerated hand motions. The juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity make Thimphu the ideal location to break away from the itinerary and just immerse in the lifestyle of contemporary Bhutanese
Day 8: 6th May 17
Start early for a beautiful drive through the valleys of Haa.
Haa Valley is all but nature, Enjoy the serene nature, walk across the small town
Walk alone enjoy the breeze, Do Archery, visit the local house hold
Distance – 130Kms, Time – 4 Hours
Adjoining the districts of Paro, Chhukha and Samtse, Haa valley is one of the most picturesque places in the Kingdom, spread over an area of 1706 sq. km. Most laid back, laz, yet beautiful town of Bhutan.
Day 9: 7th May 17
Start at leisure to head for a beautiful drive to Paro through the valleys & reach Paro.
Walk around the beautiful town & visit the Dzong & do shopping
Paro is a place where let your poket loose. This is where you shop.
Day 10: 8th May 17
Wake up early for a the best visual treat of Paro – The TIGERS NEST.
This will be a 3 to 4 Hours of Hiking uphill based on your fitness. This is a must if you are visiting Bhutan
We will be back in Paro town by noon for a late lunch.
You are free for the rest of the day to explore Paro & shop & shop & shop
Tigers Nest – perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called “Tiger’s Nest”. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendor.
Day 11: 9th May 17
Start early to reach Phuetsholing, The border town to india.
Here is where you will be shocked to see the cultural differences in india & Bhutan
The discipline, the cleanliness & focus on hygiene
Enjoy the last day at the Happy Bhutan & relax
Many good options for Shopping available here.
Day 12: 10th May 17
Start at 4Am in the morning to reach Airport by 9am.
Depart for your respective locations.