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11 Days Central Bhutan Tour
Paro 3Nts, Thimphu 2Nts, Punakha 1Nts, Trongsa 1Nts, Bumthang 2Nts, Gangteng 1Nts
Bhutan

From per person

Discover the rich cultural heritage and dramatic natural beauty of this Himalayan paradise.
The picturesque Kingdom of Bhutan, a country that officially measures ‘Gross National Happiness’, is on the radar of only the most astute traveller. On this tour guests will soak up the stunning mountain scenery of the Himalayas, visit a number of enchanting and unique 
dzongs (fortresses) and marvel at one of the most impressive collections of Buddhist manuscripts. You’ll also have a chance to see the national animal of Bhutan, the takin, as well as hopefully catch a glimpse of the rare black-necked cranes that migrate to Bhutan from as far afield as China and Siberia. The tour culminates in a beautiful drive through idyllic countryside and storybook villages. A truly unforgettable trip awaits.
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Day 1: PARO ARRIVAL
The flight to into Bhutan is one of the most spectacular in the entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, each flight is a mesmerizing aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the Kingdom. 
On arrival at Paro airport, after the immigration and custom formalities, you will be received by our Bhutan representative and transfer to the hotel. 
Local sightseeing of the Drukgyal Dzong. In fine weather, the towering peak of Mount Jumolhari 7314 m high appears as a backdrop. This mountain which marks the frontier with Tibet is sacred and the dwelling place of goddess Jomo. 
The evening has been kept free. 
Overnight at hotel in Paro 
Meals included: Lunch , Dinner.


Day 2: PARO - THIMPU
Drive to Thimphu city, the capital of Bhutan which is at an elevation of 2,350 m / 7700 ft. The Dechenchoeling Palace was built in 1952. Even today the city retains its ethnic architectural style and is the only capital in the world with no traffic lights. Yet unlike other capital cities in the world, Thimphu remains essentially pastoral in character and changes its demeanor with the seasons. 
On the way see Tachogang Temple or the “Temple of the Hill of Excellent Horse”.  Further drive to Thimphu valley and check into your hotel. 
Begin local sightseeing with a walk to the Textile Museum.  Some of the museum’s gems are the pearl robe from Tsamdrak Goenpa, crowns of Bhutan’s Kings, Namzas (dresses) and other accessories worn by the Royal Family. The National Library built in 1967 to preserve ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts. The traditional books are kept on the upper floor which is Tibetan style printed and wrapped in silken cloth. 
Then move to The National Folk Heritage Museum to get an insight into the typical Bhutanese way of life. in the evening Visit Tashichhodzong, whose history dates back to the 13th century, wherein houses His Majesty’s Throne Room and is the summer home to the Monastic Body. 
Overnight at hotel in Thimphu 
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 3: THIMPU - PUNAKHA
Morning after breakfast visit Bhutan Post known for its world famous stamps where you can buy postcards and stamps. The Bhutan Post is definitely a place of significance where an extensive collection of exotic stamps made from metal and silk to three dimensional images and even stamps with mini-phonograph records are produced. Many major events of the world are recorded and made into stamps in Bhutan. 
After that drive toward Punakha valley (the old capital of the country) via the Dochula Mountain pass (3,140 m). On a clear day Dochu La offers a stunning view of the snow capped Himalayan ranges: 
There is a powerful binocular telescope in the cafeteria from where these peaks can be viewed and contains information on their elevation. 
Visit Druk Wangyel Chhorten & Chimi Lhakhang: The temple is located on a hillock in the centre of the valley below Metshina and is a 20 minute walk through the village of Sopsokha. The temple is believed to bless couples unable to have children and many people from around the world visit this holly site to seek its blessings. 
Overnight at hotel in Punakha 
Meals included: Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner 


Day 4: PUNAKHA - TRONGSA
After an early breakfast visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, one of the most beautiful dzongs of Bhutan. For many years until the time of the second King, it served as the seat of the government. It is the winter residence of the monastic body, and was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Inside the Dzong is the set of the 108 volumes of Kanjur - holy book of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage, written in gold. The Dzong also safe guards Bhutan’s most treasured possession: the Rangjung Kharsapani, a self created image of Chenrigzig which is described by Shabdrung as a treasure as vast as the sky. 
Then drive further to Trongsa via the Pele La Pass, crossing the Black Mountains, which divide western and central Bhutan. It  is a wonderful opportunity to take photographs of the beautiful scenic views. Continue driving through rich rhododendron and Magnolias and yak settlements. After cross the Nikarchu Bridge, one enters the Trongsa district regions. 
Along the way visit the following sites: 
• Chendebji Chhorten: This large chhorten (stone Buddhist monument often containing relics) sits quietly by the side of the road, few miles from the small village of Chendebji and far from any large town. Built by a Tibetan lama in the 19th century to cover the remains of an evil spirit who was killed on the spot, the chhorten, in Nepalese style, is 
modeled after the Swayambhunath in Kathmandu 
• The beautiful Trongsa Dzong built in 1648, the ancestral home of the Royal Family. Both the second and third King ruled the country from this ancient seat. Due to its highly strategic position as the only connecting route between east and west, the Trongsa Penlop was able to control the whole of the eastern region effectively. 
• Ta Dzong which is situated strategically above the Trongsa Dzong served as the watch tower for 
centuries. It was built by Choeje Minjur Tempa in 1652. Today it is a state of the art museum dedicated to the Monarchs of Bhutan. The museum focuses on the history of the monarchy, which had its cradle in Trongsa and the history of the Trongsa Dzong. It has a total of eleven galleries styled along the National Museum in Paro with one gallery fully dedicated to the history of the Kings of the Wangchuck dynasty. The museum includes a media room where visitors can watch a documentary program on the history of the monarchy.
Check into hotel. 
Overnight at hotel - Trongsa. 
Meals included: Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner. 


Day 5: TRONGSA - BUMTHANG
After breakfast, begin the journey towards Bumthang which is approx a journey of two-hours from Trongsa. This is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. Here the great teachers mediated and left in their wake many sacred grounds. 
Check into Hotel. 
Today, it’s your pilgrimage tour; your first stop is the Jambay Lhakhang: built in the  17th century during the time of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal - 1st Religious and Political King of Bhutan. 
The short distance beyond Jambay Lhakhang, is Chakhar Lhakhang - Iron Castle temple is easy to be mistaken for a house which is an interesting temple and worth a short visit. It is the site of the Palace of the Indian King Sindhu Raja who first  invited  the  Second Buddha Guru Rimpoche to Bumthang. The original Palace was made of Iron hence the name Chakhar and said to have been nice storey, holding within all the treasures of the world. 
Visit Kurjey Lhakhang: This temple is located above Jambay Lhakhang and consists of three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 on the rock face where Guru meditated in the 8th century. The second temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of Guru’s body and is considered the most holy. The present Royal Queen Mother recently built the third temple. These three temples are surrounded by 108 chhorten wall symbolic of each joint of the human body. 
Tamshing Temple: The temple is a short walk north from Kurjey temple across a footbridge, then uphill to a trail on the opposite side. Downstream of the bridge you can see a natural formation named DO Zam. This is the remains of a stone bridge that was built by a goddess who was trying to meet Guru Rimpoche, but the bridge was destroyed by a demon. 
The Tamshing Temple was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the re-incarnation of Guru Padmasambhava and contains very interesting religious paintings like 11000 Buddhas and 21 Taras (female form of Bohhisatava). The temple was restored at the end of the 19th century. 
Overnight at hotel - Bumthang 
Meals included: Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner.


Day 6: BUMTHANG - URA - DAY EXCURSION
Today’s day excursion is to URA Valley that lies in the Tang valley. The excursion to Ura Valley will provide you a nice view of the Jakar Dzong. You'll make a stop in Ura village for lunch and will have a chance to visit the main temple and explore the village. Ura Village has a medieval look to it because of the cobblestone streets, and the typical clothing of the women includes a sheepskin shawl. On the way back from Ura you can stop to see Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake).  After visit to Ura, drive back to Bumthang. 
Overnight at Hotel - Bumthang. 
Meals included: Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner. 


Day 7:BUMTHANG - GANGTEY
The day begins with a drive to Gangtey which is also the winter home to the rare black necked cranes (Grus Nicorocolis)which migrate from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia to winter in this valley. The Black Necked Cranes is the least known of the 15 species of cranes in the world. It was first discovered in 1876 by a Russian naturalist, Prjezhwalsky in Lake Koko-nor in the northeast corner of the Tibetan Plateau. Endemic to the Himalayan region, it has been listed in the Red Data 
Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature as globally threatened with a total count of 5,000-6,000 numbers worldwide. Every year the birds arrive on their wintering grounds between mid-October and early December and remain until March through mid- April. The local people say that when the cranes first arrive they circle over the Goemba (Monastery) as though they are paying homage before descending into land in the marshy area of the valley. 
Then again when the cranes decide to leave, they gather together and fly towards the Goemba (Monastery), circle the building and then head out of the valley, flying north to their breeding grounds. Gangtey is declared as a conservation ground for Black necked cranes and borders the Black Mountain National Park. The valley lies at the altitude of 2,900m and is also inhabited by muntjak (barking deer), wild boar, sambar, Himalayan black bear, leopard and red fox. 
On arrival visit the Crane information and observation centre to view the exotic birds. On completion of local sightseeing, check into the hotel. 
Overnight at hotel - Gangtey. 
Meals included: Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner.


Day 8:GANGTEY - THIMPHU
Morning after breakfast take a short walk down hill from Gantey Goemba and visit Khewang Lhakhang. It is believed thatthe location for this lhakhang was prophesied by Lam Drukpa Kuenley when he visited the valley. The temple was later built in the  15th century by Trulku Penjor Gyaltshen who was the incarnation of the great Tibetan saint Kuenkhen Logchen Rabjampa. The Trulku is said to have hired sculptor and laborers from Tibet. The temple was built to control famine and diseases, to ward off ill wishes of other people and also to help the spirits of the people who have sinned in the past to find the Path to heaven. 
After that drive back to Thimphu. On arrival check into hotel. 
The evening has been kept free for leisurely visit to Thimphu town. 
Overnight at hotel - Thimphu. 
Meals included: Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner. 


Day 9: THIMPHU - PARO  
Morning after breakfast drive back to Paro and on arrival check into hotel.
Begin local sightseeing of the Rinpung dzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now used as an administration center and school for monks. Get a glimpse of the Ugyen Pelri Palace in a secluded wooden compound south of the river which was built by the Paro Penlop, Tshering Penjor, in the early 1900s. It is designed after the Second Buddha’s celestial paradise, Zangtopelri and one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. Visit The National Museum: rated as one of the finest natural history museums in South Asia which is a repository of not only precious work of art but also costumes, armor and other hand crafted objects of daily life that provide a good snapshot of the rich cultural traditions of the country.  Of special interest is the gallery of thangkhas which exhibits exquisite pieces of different vintages - those depicting Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first Je Khempo and first Druk desi are of particular significance. 
Visit Dungtse Lhakhang which is situated just across the river. Dungtse Lhakhang is possibly the only ancient temple built in the shape of a chhorten. The lhakhang is literally chained down since local belief holds that it will otherwise fly off to heaven! It was constructed in 1421 by Thangtong Gyelpo who came to Bhutan in search of iron ore to be used for constructing bridges in his homeland of Tibet. Visit Kyichu temple one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demoness lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demoness. 
Overnight at hotel - Paro. 
Meals included: Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner. 


Day 10:PARO DAY HIKE  
The day begins with a short drive towards the road point for start of hike to see the famous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest) which clings precariously to a cliff 800 m / 2,600 ft above the Paro valley. The climb up to the view point will take around three hours (depending on one’s fitness). In the second half of the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche, alighted here upon the back of a tigress, and upon meditating for three months in a cave, assumed the form of Dorje Droloe, the Terrifying Thunderbolt and subjugated the Eight Evil Spirits who hindered the propagation of Buddhism. Thereafter, the Buddhist Dharma was introduced to Paro valley and soon spread to the rest of Bhutan. Taktsang is one of the holiest sites in the country and one of the most venerated Buddhist monuments in the Himalayas. 
A vegetarian lunch will be served during the hike after which all will walk back to the road point. Next, will be sightseeing of the following: 
In the evening visit a local Farmhouse: The visit to a Farmhouse is very interesting to get an idea of how Bhutanese people live. The Farmhouses are very decorative, built and painted in a classical style. The houses are normally three stories; theground floor is used for cattle, the top floor is used as a store, while the family live in    middleone.Try a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath to get rid of your aches and pains.
Overnight at hotel - Paro
Meals included:
 Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner.


Day 11: PARO DEPARTURE  
After breakfast your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight onward.

Tashi Delek!!
Category Sector Hotel Name
3 Star Thimphu, Punakha, Paro, Trongsa, Bumthang, Gangteng Paro (Olathang hotel(Standard Room Room on FB Basis ) OR Jankha Resort(Standard Room Room on FB Basis) OR Drukchen Hotel(Standard Room Room on FB Basis))
Thimphu (River View hotel(Standard Room Room on FB Basis ) OR Phuntshopelri hotel(Standard Room Room on FB Basis) OR Wangchul Resort(3Star)(Standard Room Room on FB Basis))
Punakha (Meri Puensum Resort(Standard Room Room on FB Basis ) OR Damchen Resort(Standard Room Room on FB Basis) OR Zangtopelri hotel(Standard Room Room on FB Basis))
Trongsa (Norling Hotel(Standard Room Room on FB Basis ) OR Yangkhil Resort(Standard Room Room on FB Basis) )
Bumthang (Yugarling(Standard Rooms Room on FB Basis ) )
Gangteng (Gangtey Lodge(Standard Room Room on FB Basis ) )

SGL - SINGLE TRAVELLER  , SGL(SUPP) - SINGLE SUPPLEMENT  , DBL/TWIN - PER PERSON IN DOUBLE/TWIN SHARING  , TPL - PER PRESON IN TRIPLE SHARING  , QUAD - PER PERSON IN QUAD SHARING  , CWB - CHILD WITH BED  , CWOB - CHILD WITHOUT BED    
  • All private transfers and transportation inclusive of taxes during the entire one day tour. 
  • Tours and excursions as mentioned in the selected itinerary. 
  • English speaking guide who will accompany guests for one day Tour. 
  • All entrance fees to institutes/monuments. 
  • Visa fees at US$40 per person. 
  • Bank transfer charges at US$ 50 per transfer. 
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, beverages and alcoholic drinks. 
  • Any other personal expenses. 
  • All those which are not mentioned above
  • Visa charges
  • Other meals, drink
  • Personal Laundry, beverages and other personal expenses
  • All meals
  • Photo and Video Camera permits at the sites
  • Expenses of personal nature
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