flight into the Bhutan Himalayas is one of the most spectacular
experiences you will ever witness. Flying in from the Himalayan
kingdom of Nepal towards the Northeast, one can witness from
the left side of the plane, a chain of the world's highest and
majestic peaks. Pay careful attention when the
captain points out the names : Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga
and the rest as you fly pass them in minutes. Soon you will
descend into Druk Yul, and even as the plane lowers it
landing gears preparing for landing you will not find any air
strip or signs of a city, do not despair, instead enjoy the
view of the approaching valley and the primeval alpine forests,
the little monasteries, temples and farm houses all in splendid
isolation. Moments before landing, you may catch a glimpse of
the fertile Paro valley, the colossal Paro Dzong and the winding
Paro Chu river. As you step out of the plane, take your first
breath of cool, clean fresh air, this will be your first free
gift Bhutan has
to offer to the guest. After your Bhutanese guide identifies
you, he will escort you to the Olathang Hotel on the hill.
The people of Paro are known for their hard work which they
like to show in their big and traditional country houses. If
you marry a girl from Paro, be prepared to put a metal roofing
over the traditional shingle roof in your wife's house, to show
that you are a capable and well – to – do husband, so we joke
among ourselves. Morning sightseeing includes: the Ta Dzong
National Museum considered to be one of the best natural history
museums in Asia ; it has a fine collection of natural and historic
artifacts. A short drive to the Drukgyel Dzong fortress, a strategic
sentry where the Bhutanese forces repelled the numerous Tibetan
invasions from the north ; the majestic Jumolhari or the 'Mountain
of the Goddess' can be seen in the background for many, the
2- 3 hour hike to Taktsang or the famous ' Tiger's Nest' is
a memorable spiritual journey. It was here that the great tantric
master Guru Padmasambhava flew in from Tibet on a tiger to bring
Buddhist teachings to Bhutan, retreat in their spiritual quest
: the remainder of the day can be spent shopping or simply strolling
DAY 3 - 4.
THIMPHU : THE CAPITAL OF BHUTAN
Thimphu is a short hour and half drive from one main
valley to the next across paddy fields, apple orchards, farm
houses, paddy stacks, farmers drying paddies on the rosd, cattle,
pine trees and hamlets that smell of burning wood. Check in
at the Jumolhari or Druk Hotels. When in Thimphu be prepared
for several things. This unique capital (8000 feet) of the kingdom
has adopted its own version of the British – India colonial
times traffic policemen, who can startle you and memorize others
with his elaborate hand gestures : sometimes he may be signaling
stop when it looks like go but don't worry just observe the
flow and notice his smile as you stare at him.
Sightseeing includes the Tashicho Dzong, seat
of the royal government and central monastic body, it was rebuilt
in the early 1960s after a fire destroyed most of the building;
the late King's Memorial Chorten which is well visited by the
residents of Thimphu especially during the festive and religious
occasions; the Handicrafts Center to view the traditional arts
now being revived by the government : the Indigenous Medicine
Hospital, where herbal medicine, acupuncture and the ancient
art of healing that has passed down from Tibet is still being practiced today ; if
time permits you can also visit the Thankha Painting School
; silver and goldsmith village ; if you visit coincides on a
Saturday or a Sunday you witness the interesting 'Sunday Market'
so called even on Saturday ! ), you can delve into the various
vegetables, chilies, temperature fruits from all parts of Bhutan,
( all grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers
) ; not far from the market place is the Changlimithang ground
where you will always find the game of archery ( the national
sport of Bhutan ) being played.
5. THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA & WANGIPHODRANG
(3 HR SDRIVE)
After breakfast, drive east climbing steadily towards the
Dochu La Pass at 10000 feet. A large chorten and forest of prayer
flags greet you as you face the range of majestic peaks towards
the North , Gangar Punsum , among others is the highest unclimbed
peak (over 24000 feet ) in the world. The descent from the pass
to valley is about 2 hours, with an altitude
drop of over 5500
feet you pass through temperate forest colored with rhododendrons
and magnolias, down to the semitropical zone of orange, banana
and cactuses. Situated near the river on a small plateau is
the famous Chime Lhakhang for infertile women.
The Punakha Dzong built in the 16th
century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, was the winter capital
for 300 years ; today it is winter home to the Je Khenpo the
chief Abbot , hundreds of monks, and also serves as the
administrative headquarters for the Punakhadistrict. Downstream
from the Punakha valley is the Wangdiphodrang Dzong strategically
located on a ridge (4430 feet) over looking the junction of
the Sunkoshi Tangchu rivers ; it is
the gateway to central and eastern Bhutan. Legend has
it that Mahakala, the protective deity of Bhutan appeared to
tell Shabdrung of a prediction, saying ; 'at top of a rocky
spur where two rivers meet , at the place where a flock of raven
will fly off in four directions, you will build the dzong.'
As prophesied by the deity the Shabdrung built the dzong in
1638. The Punakha and Wangdi valleys are also the winter home
for many of the high altitude farmers who migrate with their
cattle to the warm climate in the valley. The numerous paddy
fields indicate the fertile conditions ideal for agriculture,
farmers here often grow 2- 3 crops a year , rice and chili being
important cash crops for the farmers. After lunch drive back
to Thimphu in time for dinner.
PUNAKHA & WANGIPHODRANG To PHUNCHOLING
Day 07: meet our
representative in the boarder and Transfer to Darjeeling.
Overnight at Hotel
Seven Seventeen or similar on standard.
Day 08 Darjeeling: Early morning tour to
Tiger Hills (at 4 am) to view sunrise over Kanchenjunga Peak
(subject to clear weather) and Batasia Loop & Ghoom Monastery.
Afternoon visit to Japanese Temple, Peace pagoda, Lalkothi,
Dhirdham Temple, Ava Art Gallery and Natural History Museum.
Overnight at Hotel Seven Seventeen.
Day 09 Darjeeling – Gangtok: Transfer
to Gangtok (after breakfast,98 kms / 04 hrs). Overnight at Hotel
Golden Pagoda. Day 05 Gangtok: Take an excursion to Tshangu
Lake (12000 ft. 35 kms / 02 hrs). Overnight at Hotel Golden
Day 10 Gangtok: Go for a day sightseeing
covering Directorarte of Handicraft & Handsome, Enchey Monastery,
Research Institute of Tibetology, Chorten, Rumtek Monastery
and orchid sanctuary. Overnight at Hotel Golden Pagoda.
Day 11 Gangtok – Bhardrapur, Overnight
in Bhadrapur Hotel..
Day 12 :
Bhadrapur to Katmandu by flight. And transfer to the
Tour Cost: US$ 1570.00 Net per person.
Single Supplement: US$ 200.00
Group size: 4 pax.
Visa : Visa cost for Bhutan: US $ 20.00
at Bhutan airport.
Kathmandu/ Paro: US $ 195.00
Biratnagar/Bhadratpur: US $ 109.00+2 one way Per person
01 Accommodation with taxes and breakfast, Tour & Transport in Sikkim
02 Accommodation, All meals, Guided City – tour, all Fees including
03 Air port drop and pick up.
- Airport Tax & Excess baggage
- Bhutan and Indian visa
- Lunch and dinner in Sikkim, India
- Expenses on personal Nature
- Travel Insurance
- Extra cost occurred in case of landslides etc.
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