7 Days Tour
The Royal Botanical Tour:
Duration: 7 days
Altitude: 2000mtrs to 3500mtrs ASL
Best Time: Early march – April
Highlights: The Rhododendron Park
Day 1: Paro-Thimphu
You will be received by our company guide upon your arrival in the kingdom after which we head towards Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan which is a leisurely 90 minute’s drive across the Paro and Thimphu rivers.
En route you may make a small stopover at Tamchhog Lhakhang, the temple of the famous Iron Bridge Builder, Thangthong GYalpo (1361-1485). The temple is located on a small knoll across the Paro River and stands like a towering giant on the otherwise silent and uninhabited landscapes.
Upon reaching the capital you will be escorted into your hotel room and if time permits you may take a leisurely stroll in the capital or visit the grand Trashichhodzong, the seat and governance of Bhutan where the chapel of the Golden Throne of the King is also located.
Night halt at Thimphu
Day 2: Thimphu (sight seeing):
We will keep the itinerary flexible so that you may choose the destination of your own choice and liking. However, we have identified the following places that is a must visit for all tourists visiting the capital.
- The Memorial Chorten: Built in the memory of the late Third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the early 70’s the National memorial chorten is one of the biggest landmarks of the capital city. Start early to experience the majestic sunrise of the capital city and mix with the locals who usually start circumambulating the chorten early in the morning.
- The Big Buddha: Overlooking the Thimphu valley is the Grand Buddha Dodrenma Statue, one of the biggest in the world. It gives you a panoramic view of the capital city and the statue itself is a marvelous architectural wonder built only recently.
- The Takin Reserve: The zoo houses the weird animal Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Legend has it that the beast was created by a 12 century saint, Lam Drukpa Kuenley or the divine madman, from the remains of a goat and a cow.
- The Institute of Traditional Arts and Crafts: The institute houses young trainees who will display their artistic skills on the tradition of painting, woodwork, sculpting, metal works and other varied forms of Bhutanese art and culture.
- The National Library: The national library is a vast repository of ancient Buddhist texts and canons. The world’s largest book, a pictorial on Bhutan, is also on display at the museum.
- The Textile Academy: Bhutan’s rich array of textiles and its origin and history is best manifest in the Textile Academy. You can also experience young women behind the loom and the many colours and beauty of Bhutanese yarns which is on display at the academy.
- The Post Office: Apart from the rich tradition and culture, Bhutan is also known for producing some of the rarest and exotic stamps in the globe. The stamps also speak of Bhutan’s journey and transition since the early 60s when postal services were first introduced.
- Sunday Vegetable Market: The vegetable market in the capital is the perfect spot to get an insight into Bhutan’s culinary richness and watch Bhutanese flocking in hundreds to trade their local produces.
Night halt at Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu-Punakha (The Royal Botanical Hike en route):
Start early to catch the early morning sunrise at Dochula Pass (3040 Mtrs) which will provide you a breathtaking view of the greater Himalayas. After a short snack at the Dochula Café’ you take the old mule track from Dochula to Lampelri. The three-hour hike will take you across forests of Rhododendron blooms that make the landscapes even more spectacular and fairytale-like experience.
Upon arrival at Punakha, we head towards the magnificent Punakha Dzong which was built by the 17th century Buddhist master Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (1584-1652AD). Punakha was considered the ancient capital of Bhutan and is still the winter residence of the central monk body.
Night halt at Punakha
Day 4: Hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Stupa
The hike to Khasum Yuelley Namgyal Stupa, which is about 30minute’s drive from the district headquarters of Punakha and another 30minute’s gentle walk from the road head, will take you across a villages and paddy fields which seem straight out of the ordinary. The relaxed atmosphere and serene landscapes is sure to leave a lasting impact on any visitor.
In the evening, you may take a leisurely stroll of the Khuruthang town and mingle with the locals for a sneak-peek into their everyday lives.
Night halt at Punakha
Day 5: Punakha to Paro, visit Chimme Lhakhang en route
Chime Lhakhnag the temple of the divine madman, Lam Drukpa Kuenley (1455-1529), is located on a small hillock en route to your journey to Paro. The temple is a gentle 20 minute hike from the nearest road point and will take you through lush paddy fields and beautiful traditional houses. The temple is also considered to bless childless couples with children and one might be amazed to receive blessing from a strange wooden phallus.
In the evening, and upon arrival at Paro, take a leisurely stroll of the quaint little town of Paro and mingle with the locals in one of the many pubs and bars spread across the town.
Day 6: Hike to Paro Taktshang
Located at an elevation of 3120mtrs, the famous Taktshang Monastery, or the Tiger’s Liar was so named because its founder Guru Rinpochhe is believed to have visited the place riding on the back of a Tigress. Legend has it that the Guru meditated on a cave in the vertical rock cliff, where the temple is built today, and subdued the malignant spirit residing in the locality.
The 8th century temple was later rebuilt in the late nineties after it was razed to the ground by a major fire. The main relic of the temple, a statue of one of Guru’s manifestation, is said to have miraculously survived the fire when all other structures were destroyed.
After the hike we will take to one of the many farm houses in Paro for a local hot-stone bath and a dinner with a Bhutanese family.
Night halt at Paro
Day 7: Depart from Paro International airport