Bhutan

Bhutan

Bhutan

Welcome to The Kingdom Bhutan. Many eastern classics and books of wisdom have referred to the Himalayas as the abode of the gods and home to the immortals. These descriptions did not stem merely from the majesty and grandeur of the natural surroundings but perhaps alluded to a special environment where communion with the divine was possible through contemplation and meditation. And so since time immemorial, ascetics, scholars, philosophers and pilgrim have been drawn irresistibly to these remote and rugged mountains in their personal search for wisdom, inspiration, solitude and happiness.

Bhutan is a country nestled in the eastern Himalayas. The country has been visited by a great many saints, mystics, scholars and pilgrims over the centuries who not only came for their personal elucidation, but blessed the land and its people with an invaluable spiritual and cultural legacy that has shaped every facet of Bhutanese lives. Visitors and guests to the country will be surprised that the culture and the traditional lifestyle is still richly intact and at the degree to which it permeates all strands of modern day secular life. From the traditional woven garments to the prayer flags on high mountain slopes, from the built environment to the natural environment, from the religious mask dances to the folk dances, this cultural heritage is proudly evident and offers a unique cultural setting.

We hope that visitors who make the journey to Bhutan enjoy their experience and return home with glowing memories.

Country Bhutan
Area 38,394 km2 (14,824 sq mi)
Time zone BTT (UTC+6)
Languages spoken Bhutanese, & English
Currency Ngultrum (nu)
Visa requirements No Visa needed for Indians

Places of interest

Thimphu

THIMPHU VALLEY :
Thimphu is a small, charming capital city sandwiched in the heart of the Himalayas. It sits in its own valley fanning out from the river. The skyline hardly changes as new buildings are all constructed under zoning regulations. Thimphu's development is strictly monitored and buildings cannot exceed a certain height, nor can they be designed in anything but the traditional Bhutanese style. In fact, Thimphu's first and only traffic light was enshrined in a chorten ! (a small Buddhist temple). Not being suitable to the nature of Thimphu, the traffic light was removed on the King's orders.
Only a sprinkling of cars are found along the main street and the capital's population is not immediately visible. But, if you look inside the bank or the shop, you will find Thimphu's people and Bhutan's heart. Dressed in gho or kira (a wrap-around robe), Thimphu people go about their work methodically, quietly bringing their nation through the growing pains of development and into its own definition of the modern world.

PARO VALLEY :
A trip to Bhutan normally begins and ends at Paro ..... and there can be few more charming valleys in the kingdom. As you disembark your Druk aircraft and take your first breath of Bhutanese air, you will be struck by the clean air and peaceful atmosphere.

National Museum :
The museum's collection includes ancient Bhutanese arts and artifacts, weapons and stamps, birds and animals, and an incredible collection of silver tea ware. This is typical of the eclectic beauty of Bhutan - its prized objects bear little relation to each other but as a whole stand together as a history of one of the world's most pristine people.

Taksang Monastery :
It is said that Guru Rinpoche (Precious Master), the father of the Bhutanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived in Paro Valley more than a millennium ago on the back of a legendary tigress. He meditated for three months in a cave where a monastery was later built and called Taktsang Lhakang or Tiger's Nest Visitors to Paro can take a closer look at the monastery by ascending either on foot or by pony for about three hours to Tiger's Nest. Walkers can enjoy a rest at the Taktsang Teahouse situated at a wonderful vantage point overlooking the monastery. On clear days you can get a clear view of mount Chomolhari the sacred peak of Bhutan.

NAMDAPHA NATIONAL PARK

Simtokha Dzong :
six kms from the city limits, is the kingdoms oldest dzong which is now used as the Dzongka language school of Bhutan. Bhutan's most stately and arguably most impressive building is Tashichhodzong, on the banks of the Wangchu (Thimphu River). The home of the National Assembly and the summer residence of the capital's venerated monastic community, Tashicchodzong is a palatial building overlooking the river on the South side and the city of Thimphu from the North. While foreign visitors are only allowed to enter Tashicchodzong during the annual festival, its presence and its exterior and grounds provide a delightful spectacle. The dzong is the impressive result of a redesign of the original medieval structure sanctioned by the Third King, HM Jigme Dorje Wangchuck, when he moved Bhutan's permanent capital to Thimphu.

PUNAKHA VALLEY :
The first stop after leaving Thimphu on the journey east is Dochu La (la means pass) at 10.007ft. Only an hour's drive from Thimphu, it offers visitors their first glimpse of the Eastern Himalayan range. The best time to reach Dochu La is early morning when the mountain views are clear and one can enjoy a spectacular panoramic views of the Bhutanese Himalayas.

WANGDUE PHODRANG :
Wangdue Phodrang is the last westerm town on the highway before central Bhutan. Wangdue Phodrang (or Wangdue) is a typical small Bhutanese town. It has a bustling market with well stocked shops and a pretty view of the valley and dzong.

Thimphu

PHOBJIKA VALLEY & GANGTEY GOMPA :
A few hours' drive from Wangdue Phodrang is Phobjika valley. Here also is Gangtey Gompa, a monastery dating back to the 17th century. This short journey south from the main East-West artery is well worth the detour for the dramatic change of scenery. The monastery is inhabited only in summer months.
Spotting black-necked cranes in the meadows of the valley floor is an ornithologist's dream come true. These rare birds migrate from the high plains of the Tibetan plateau in Winter to the milder climate of Phobjika.

PHUENTSHOLING :
Popularly known as the 'Gateway to Bhutan', Phuentsholing is a vibrant town located adjacent to the Indian border town of Jalpaiguri, a district of the Indian state of West Bengal. The town is a bustling commercial centre providing a glimse of Indian merchants and Bhutanese dressed in traditional khos and kiras. The climate of Phuentsholing contrasts greatly with the higher land of Bhutan. It is tropical, hot and humid during the summer, and warm and pleasant in the winter. It is located 180 km from Thimphu and is about a six hours drive. Phuentsholing is the only other entry/exit point to Bhutan other than the airport at Paro. The closest Indian domestic airport is at Bagdogra, about 160 km from the Bhutanese boarder, which is connected by daily flights to Delhi and Calcutta.

Culture and history

Paro

Cradled in the folds of the Himalayas, Bhutan has relied on its geographic isolation to protect itself from outside cultural influences. A sparsely populated country bordered by India to the south, and China to the north, Bhutan has long maintained a policy of strict isolationism, both culturally and economically, with the goal of preserving its cultural heritage and independence. Only in the last decades of the 20th century were foreigners allowed to visit the country, and only then in limited numbers. In this way, Bhutan has successfully preserved many aspects of its culture, which dates directly back to the mid-17th century.

Modern Bhutanese culture derives from ancient culture. This culture affected the early growth of this country. Dzongkha and Sharchop, the principal Bhutanese languages, are closely related to Tibetan, and Bhutanese monks read and write the ancient variant of the Tibetan language, known as chhokey. The Bhutanese are physically similar to the Tibetans, but history does not record when they crossed over the Himalayas and settled in the south-draining valleys of Bhutan. Both Tibetans and Bhutanese revere the tantric guru, Padmasambhava, the founder of Himalayan Buddhism in the 8th century.

Mystery surrounds Bhutan's distant past, as priceless irretrievable documents were lost in fires and earthquakes. In the 8th century CE, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava or second Buddha) made his legendary trip from Eastern Bhutan to Western Bhutan on the back of a flying tigress to subdue the evil spirits who hindered Buddhism. After defeating them, he blessed them as guardians of the doctrine. thus introducing Tantric Buddhism to Bhutan. Taktshang or Tigers Nest in the Paro Valley is where he landed and today it remains one of most sacred places in Bhutan.

It is believed that the name Bhutan is derived from the Sanskrit 'Bhotant', meaning 'the end of Tibet', or from 'Bhu-uttan', meaning 'high land'. Historically the Bhutanese have refered to their country as Druk Yul, 'land of the thunder dragon'. Bhutanese refer to themselves as Drukpa people.
Guru Rinpoche (Precious Master) is the father of the Drukpa Kagyu school of Tantric Mahayana Buddhism practiced in Bhutan. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, a Tibetan lama of the Drukpa School, arrived in Bhutan in 1616 CE. He introduced the present dual system of religious and secular government, creating and building the system of Dzongs throughout Bhutan. Shabdrung unified the country, and established himself as the country's supreme leader and vested civil power in a high officer known as the Druk Desi. Religious affairs were charged to another leader, the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). For two centuries following Shabdrung's demise, civil wars intermittently broke out, and the regional Penlops (governors) became increasingly more powerful. This ended when an assembly of representatives of the monastic community, civil servants and the people, elected the Penlop of Trongsa, Ugyen Wangchuck, the First King of Bhutan in 1907-1926. The monarchy has thrived ever since, and the present Fourth King, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck (1972 to present), commands the overwhelming support for his people.

SITT BHUTAN TOUR 01 : (3 nights/4 days)

Day 01 : Arrive Paro

  • Meeting & assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel.
  • Overnight Hotel Paro.

Day 02 :Paro To Thimphu (55 km, 2 hours)

  • Morning visit DrukgyelDzong (dzong = fortress/monastery), the ruined fortress from where Bhutanese repelled several invasion by Tibetan armies. On a clear day, there is splendid view of Mt. Chomolhari from the approach road to this Dzong.
  • Later visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and then walk down the trail to visit RinpungDzong, the fortress which has a long and fascinating history.
  • Afternoon drive to Thimphu.
  • Overnight Hotel Thimphu.

Day 03 :Thimphu To Paro

  • Morning visit to ; National Library, School of Arts & Crafts and Textile & Folk Heritage Museum.
  • Afternoon visit Handicrafts Emporium, Memorial Chorten (stupa) and Nunnery.
  • In the evening drive back to Paro.
  • Overnight Hotel Paro.

Day 04 : Depart Paro

  • Morning transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination
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Cost Includes:

1. Transportation (All sightseeing, long drive, transfer and drop).
2. All accommodations in double bedded Standard room on CP basis.
3. All car Parking.
4. Driver allowances.
5. Inner line Permit for Arunachal Pradesh. 6. All Entrance fees and all taxes

Cost Dose Not Includes:

1. Air Fare/Train fare.
2. Camera fee.
2. Personal Expenses such as Laundry, telephone calls, tips. Liquor, boating & joy rides.
3. Any other item not specified in "Cost Includes".
4. Additional sightseeing or usages of vehicle not mention in the itinerary.
5. Guide charge not include.
6. Any cost arising due to natural calamities like, landslides, road blocks etc (to be borne by the clients directly on the spot).

Cancellation / Prepayment

Cancellation and prepayment policies vary according to package type.
We are not responsible for tour cancellation due to Force Majeure clause (Expenses / Cancellations incurred due to mishaps, landslide, strikes, political unrest etc.) Additional expenses incurred due to Force Majeure Clause on the ongoing tour shall be borne by the guest on actual.
We hope that the tour itinerary and the cost are acceptable to you. Please contact us on the specified address in case of any alterations. Please reply soon so as to enable us to provide efficient services.

SITT BHUTAN TOUR 01 : (5 nights/6 days)

Day 01 : Arrive Paro& transfer to Thimphu

  • Meeting & assistance on arrival and transfer to Thimphu (55 km, 2 hours).
  • Overnight Hotel Thimphu.

Day 02 : Thimphu

  • Morning drive to BBS Tower for fascinating view of Thimphu valley and later visit Mini zoo, Anim Dratshang (nunnery), National Library, Handmade Paper factory & Memorial Chorten (stupa).
  • Afternoon, as the time permits, visit to School of Arts & Crafts, Textile & Folk Heritage Museum, Zangtho Pelri Lhakahng (lhakhang = temple) and Handicrafts Emporium.
  • Overnight Hotel Thimphu.

Day 03 : Thimphu – Punakha (75 km, 2.1/2 hours)

  • Morning drive to Punakha taking a short stop at Dochula pass (3,080m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan.
  • Afternoon visit Punakha Dozng and Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.
  • Evening free in fascinating Punakha valley.
  • Overnight Hotel Punakha.

Day 04 :Punakha – Wangduephodrang – Paro (145 km, 5 hours)

  • Morning drive to Wangduephodrang town visiting Dzong and local market.
  • Later drive to Paro en route visiting Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the School for religious and cultural studies.
  • Overnight Hotel Paro.

Day 05 : Paro

  • Morning visit DrukgyelDzong (dzong = fortress/monastery), the ruined fortress from where Bhutanese repelled several invasion by Tibetan armies. On a clear day, there is splendid view of Mt. Chomolhari from the approach road to this Dzong.
  • Later visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and then walk down the trail to visit RinpungDzong, the fortress which has a long and fascinating history.
  • Evening visit KyichuLhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom.
  • Overnight Hotel Paro.

Day 06 : Depart Paro

  • Morning transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination.
Book Now

Cost Includes:

1. Transportation (All sightseeing, long drive, transfer and drop).
2. All accommodations in double bedded Standard room on CP basis.
3. All car Parking.
4. Driver allowances.
5. Inner line Permit for Arunachal Pradesh. 6. All Entrance fees and all taxes

Cost Dose Not Includes:

1. Air Fare/Train fare.
2. Camera fee.
2. Personal Expenses such as Laundry, telephone calls, tips. Liquor, boating & joy rides.
3. Any other item not specified in "Cost Includes".
4. Additional sightseeing or usages of vehicle not mention in the itinerary.
5. Guide charge not include.
6. Any cost arising due to natural calamities like, landslides, road blocks etc (to be borne by the clients directly on the spot).

Cancellation / Prepayment

Cancellation and prepayment policies vary according to package type.
We are not responsible for tour cancellation due to Force Majeure clause (Expenses / Cancellations incurred due to mishaps, landslide, strikes, political unrest etc.) Additional expenses incurred due to Force Majeure Clause on the ongoing tour shall be borne by the guest on actual.
We hope that the tour itinerary and the cost are acceptable to you. Please contact us on the specified address in case of any alterations. Please reply soon so as to enable us to provide efficient services.