Day 01: Kathmandu – Paro:
Arrive Paro (By Druk Air flight) Your Guide from Bhutan will receive you at the airport and drive you to the hotel. After tea, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 by the Great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. The dzong is one of the 108 monasteries built across the Himalayan region by the Tibetan King to subdue the Demon that layed across the Himalayan region. The rest of the monasteries lie in other neighboring countries. Dinner and over night in Hotel at Paro.
Day 02: In Paro - Excursion to Taktsang Monastery:
After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten.The trail climbs through the beautiful pine forest with many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Lakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rocky cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort.
After lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Dinner and over night in Hotel at Paro.
Day 03: Paro - Jele Dzong (Start of Trek):
Today, we begin a short trek. The trek begins above the National Museum (Ta Dzong). We climb till we reach the camping site. If the weather is clear the Paro valley and the snow-capped mountains can be seen. The campsite is near the old Jele Dzong. If the caretaker is there you can visit the Dzong. Altitude 3,350m; Distance 10 Km; Time 3 - 4 hours. Dinner and over night in Camp.
Day 04: Jele Dzong - Jangchulakha:
Today, we start with a short climb and then passes through a thick alpine forest of rhododendron and gradually the trail climbs till we reach the camp. You may see yak herders around your campsite. Altitude 3,700m; Distance 12 Km; Time 4 - 5 hours. Dinner and over night in Camp.
Day 05: Jangchulakha - Jimilangtso:
The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the views of the mountains and valleys are beautiful. Our camp is close to Lake Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout, and if lucky, you may enjoy well-prepared trout for dinner. Altitude 3,800m; Distance 16 Km; Time 6/7 hours. Dinner and over night in Camp.
Day 06: Jimilangtso - Simkota. (4-5 hours):
The trail takes you through the dwarf rhododendron trees past the lake of Janetso. Dinner and over night in Camp.
Day 07: Simkota - Phajoding (4-5hours):
From here we slowly descend down to Phajoding Monastery from where Thimphu town is visible at the valley floor. Dinner and over night in camp.
Day 08: Phajoding – Thimphu:
From Phajoding, descend down to Thimphu valley. After Lunch, sightseeing in Thimphu. Dinner and over night in Hotel.
Day 09: Thimphu – Punakha - Thimphu: (72 Kms, 3 hours drive).
After breakfast, scenic drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view higher Himalayas. On the way, visit Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. In Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “…a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952. In the evening, drive back to Thimphu. Dinner and over night in Hotel at Thimphu.
Day 10: Thimphu Sightseeing:
After breakfast, visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices, and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). We finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Dinner and over night in Hotel.
Day 11: Thimphu – Paro:
After breakfast, excursion to Tango Monastery. After Lunch, drive to Paro. Dinner and over night in Hotel.
Day 12: Departure: Paro – Kathmandu:
Early morning, drive to the airport and farewell.