Historical Tour of Bhutan discovers the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan. This Dragon Heart Experience tour gives you Ample opportunity to visit ancient Dzongs (Forts), Monasteries, Museums, Cultural Centers, and excursions to picturesque Bhutanese villages. Your journey starts from Paro, the only place in Bhutan low enough to have an airstrip. You get to survey the ancient Drugyel Dzong in Paro and capture the awesome view of the entire valley from Ta-Dzong. Then drive to the capital city Thimphu, where you get to discover the rich Bhutanese heritage and culture. Gangtey, another stop in your itinerary, has the famous monastery, Gangtey Gompa. Gangtey Gompa, perched atop a small hill that rises from the valley floor and is the only Nyingmapa Monastery on the western side of the Black mountains. The monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens (Lay Monks). Experience Bhutanese village life at Wangduephodrang, observe the traditional art of healing diseases at the Indigenous Hospital and learn more about the rich Bhutanese art and culture by visiting the Art & Craft School, National Library, Royal Goldsmith Workshop and Handicraft centers.
Day 1: Arrive Paro by Druk Air
Day 2: Sightseeing Tour in Paro
Day 3: Sightseeing Tour in Paro and and later drive to Thimphu (60 km, 2 hours)
Day 4: Sightseeing Tour in Thimpu and later drive to Punakha (70 km, 3 hours)
Day 5: Drive to Gangtey via Wangdue Phodrang (70 km, 3 hours)
Day 6: Explore Phobjikha valley and later drive to Trongsa (120 km, 4.1/2 hours)
Day 7: Explore Trongsa and later drive to Bumthang (68 km, 3 hours)
Day 8: Sightseeing tour in Bumthang
Day 9: Drive to Wangdue Phodrang (205 km, 7 hours)
Day 10: Drive to Paro (77 km, 3 hours)
Day 11: In Paro (Excursion to Haa valley)
Day 12: Depart Paro
On arrival at Paro airport, immigration and customs formalities and then received by our representative and transfer to the hotel. Take a stroll around town’s main street in the evening. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong which has a long and fascinating history. Afternoon visit Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined fortress where Bhutanese repelled several invasion by Tibetan armies. Then visit a traditional farmhouse which offers good insight into the lifestyle of local people. In the evening, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast proceed to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. Enroute stop at Chuzom (confluence) where Paro river joins Thimphu river. Nearby Thimphu, visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the School for Buddhist studies.Afternoon, in Thimphu, visit King’s Memorial Chhorten and Trashichho Dzong, beautiful medieval fortress/monastery.Then, visit Handicrafts Emporium, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum followed by visit local market. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
In the morning, enjoy Thimphu sightseeing. Visit National Library, Painting School and Traditional Medicine Institute. After lunch, drive to Punakha, the old capital town of Bhutan. Stop enroute at Dochula pass (3,050m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan. In the Evening visit Punakha Dzong, the fortress of 17th century and later visit Khamsm Yulley Namgyal Chhorten. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
After breakfast, drive to Gangtey via Wangdue Phodrang. Visit majestic Wangdue Dzong and interesting local market. Further ahead pass through dense forests and oak, Rhododendron tress, reaching at Gangtey (Phobjikha). In the Evening, take a walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region. Overnight at Camp / Guest House.
After breakfast, explore Phobjikha valley which is famous for Black Necked Cranes. The cranes migrate here from Central Asiatic plateau to escape its harsh winters. After lunch drive to Trongsa crossing 3,300m high Pele la pass. Visit Trongsa market in the evening. Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.
Visit Trongsa Dzong, the master piece of Bhutanese architecture and see Ta Dzong, the watch tower, built to defend this Dzong and surrounding region during the morning . After lunch, proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Visit Tamshing Lhakhang, the treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. Later visit, Jakar Dzong, the administrative centre of the valley. In the afternoon, visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places. Later visit Jambay Lhakhang, the ancient Mmonastery dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the country. In the evening explore local shops. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
After visiting Bumthang market in the morning, drive to Wangdue . Lunch would be served enroute at one of the famous restaurant in Trongsa town. In the evening, take a stroll around Wangdue town, visiting shops, local market and mingling with people. Spend your overnight at the hotel in Wangdue Phodrang.
Start morning excursion to Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, which is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behaviour to dramatise his teachings. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one are usually blessed with a child very soon, if they pray at this temple. It is about 30 minute walk across field from the road to the temple. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. It then follows a tiny stream downhill to Yoaka and across more fields before making a short climb to Chimi Lhakhang. Afteroon drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Start the day early for drive to Haa via Chele-la pass. 4 Km away at Bondey village the road to Haa diverts towards the right hand side and the climb up towards the Chele-La Pass starts. After driving through blue pine & Rhododendron forest for 45 km, reach Chele-La Pass (4200m). From this point one can have a superb views of Mount. Chomolhari & Jichu Drakey. This is a very good place to walk around for few minutes enjoying the view. Drive on to Haa, descending all the way for another 22 km (under an hours drive), finally reaching Haa. The Haa Dzong is presently occupied by military, but the view from outside is stunning. After picnic lunch visit the famous Monastery Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) followed by visit Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple). The central shrine in Lhakhang Nagpo is said to have no difference with that of Lhasa JOWO in Tibet. The construction of the Lakhang Karpo is believed to have been assisted by the locality. As a result the place came to be locally known as ‘Hay’ meaning’ surprise’ which later became ‘Haa’ due to the differences in interpretations and pronunciations of different people over time. The three giant hills looming over the fringes of Haa valley were called ‘Me Rig Puen Sum’ especially after the incidence of the Lhakhang Kdarpo construction. Today the three hills are popularly known as ‘Rig Sum Goenpa’ signijfying three deities-Jambayang Chana Dorji and Chenrizig. Later, other Buddhist saints like Guru Rinpoche and ‘Machi Labdorn’ came to the Jungney Drag in Haa and blessed the locality. The principal religion followed is Drukpa Kagyud. After the arrival of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the chief guardian deity of Haa became Ap Chundu. In the afternoon, drive to Paro same way back. The drive will be under 3 hours. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination.