Bhutan Emaho Tours & Treks

EXPLORE BHUTAN

TOUR in BRIEF

Duration: 9 Nights / 10 Days

Day Activity Details
  Day 1 Paro Valley – Thimphu   Our tour begins with a journey towards east into the booming metropolis of Thimphu. Situated at an altitude of 2,300 m it is the home to 120,000 Bhutanese.   Thimphu being the capital of Bhutan, offers unique opportunities to explore the Bhutanese culture, lifestyle and traditions in depth. We invite you to see the sights of the Kingdom’s capital with us.   After lunch, we will spend our time circumambulating the sacred National memorial Chorten. This is a Tibetan-style Chorten built in 1974 in memory of the late 3rd King who passed away in 1972. It is one of the most visible religious structures in town and for many people it is the focus of daily worship. Remember to walk around the Chorten at least once to gain merit and good luck.       Arrive – Paro airport and then transfer to Thimphu. (1.5 hrs drive)  
  Day 2 Thimphu.   Cheri monastery hike:   A 40-minute drive from the town, takes you to the starting point for the walk to Cheri Monastery. After crossing a bridge, the main trail to Cheri zigzags upwards to a Chorten. Remember to pass this in clock-wise direction as a sign of respect. Shortly after passing a few buildings, you will see the temple on your left. Sometimes you might spot goral (wild goat) jumping around the cliffs nearby. Cheri is considered very sacred as it contains the remains of Tempi Nima, the father of the first Zhabdrung of Bhutan, and beautiful frescoes of Buddhist saints. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built it in 1620 in memory of his father. Parts were later converted to a nunnery and a few nuns still live here today.   After lunch, we will drive to the National Post office for stamps. Bhutan is famous for producing unique and innovative stamps. Post office now offers personalized stamps; we invite you to surprise your family and friends with your custom-made stamp made with one of your favorite holiday photographs!   Towards evening we will visit the Mini Zoo. The zoo used to exhibit various indigenous wild animals, which were later released back into the wild by order of the 4th King who declared that such a facility was not in keeping with the Bhutan’s environmental and religious convictions.        
  Day 3   Thimphu – Punakha     The sub-tropical valleys of Punakha and the surrounding mountain sides offer a large variety of attractive places to explore and discover monasteries and the most impressive Dzong in the country Roughly, 40 minutes we will arrive at the Dochula Pass (3050 meters). If weather permits, we will have great views of the extended eastern Himalayas in Bhutan.   A brief stop at the pass and continue the journey by winding our way into Punakha valley (1300 meters). On our way to Punakha valley, we will stop at the village of Sopsokha to hike the famous Chimi Lhakhang (Fertility temple). The 30- minute walk from the road to the Lhakhang is through open farmland and rice paddies. It is believed that a demoness who had been terrorizing the valley transformed herself into a black dog to escape the wrath of the Divine Madman. However, he caught the dog and buried it under a pile of earth shaped like a woman’s breast. He then built a chorten on top of this mount and prophesied that a temple would one day be consecrated over it. True to the prophecy, his brother built Chime Lhakhang in 1456. If you are wishing for a child, it is believe by the Bhutanese that a visit to the Divine Madman’s temple, Chime Lhakhang, might help increase your chances.   Thousands of people visit this temple on pilgrimage and numerous couples visit the temple to pray to become pregnant and receive blessing. Many parents also bring their newborn children to receive the baby’s name from the local lama After lunch, we will drive down valley to visit the stunning Punakha Dzong. The Dzong is considered one of the most important and also one of the most beautiful Dzong in the Kingdom. It was built by Zhabdrung in 1637, and was the seat of the government every winter until Thimphu was established as the permanent capital in 1955. It is still the winter residence of the Central Monastic Body.      
  Day 4   Punakha – Bumthang   After breakfast proceed to Trongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830ft), the traditional boundary between east and west.  The pass is marked by a large white Chorten and prayer flags.  There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop en route at Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points.  It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.   After lunch drive to Bumthang, 68 km. from Trongsa, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/11,155ft).  The road winds steeply up to the pass, 28 km. from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open, cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley.          
  Day 5   Bumthang   Today we will spend our morning hiking in the valley. We will visit few important monasteries of Chamkhar valley.   We will start by visiting the auspicious Jampa Lhakhang. The monastery is believed to have been built in the year 659 by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, on the same day as Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro, in order to subdue a Tibetan demoness. It was here that Guru Rimpoche conducted the first sermon on Tantric Buddhism for his host King Sindhu Raja, the local ruler and his family. The place where Guru Rimpoche sat during the sermon can still be seen.   We will visit Kurjey Lhakhang. The monastery is named after the body (kur) print (jey) of Guru Rimpoche who was invited to meditate here in 746 A.D to subdue evil spirits and demons. There are three temples; the oldest temple was built in 1652 on the rock face where Guru Rimpoche meditated. The body imprint of the great master can be seen distinctly in the rock cave enshrined in the temple. The second was built in 1900 by the first King when he was still the Governor of Trongsa. The third temple was built in 1990 with the support of the Queen Mother Ashi Kesang. A wall of 108 chortens surrounds the temple grounds and symbolizes Buddha’s victory over the evil spirits. The Cypress tree which is seen near the temple is believed to have grown from the Guru’s walking stick.   And later if time permit we will hike from Kurjey Lhakhang to Tamshing Lhakhang (temple of good message) The monastery is located in a village across the river from Kurjey. It was built by Pema Lingpa in 1501 and is the most important Nyingma Lhakhang in the Kingdom. Being a skilled tantric master and an artist, Pema Lingpa sculpted the main statues and painted the frescoes, which can be seen even today, mostly in original state. He also created a 25-kg suit of chain-mail armor and it is believed that you will be freed from your sins if you carry it around the lhakhang three times.    
  Day 6 Bumthang – Wangdue   After breakfast proceed to Punakha, stopping along the way at Trongsa or Chendibji Chorten for lunch, which will be served in a local restaurant famous for its cuisine. The day is going to be full of driving but make sure to stop for photography and shorts walks to keep your legs and arms active.    
  Day 7   Wangdue – Paro   Today the journey west takes us back to Paro valley winding our way through Lobesa valley before climbing back to Dochula pass (3000 meters above sea level).   In the afternoon, we will visit the Paro Dzong and take in the amazing architecture of this 17th century monument, a premier example of Bhutan’s architecture. Paro Dzong was built in 17th century to defend Paro from the Tibetan invasion. It is also known as Rinpung Dzong which means the ‘fortress on a heap of jewels’. This fine example of Bhutanese architecture now serves as a central monastic and administrative seat of the Paro district. After the visit, we will stroll down to the cantilever bridge.  
  Day 8   Paro Excursion   We will visit the auspicious Kyichu Lhakhang. The 7th century monastery is one of the oldest and most sacred temples in the Kingdom where the seed of Buddhism was won in Bhutan. The Tibetan King, Songsten Gampo ordered the establishment of monasteries in the Himalayan region to subdue evil spirits and to spread Buddhism. Of the 108 monasteries which were to be built, two major ones were built in Bhutan namely the Kyichu Lhakhang and the Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang.    
  Day 9   Paro Valley   Today’s exploration of Paro begins with the climb to the famous Tiger nest monastery. The monastery is one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments. It literally hangs off the face of a cliff 900 meter above the valley floor. The legend states that Guru Rinpoche flew into Bhutan on a mythical tigress and meditated in a cave before bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The four-hour round trip hike offers spectacular views of the monastery and the valley below.   Horses or mules can be arranged on request to help lighten the journey   The hike to the famous Tiger nest monastery is a great finish to this day of cultural immersion and your journey to this ancient kingdom of BHUTAN.   Note: If you are interested we can arrange Farm house visit along with lunch and hot stone bath experience      
  Day 10   International departure.    
 
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