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TREKKING IN BHUTAN

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Tour Destination: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9


The Bhutan Trekking tour is a moderate trek through the Eastern Himalayas, and also includes visits to the cultural highlights of Bhutan.  The trek in Bhutan takes you to the beautiful Phobjikha valley, one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan, and also to the villages of Gogona and Khotokha, passing through themeadows and fields and the forests of juniper, magnolia and rhododendrons.It is a moderate low altitude trek, giving you a chance to visit many small and remote villages of Bhutan.

Season :The best months to trek in Bhutan are April and early May when the rhododendrons are in full bloom, though this trek can be done round the year except during the monsoon months of July and August.

 

Day 01 : Arrive Paro & transfer to Thimphu (90 kms / 1½ hrs)
Bhutan Trekking ToursFlight to Bhutan is an amazing experience, which provides a wonderful view of the Himalayan scenery. Whether flying over the foothills from Kolkata or along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu, the journey is fascinating.

On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative, who will escort you to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan since 1955.

Overnight stay at the hotel in Thimphu. 

Day 02 : Thimphu

After breakfast, a guided sightseeing of the Thimphu valley. The sightseeing includes visits to the National Library, housing an wide range of priceless Buddhist manuscripts followed by a visit to  the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School or Arts & Crafts School) where students go through a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later, visit to the Folk Heritage Museum, anintriguingevidence of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions. Take some time for lunch, and after that continue your sightseeing by a visit to the King’s Memorial Chorten. This landmark was constructed by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorjee Wangchuk, who wished to buildpeace and prosperity around the world.  The construction of this monument was completed in 1974, after his unfortunate death. Also visit the Changangkha Lhakhang, an old fortress-like temple perched on a ridge above Thimphu, offering captivating view of the valley. Late afternoon visit Trashi chhoe dzong, “fortress of the glorious religion. This is the heart of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Constructed in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, also it was built in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.

Evening, visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to look through through the example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts.


Overnight stay at the hotel in Thimphu.


Day 03: Thimphu – Gangtey, (135 kms / 4½ hrs)

Trekking in BhutanAfter breakfast, drive to Gangtey across Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) with brief stops to take in the view and admire the Chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which beautify the highest point on the road. If lucky and the skies are clear, a number of peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m), Kangphugang (7,170 m), Zongphugang (7,060 m), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana-finally Gangkarpuensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

Later in the afternoon, visit Gangtey monastery. Gangtey Gompa (monastery) which is balanced a top of a small hill that rises from the valley floor. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village populated mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the monastery. In winter these families, together with the monastery’s monks, moves to another monastery. Gangtey, which is now managed by the government, is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s and is also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. It is directed by Gangtey Tulku, the ninth reincarnation (Tulku) to bear that name.

Later travel around the beautiful Phobjikha valley. Phobjika valley is the winter home of migratory Black-necked Cranes, who come all the way from the dry plains of Tibet to the warmer climate of Bhutan.


Overnight stay at the hotel in Gangtey.

Day 04 : Gangtey Gompa – Gogona, Altitude : 3100m, 14 km, 5-6 hours walk

The trek leaves the valley at 2830km and leads south, then west through meadows and fields. It then climbs through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, rhododendrons and magnolia. The trail is rough and rocky and weaves through trees where pack animals have created deep muddy furrows. After crossing Tsele La (3440m) the trail crosses several meadows, and then descends through forests to Gangak (3020m). It is then a short climb to the camp at Gogona (3100m), a beautiful hilltop site overlooking a long valley. Nearby is Gogona Lhakhang and dozens of poles with white prayer flags fluttering.


Overnight at trekking camp.


Day 05 : Gogona – Khotokha, Altitude : 2790m, 15 km, 5 - 6 hours walk
Trek into the forest of firs, oak, spruce, dwarf rhododendron, miniature azaleas, cypress and juniper. This trail winds gently up the Gogona village.  Much of the undergrowth in this village is the Daphne, the plant that is used for hand-made papers. Then a long but a gradual climbs leads to Shobju La pass (3410m).The trek then comes down through the rocky, muddy forest and criss-crossing small streams. Finally, at about 3000m, the trail meets a rough trek used by tractors to collect wood from the forest. Follow the road, with a few short cuts through the woods, to a sawmill and woodcutters camp at Dolonaga (2830m). Still heading down, the trail overlooks the broad Khothangkha valley and eventually reaches a clearing, ChortenKarpo, where there are four Chortens dedicated to the four Je Khenpos who came from this area. The best camp is in this clearing at 2790m, beside a forest of a large blue pines overlooking the valley and the village of Khothangkha, consisting about 60 rustic houses. 

Overnight stay at trekking camp.


Day 06 : Khotokha - Tikke Zampa & transfer to Punakha, Altitude : 1300m, 12km, 5 hours walk

A short, abrupt trek along the well-known path that takes you to Tashi La (2800m). This is the upper end of the cable car” that transports wood down to Chhuzomsa, 1300m below. The walk down is through a beautiful forest, with the undergrowth changing from rhododendrons and magnolia to ferns and dwarf bamboo. This trek is one of the best bird-watching areas in Bhutan. The species of birds found here are laughing thrush, shrike, magpie and woodpecker. The trail then rushes down the steep terraced wheat fields to a cluster of houses at Whachay. The trail eventually meets the road near Tikke Zampa at 1500m.

The trek ends here, after which you visit Wangduephodrang Dzong, founded by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgayl in 1638. It is located on top of a high ridge overlooking a river junction. The Dzong stands majestically on a spur and commands an impressive view over both north-south and east-west roads.


Later in the evening visit Punakha Dzong, also known as ‘Palace of Happiness’. It is a huge structure at the confluence of two rivers and was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637. Punakha Dzong is the most striking and well-known fortress connected with Bhutan’s historical traditions.


Overnight stay at the hotel in Punakha.


Day 07: Punakha – Paro, (125 kms / 4 hrs)

Bhutan TrekkingAfter the tiring trek in Punakha, travel to Paroenroute stopping at Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest Dzong in the country, constructed in 1627 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

On your arrival at Paro, check in at the Hotel and visit the Bhutan’s National Museum, Ta Dzong which was once a watchtower, constructed during the inter-valley wars of the 17th century. Ta Dzong holds intriguing collections of religious Thangkha paintings, art, relics and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. After visiting the beautiful museum, walk down a hillside to visit Rinpung Dzong which has an elaborate history. This large monastery was constructed in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first ruler of Bhutan. The entrance to Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemizaram. A walk through the bridge, gives a beautiful view of the architectural marvel of the majestic monastery and the life around Dzong.


Overnight stay at the hotel in Paro.


Day 08 : Paro

Morning excursion to Taktsang Lhakhang, one of the most famous Bhutan’s monastery perched on the side of a cliff 900 m above the Paro valley floor. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche reached here on the back of a tigress and meditated here at the monastery and so it’s called the’Tiger’s nest’. The Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime visit this sacred monastery. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendor. Later in the afternoon drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought the invaders. . The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong.

On the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of these temple marks the outline of Buddhism in Bhutan.


Overnight stay at the hotel in Paro.


Day 09 : Depart Paro

Breakfast at the hotel, followed by a transfer to Paro Airport in time for your flight home, where your Bhutan Trekking tour ends.

 

Period / Category Standard
Valid from 01st Mar to 31st May’16 & from 01st Sep to 30th Nov’16 US$ 2544 per person

Valid from 01st Jun to 31st Aug’ 16 & from 01st Dec’ 16 to 28th Feb’ 17

US$ 2328 per person


Inclusions:

  • Accommodation on twin sharing Full Board basis in A category hotels in Thimphu, Gangtey , Punakha and Paro, and in Tented Camps while on Trek.
  • Ground transportation as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing tours as per the above itinerary alongwith an English speaking guide and including entrance fees to the monuments and places of tourist interest.
  • Bhutan Visa Fee
  • Bhutan Government and Royalty and Taxes
  • All Trekking arrangements, including Porters, Ponies and equipment.
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