Himphu, Tashichho Dzong, Paro, Punakha
Himphu, Tashichho Dzong, Paro, Punakha
Bhutan is located on the southern slopes of the eastern Himalayas, landlocked between the Tibet Autonomous Region to the north and the Indian states of Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh to the west and south. The land consists mostly of steep and high mountains crisscrossed by a network of swift rivers, which form deep valleys before draining into the Indian plains. Elevation rises from 200 m in the southern foothills to more than 7,000 m. This great geographical diversity combined with equally diverse climate conditions contributes to Bhutan’s outstanding range of biodiversity and ecosystems.
The northern region of Bhutan consists of an arc of Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows reaching up to glaciated mountain peaks with an extremely cold climate at the highest elevations. Most peaks in the north are over 7,000 m above sea level; the highest point in Bhutan is Gangkhar Puensum at 7,570 metres, which has the distinction of being the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. The lowest point, at 98 m, is in the valley of Drangme Chhu, where the river crosses the border with India. Watered by snow-fed rivers, alpine valleys in this region provide pasture for livestock, tended by a sparse population of migratory shepherds.
The climate in Bhutan varies with elevation, from subtropical in the south to temperate in the highlands and polar-type climate, with year-round snow in the north. Bhutan experiences five distinct seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. Western Bhutan has the heavier monsoon rains; southern Bhutan has hot humid summers and cool winters; central and eastern Bhutan is temperate and drier than the west with warm summers and cool winters.
In 2014, Bhutan welcomed 133,480 foreign visitors. Seeking to become a high value destination, it imposes a daily fee of US$250 on tourists that covers touring and hotel accommodation. The industry employs 21,000 people and accounts for 1.8% of GDP.
The country currently has no UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but it has eight declared tentative sites for UNESCO inclusion since 2012. These sites include Ancient Ruin of Drukgyel Dzong, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, Dzongs: the centre of temporal and religious authorities, Royal Manas National Park , Sacred Sites associated with Phajo Drugom Zhigpo and his descendants, Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, and Tamzhing Monastery. Bhutan also has numerous tourist sites that are not included in its UNESCO tentative list. Bhutan has one element, the Mask dance of the drums from Drametse, registered in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Meet & Greet on arrival at Paro Airport and transfer to Thimphu (7,710 ft.) the capital city of Bhutan. On arrival check in at the hotel. Evening explore the Thimpu town by walk. Overnight stay at Thimphu.
After breakfast visit Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Statue) a place for refreshing with a huge statue of Buddha on the top of the Kuensel Phodrang, National Memorial Chorten (Monument) & Folk Heritage Museum. Afternoon visit Sangaygang View Point, Changangkha Monastery, Takin Preserve Centre, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen here. In the evening visit Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion). Overnight stay at Thimphu.
After breakfast drive to Punakha / Wangdue, On the way Stop at Dochu-La-Pass (3150 mts.) to view the higher Himalayas. Arrival at Punakha check in at hotel. After noon visit Punakha Dzong – built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck convened the first National Assembly here in 1952. After that take a short and easy hike to visit the Chhimi Lhakhang – The Temple, also known as “The Temple of Fertility” was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, “The Devine Mad Man”. Evening free for leisure. Overnight stay at Punakha / Wangdue.
After breakfast drive to Paro (7,483 ft.). On the way stop at Lamperi to visit Royal Botanical Park. On arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon visit Ta Dzong – National Museum with an excellent collection of arts, relics, religious thangkha, etc. Rinpung Dzong – Meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels”. The dzong now serves as the administrative and judicial seat of Paro. Evening free for leisure. Overnight stay at Paro.
After breakfast hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery – called “Tiger’s Nest” (2hrs hike from the base camp). Later visit Drukgyel Dzong & Kyichu Monastery. Overnight stay at Paro.
After breakfast check out from hotel and drop at Paro Airport for your onward journey.
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Duration: 05 Nights/ 06 Day