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Overview

Bhutan | April 29 - May 05 Bhutan is a tiny country that is nestled among the mightiest mountains in the world. This is the land of dramatic mountain scenery, Buddhism, prayer wheels, dzongs, ancient traditions, chilies and cheese, rice terraces, and some of the most beautiful woodworking you will ever see. With one week in Bhutan, you can explore the cultural heart of this country, making memories that will last for a lifetime. Presenting a specially crafted trip to the Land of the Thunder Dragon! Be it hiking to famous monasteries or traveling on the highest motorable road in the country, Bhutan will not disappoint you. This Indian neighbour has plenty to offer and we are pleased to have you join us on this excursion. Get ready for 7 days of pure fun and leisure.

Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrival Bagdora/Siliguri

    Transfer to Phuentsholing

    Phuentsholing is a border town in southern Bhutan and is the administrative seat of Chukha District. Phuentsholing adjoins the Indian town of Jaigoan, and cross-border trade has resulted in a thriving local economy. The India-Bhutan border at Phuentsholing clearly separates two very different peoples and cultures. Jaigoan across the border is larger, bustling and loud, similar to many other West Bengal Centre’s of commerce, albeit with many Bhutanese shoppers. Phuentsholing is uniquely more urban than other Bhutanese towns as it is the Bhutan financial, industrial and trading capital. It has been affected a little by the neighboring culture, but is distinctly far quieter and more orderly than its neighboring As the majority of goods traded go into Bhutan through Phuentsholing, the town is the gateway to Bhutan for trade with India.

    Overnight at Phuentsholing [/D]

  • 145 km/ approx. 4-5hours drive

    In evening visit Kyichu Lhakhang; Located close to the Paro Airport, the Kyichu Lhakhang is an important Himalayan Buddhist Temple. It is one of Bhutan’s oldest religious sites built in the seventh century. This temple is one of 108 built by Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo to subdue a demoness who prevented the spread of Buddhism. Temples were built across the Himalayas to pin her body down. Kyichu Lhakhang pins down her left foot and Jamba Lhakhang in Bumthang her left knee.

    Guru Rimpoche visited this temple in the eight century and concealed many spiritual treasures here. Pilgrims turn the many prayer wheels along the walls as they circumambulate the temple. The fine statues of the Bodhisattvas and the Buddha are national treasures. The wooden floor of the sanctum is inlaid with turquoise and coral gemstones offered by pilgrims.

    Paro Dzong is one of the most impressive and well-known dzongs in Bhutan. One of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture, it is also known as the Ringpung Dzong, which means ‘fortress on a heap of jewels. It is the administrative seat of the district of Paro. The dzong was built in the 16th century on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche. It was used on numerous occasions to defend the Paro Valley from invasions by Tibet.

    Unlike most of the other dzongs in Bhutan, it survived the massive 1897 earthquake mostly unscathed, though it was almost burnt to the ground by a fire in 1907. All-important relics were lost to the fire and nothing could be salvaged except for the Thongdrol, a 20×20 meter-wide Thangka. The Thangka is displayed annually during a ceremony called ParoTshechu. The Dzong was however rebuilt the following year.

    The National Museum of Bhutan is housed inside the revamped circular Ta-dzong building, an ancient watchtower above the Paro Dzong. This unusual round building is said to be in the shape of a conch shell. The original building was constructed in 1656 but the building was converted into a museum in 1968. The necessary infrastructure was created to house some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art, including masterpieces of bronze statues and paintings gathered from different parts of the country. Suitable galleries were constructed to house the extensive collections. Works of art were elegantly displayed on scientific lines.

    Some of the handicraft’s items cover the history and cultural heritage of more than 1500 years. The National Museum has in its possession over 3,000 works of Bhutanese art, rich holdings of various creative traditions and disciplines that represent a remarkable blend of the past with the present and is a major attraction for local and foreign visitors.

    Overnight at Paro [B/D]

  • Taktsang Monastery hike

    Taktsang Monastery: Perched on the side of a vertical cliff at 3000 m altitude north of Paro, this monastery creates an impressive sight, and is the unofficial symbol of Bhutan. It is one of the most famous Buddhist Monasteries in Bhutan and is also referred to as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) flew to this location from Khenpajong, Tibet on the back of a tigress and subdued a demon. He then meditated in a cave here for three months and emerged in eight incarnated forms (manifestations) and blessed the place. Guru Padmasambhava is known for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen caves in which he meditated.

    The first monastery was constructed 1694, but in 1998 a tragic fire destroyed most of the original buildings – which have since been painstakingly restored to their former glory. Taktsang Monastery is a pilgrimage site for both tourists and locals, it is a journey filled with spiritual bliss. Keeping the spiritual side aside, the journey up to Taktsang Monastery is a Hiker’s delight. An hour hikes up to a small wooden teahouse called Cafeteria provides close view of the monastery. A further and a rather challenging hike led you to the glorious Taktsang Monastery.

  • 130 km/ approx. 4 hours drive

    After breakfast, we will drive to Punakha via Thimphu. On the way we will visit Do Chula Pass. Upon reaching Punakha we will visit Chimi Lhakhang and Punakha Dzong.

    Dochula pass, located 30 km away from the capital, on the way to Punakha from Thimphu offers a 360-degree of beautiful panoramic view of Himalaya Mountain range, especially on clear winter days. The 108 chortens that adorn the beauty of this place were built by Queen Mother to commemorate the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed when fighting the Indian rebels in 2003. The pass is also popular spiritual place for both locals and tourists because of an important temple that is located on the crest of Dochula pass. Besides the spirituality of the place many Bhutanese families visit the pass during holidays and weekends to simply enjoy the scenery of the place with their pack lunch and hot tea. For tourists, the place is an ideal location to capture beautiful pictures of Himalaya Mountain range provided the weather permits. Chimi Lhakhang: Chimi Lhakhang located near Lobesa, Punakha stands on a round hillock and is flanked by hundreds of prayer flags. Built in 1499, this monastery is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kinley or ‘the Divine Madman’. An accomplished master of Mahamudra Buddhist Tradition, he is also known as the ‘Mad Saint’ for his unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism by singing, humor and outrageous behavior, which amounted to being bizarre and strong sexual overtones and inclinations.

    Drukpa Kinley is also a cultural icon in Bhutan around whom countless yarns, fictions, stories and legends have been spun. In founding the site, it is said that Lama Kunley subdued a demon of Dochu La with his “magic thunderbolt of wisdom” and trapped it in a rock at the location close to where the chorten now stands. He is also the saint who advocated the use of phallus symbols as paintings on walls and as flying carved wooden phalluses on house tops at four corners of the eves. The monastery is the repository of the original wooden symbol of phallus that Kunley brought from Tibet. This wooden phallus is decorated with a silver handle and is used to bless people who visit the monastery on pilgrimage, particularly women seeking blessings to beget children. The tradition at the monastery is to strike pilgrims on the head with a 10 inch (25 cm) wooden phallus (erect penis). Traditionally symbols of an erect penis in Bhutan have been intended to drive away the evil eye and malicious gossip.

    The Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungtang Dechen Phodrang Dzong (meaning ‘the palace of great happiness or bliss’) is the administrative centre of Punakha dzongkhag in Punakha, Bhutan. Constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal on the 8th day and 8th month of the Fire ox year in 1673, it is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. Punakha Dzong was the administrative centre and the seat of the Government of Bhutan until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu.

    It is a six-storied structure with a central tower or Utse at an average elevation of 1,200 meters (3,900 ft) with a scenic, mountainous background. The materials used in building the Dzong consisted of compacted earth, stones and timber in doors and windows. The Dzong was constructed as ‘an embodiment of Buddhist values’. The first King of modern Bhutan was crowned in Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong remained the centre of government until it was relocated to Thimphu. In 2011, the wedding of the 5th King was held in this fortress. And Drive back to Paro.

    Overnight at Punakha [B/D]

  • 77 km/ approx. 2 hour drive

    Upon reaching Thimphu Visit, Memorial Chorten: The Memorial Chorten, also known as the Thimphu Chorten, is a large Tibetan-style Buddhist Monastery is a popular landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells. It was built in 1974 to honor the memory of the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. The architecture of the chorten has been designed to present it as ‘one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu’.

    The whitewashed chorten is decorated with richly carved annexes facing the cardinal directions, and features elaborate mandalas, statues and a shrine dedicated to the popular third king. There are numerous religious paintings and complex tantric statues housed inside reflecting both peaceful and wrathful aspects of Buddhist deities. This chorten is unlike other chortens as it does not enshrine the mortal remains of the King. Only the King’s photo in a ceremonial dress adorns a hall in the ground floor. The King when he was alive wanted to build ‘a chorten to represent the mind of the Buddha’.

    Tashichho Dzong: Located on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, on the western bank of the Wang chu Tashichho Dzong is Bhutan’s most stately and arguably the most impressive building. It has traditionally been the seat of the Druk desi or ‘Dharma Raja’, the head of Bhutan’s civil government, an office which has been combined with the kingship since the creation of the monarchy in 1907, and summer capital of the country. It houses the throne room of His Majesty the King of Bhutan and is the summer residence of the venerated monastic community. The current dzong is the impressive result of a redesign of the original medieval structure sanctioned by the Third King, His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, when he moved the capital to Thimphu from Punakha.

    The Fortress of the glorious religion houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, the main secretariat building and the central monk body. Its courtyard is open to visitors during the Thimphu Tshechu and when the monk moves to its winter residence in Punakha.

    Overnight at Thimphu [B/D]

  • Local sightseeing

    Visit National Library of Bhutan, Folk Heritage Museum, and National Institute of traditional medicines, Takin Sanctuary and Painting school.

    After breakfast at hotel, start your sightseeing program by visiting the The Buddha Dordenma is located atop a hill in Kuensel phodrang Nature Park and overlooks the Southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. The statue fulfils an ancient prophecy dating back to the 8th century A.D that was discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa (Religious Treasure Discoverer) and is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. This massive statue of Shakyamuni measures in at a height of 51.5 m, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue; 100,000 statues of which are 8-inches-tall and 25,000 statues of which are 12 inches tall. Each of these thousands of Buddhas have also been cast in bronze and gilded. The throne that the Buddha Dordenma sits upon is a large meditation hall.
    Takin Sanctuary located in the Motithang, at Thimphu, a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan. It is said that Drukpa Kunley or Devine Madman, a popular 15th century saint is said to have created it with his magical power at a large congregation of devotees. It resembles a cow from back, a goat from the front, and it continues to befuddle taxonomists, who cannot quite relate to another animal.

    Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). Visit the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices, and then on to observe a Bhutanese paper factory at work. This is generally an “outside-only” visit.

    The Folk heritage museum: A three storied traditional building houses the Folk Heritage Museum. The earthen and timber building was renovated and restored few years ago to appear as it was century ago. Established in 2001 in Thimphu, the museum provides glimpse into the traditional Bhutanese material culture and way of life. The artifacts, which are kept inside the house, remind the visitors about how the rural Bhutanese live today. This 19th century traditional house provides you a glimpse of the Bhutanese lifestyle, and artifacts from the rural households. One can come across typical household objects, tools and equipment.

    Overnight at Thimphu[B/D]

  • 165 Km/ approximately 5Hours

    Exit towards Indian bordering town Jaigoan and Drop till Bagdora. Dont forget to take your pictures before you give us a hug. (Airdrop/Telegram/Whatsapp)

Inclusions

  • All breakfast & dinners
  • Transport pick and drop to Bagdora
  • All necessary surface transfer by private vehicles
  • 6 night’s 3 Star Premium hotel accommodation on Twin/double sharing
  • All the sightseeing tour and transfers as per the Itinerary with English speaking local guide
  • Bhutan Permit e-Permit
  • Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) - 1200/- per day

Exclusions

  • International Airfare
  • Items of personal nature such as bar bills, alcoholic beverages, laundry, telephone calls, extra mileage, personal gratuities as tips to guide, porters, drivers etc
  • Personal insurance policy - suggested a comprehensive travel insurance covering tour and flight cancellations, loss of valuables, thefts, illness, accidents and hospitalization
  • Excess baggage
  • Expenses incurred by re-routing, inclement weather, floods, famine, political disruptions, strikes, riots and other disturbances
  • Any items and services not mentioned on cost inclusions
  • Any meals which are not mentioned on cost inclusions
  • 5% TCS - Refundable

Additional Information

  • Indian nationals intending to visit Bhutan are required to carry any of the two valid 'Travel Documents' (a) Valid Indian Passport having validity of minimum 6 months; and/or (b) Voter Identity Card, issued by the Election Commission of India along with recent Passport size Photographs.
  • Indians coming to Bhutan by road are required to obtain an 'Entry Permit' on the basis of valid Travel Document from the Immigration Office of Royal Government of Bhutan at Phuentsholing, located on the Indo-Bhutan border opposite Jaigaon, West Bengal. Similarly, Indians coming by air must possess any one of the above mentioned Travel Document and get the Entry Permit at the Paro International Airport.
  • Flights assistance
  • Insurance is not mandatory but its always recommended
  • Indian currency is widely accepted in Bhutan
  • 24*7 service support from team Jugni
  • Group size 12-15
  • Age group -

Trip Highlights

  • Land of Enigma
  • Happiness is a serious thing!
  • Only carbon negative country in the world
  • Chillies are must in their food
  • Patriarchy is almost non-existent
  • Proud of their local attire
  • Love and respect for their King
  • No traffic lights in the entire country
  • One of the smallest countries in the world
  • Bhutan practices democratic monarchy

CANCELLATION POLICY

In the event of cancellation of tour / travel services due to any avoidable / unavoidable reason/s we must be notified of the same in writing. Cancellation charges will be effective from the date we receive advice in writing, and cancellation charges would be as follows:

  • Booking amount & Tickets:
  • (Non Refundable)
  • 60 days prior to arrival: 50% of the Tour / service cost
  • 45 days prior to arrival: 70% of the Tour / service cost
  • 30 days prior to arrival: No Refund

DISCLAIMER

Please be aware that during your participation in vacations operated by Jugni, certain risks and dangers may arise beyond our control, including but not limited to: the hazards of traveling in undeveloped areas; travel by boat, train, automobile, aircraft, or other means of transportation; forces of nature; political unrest; acts of lawlessness or terrorism; and accident or illness in remote regions without means of rapid evacuation or medical facilities. Jugni will not have liability regarding provision of medical care or the adequacy of any care that may be rendered. While Jugni will use its best efforts to ensure that adequate measures are taken, by agreeing to participate in a vacation and/or optional excursions you agree that you will hold Jugni harmless regarding any provision of medical care or the adequacy of any care rendered. Jugni is not responsible for such risks and dangers that may arise beyond our control. Payment of your deposit indicates you accept these risks and dangers and agree to hold Jugni harmless for the same.

SAFETY

Please be aware that during your participation in vacations operated by Jugni, certain risks and dangers may arise beyond our control, including but not limited to: the hazards of traveling in undeveloped areas; travel by boat, train, automobile, aircraft, or other means of transportation; forces of nature; political unrest; acts of lawlessness or terrorism; and accident or illness in remote regions without means of rapid evacuation or medical facilities. Jugni will not have liability regarding provision of medical care or the adequacy of any care that may be rendered. While Jugni will use its best efforts to ensure that adequate measures are taken, by agreeing to participate in a vacation and/or optional excursions you agree that you will hold Jugni harmless regarding any provision of medical care or the adequacy of any care rendered. Jugni is not responsible for such risks and dangers that may arise beyond our control. Payment of your deposit indicates you accept these risks and dangers and agree to hold Jugni harmless for the same.