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  • Mystical Bhutan Standard
  • Mystical Bhutan Standard
    6 Days / 5 Nights - Mystical Bhutan Standard

Source: Paro International Airport

Rs. 21,649

(Starting price per person)

Hotel

Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis

Prices are based on a minimum of 4 adults traveling together

Khamsum Inn or similar in Thimpu | Room Category: Deluxe Double or similar

Meri Puensum Resort or similar in Punakha | Room Category: Deluxe or similar

Dewachen Resort & Spa or similar in Paro | Room Category: Deluxe or similar

Transport

Hyundai Tucson/Toyota Innova or similar vehicle for all transfers and sightseeing tours (Private|Category: Standard)

Other Inclusion

Meal plan: MAP (Breakfast and either Lunch or Dinner)

Parking Charges

GST @5% on the total package price

All permit fees & hotel taxes (as per itinerary)

02 SIM cards (B-Mobile or Tashi Cell)

Rates are valid for INDIAN NATIONALS only

Itinerary

  • Day 1
  • Arrival and transfer to Thimphu (50 Kms / 1½ - 2 Hrs)

The flight to Paro has to offer a breath-taking view during the entire course of the journey. After getting done with all the formalities at the airport, you will be met by our representative who will help you with boarding your vehicle for your drive to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu. The fresh and cool breeze of the mountains welcome the guests open-handedly.

Take a halt at Chhuzom, the confluence of the rivers Paro Chhu and Wang Chhu (chhu means 'river' and zom means 'to join') adorned by three different styles of stupas - Bhutanese, Tibetan and Nepali. Breathe in the beauty of the place and proceed to Thimpu. On arrival at Thimpu, check into your hotel. You will soon find out that Thimphu is a fine mixture of ancient grace and modern glamor. Take a soothing walk in the evening so that the city can be better explored.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

  • Dinner
  • Day 2
  • Discover Thimphu

After having a sumptuous breakfast, visit Memorial Chorten which is a stupa built to honour the third king of Bhutan, located in the heart of the city. After this, go straight to Buddha Point which holds the largest statue made up of bronze as well as gilded in gold of Buddha in the entire nation with a height of 169 feet. Enjoy a picturesque view of the valley of Thimphu from this location.

 

Your next stop will be Changangkha Lhakhang which is a temple located centrally in the city overlooking the entire town. Later, you will be driven to upper Motithang to reach Takin Preserve. Looking like a cross between goat and cow, Takin is Bhutan’s national animal. After you are done with lunch, go for sightseeing in the valley of Thimphu to visit some of the famous tourist attractions like the National Library which houses Buddhist manuscripts.

 

Another attraction is the Institute for Zorig Chusum where students can go for a six-year long course for learning thirteen traditional art and crafts of Bhutan. A visit to the Textile Museum and the Folk Heritage Museum is also a must because that would be the best way of exploring the heritage and traditional history of Bhutan. Take a trip to Trashi Chhoe Dzong which is one of the most attractive buildings located on Thimphu River’s right side to conclude your sightseeing adventures for the day. You might also like exploring the local crafts bazaar which sells articles depicting the traditional arts of Bhutan.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Day 3
  • Thimpu - Punakha/Wangdue (70-80 Kms / 3 - 3½ Hrs)

After having breakfast, hit the roads to reach Dochu La pass which is situated at a height of 10,130 feet. From this point, view the Druk Wangyal Chortens adorned with prayer flags of different colours. If you are lucky enough to visit on a day when the sky is clear, you can view a number of peaks. The peaks that you will get to see from left to right are Masagang, Tsendagang, Terigang, Jejegangphugang, Kangphugang, Zongphugang and finally the highest peak in Bhutan, Gangkar Puensum.

 

The former capital of Bhutan is Punakha. Wangdue, located to the south of Punakha is tiny however, it has some well-stocked shops. Check into the hotel on arrival. Visit Punakha Dzong in the afternoon which is built at the juncture of Mo Chhu (Mother River) and Pho Chhu (Father River). In the past, this colossal dzong acted as the religious as well as the administrative center of Bhutan. The dzong, built in 1637 AD by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal measures 600 by 240 feet and has a six-story gold-domed tower. There are courtyards and religious sanctuaries that display the history and tradition of the nation. 

 

After exploring the city centre of Punakha, walk to Chimi Lhakhang which is situated on a ridge which is surrounded by pretty paddy fields. It takes ten to fifteen minutes to walk through the Sobsukha village in order to reach the monastery. It is associated with Lama Drukpa Kuenley and is considered to be an auspicious place for couples who wish to have children.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel in Punakha / Wangdue.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Day 4
  • Punakha/Wangdue - Paro (135 Kms / 5 - 6 Hrs)

Have an early breakfast and head to Paro. Descend from Dochu La following the way back up the sensational Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys. Make sure that you visit Simtokha Dzong which is the oldest fortress of the nation. On arrival check in to the hotel and rest for a while, later visit Ta Dzong which was originally built as a watchtower, but houses the National Museum at present. The paintings, textiles, armour, weapons and household objects which are displayed here reflect the historical and natural beauty of Bhutan. Walk down to Rinpung Dzong after this which has a fascinating tale to tell. The beautiful wooden galleries and the beautiful ornate paintings will take your breath away!

 

Overnight stay at the hotel in Paro.

 

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Day 5
  • Paro Sightseeing

After your breakfast is over, visit Taktshang monastery (hike uphill for 1.5 to 3 hours to get to the top; the descend takes less time but you need to watch your step) which is one of the most famous in Bhutan. The monastery parches on a side of a cliff which is 900 meters above the valley floor of Paro. This place is considered to be the most sacred place of Bhutan. Most Bhutanese make it a point to visit it at least once in their lifetime. This is a half-day excursion trip which you simply cannot miss!

 

However, you can choose to ditch this plan and go for an excursion to Chelela Pass which is located at a height of 3988 meters. This is the most elevated pass in Bhutan that is motorable. Your entire excursion will smell of thrill and adventure as you drive along the road which is heavily forested. The pass offers beautiful breath-taking views of Jichu Drake and Jumolhari Drake which are considered to be sacred mountains of the nation. The colourful prayer flags will add to the flavours of your excursion. Visit Dzongdrakha temple on your way. This is a cliff-side temple complex which is located towards the western side of the valley of Paro. The complex consists of four shrines dedicated to Tsheringma, Drolma, Buddha and Guru Rinpoche.

 

Visit Drukgyel Dzong later in the afternoon which is a ruined fortress. This is where the warriors of Bhutan fought against the invaders from Tibet centuries ago. While approaching the Dzong, the sacred snowy dome of Chomolhari can be seen which will leave you awestruck.

The 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang is a must visit while returning to your hotel. It is one of the one hundred and eight temples that were constructed in the Himalayas. This building symbolizes Buddhism’s introduction in Bhutan.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel in Paro.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Day 6
  • Departure

Post breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven straight to the airport to catch your flight to the onward destination. The last day of the trip is a mixed feeling always. You will be happy because you have explored such beautiful places and are carrying back amazing memories and sad because you are leaving it all behind.

  • Breakfast

Destination Info

Paro

Paro is a small town in Bhutan that has several sites of historical importance scattered around the area. Richly decorated buildings housing small wooden shops, cafes, traditional restaurants… are a sight no one can miss. Anyone who loves to spend time in nature or has a passion for photography, Paro offers you some of the most picturesque scenes. Guru Padmasambhava, introducer of Buddhism to Bhutan is known to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks and three days at Paro Taktsang.

History

Paro is a historic town and has many sacred sites scattered throughout the valley. Around the beginning of the 10th century, Padmasambhava built a monastery overlooking the Paro valley. Again in 1644, Ngawang Namgyal, a Tibetan Buddhist Lama and unifier of Bhutan, built a larger monastery on the foundations of the older one. For hundreds of years, this monastery acted as a defense against the many invasions by the Tibetans.

Later, the Dzong was named Rinpung and in 1907, fire engulfed the Dzong and all its treasures were destroyed. As of today, the Paro Dzong houses a vast collection of sacred masks and costumes.

How to Reach

There is only one international airport (Paro Airport) in Bhutan and that is located in Paro, on the banks of the river Paro Chhu. Several airlines arrive and depart from this airport such as Druk Air, Buddha Air, Bhutan Airlines and Tashi Air. Druk Air serves both domestic and international locations like Bangkok, Delhi, Mumbai, Jakarta, Singapore, Kathmandu etc. Buddha Airlines also operates charter flights to Paro (just check availability). Bhutan Airlines also serves Paro every day from Kathmandu.

As for reaching Paro by bus, there are several buses that take you from India to Bhutan, passing through Phuentsholing. If you’re coming down from Kolkatta, it should take you nearly 30 hours to reach Paro. Although traveling by bus may not be heavier on your pocket, yet the journey is long and tiresome; most travelers prefer to reach by plane (comfortable and less time consuming).

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit Paro would be in the months of September (beginning of autumn) to November when the air is clear and fresh. The months of January and February can get extremely cold and until April the climate is pleasant again. May to September months is when the humidity is at its highest and monsoon covers the valley. On cool winter and spring months (December to May) the range of temperature can be about 13 degrees Celsius on an average. And from June to August it can go up to about 22 degrees.

Clothes to Be Carried

As with any other travel destination, it depends on the period you plan to visit. If you plan to go in the warmer months, don’t forget to carry a light jacket to keep you warm during the night. Light occasional showers are common which causes the temperature to dip. As for winters, make sure you carry enough warm clothes including a scarf, thick warm jacket, a windbreaker, gloves, cap and warm boots or comfortable shoes that will also keep the cold away. And do not forget to pack a compact umbrella.

Place to Visit

-       Taktshang Goemba

Taktshang Goemba or the Tiger’s Nest is probably one of the most famous highlights of Paro. This is arguably the best tourist spot in Paro and is definitely not for the faint-hearted to visit. To reach this place, one has to make a steep mountain hike as there is no other way to access it. It is built on a cliff edge which is about 3000 meters above the sea level. The best part is that about halfway to the monastery you will also find a cafeteria with a view, also known as Taktsang Jakhang.

 

-       Druk Choeding

Constructed in 1525 by Ngawang Chogyel, this quiet and peaceful small town temple in Paro is also known as Tshongdoe Nakstang Temple or Tshongdoe Temple. Inside the temple, there is a statue of future Buddha, known as Jampa, in the seated posture. Although not very big, this temple does serve a big religious significance for the people of Bhutan.

 

-       Paro Dzong

Built in 1644, Paro Dzong, commonly known as Rinpun Dzong, is the administrative seat of the Paro district. Initially, it used to be a fortress with a watchtower. The original Dzong was destroyed by fire in 1907 and then again by an earthquake in 2015. It houses the head administrator, a monastic body, and about 200 monks.

 

-       National Museum

Perched above the Paro Dzong, this cultural museum was established in 1968 and shows the history and culture of Bhutan through its exhibits. You’ll find a plethora of artifacts, paintings, sculptures depicting the rich heritage of Bhutan. There is also an extensive collection of Thangkas and masks also. The museum also has a 3-D map of Bhutan. A visit to this Museum is going to be well worth it.

 

-       Jangsta Dumtseg Lhakhang

Built by the great Buddhist saint Thang Tong Gyalpo, this is a very notable temple in Paro and it is mostly due to its form of a Chorten that makes it a rare sight in Bhutan. It is located in between the Paro valley and the Dopchari valley. It is a unique place to visit and is also privately owned.

 

-       Archery Ground

If you happen to visit Druk Choeding, it’s well worth visiting the Archery Ground which happens to be nearby. And if there’s the traditional archery game being played, there’s nothing better than that. It’s a great experience to be visiting this archery ground as Archery is Bhutan’s national sport and the locals really seem to enjoy it a lot.

 

-       Paro Weekend Market

The colorful weekend bazaar is a must-visit for all those who would like to see some of Bhutan’s local products being sold. The market has a very traditional feel to it and is held only on Sundays. Mornings are the busiest. Although the vegetable produce is stored and sold throughout the week, the other unique products like organic Tsirang honey or dried jelly cow skin can only be seen and bought on Sundays.

 

-       Nyamai Zam

Nyamai Zam, spanning the Paro Chhu river, is a traditional wooden bridge built below the Paro Dzong. The earlier bridge was washed away in 1969. The bridge even before that was manually removed during the time of war in order to protect the Dzong. And this footbridge has a length of about 0.02 km. Head to the west bank of the Paro Chhu river if you want to take some of the most beautiful pictures.

 

-       Pelri Goemba

Pelri Goemba is an ancient Nyingmapa inspired chapel which is a 15-minute uphill hike or a short drive from the south-east of Paro. Although bigger in size, this chapel was reduced to a smaller one following a rift with the dominant Kagyu school of thought.

 

-       Five Chortens

Built in the memory of the first King of Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuck, there are five square chortens built on the road at the foot of Paro Dzong. These five chortens may not be on your must-visit list but visiting it and seeing the history behind it makes you wonder in amazement.

 

-       Ugyen Pelri Palace

Enclosed by a perimeter wall, the Ugyen Pelri Thang Palace is located in a secluded wooden compound on the south side of the Paro Chhu river. It was built around 1930 by the then Governor Paro Penlop Tshering Penjor. Right on the road beside the Ugyen Pelri Palace, you will see the five chortens built for Ugyen Wangchuk.

Summary

The historic town of Bhutan with many sacred sites and historical buildings, the small area of Paro never ceases to amaze the traveler in you. If you are a nature-lover, curious of the town’s history and don’t mind spending some quiet and peaceful time marveling in nature’s lap, Paro is the destination that should absolutely be on your must-visit list.

Punakha

 

Ever thought of witnessing masked dance performances backed with captivating music? Here, in the Himalayas of Bhutan in a small town called Punakha, there is a famous 17th-century fortress where you can see the 'act' known as Punakha Tshechu live! The site is located at the meeting point of the Mo and Pho Chhu rivers. The 'pretty as a picture' town rests at a height of 1200 m above sea level. The language commonly spoken here is Dzongkha. 

 

 

History 
 
Punakha served as Bhutan's capital until 1955 after which the capital shifted to Thimpu. Bhutan has 20 districts, out of which Punakha is one. It is located at a distance of 72 km from Thimpu. The Punakha valley situated along its two most important rivers Pho and Mo Chhu is well known for its rice farming. Also, oranges, guavas, and bananas are grown in Punakha extensively. 

 

 

How to reach? 

 

If you're traveling by air, take a flight to Paro International Airport, and catch a bus or taxi till Punakha valley. The distance is 124 km approx. Alternatively, Punakha is a three hours' drive from Thimpu; so, you can take a fun road trip starting from there too!  

 

 

Best time to visit 

 

The ideal time to visit Punakha is between the months of March and May (Spring season) and September and November (Autumn season). During these months, the days are warmer and almost dry whilst evenings are a little cooler and relaxing!  
On a comparison, tourists prefer the Spring season more because the temperature ranges between 26° Celsius (max) to as low as 5° Celsius (min). Also, the travelers get to engage in adventure sports like rafting and trekking during this season. 

 

 

Clothes to be carried? 

 

If you're visiting Punakha during the months of March to July, you should carry light clothes. The nights can be a little cooler, so it is advisable to carry light woolens.  
If you want a wintry experience in Punakha, remember it will get extremely cold, hence you must carry windbreakers, fleece jackets, and lots of warm clothes. 

 

 

Places to visit in Punakha 

 

There are a number of delightful sights in Punakha that you as a sightseer will love! Check out the list of the must-visits there.  

 

·         Chimi L'hakhang Temple: This is a beautiful Buddhist monastery located in Punakha district that was built in 1499 by Ngawang Choegyel who was the 14th Drukpa hierarch. It is situated in a village named Sopsokha which is at a distance of 10 km from the Punakha town. Starting from the village hamlet called Yowakha till the Chimi L'hakhang temple, you will find prayer flags lined up by the side of the roads or along a stream or drain. It is an amazing place to visit! BTW, did you know the Bhutanese people treat the place as a temple of fertility? Oh yeah! 
 

·         Punakha Dzong: Built by Tuebi Zaow Balip in 1637 within a span of 2 years, Punakha Dzong is believed to be Bhutan's most beautiful and bewitching Dzong. It is known to be the winter residence of the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan which is guided by His Holiness the Je Khenpo (spiritual head of Bhutan). Here in the Dzong, you will find the most sacred remains of Terton Padma Lingpa and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, along with the holy relics of the Southern Drukpa Kagyu school which includes the Rangjung Kasarpani.   
 

·          Punakha Suspension Bridge: Built on the Pho Chhu river with a length of over 50 meters, the Punakha Suspension Bridge is the longest bridge in Bhutan and is a spectacular sight to watch, and an experience to remember when you walk over it! The river flowing below the bridge where you can witness occasional rafting, and the picturesque mountain view all around it, will grasp your attention for sure; and you'll love the 'sway'! It is advisable to not use the bridge during the rainy season because there are chances of strong winds blowing and heavy showers which make it difficult to cross the bridge. 
 

·         Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup nunnery: 

 

Looking over the Punakha, Wangduephodrang, and Toebesa valleys, the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup nunnery is a nunnery plus a double storeyed temple! Here, you'll get to see a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara, and figures of Gautama Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava, Tsela Namsum amongst others. The nunnery complex, on the other hand, houses 70 rooms which were first started by 41 nuns. The architectural design of the entire setup is what makes the place stand out!
 

 
Summary
Pack your bags and leave immediately to witness this small and beautiful district called Punakha in Bhutan. The place is sure to soothe your senses and rejuvenate your whole mind and body. Go on, you deserve this holiday!

Thimphu

One of the world’s most beautiful destinations, Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, attracts tourists from all across the globe. It is famous the world over for its most scenic and natural beauty. Even though Thimphu has developed a lot commercially, it is still deeply rooted in its culture. There’s nothing that makes the atmosphere more serene than the presence of Buddhist monasteries and the musical verses the monks chant. The moment you enter this pristine environment, you feel a hint of positive energy all around. The best part of Thimphu that no one can shrug off is how the old and the new cultures blend so perfectly well together.

History

Thimphu, of all the incredible places on earth, has a very recent history. It only became the capital city of Bhutan in 1961. It was in 1952 that it was decided to shift the capital from Punakha to Thimphu.

Before being given the capital city designation in 1960 by the then King, Jigme Dorji, Thimphu was only famous as a river valley. The river valley had its hamlets scattered within the region like Taba, Langchupakha, Changlimithan, Motithang… and others. Some of these hamlets are a part of the districts of the city today.

A victorious battle was held in the year 1885 at the Changlimithang sports ground after which the first King of Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuk gained control of the whole country. Ever since then this sports ground has held a high importance with major competitions taking place there. Changlimithang Stadium was where the coronation ceremony of Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk happened.

Thimphu shares a part of its history with Bhutan. Buddhist monks used to frequent this region as it was an abode for Buddhist monasteries. And because the history of Bhutan is closely linked to Tibet, it got Vajrayana Buddhism, which is its state religion and cultural identity. The earlier history of Bhutan indicates that many kings frequently fought wars among one another to get a hold of this region. The first king victorious in consolidating the region with the help of the British was Ugyen Wangchuk. As of present day, his successors are the current kings of Bhutan.

It was only in 2008 that there came a transition in Thimphu from having an absolute monarchic rule to a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy.

How to Reach

The preferred mode of reaching Thimphu is by plane via Paro, where the country’s only international airport is located. You will have to travel about an hour from Paro to reach Thimphu though.

Also, located in the city center is a bus terminal, from where all inter-district buses arrive and depart. So if you are planning to travel by bus, Thimphu is pretty accessible that way too. Once at the city center, you will not really need transport to get around as it is small enough to be traveled on foot.

Best Time to Visit

Since Thimphu experiences temperate highland climate, the summers are pleasant and warm and the winters are quite chilly. The temperature does go quite low to even -15 degrees Celsius but it happens usually overnight when it snows. If you are not a winter person, then the ideal time to visit Thimphu has to be in the months of September to November (autumn) and March to May (spring), which also happens to be peak tourist season.

Although rain showers are common in the month of September, it shouldn’t really be worrisome as it doesn’t stay for long.

Clothes to Be Carried

It entirely depends on when you’re going. Although the temperature in summers hardly ever exceeds 20 degrees, it is still advisable for you to carry a warm jacket because the nights can get a bit chilly even in summers. Gumboots would also be ideal as light showers are always expected in the summer months.

As for winters, a warm jacket or two is a must along with other usual winter necessities. Don’t forget to carry gloves and a cap to keep yourself warm.

Places to Visit

-       Tashichö-Dzong

Located on the northern edge of the city and on the western bank of Wang Chu, Trashi Chho Dzong or Thimphu Dzong is an impressive Buddhist monastery and fortress. You’ll be amazed to know that only within this fortress, there are about thirty temples, chapels and shrines. What is surprising about Tashichö-Dzong is that even though it has been destroyed by fire so many times, it still stands erect as of today.

 

-       The Memorial Stupa

Popularly known as Thimphu Chorten, the Memorial Stupa is located in the southern central part of Thimphu on Deoboom Lam. The stupa was built in the memory of the late Third King of Bhutan and when you visit this beautiful large stupa, you will realize how dedicated the Bhutanese are to their Kings. It is what Bhutan is all about, their culture leaves you spell-bound.

 

-       The Weekend Market

So this may not really be a tourist attraction per se, but going to the weekend market is an absolute must if you happen to be visiting Thimphu. Although it is a regular farmer’s market yet having to experience the local Bhutanese trade is a different feeling altogether. The market runs from Thursday to Sunday. You could buy local veggies and fruit if you must.

 

-       Buddha Dordenma

When you’re in Thimphu, you can’t possibly miss this gigantic Shakyamuni Buddhist statue (over 50m high) in the mountains overlooking the valley of Thimpu. If you’re lucky enough, you may even witness the monks’ leader reciting their scriptures and trust us, it is a sight to see. Seeing thousands of monks throng the prayer hall is a common sight and you’ll be amazed to see how wonderful it feels.

 

-       National Institute for Zorig Chusum

National Institute for Zorig Chusum or the painting school, as it is commonly called, is the center for Bhutanese art education. When you visit the school you will see how they are so dedicated to preserving, maintaining and promoting their local art and craft. Not only painting but sculpting and wood-work are also taught here. And the way youngsters learn it with utmost dedication is simply amazing to witness.

 

-       Motithang Takin Preserve

This place is for the animal lover in you. This is where the national animal of Bhutan - Takin can be found. In appearance, a Takin is a goat-antelope and when you get a sight of this animal you’ll know why people say it is bizarre looking. Motithang Takin Preserve was originally a zoo but was later converted to a preserve. Although it may not be too big for you to spend your entire day, spending a few hours in nature is well worth it. If you’re looking for the best time to visit this preserve, it has to be in the morning as that is when most of the animals gather around the fence for their feedings.

 

-       Changankha Lhakhang

Established in the 12th century, this is one of the most visited Buddhist temples in Thimphu. Most people in Bhutan visit this sacred place for naming ceremony i.e. they give auspicious names to their newly born. It is absolutely full of positive and spiritual energy and you really would not want to go back from there. Make sure you visit this place at least once when you’re in Bhutan.

 

-       Royal Textile Academy or The Bhutan Textile Museum

Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Bhutanese textiles, the Bhutan Textile Museum is considered very important from the traditional and cultural aspects. It was established to train individuals in the traditional Bhutanese weaving art. The wedding clothes worn by the fourth king and his four wives are exhibited here among many other things. This museum is definitely well-worth a visit if you want a closer look at the culture through its fabric weaving.

 

-       National Folk Heritage Museum

Located in the heart of the city, this museum takes you back to the lives of people of Bhutan in the past. How they lived a simplistic life, showing the techniques used for constructing homes, milling grains etc. and the best part is that it is very well maintained. Not only that, you’ll witness some of the most intricate embroidery and Thangka painting happening live.

Summary

The people of Thimphu are deeply rooted in their culture. But if there’s one thing that distinguishes them from other traditionalist societies is the fact that they are so open to adapting to change, while still holding their grounds. Thimphu is an outwardly vibrant place that leaves a mark on your life. Its pristine surroundings and serene atmosphere make you leave the place with utmost positivity and you want to keep coming back.

Wangdue Phodrang

This is a beautiful town that serves as the capital of Wangdue Phodrang district in the exalted Kingdom of Bhutan. It is one of the largest districts or dzongkhags of the kingdom covering 4308 sq. km of the area and located at a height of 800-5800 m which gives it vastly varied climatic conditions. While the south is covered in subtropical forests, the north of the district witnesses a cool, snowy weather. The town of Wangdue Phodrang shares its name with a famous dzong that was built here in 1638. It is the last western town on the highway before entering central Bhutan.

 

History

Ngawang Namgyal, the Zhabdrung Rinpoche (1594-1651) was a high Drukpa lineage lama from Tibet who is known to have founded the state of Bhutan. He succeeded in uniting the warring kingdoms of the valley and brought them under a single ruler. He was in search of the best location to build a dzong (fort-monastery) to prevent incursions from the south. According to legend, he met a boy named Wangdi on the bank of Punak Tsang Chhu river and named his dzong Wangdi Phodrang that was later renamed to Wangdue Phodrang. The town is still locally known as Wangdi.

 

How to Reach

Fly into Paro Airport, Bhutan’s only airport. There are daily buses to Wangdue Phodrang from Phuentsholing, Thimpu, and Paro. The town is 106 km away from Thimpu, 214 km from Gelephu and 261 km from Phuentsholing.

 

Best Time to Visit

Summers are moderately hot and winters are cool. Spring and autumn months are the best time to visit. Spring is very colorful and great for the lovers of natural beauty. Weather ranges from mildly cool to warm. Autumn is dry with clear skies and great views of mountain ranges.

The endangered black-necked cranes of Bhutan can be seen from October to February who come to roost on the meadows from the Tibetan plateau. The black-neck crane festival is held in November in the Phobjikha valley every year, which has been established as a conservation area.

 

Clothes to be carried

Depending on the time of the year, carry the amount of woolens you need to. Winters can be very cold while in the summers light layering should suffice. Nights are a lot colder than the days, so prepare accordingly.

 

 

 

 

Places to Visit

Wangdue Phodrang has a rich tapestry of tourist spots with historic, religious and cultural importance.

·         Wangdue Phodrang Dzong

The dzong sits on a hilltop above the confluence of the rivers Punatsangchhu and Dhangchhu. Founded in 1639, the strategic position of the fort-monastery gave the governor of the district control over the routes to Trongsa, Punakha, Dagana and Thimpu. The dzong caught fire in 2012 and parts of it are still under reconstruction.

·         Gangtey Monastery

The monastery was founded by Je Kuenga Gyaltshen in 1613 in Gangtey Gewog, atop a hill overlooking the Phobjikha valley. The annual crane festival is held in this monastery.

·         Phobjikha Valley

An important wildlife preserve, this is where the black-necked cranes come to roost in winter. It is also home to the leopards, wild boars, barking deer, sambars, Himalayan black bears, serows and red foxes. The valley is extremely beautiful and serene and it is a great route for biking.

·         Dargay Monastery

It is also called Chimme Lhakhang and it is dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, the divine Mad Monk. The monastery was built at the spot where he first met Ashi Genzo, a woman renowned for her beauty. It is located on a picturesque hillock that overlooks the Lobesa valley.

·         Temple of Sha Radap

Also, called Rada Lhakhang, the temple of Sha Radap is dedicated to the guardian deity of the Wangdue region. It is a local custom to pay a visit to the goddess with a newborn child for her blessing and to get them named by the presiding monks. There is an interesting custom of rolling the dice kept in the temple compound and wishing.

·         Black Mountain National Park

It is a large protected natural reserve containing musk deer, goat antelopes, red pandas, wild boars, golden langurs, tigers, clouded leopards, 270 species of birds and 139 species of butterflies.

·         Nearby villages

You can hike or drive to nearby villages and find farmhouses or tents to spend the night. The villages of Rinchegang, Gasleo, Nahee, Adha and Rukha are very peaceful as well as scenic.

 

Local Population or Demography

The district of Wangdue Phodrang has a total population of 28,000. The main population of the region is Bhutanese and the national language is Dzongkha.

 

Summary

Travel back in time by visiting Wangdue Phodrang that appears to be frozen in the 16th century. It is a popular tourist hub of Bhutan that offers both natural and cultural delights. The town is steeped in rich history and is well known for tales of shamanic culture, ornamental speeches called Lozeys of Shaa, and for being the ancestral home of Pema Tshewang Tashi. Buy the intricate bamboo weaving and slate carvings that the region is famous for as souvenir.

Terms & Conditions

GENERAL TERMS & CONDTIONS

 

Definitions

(i) Client means person(s) in whose name or on whose behalf the booking has been made.

(ii) MTT means Manasarovar Tours & Travels.

(iii) Independent Contractors means hotelier/hotel owner, owner of any airlines or shipping company or railway ferryboat owner/operation, coach owner/operation, or any other person or organization who has been selected to render services to the Client.

(iv) Domestic tour/Tour arrangement means a tour operated by MTT which is operated by MTT within India and includes but not limited to packages, sightseeing, day tours etc.

(v) Tour Cost means the cost of all the services availed by the client for his domestic tour.

 

Booking Policy

All reservations require a minimum deposit of 40% of your total tour price up to 30 days in advance.

The balance is due 14 days before commencement of the tour.

If any balance is not fully paid by the date specified, MTT may cancel the tour without any refund whatsoever.

Prices shall be final and subject to no change once payment in full has been received.

Refund Policy

Refunds if any for amendments and/or cancellation will be paid directly to the client for booking made directly with MTT.

Refund will be processed within 30 working days from the date of cancellation. No interest charges shall be payable on the amount.

MTT shall not be liable where the delay in refund is due to reasons beyond MTT’s reasonable control.

There is no refund payable for any unutilized services (e.g. Meals, Entrance Fees, Optional Tour, Hotel, Sightseeing etc).

 

Insurance Policy

The tour cost does not include insurance charges. Hence, it is advisable that the clients get insurance cover at their own costs.

 

Hotels

MTT reserves the right to change hotel bookings should there be no accommodation available. In such a case, an alternative similar hotel will be provided. Should there not be similar hotels available, accommodation at higher or lower category hotels shall be provided. Should there be any cost difference, the price shall be adjusted accordingly.

The rooms shall be allotted as per the check-in time of the hotels and they shall have to be vacated as per the hotels check-out time.

At check-in, you must present a valid photo id with the same name. Failure to do so may result in your reservation not being honored.

All rooms are guaranteed on the day of arrival. In the case of a no-show, your room(s) will be released and you will be subject to the terms and conditions of the Cancellation/No-Show Policy.

All special requests are subject to availability upon arrival.

 

Vehicle

PLEASE NOTE THAT AC WILL NOT WORK IN HIGH HILLS AND NO CLAIMS TO THIS REGARD SHALL BE ENTERTAINED.

 

In case the client is carrying any valuable personal effects, it is advisable not to leave them behind at the time of disembarking/leaving the coach. MTT will not be held responsible or liable in case of loss of such items from the coach. All baggage and personal effects are at all times and in all circumstances the responsibility of the client.

 

Any damage caused to the vehicle during travel because of the actions of the client (willful/negligent), shall be payable by the client and MTT would in no manner whatsoever be liable for the same.

 

The drivers of the vehicles are bound by specific rules like maximum driving hours within a day/during a week, rest period per day/week etc. Clients will have to strictly adhere to the prescribed timetable for the day so that the driver can complete the travel. In the event, any of the sightseeing schedules are missed due to delays caused by the client, the same will not be refunded to the client under any circumstances.

 

Child Policy

·         Children Above 10 years will be charged 100% as per Adult Rate (EPSR)

·         Children aged between 5 and 10 years and sharing parents’ room will be charged as per CWB or CNB

·         Children below 5 years will not be charged

EPSR is extra person

CWB is child with extra bed

CNB is child without bed

 

Liability

MTT shall, in no circumstances whatsoever be liable to the client or any person traveling with him for:

 

Any death, personal injury, sickness, accident, loss, delay, discomfort, increased expenses, consequential loss and/or damage or any kind of theft howsoever caused.

Any act, omission, default of any independent Contractor or other person or by any servant or agent employed by them who may be engaged or concerned in the provision of accommodation, refreshment, carriage facility or service for the client or for any person traveling with him howsoever caused.

 

The temporary or permanent loss of or damage to baggage or personal effects howsoever caused including willful negligence on the part of any person.

 

Loss of baggage by the airlines/coach/train.

 

Overbooking of seats by the airline.

 

Failure on the part of airline to accommodate passengers despite having confirmed tickets or change of route.

 

If in the event that the Client is booked on a particular airline and the said flight is overbooked/cancelled for whatever reason and the Client is not allowed/able to board the flight, the Client shall not hold MTT responsible for the same and no claim whatsoever can be made by the Client against MTT for refund or compensation.

 

MTT shall not be responsible and/or liable for any damages caused to the Client due to reasons beyond the control of MTT (Force Majeure/Vis Majeure).

 

In the event the tour is shortened or extended due to force majeure or unforeseeable circumstances beyond MTT’ control, any related expenses shall be the exclusive responsibility of the client.

While enjoying the services provided by MTT, if any client’s acts or omission results in damage or loss to MTT’s vendor or service provider which includes but is not limited to (airlines, hotels, transports etc. and vendors’ staff), the client shall be liable and agrees to indemnify and hold harmless MTT its partners, officers or such vendor from and against such claims.

 

Itinerary

MTT takes all reasonable steps at the time of finalizing the itinerary for the client to ensure that the itinerary is as per the convenience and comfort of the client. However, in the event of a change in the itinerary, MTT would inform the client accordingly before the departure of the client on the domestic tour. Information shall be provided at the contact details provided by the Client at the time of booking. MTT takes no responsibility for any claims arising out of non-receipt of information if such contact no. is not reachable or email provided is not accessible or does not belong to the Client.

 

Further, in the event of a change, which is beyond the control of MTT, in the itinerary of the client post departure to domestic tour, MTT shall inform the client accordingly as and when such a change occurs. MTT shall not be held responsible in any manner whatsoever for any loss that a client might suffer due to such a change.

MTT reserves the right to claim any additional expenses because of delays/changes in the itinerary, caused due to reasons beyond MTT’s control.

For the convenience of clients, MTT reserves the right to amend the itinerary. However, all the other services will remain the same.

 

In the event the client misses out on any activity on the domestic tour due to delay on his/her part, MTT would not be held liable to refund the money paid for the same or in any other manner whatsoever.

 

MTT does not promise any change in the itinerary at the request of client and same shall be subject to availability. For any change/alteration in the itinerary made at the request of client, client agrees to pay additional cost incurred due to such change.

 

Law & Jurisdiction

For all complaints, suits, claims or disputes of whatsoever nature relating to any products including Tours by MTT and third-party products and tours, the courts, and tribunals in Kolkata, India alone shall have exclusive jurisdiction.

Also refer to the following link:

https://www.manasarovartravels.com/terms.php

 

Cancellation Policy

Refer to the following link:

https://www.manasarovartravels.com/terms.php

 

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