Bhutan Trip: Praneet & Co.
What's This About?
For centuries, Bhutan has attracted people from all over the world for its sustainable living, authentic cuisine, unique culture, divine spirituality and most importantly - responsible tourism. The only nation with negative carbon footprint is majorly covered in diversified flora and fauna.
This season, let us take you on an amazing adventure to Bhutan. You will be backpacking through the most jaw dropping landscapes and tranquil locations. You will experience the hospitality of bhutanese people, learn of their rich historical culture, share a delicious meal and have once a lifetime opportunity to experience the rich flora of Bhutan. Get ready to be lost in the enchanting beauty of the valley and be surprised with what you experience along the way of your true escape to nature.
- Pick up & drop between Bagdogra airport and Phuentsholing in private vehicle
- A private Tempo Traveler for all days in Bhutan
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
- Stay in Homestays in Thimphu and Punakha
- Stay in 3 star property on double sharing basis in Paro
- First Aid
- A detailed itinerary highlighting places of interest at all the locations
- Airfare till Bagdogra/Paro
- Transport to and fro Phuentsholing
- Accommodation at Phuentsholing
- Meals not mentioned above
- Entry and Monumental charges
- Guide Charges
- Personal expenses of any kind
8th Jan, Wednesday | Bagdogra airport to Phuentsholing
A pick up from Bagdogra airport will be arranged for the entire team. You will reach Phuentsholing in the evening. Overnight at Phuentsholing
9th Jan, Thursday | Apply for Permits. Travel to Thimphu
Phuentsholing Drive to Thimphu
Early in the morning, head off to the immigration office to apply for the necessary permits. Our friendly staff will meet you today.
Documents Required for Entry Permit:
1- Valid Passport or Voters ID ( For Indian Nationals)
2- Photocopy of the above documents
3- Passport size photograph ( 2 nos)
4- Necessary hotel bookings.(We will keep it ready for you)
After completion of the necessary formalities, you will drive in a private vehicle to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Check in at your hotel and spend the evening roaming around Thimphu market.
10th Jan, Friday | Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast, head off to a scenic drive up to Buddha Point to see the 169 foot tall bronze statue of the seated Buddha Dordenma. One of the largest sitting Buddha statues in the world, it sits atop a hill where you will get the sweeping views of the valley and the surrounding mountains.
Spend the rest of the morning visiting the National Folk Heritage Museum, dedicated to preserving Bhutanese folk arts, the Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, where you will see the ancient practice of natural papermaking, the National Textile Museum, where you will learn all about the brightly colored and beautifully designed fabrics that are worn by the Bhutanese people and The Motithang Takin Preserve, to spot Bhutan’s national animal.
In the evening, visit the Tashichho Dzong, a fortress and Buddhist monastery with a distinctive Bhutanese architectural design. Sitting aside the Wang Chhu river, it is the current seat of the Druk Desi, the head of the civil government and houses the offices of the current king.
11th Jan, Saturday | Thimphu to Punakha via Dochula Pass
After breakfast, we drive to the former capital of Bhutan until 1955, Punakha. Enroute we stop at Dochula Pass, which provides a panoramic 360 degree view of the Himalayas. We will check in our hotel at Lobesa/Khuruthang and post lunch head off to visit the most beautiful site in Bhutan, the Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong is undoubtedly the most beautiful and charming Dzong in Bhutan, standing tall right at the confluence of two rivers Pho Chhu (Father River) and Mo Chhu (Mother River). You will be completely mesmerized with this Dzong, especially in spring when it is enveloped by lilac coloured Jacaranda flowers spread against the white washed towering walls. The Dzong from the inside is equally beautiful with a large courtyard lined with administrative buildings on 3 sides and a huge temple at the front. Wooden carving of roof and windows against huge whitewashed walls adds to the charm of this beautiful edifice. Towards the end is the ‘hundred pillar’ assembly hall temple with massive gold statues of Lord Buddha, Guru Rinpoche and Divine Madman. You would love to sit in the temple and inhale the calmness deep within you. After our visit to the Dzong, we head back to our hotel and spend the evening exploring the local village
12th January, Sunday | Explore Punakha and drive to Paro
Early morning explore Lobesa village and set off to an easy walk to the Chimi Lhakhang temple. Chimi Lhakhang is also known as the ‘Temple of Fertility’. The temple is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley, fondly known as ‘Divine Madman’ because of his non-conventional and ‘outrageous’ style of teaching. He was a social critic and openly challenged the hypocrisy of the established orders. Thus, the use of his Phallus (Penis) as a ‘flaming thunderbolt’ weapon symbolizes the discomfort that society experiences while facing the truth. Devotees take blessings from the wooden effigy of the lama’s thunderbolt, preserved in the lhakhang. Couples also come to the temple before the birth of baby to select their names while newborns are brought by parents for blessings from Lama. To get to the temple, you need to pass through Lobesa village. Lobesa village offers a glimpse of the rural Bhutan as you come across the farms and houses with unique Bhutanese architecture (huge white walls with wood carving on doors, windows and roof). And yes, Phallus (Penis) is very comfortably painted on almost every second house as you walk along.
After lunch, drive to Paro.
The beautiful valley of Paro encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan's oldest temples and monasteries, National Museum and country's only airport. Spend the evening at Paro market.
13th January, Monday | Day trek to the Tiger Nest monastery or Chele La Pass
On our final tour day, we take an exhilarating one-hour hike to Taktsang Monastery (or Tiger’s Nest), one of the most recognizable sites in Bhutan. Built precariously on a hillside cliff, it sits more than 10,000 feet above sea level. Accessible only by foot, we follow a trail decorated with colorful prayer flags along the way to protect travelers from evil spirits. Built over the caves that Guru Padmasambhava meditated in for three years, this eighth-century father of Bhutan Buddhism is said to have been brought there on the back of a tigress. One of the most sacred sites in Bhutan it offers breathtaking views to those energetic enough to make it to the top.
The evening can be spent visiting the Rinpung Dzong in Paro and the national museum of Bhutan. Our last night in Bhutan is spent in Paro.
Drive to Chele La pass. Located at 3810m (13,000ft), between the valley of Paro and Haa is Chele La, the highest road pass in the country. The drive to Chele La is through dense spruce and larch forests. Depending on season you will encounter various sights such as frozen river, waterfall, rhododendron forest and yaks grazing peacefully. On a clear day, you can view Mt. Jumolhari(Bhutan's most sacred peak at over 22,000 ft) along with Jichu Drake and adjoining peaks to the North West, as well as the view of both the valley (Paro and Haa).
14th January, Tuesday | Drop to Siliguri
Yes, with a heavy heart we need to say goodbye to the “land of Happiness” today. You will be dropped at Siliguri to take your respective transportation back to your hometown. We bid you goodbye and hope you take back some fond memories at the end of the trip.
About Your Hosts
The Great Escape
TGE Travels is an experiential travel company established in the year 2018 founded by expert mountaineers and travellers. We believe traveling is all about experiencing a place that you go to. It is about interacting with the locals, trying out local cuisines, celebrating local festivals and exploring the off beat locations. We are here to help our travelers do just that. From staying at authentic homestays to discovering the hidden gems of each location, we help our travelers connect with the place like never before.
"Jammy" as we fondly call her has been trekking and backpacking all over India and neighboring countries for more than 10 years. Her favorite drink is tea, her most comfortable bed is under the stars and the mountains are her second home. Working earlier as an Interior designer, Jammy found her calling in the mountains and now she has been successfully leading and guiding teams on treks and expeditions for 8 years . If you are up for some tuneless karaoke and lots of singing, reach out to her
Try to catch up to her pace on an uphill climb, I dare you, I double dare you. An accomplished mountaineer, Reetu's love for trekking and travelling started 8 years ago. From then onwards, she left her lucrative career as an electronic engineer and pursued her dream of travelling around the world. A good book, a campsite by the river and lots of dogs and puppies is what keeps her going. Don't forget to ask her to make a cup of masala chai and Maggi for you, it's delicious. 😃
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