Bhutan Spiritual Tour for 6 Days 5 Nights
Zen & Meditation
Trekking in Punakha
Paro Altitude: 2200m. Paro is a town and seat of Paro district in Bhutan. It is also the home to the only international airport in the country.
The flight to Paro is considered one of the most spectacular flight experiences in the world. While flying in and out of Bhutan, one can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makula, and other high peaks such as Jumolhari, Jichu Drakey, and Tsrim Gang. You will be received by Representative of Best Bhutan Travel at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 1: Arrival: Bangkok - Paro - Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu after landing and visit the following places:
Thimphu Altitude: 2320m. Thimphu is a small, charming capital city nestled in the heart of the Himalayas with a population of about 100,000 people. It is nothing like what a capital city is imagined to be. All houses and buildings are painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style.
Visit the following places:
- Memorial Chorten – This stupa was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. This religious structure is circumambulated only in a clockwise direction (reciting prayers and whirling the large red prayer wheels).
- Buddha Point – In the afternoon visit the world’s largest sitting Buddha, an immense statue housing a monastery and visitors center. Enjoy a stunning view of Thimphu city from this point.
- Changangkha Lhakhang – It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley.
Evening: Explore Thimphu town / handicrafts bazaar / weekend market
Overnight in Thimphu; Namgay Heritage Hotel www.nhh.bt
Day 2: Thimphu
Early morning attend meditation and prayer along with the nuns at Zilukha Nunnery and offer butter lamps.
After breakfast at hotel, drive towards Cheri Monastery – Cheri Monastery is located 15 km drive north of Thimphu Valley. From a point you need to hike uphill of nearly 30-45 minutes. You need to cross old traditional bridge made of wood and stones. The Monastery is near Tango Monastery. Cheri Monastery was established in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The monastery is now a major teaching and retreat center of the Southern Drukpa Kagyu sect. The Monastery serves as the monastic school for study of Buddhist Philosophy, metaphysics, mathematics, poets and many other Buddhist studies. According to legend or history of Bhutan the place was first visited by Padmasambhava in the 8th century. In the 13th century it was visited by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo the Tibetan Lama who first established the Drukpa Kagyu tradition in Bhutan. Zhabdrung spent three years in strict retreat at the monastery and stayed for many years.
Meditation session for an hour inside the Cheri Monastery.
Picnic lunch at Cheri Bridge next to the newly built Stupa.
After lunch hike to Tango Monastery for about an hour. The Tango temple dates back to the 17th century and was built by the forth temporal leader, Gyeltse Tenzin Rabgay. It’s also a home to one of the finest paintings in the country. You will have an opportunity to interact with monks and learn about their lives.
Meditate inside the temple for about an hour and evening join with the monks and attend the evening prayer inside the monastery.
Dinner and fellowship with the monks.
Overnight: Tango Monastery (Monks guest house)
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha
Attend early morning meditation and prayers with the monks for an hour.
After breakfast in the monastery hike down to base the base of Tango and drive towards Dochula Pass which stands at an elevation of 3150m/10,000ft and offers panoramic views of the Himalayas. The pass is decorated with 108 Druk Wangyel Chorten, which were built to celebrate the stability and progress, brought to Bhutan by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King.
Punakha Altitude: 1300m/4265ft. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan during the time of Zhabdrun Ngawang Namkgyal, the founder of Bhutan. Today it is the administrative and religious center of the district and the winter home of Bhutan’s Central Monk Body.
Visit the following places in Punakha:
- Punakha’s Dzong – The name means Palace of Great Bliss. This dzong stands magnificently on the spit of land where two rivers (Pho chu and Mo chu) meet. Punakha Dzong has special significance in Bhutanese history as the place where Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned in 1907. It is also the winter residence for the Je Khenpo (spiritual leader) and the entire central monk body.
- Chimmi Lhakhang Hike: take a 45 mins hike round trip through the rice field to Chimmi Lhakhang, the 15th-century monastery built by Lam Ngawang Chogyal on the spot where his cousin Lam Drukpa Kuenley (popularly known as “the Divine Madman”) subdued a powerful demon. This monastery is also referred to as the “Abode of Fertility” and believed that any couple who gets blessing from this temple is blessed with a child in the next year or so. Time: 2 hours round trip hike
- Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery – Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, gleams the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang(Temple). The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig chagtong chentong). Other statues include those of Guru Padmasambawa, Gautama Buddha, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, Tsela Namsum, the 21 Taras and Tsepamay (Buddha of longevity). The Avalokiteshvara statue, one of the biggest in the country, was the handiwork of entirely local Bhutanese artisans.The temple complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting.
- Nalanda Buddhist College – Locals call this place ‘Dalayna’ while the monks refer it as ‘Nalanda Buddhist College’.
- Leki Home Stay at Labtsakha, 6kms away from Nalanda Buddhist College, a traditional farm house for an experience of an authentic Bhutanese lifestyle and local hospitality.
Overnight in Punakha: Monastery or Aum Leki Chaper Room.
Day 4: Punakha – Paro
Drive to Paro after breakfast. En-route visit the Lamperi Botanical Gardens – The garden is located in the center of a 47 sq. mile botanical park (35km from Thimphu) and has over 46 species of rhododendrons flowers.
Visit the following places in Paro:
National Museum – Ta- Dzong (the watchtower) was built in the 17th century to guard the Paro Rimpong dzong (fortress) below. It was said that the future first king was kept in this tower as a prisoner for a week. It was the third king who restored the Ta-dzong and converted it into the National Museum. The visit to the museum will familiarize you with the Bhutanese way of life and will also acquaint you with the natural and cultural history.
Paro Rimpong Dzong – Regal and imposing, dzongs are arguably among the most distinctive and important structures in Bhutan. This Dzong is the headquarters of the Paro district, housing the head administrator and staff, as well as a monastic body with about 200 monks. From the dzong, hike down to the bridge and then take a short drive for an opportunity to explore the town of Paro.
Kyichu Lhakhang -It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to 7th century (the other is Jambey Lhakahng in Bumthang). The lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and in 1968, H.M. Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in original pattern.
In the evening walk through Paro town.
Meditation and offer butter lamp in Kyichu Lhakhang.
Overnight in Paro: Naksel Boutique Hotel and Spa www.naksel.com
Day 5: Paro - Hike to Taktshang, Tiger’s Nest
Attend early morning mediation, Yoga and prayers in Naksel Yoga hall with the view of Tiger’s Nest Monastery & Jumolhari Mountain (Second highest Mountain in Bhutan).
After breakfast visit:
Taktsang Monastery: Bhutan’s most scenic icon or the most important landmark, Taktshang the Tiger’s nest clings to the side of a steep cliff 300 meters above the Paro valley. The place was first visited by Guru Rimpoche, founder of the tantric form of Buddhism in Himalayan countries, in the 8th century. It was said that he meditated there for about three months. The original temple was built in the 17th century, but tragically, it was consumed by fire in 1998. Like a phoenix, the temple was rebuilt to its fullest glory in 2003. Takshang is considered to be the 10th-holiest site in the Buddhist world. You can visit three different temples inside the main Takshang complex. Riding Ponies provided upon request.
Have a time of prayer, meditation and offering of butter lamps at Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
Evening – Stroll through Paro town.
Overnight in Paro: Naksel Boutique Hotel and Spa www.naksel.com
Day 6: Departure: Paro – Bangkok
After breakfast, transfer to Paro airport for departure.
- Round ticket from Bangkok to Bhutan
- Airport transfers
- 4* – 5* accommodation.
- Visas for Bhutan
- Daily 3 meals (B, L, D)
- Mineral bottled water
- Private car
- Entrance tickets to all attractions
- Road permits
- Professional English-speaking guide
- Private driver
- Government fee, royalty, taxes & surcharges
- Traditional Bhutan Gho and Kira
Next departure date
During 12/2016 and 2/2017:
- Solo traveler: USD 1.840/traveler
- Group of 2: USD 1.790/traveler
- Group of 3 or more: USD 1.680/traveler
During 3/2017 and 5/2017:
- Solo traveler: USD 2.270/traveler
- Group of 2: USD 2.220/traveler
- Group of 3 or more: USD 1.980/traveler
- Flight to Bangkok
- Tips for the guide (USD7/traveler/day)
- Tips for driver (USD5/traveler/day)
- Personal expenses
- Travel Insurance