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Trip to BHUTAN, a Himalayan kingdam, find Himalayan beauty.

7 Days Thimphu Paro Punakha – Bhutan Culture TourThimphu, Punakha District – Bhutan  

Bhutan, The last Shangri-la

Bhutan: A Rich History
For many centuries, the outside world had no name for Bhutan. Its lofty frontiers wrapped it in an impenetrable cloak of mystery. The Tibetan chroniclers of the 18th century referred to it by many names, including “Hidden Holy Land,The Southern Valley of Medicinal Herbs,” and “the Lotus Garden of the Gods.” However, the Bhutanese have had a name for their own country for centuries. They still refer to their land as Druk Yul, literally meaning “The Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon.

Bhutan’s historical period begins at about 747 A.D., when the revered religious leader Guru Padma Sambhava came from Tibet and introduced Buddhism to the country. Known also as Guru Rimpoche, this remarkable man — almost as highly esteemed as Buddha himself in Bhutan — is credited with various events. It is said that he flew to Bhutan on the back of a tiger, and that at Taktsang he conquered the demon spirits that were standing in the way of the spread of Buddhism. It is more certain that he visited Bumthang in central Bhutan, where he cured the ailing King, and various places in the Paro valley, and that he and his later followers meditated in a cave on the cliff where the Taktsang monastery now stands. In Bumthang, the kurje temple was built at the spot where, after Padma Sambhava had meditated, his fingerprints and footmarks appeared etched into solid rock, and where a cypress tree (which still stands) sprouted from his staff.

The pattern of Buddhism has changed considerably over the centuries, influenced particularly by emigrants from Tibet. Later, Bhutanese sects developed their own forms of the religion. Dominant amongst these has been the Drukpa sect of Kagyupa, a branch of Mahayana (“Greater Vehicle”) and now the official religion of Bhutan. Apparently, Kagyupa was a somewhat ascetic and rigorous practice of Buddhism that demanded long periods of isolation; its stringency led to the formation of more lenient sub sects. (Drukpa (“Thunder Dragon”) was so named because when it was being formed thunder echoed across the sky.)

Bhutan Scene



During the whole of the period from the first introduction of Buddhism into Bhutan, and possibly well before, it seems likely that Bhutan existed as an independent entity, within similar natural boundaries to those that exist now. However, there was no central authority, and a number of separate towns or principalities existed, often practicing different religions or different forms of the same religion, and with mutually unintelligible dialects. By 1600, Gelugpa power in Tibet had extended as far as the Ralung monastery near Lhasa, the religious center of the Drukpa sect. The Drukpa Lamas were forced to submit or flee, and many of them found their way to Bhutan. Amongst these refugee lamas was Ngawang Namgyal, who was to have a remarkable effect on his adopted land. He arrived in Bhutan in 1616, a time when there was no central authority, no laws and no dominant religion. Yet by the time he died in 1651, the whole of western Bhutan was under one government, and five years later, the whole country had one government and one religion — Drukpa Buddhism.

When Namgyal first arrived, he realized he would need the support of many rich families in western Bhutan who already supported the Drukpas. As soon as he was assured of this support, he set about building a chain of dzongs in all the main valleys of Western Bhutan, starting with the Simtokha Dzong in the Thimpu valley. These rapidly became the focal points for civil and religious authority for each region, and remain one of the great features of the landscape and life of Bhutan today. In 1639, this unification was tested by a Tibetan invasion, which Namgyal won in a great victory. After this victory, he assumed the title of Shabdrung and effectively became the temporal and spiritual leader of Bhutan.

In 1644, the Mongol leader Gushi Khan invaded Bhutan with a vast army. He was repulsed, invaded again in 1647, and was again defeated. Unsurprisingly, these successes served to strengthen the Shabdrung’s position and unite the country further. It was Namgyal who set about establishing a system of government and laws for the country. A Jey Kempo (head abbot) was appointed to manage the religious institutions, while civil power was invested in a Druk Desi, or Deb — a sort of Prime Minister. The country was divided into regions, which were administered by governors known as Penlops, with Dzongpons appointed below them to administer civil affairs locally.

Temple Scene

Although he died in 1651, it is believed that the death of the Shabdung was kept quiet for 50 years so that a legitimate successor might be found. This system presented few problems in the first few years, but gradually, power devolved into the office of the Druk Desi, and local civil wars ensued. The two seeds of the problem were that the system of choosing successive Shabdrungs was reincarnation, and that as the successor was chosen at birth, for the first 18 years of his birth he was a minor, and power again devolved onto the Druk Desi. Successive Druk Desis proved reluctant to part with their acquired power, and the power of the Shabdrung gradually waned. Namgyal’s efforts at establishing central authority were gradually wasted as the Druk Desi lost control to the regional governors and the Penlops. The country degenerated into a series of semi-independent regions, each controlled by a Penlop. But the overall identity of Bhutan remained, and with it, the possibility of reunification.

By the mid-18th century, Moghul power was declining in Northern India, and Bhutanese influence in the adjacent region of Cooch Behar increasing. By 1772, the Bhutanese held almost total control over the region. At this stage, they first came into contact with the British in India. The East India Company were anxious to secure the northern frontiers of their domain at the time, and looked upon Bhutanese activities with disfavour. In 1773, a small British force was dispatched to the area with the connivance and financial backing of the pretender to the Cooch Behari throne, Khagenda Naryan. This force defeated the Bhutanese and captured two forts in the foothills. This alarmed the Bhutanese, who called on the Panchen Lama to intercede with Warren Hastings, the governor general of India at the time. This led to the signing of a treaty between the Bhutanese and the British, and a period of increased contact.

Meanwhile, the Bhutanese desire for expansion turned elsewhere, particularly to the east. In Assam, still independent of the British, the Ahom dynasty was in disarray, and Bhutan found no difficulty in increasing its influence there. By 1826, the Bhutanese had gained control over all of the duars (passes) into Assam. In 1828, however, the British occupied Assam and once again came into contact with the Bhutanese. For several years, there were minor clashes as the British gradually regained control of the Duars, and eventually, this turned into the second Anglo-Bhutanese war. By 1865, the British were in total control of all the passes in Bengal and Assam, and were in a position to push the Bhutanese back on all fronts. The war ended in 1865 with the Treaty of Sinchaula, which signalled the end of hostilities and provided for conditions of mutual peace and friendship. Trade became open and duty free, Bhutan ceded all claims to the 18 Duars, and received an annual payment of 50,000 rupees from the British government. This agreement has continued with independent India since the signing of a treaty in 1949.

Funeral Scene

In the latter half of the 19th century, chaos fairly reigned in Bhutan, and the power factions had become centerd predominantly upon the Penlops of Paro and Tongsa, who had become the most powerful men in Bhutan. These two factions battled for power, with considerable disagreement between them on whether to maintain their traditional ties with Tibet or to side with the new force, Britain. The British inadvertently helped to end the conflict and establish the hereditary monarchy that rules Bhutan today.

In 1903, the Younghusband expedition passed through Bhutan on the way to Tibet. The Paro Penlop remained aloof whilst the Tongsa Penlop, Ugyen Wangchuck, welcomed them and offered them every assistance. He accompanied the expedition and helped negotiate a favourable Anglo-Tibetan agreement. Shortly after his return, having not only assisted the British but also secured enormous respect from the Tibetan’s for himself, Ugyen Wangchuck was awarded the K.C.I.E. by the British (1905). The effect of his mediation in Tibet counted for an enormous amount. For the first time since 1750, when a peace mission had been sent from Bhutan to Tibet to intervene in a civil war, the chance was presented of settling an external rather than internal conflict. Both in Bhutan and Tibet, the traditional figure of the mediator is one of enormous prestige, standing above the contending parties and winning great honour from both sides. However, he declined the official headgear offered to him by the Tibetans, saying he would stick to his own crown. In Bhutan, he was welcomed home like a conquering hero. After this, he assumed respect from the British, met the British Royal party out from Britain in Calcutta (one of only two times he ever left Bhutan), and was treated like an Indian prince, complete with a 15 gun salute.

At the meeting with the Prince of Wales and the Viceroy, he brought the traditional gold coins as a gift, which symbolize allegiance, as well as a letter declaring:

“As the stars and constellations never fail in loyalty attending on the sun and moon, so do we the entire Bhutanese nation resolve to do likewise to the Supreme Government, hoping that as the sun and the moon are like parents of the whole world, we also will enjoy the blessings of their beneficent rays for ever and ever till the cessation of worldly existence.”

Clearly, Bhutan was now operating firmly within the British sphere of influence. At this point, Bhutan took decisive steps to establish its monarchy. In 1906, Ugyen Dorje a longtime adviser to Ugyen Wangchuck, addressed a letter to the council of state. He pointed out that in the absence of a clear procedure for appointing the regent, it was difficult to protect the realms of either religion or state. Clearly, this letter was written to test the waters and to see how far the matter could progress. While the Shabdrung’s spiritual place and role were left central to the conception of the monarchy, providing ultimate legitimacy to the king’s line and the whole state, the practically defunct regency was allowed to die a quiet death.


Welcome to Bhutan

Bhutan is no ordinary place. It is the last great Himalayan kingdom, shrouded in mystery and magic, where a traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces global developments.

Low Volume, High Value Tourism

The Bhutanese pride themselves on a sustainable approach to tourism in line with the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. Foreign visitors famously pay a minimum tariff of US$300 per day, making it seem one of the world’s more expensive destinations. However, this fee is all-inclusive – accommodation, food, transport and an official guide are all provided, so it’s not a bad deal. You don’t have to travel in a large group and you can arrange your own itinerary. What you won’t find is budget independent travel.

Surprising Bhutan

Bhutan is like nowhere else. This is a country where the rice is red and where chillies aren’t just a seasoning but the main ingredient. It’s also a deeply Buddhist land, where monks check their smartphones after performing a divination, and where giant protective penises are painted at the entrance to many houses. Yet while it proudly prioritises its Buddhist traditions, Bhutan is not a land frozen in time. You will find the Bhutanese well educated, fun loving and very well informed about the world around them. It’s this blending of the ancient and modern that makes Bhutan endlessly fascinating.

The Last Shangri-La?

So why spend your hard-earned money to come here? Firstly, there is the pristine eastern Himalayan landscape, where snow-capped peaks rise above primeval forests and beautiful traditional villages. To this picture-book landscape add majestic fortress-like dzongs and monasteries, many of which act as a stage for spectacular tsechus (dance festivals) attended by an almost medieval-looking audience. Then there are the textiles and handicrafts, outrageous archery competitions, high-altitude trekking trails, and stunning flora and fauna. If it’s not ‘Shangri-La‘, it’s as close as it gets.

An Environmental Model

Environmental protection goes hand in hand with cultural preservation in Bhutan. By law, at least 60% of the country must remain forested for all future generations; it currently stands above 70%. Not only is Bhutan carbon neutral, but it actually absorbs more carbon than it emits! For the visitor, this translates into lovely forest hikes and superb birding across a chain of national parks. Whether you are spotting takins or blue poppies, trekking beneath 7000m peaks or strolling across hillsides ablaze with spring rhododendron blooms, Bhutan offers one of the last pristine pockets in the entire Himalaya.

Details of trip

Duration: 7 days

Maximum Number Of Travelers: 9

Prices Start At: $2,100 USD

Itinerary

Description

Day 1: Arrival in Paro

Stop At: Thimphu’s Weekend Market, Chhogyal Lam, Thimphu Bhutan
On your trip to Paro, the all encompassing perspectives of the Himalayas are astounding, including the Everest and different acclaimed Himalayan Peaks. The methodology through the Bhutanese foothills and the arrival, including a couple steep swings to arrive at the little airstrip of Paro turns out to be all the more energizing as you enter Bhutan. The drive from Paro to Thimphu is 1.5 hours, Arrival in Thimphu, check in at the hotel, evening free to explore the local area around the hotel. Dinner and overnight at Thimphu hotel.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Thimphu hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Thimphu

Stop At: Buddha Point, Kuenselphodrang, Kuenselphodrang, Thimphu, Bhutan
A spot for reviving with a gigantic statue of Buddha on the highest point of Kuenselphodrang. The range additionally gives a decent perspective of the Thimphu valley from the west.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Thimphu Chorten (Memorial Chorten), Thimphu Bhutan
This Chorten was inherent the honor of the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, otherwise called “The Father of Modern Bhutan”. This Chorten was inherent 1974 in an average Tibetan style. This Chorten is likewise a focal point of love for the general population living in Thimphu and contains numerous religious depictions and tantric statues.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: National Folk Heritage Museum, Pedzoe Lam, Thimphu 11001 Bhutan
The historical center is stand-out that depicts the way of life of a family in the Thimphu valley in the long time past days. This is a three storied, nineteenth century conventional house giving an understanding to the Bhutanese way of life, and antiquities from the country families. The exhibition hall contains run of the mill Bhutanese family unit items, instruments and types of gear.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Sangaygang, Thimphu Bhutan
Sangaygang view point: : (2685 meters) to have perspective of entire Thimphu valley and stroll through many bright supplication signals that dab the slope sitting above the Thimphu valley.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Royal Takin Preserve, Motithang, Bhutan
The takin, the national creature of Bhutan can be seen here. This specific creature is discovered just in the Himalayan area
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Changangkha Lhakhang, Thimphu Bhutan
This religious community is based on a slope overlooking the Thimphu valley. It was inherent fifteenth Century by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhipo. Numerous guardians of Thimphu take their new conceived infants to this religious community to be honored by a high lama. Dinner and overnight at Thimphu hotel.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Thimphu hotel.

Day 3: Sightseeing in Punakha

Stop At: Dochula Pass, Thimphu Bhutan
The most known go in Bhutan, around 30 km drive from the Capital City Thimphu while in transit to Wangduephodrang. It is at around 3150 mt stature. On a sunny morning, dynamite perspective of the compelling Himalayas mountain reaches can be seen. The pass additionally has 108 Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chhortens which is accepted conveys multi fold legitimacy to every single aware being and which make the pass an unquestionable requirement visit place.

Arrival in Punakha by late evening. Dinner and overnight at Punakha hotel.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Punakha hotel.

Day 4: Natural visit in Punakha

Stop At: Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, Punakha Bhutan
This chorten is based on an edge over the Punakha valley. It took around nine years to construct the chorten. It is said that the Bhutanese skilled workers counseled Holy Scriptures to develop this 4 story sanctuary. The sanctuary was worked by Her Majesty, the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck.

After lunch, investigate the rustic town in the upper piece of Punakha, appreciate the nature, society and Bhutanese Traditions, associate with the provincial individuals and nearly encounter the Bhutanese lifestyle on the country parts. Dinner and overnight at Punakha hotel.
Duration: 3 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Punakha hotel.

Day 5: Sightseeing in Paro

Stop At: Royal Botanical Park, Lampelri, Punakha-Wangdue Highway, Punakha 13001 Bhutan
Situated at an elevation scope of (2100 meters to 3800 meters) the recreation center covers a region of 47 square kilometers and is situated amongst Thimphu and Punakha. The recreation center contains a rich biodiversity of widely varied vegetation and elements a tremendous types of plants and creatures including jeopardized species, for example, Himalayan yew, local Rhododendron, Royal Bengal Tiger, , Musk Deer, Red Panda, Blood birds and Himalayan Monal. You can likewise discover Tetracentron (an old relict angiosperm with no vessel in its trunk) in the recreation center. The recreation center has 14.5 Kilometers of trails for eco trek for cycling and strolling and one of the primary attractions is the rhododendron garden incorporating an excursion spot with youngsters’ play ground.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Rinpung Dzong, Paro Bhutan
Meaning stronghold of the store of gems. The dzong now serves as the managerial and legal seat of Paro area and home for around 200 ministers of Paro and was worked in the meantime of Drukgyel Dzong. The renowned Paro tshechhu celebration is held here in spring.

Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Ta Dzong Museum, Above the Trongsa Dzong, Trongsa Bhutan
It neglects the Rimpung Dzong and was implicit 1951 as a watch tower. This dzong is Round, more like parts of an European mansion. The Dzong was set up as the National Museum of Bhutan since 1967 and holds intriguing accumulation of expressions, relics, religious thangkha,etc. Dinner and overnight at Paro hotel.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Paro hotel

Day 6: Excursion to Taktshang Monastery Or Excursion to Drukgyel Dzong and Kyichu Lhakhang

Stop At: Paro Taktsang, Taktsang Trail BT, Paro Bhutan
Achieving the top should be justified regardless of the trip; the touch of the Himalayan breeze and perspectives of the valley beneath and sanctuary on the rough bluff might captivate and should give you a chance to feel the genuine opportunity of brain and joy.

Taktshang Monastery; The essential lhakhang was fabricated encompassing Guru Rimpoche’s Meditation collapse the 1684 by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay. This unbelievable religious community sticks to the edge of a sheer Rock bluff that dives 900 meters into the valley beneath. It is an a few hours outing tough; in any case, one feels genuinely honored achieving the cloister.

Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Drukgyel Dzong, Paro 11001 Bhutan
This dzong is in vestiges now. The Dzong was decimated by flame in 1951 and is currently protected as legacy site. The Dzong is arranged in Drukgyal, ignoring the excellent town with Mount Chomolhari out of sight. The dzong was implicit 1646 by Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyal to recognize triumph over the Tibetan trespassers drove by Mongolion warlord, Gushri Khan.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Kyichu Lhakhang, Lamgong Gewog, Paro 12001 Bhutan
This sanctuary is one of the most established buddhist sanctuary in Bhutan. The Tibetan King, Songtsen Gompo, to sanctify the whole area of Himalaya, in the seventh century marvelously assembled 108 sanctuaries. Kyichu Lhakhang is thought to be one of them. Dinner and overnight at Paro hotel.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Paro hotel

Day 7: Final Departure

Pass By: Paro International Airport, Airport Road Paro, Paro 12001, Bhutan
This is where our small yet exciting and educational tour to Bhutan ends. From the Paro airport you will be departing towards your home. You will be dropped to the airport by our tour guide.

Meals included:
• Breakfast
No accommodation included on this day.


Important Information:

Details

  • Departure: Traveler pickup is offered
    Our airport representative will pick you up from Paro International airport and transfer you to the hotel. Your guide will be waiting at the hotel to brief for the trip.

    Airports
    • Paro Airport, Paro Bhutan

Details

  • Departure: Traveler pickup is offered
    Our airport representative will pick you up from Paro International airport and transfer you to the hotel. Your guide will be waiting at the hotel to brief for the trip.

    Airports
    • Paro Airport, Paro Bhutan

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

Inclusions

  • 6x Breakfast
  • 6x Dinner
  • Accommodation included: 6 nights
  • Meet & Greet at Par airport.
  • Return Paro airport transfers.
  • 02Nights accommodation in Thimphu.
  • 02Nights accommodation in Punakha.
  • 02Nights accommodation in Paro.
  • Inter hotel transfers and local sightseeing as per the itinerary.
  • All applicable hotel taxes.
  • Entry/Admission – Thimphu’s Weekend Market
  • Entry/Admission – Buddha Point, Kuenselphodrang
  • Entry/Admission – Thimphu Chorten (Memorial Chorten)
  • Entry/Admission – National Folk Heritage Museum
  • Entry/Admission – Sangaygang
  • Entry/Admission – Royal Takin Preserve
  • Entry/Admission – Changangkha Lhakhang
  • Entry/Admission – Dochula Pass
  • Entry/Admission – Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
  • Entry/Admission – Royal Botanical Park, Lampelri
  • Entry/Admission – Rinpung Dzong
  • Entry/Admission – Ta Dzong Museum
  • Entry/Admission – Paro Taktsang
  • Entry/Admission – Drukgyel Dzong
  • Entry/Admission – Kyichu Lhakhang

Exclusions

  • Airfare.
  • Travel Insurance .
  • Entrance Fees, video camera charges , permits during sightseeing.
  • Any sightseeing or excursion that is not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, tips, porter-age etc.
  • Any other feature which is not mentioned in the “Cost includes” column.
  • Additional sightseeing or extra usage of vehicle other than mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Any cost arising due to natural calamities like landslides , road blockage , etc.
  • Government service tax @ 5%

Terms of Use

Once you have booked and received your travel voucher, the contact details for the travel service operator will be on this voucher under the heading “Important Information”. Where applicable, you are required to call the travel service operator directly to advise of additional information such as:

  • Hotel for pick up
  • Weights for helicopter tours
  • Choice of times for tours
  • Special dietary requirements, meal choices etc.

To know more details about this trip please call us + 91 9679894447

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kousiknavy80@gmail.com

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If you want to reach us to book trip to Bhutan please fill this forms,

7 Days Thimphu Paro Punakha – Bhutan Culture TourThimphu, Punakha District – Bhutan

$2,100.00

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Published by kousik pattanayak

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