When you first arrive at Paro International Airport, you will be met by one of our delightful tour guides just outside the arrival hall. At 7,333 feet above sea level, the first thing you will likely notice is the effect of the high altitudes, so we will give you time to acclimate as we take a short drive to Thimphu and check into your hotel. Evening visit to Paro market and take a stroll through town’s main street Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress from where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, “mountain of goddess” looms directly over the Dzong. Along the way, see the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo. One of the most sacred shrines in the country, it reflects the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. After lunch, visit to Ta Dzong, originally built as Watch Tower, it now houses National Museum of the Kingdom and boasts antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’ which has a long and fascinating history. After that drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. Evening, time for exploratory walk before dinner.
After breakfast, sightseeing of Thimphu valley includes, visit to National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts. The Traditional Medicine Institute, where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practised. The Painting School, where young monks learn the art of Buddhist thangkha. Also visit mask maker workshop and workshop for fine metal craft, weaving, ceramics and paper making. Then visit, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of Bhutanese material culture and living traditions. Afternoon, visit to Tashichhodzong, ‘fortress of the glorious dharma’. It is the centre of government and religion, site of King’s throne room, National assembly hall, and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1961 in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans. Also visit King’s Memorial Chorten continuously circumbulated by His Majesty’s subjects, spinning prayer wheels and murmuring mantras. Then, visit Handicrafts Emporium and local shops if you like to browse through example of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Here you can buy textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials, and all manner of unique objects. Evening drive to Paro for overnight stay.
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.
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