Insight of Bhutan
Mystically hidden in the folds of the Great Himalayas is the last Shangri-La on earth, known to most as Bhutan but these hill-people proudly call themselves Drukpa and their land Druk or Drukyul, literally translated-the Land of Thunder Dragon. What has set this little nation apart from the rest of the world is its courageous decision to adopt Gross National Happiness (GNH) as its guiding philosophy for development.Hence, here in Bhutan progress is measured in terms of the collective happiness of its citizens, a dream proclaimed in 1972 by a young Dragon king who was then barely out of his teens. His Majesty the fourth King has also envisioned creating an enlightened society through a balanced pursuit of material progress and spiritual wellbeing.
Many visitors describe Bhutan as a mystical, harmonious valley coexisting with nature. Gross National Happiness which was introduced as developmental policy is now individuals’ everyday living principles. As you walk through any valley you will hear laughter echoing through paddy fields. Bhutanese have so much time at hand contrary to people in western countries. You meet any Bhutanese especially from rural areas they will talk with you for hours. The idea of rush-hour is hardly familiar to Bhutanese. Bhutanese are mostly peaceful. Most Bhutanese aspire for enlightenment. At an individual level they practice mindfulness. At a society they render help. Most Bhutanese avoid animal cruelty. They are genuinely kind even to stray dogs. You could still walk through any village of Bhutan and feel safe. Bhutanese love their neighbours as their own family. They ensure safety, food and health of their neighbour. With Bhutanese kindness you could still survive some months without a job.
Insight of Bhutan 04Night/ 05Days Tour Itinerary
Fly into Paro by Druk Air, or Royal Bhutan Airline. The great snow-capped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens can be seen during clear weather.You will be received by our guide at the Paro airport. After completion of airport formalities, you will drive through the lovely Paro valley to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. On arrival at Thimphu, check into the hotel and Sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes visits to some of the following depending on your interest and time availability:
The National Memorial Chorten, is a monument to the Third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (“Father of Modern Bhutan”) and to world peace.
Thimphu Dzong-Tashichho dzong, “the fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of the monarch’s throne room and seat of the Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in the 15 century by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in the 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
After breakfast you will visit:
National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts.
The National Institute of Traditional Medicine, where Bhutan’s famed traditional herbal medicines are compounded and dispensed.
The school of traditional arts and crafts (commonly known as Zorig Chusom), where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts.
The National Textile Museum, which is a good place to see the art of Bhutanese traditional weaving kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colors and designs. Women weaving intricate designs can also be seen here.
The Folk Heritage Museum that gives an insight into Bhutanese rural life.
Evening drive to Punakha across Dochu la pass (3150m) where you will visit Druk Wangyel Chortens (108 stupas) and Druk Wangyel Temple.
After breakfast, visit the Punakha Dzong, second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan which is placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the dzong was built in the 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in history of Bhutan. It served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953.
Later en-route to Paro valley, stop at Lobesa to visit the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where couples unable to conceive come here for blessing. After lunch travel back to Paro.
AAfter breakfast, hike to Taktsang Goempa (Tiger's Nest Monastery). The hike up to the viewpoint will take about 1 1/2 hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. You will stop here for refreshments and then hike further up to the monastery which should take another 1 1/2 hours. It was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup, a cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three months in the 8th century. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) flew to this location from Khenpajong, Tibet on the back of a tigress and subdued a demon. He then performed meditation in one of the caves here and emerged in eight incarnated forms (manifestations) and blessed the place. Subsequently, the place came to be known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. Guru Padmasambhava is known for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen caves in which he meditated. After visiting the monastery, walk back downhill to the road with lunch at the viewpoint cafeteria.
Later visit Kichu temple, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon.)
After breakfast travel to the International airport to connect onward flight.
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