Offers

Bhutanese Retreat with Ura Excursion(10 Nights)

Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Bumthang, Paro

for Off-Beat Traveller, Family Traveller, Heritage Traveller

Holiday Overview

Rinpung Dzong - Photo Courtesy Cfynn
Drugyel Dzong Photo Courtesy Pradyot
Jakar Dzong
Kurje Lhakhang (Photo Courtesy: Wikifrits)
Punakha Dzong - Photo Courtesy Lohen11
Chimi Lhakhang (Photo Courtesy: amanderson2)
The National Memorial Chorten (Nivalink Trip Dated - 26 March 2008)
Tashichho Dzong Monastery (Photo Courtesy: Christopher J. Fynn)
Tashichho Dzong (Photo Courtesy: Christopher J. Fynn)
Inside of Tashichho Dzong

Bhutan is famous in the world with its unique identity and still maintained the ancient traditions far way. Among them Ura Valley is the most popular and prosperous valley of Bhutan.

Route

Thimphu(2) - Punakha(1) - Bumthang(3) - Punakha(1) - Paro(3)

Summarised Itinerary
  • Day-1 Paro Airport – Thimphu
  • Day-2 Thimphu Sightseeing
  • Day-3 Thimphu – Punakha/Wangdue Sightseeing
  • Day-4 Punakha – Bumthang
  • Day-5 Bumthang Sightseeing
  • Day-6 Excursion to Ura Village
  • Day-7 Bumthang – Punakha / Wangdue
  • Day-8 Punakha/Wangdue – Paro Sightseeing
  • Day-9 Paro Sightseeing
  • Day-10 Excursion to Chele-La-Pass
  • Day-11 Paro Airport
Sightseeing Summary

Bumthang - Jakar Dzong (1.00 kms), Kurje Lhakhang (1.50 kms), Tamshing Lhakhang (1.50 kms), Jambey Lhakhang (2.00 kms), Chankhar Lhakhang in Bumthang (10.00 kms), Ura Village Visit (63.00 kms), Trongsa (70.00 kms)

Paro - Ta Dzong - National Museum (1.00 kms), Rinpung Dzong (1.60 kms), Kyichu Temple (5.00 kms), Taktshang Hermitage - Tigers Nest (10.00 kms), Drugyel Dzong (17.00 kms), Chele La Pass (37.00 kms), The National Memorial Chorten (50.00 kms), Motithang Takin Preserve (50.00 kms), Changangkha Lhakhang (52.00 kms), Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu (55.00 kms)

Punakha - Punakha Dzong (1.00 kms), Chimi Lhakhang in Punakha (30.00 kms)

Thimphu - National Folk Heritage Museum (0.50 kms), Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu (4.50 kms), The National Memorial Chorten (5.00 kms), Changangkha Lhakhang (7.00 kms), Motithang Takin Preserve (10.00 kms), Chimi Lhakhang in Punakha (65.00 kms), Punakha Dzong (73.00 kms)

Preferred Arrival /Departure Destination
Arrival - Paro Departure - Paro
Best Season to Travel
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Distances
  • Paro to Thimphu -65 kms (1 hrs)
  • Thimphu to Punakha -80 kms (3 hrs)
  • Punakha to Bumthang -223 kms (7 hrs)
  • Bumthang to Punakha -223 kms (7 hrs)
  • Punakha to Paro -145 kms (4 hrs)
Route

Paro - Thimphu(2) - Punakha(1) - Bumthang(3) - Punakha(1) - Paro(3)

Detailed Itinerary

Day-1 Paro Airport – Thimphu  Transfer to Thimphu (7,710 ft.) the capital city of Bhutan. Thimphu is a city offering an old world charm of a Himalayan Kingdom alongwith Monasteries, museums and a distinct heritage character. Evening explore the Thimpu town by walk.

Day-2 Thimphu Sightseeing  Visit Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Statue) a place for refreshing with a huge statue of Buddha on the top of the Kuensel Phodrang, National Memorial Chorten (Monument) & Folk Heritage Museum. Visit Sangaygang View Point, Changangkha Monastery, Takin Preserve Centre, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen here, Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion).

Day-3 Thimphu – Punakha/Wangdue Sightseeing  Drive to Punakha / Wangdue via stopping at Dochu-La-Pass (3150 mts.) for picturesque views. Visit Punakha Dzong - built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Visit the Chhimi Lhakhang - The Temple, also known as “The Temple of Fertility”.

Day-4 Punakha – Bumthang  Check out from hotel and drive to Trongsa across Pele-La-Pass (11.120 ft). Stop Enroute Chendbji Chorten - built in the style of the great Bodhanath Choten of Nepal. Further ahead visit Trongsa Dzong – It was the seat of power over central & eastern Bhutan and Ta Dzong - An ancient watch tower. The chapel inside is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal. Then drive further to Bumthang over the Yutong-La-Pass (11,155 ft). While in Chumey valley in Bumthang, visit the Yathra Weaving Factory - It is the most famous textile product of Bumthang.

Day-5 Bumthang Sightseeing  Visit Jakar Dzong: Literally meaning the Castle of White Bird. The current structure was built in 1667. Lamey Goemba: A large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi Jambay Lhakhang: built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here. Chakhar Lhakhang: Literally meaning the Iron Castle, the original palace was made of Iron and hence the name “Chakhar”. Kurjey Lhakhang: Named after body print of Guru Rimpoche. In afternoon, visit Tamshing Lhakhang: Literally meaning the Temple of the good message. The evening ends visit a local handloom weaving house and Interact with the weavers.

Day-6 Excursion to Ura Village  Excursion to Ura village and visit the new Ura monastery. On the way visit the Mebartso - The burning lake. Stroll around the village and return back to hotel. In evening, walk to the Swiss farm where apple juice, cider, cheese etc are made.

Day-7 Bumthang – Punakha / Wangdue  After breakfast drive to Punakha. Reach Punakha by late afternoon.

Day-8 Punakha/Wangdue – Paro Sightseeing  After breakfast drive to Paro (7,483 ft.). via stopping at Royal Botanical Park. In afternoon, visit Ta Dzong - National Museum with an excellent collection of arts, relics, religious thangkha and Rinpung Dzong - Meaning "fortress of the heap of jewels".

Day-9 Paro Sightseeing  Visit Drukgyel Dzong and famous Taktsang Monastery - called “Tiger's Nest” (2hrs hike from the base camp) & Kyichu Monastery.

Day-10 Excursion to Chele-La-Pass  Excursion to Chele-La-Pass (13,088 ft.)- The pass provides stunning views of the sacred mountain Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. Enjoy the scenic beauty & memorable landscapes from Chele-La-Pass.

Day-11 Paro Airport  Check out from hotel and get transferred to Paro Airport for your onward journey back home.

Detailed Sightseeing

Bumthang :

  • Jakar Dzong - Founded by great grand-father of the first Shabdrung, the Dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549. It was upgraded after the Shabdrung had firmly established his power in 1646. The Dzong is now used as administrative centre for Bumthang valley, and houses the regional monk body.

  • Kurje Lhakhang - Situated before Jambey Lhakhang, Kurje Lhakhang consists of three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 on the rack face where Guru meditated in the 8th century. Second temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of Guru's body and is therefore considered the most holy. The third temple was built in 1990s by Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother. These three temples are surrounded by a 108 chorten wall.

  • Tamshing Lhakhang - Monastery located opposite Kurje Lhakhang on the other side of the river, this temple was founded in 1501

  • Jambey Lhakhang - A monastery that was built in the 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits n the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century

  • Chankhar Lhakhang in Bumthang - Chankhar Lhakhang is the site of the palace of the Indian King Sindhu Raja. The name Chankhar meant iron castle as it was originally built from iron.

  • Ura Village Visit - Ura Village Visit takes you across a small village packed with houses along cobblestone streets and the main Ura Lhakhang.

  • Trongsa - Trongsa visited enroute travelling to Bumthang. Places to visit here include Chendbji Chorten (patterned on Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu), Trongsa Dzong and Ta Dzong (watch tower)

Paro :

  • Ta Dzong - National Museum - Ta Dzong is a circular fortress that once protected this valley from the Tibetan invasion. It is now the National Museum with an excellent collection of Bhutanese antiquities.

  • Rinpung Dzong - Rinpung Dzong is a impressive structure built in 1646 and is the administrative seat containing a monastic community of about 200 members.

  • Kyichu Temple - Kyichu temple, ten minutes drive from Paro and is one of the oldest temples in the country dating as far back as the 7th century. H

  • Taktshang Hermitage - Tigers Nest - Taktshang Hermitage (also known as Tigers Nest) lies on the face of a 1000 m cliff. The place is highly sacred to the Bhutanese in that they believe Guru Rinpoche, the father of Bhutanese Buddhism landed here on the back of a tigress

  • Drugyel Dzong - Drugyel Dzong was built in 1647 and offers stunning views of the Mount Jumolhari (7314 meters or 24000 ft) on a clear day.

  • Chele La Pass - Chele la (pass) at an elevation 13000 ft asl is considered to be one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan. About an hour's drive from Paro as it passes through lush valleys, pine and rhododendron forest. The pass provides stunning views of the sacred mountain Jomolhari and Jichu Drake

  • The National Memorial Chorten - The National Memorial Chorten is a stupa where locals do their evening prayers. The stupa was built in 1974 in memory of the third king.

  • Motithang Takin Preserve - The Motithang Takin Preserve in Thimphu is a wildlife reserve area for takin, the National Animal of Bhutan.

  • Changangkha Lhakhang - 15th century monastery and one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Thimphu Valley. It is dedicated to Avalokiteshvara, the Buddhist emanation of compassion. The temple offers excellent views of the valley.

  • Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu - Tashichho Dzong also known as the 'Fortress of the religious' is a Buddhist monastery and fortress on the edge of the city of Thimphu and lies on the western bank of Wang Chu River. Tashichho Dzong has traditionally been the seat of the Dharma Raja and now houses the government since 1952 and the central monk body.

Punakha :

  • Punakha Dzong - Punakha Dzong is a prominent landmark of Punakha and offers views of the riverside. The Dzong houses the sacred relics of the southern Drukpa Kagyu school including the Rangjung Kasarpani, and the sacred remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Padma Lingpa.

  • Chimi Lhakhang in Punakha - Chimi Lhakhang is a Buddhist monastery in Punakha built in 1499 by the 14th Drupka hierarch, after being blessed by “Divine Madman” saint Drupka Kunley.

Thimphu :

  • National Folk Heritage Museum - The National Folk Heritage Museum showcases rural life. Exhibits and cultural shows are held in the museum compound. Open: Mon-Fri 10:30 AM to 4:30PM Sat 10:30 AM to 1 PM Sun 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM

  • Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu - Tashichho Dzong also known as the 'Fortress of the religious' is a Buddhist monastery and fortress on the edge of the city of Thimphu and lies on the western bank of Wang Chu River. Tashichho Dzong has traditionally been the seat of the Dharma Raja and now houses the government since 1952 and the central monk body.

  • The National Memorial Chorten - The National Memorial Chorten is a stupa where locals do their evening prayers. The stupa was built in 1974 in memory of the third king.

  • Changangkha Lhakhang - 15th century monastery and one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Thimphu Valley. It is dedicated to Avalokiteshvara, the Buddhist emanation of compassion. The temple offers excellent views of the valley.

  • Motithang Takin Preserve - The Motithang Takin Preserve in Thimphu is a wildlife reserve area for takin, the National Animal of Bhutan.

  • Chimi Lhakhang in Punakha - Chimi Lhakhang is a Buddhist monastery in Punakha built in 1499 by the 14th Drupka hierarch, after being blessed by “Divine Madman” saint Drupka Kunley.

  • Punakha Dzong - Punakha Dzong is a prominent landmark of Punakha and offers views of the riverside. The Dzong houses the sacred relics of the southern Drukpa Kagyu school including the Rangjung Kasarpani, and the sacred remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Padma Lingpa.

Destination Overview

Thimphu - Thimphu is capital city of Bhutan and one of the most visited destinations of Bhutan. Thimphu is a city offering an old world charm of a Himalayan Kingdom alongwith Monasteries, museums and a distinct heritage character.

Punakha - Punakha Valley is a riverside town and rice bowl of Bhutan and is renowned for the countryside character it offers.

Bumthang - Bumthang is a remote area in Bhutan consists of the four mountain valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor ("Bumthang") and visited for off-beat character and known for its rural countryside experience.

Paro - The beautiful Paro valley provides a visitor with all the essential elements of Bhutan in general. Ancient temples, massive forts, monasteries, picturesque villages, scenic hikes, and drives. Zhiwa Ling is in close proximity to the many attractions the Paro valley has to offer

Access
Prefered Arrival : No ImageParo
Prefered Departure : No ImageParoNo ImageFalakata(205kms), Siliguri(300kms)
Distances
  • Paro to Thimphu -65 kms (1 hrs)
  • Thimphu to Punakha -80 kms (3 hrs)
  • Punakha to Bumthang -223 kms (7 hrs)
  • Bumthang to Punakha -223 kms (7 hrs)
  • Punakha to Paro -145 kms (4 hrs)

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Travel Ideas incorporated in the itinerary

Lines indicate the best available driving routes.
Arrows indicate connectivity other than Road (e.g. Waterways or Air).
Please click on the markers for more detailed Information.

Distances
  • Paro to Thimphu -65 kms (1 hrs)
  • Thimphu to Punakha -80 kms (3 hrs)
  • Punakha to Bumthang -223 kms (7 hrs)
  • Bumthang to Punakha -223 kms (7 hrs)
  • Punakha to Paro -145 kms (4 hrs)

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Nivalink has taken over 300 trips across India and select destinations overseas over last 10 years to verify hotels, evaluate destinations and understand its suitability with different profiles of customers across different seasons.

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