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Bhutan – The Land of Happiness

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From₹ 37,000₹ 35,000
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From₹ 37,000₹ 35,000
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+91 9999 74 9677

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  • Bhutan
  • Sep 30 - Oct 8, 2018

Bhutan, the land of happiness, has been a dream destination of any conscious traveler. Warm smiles and hospitality of Bhutanese people, wide valleys, beautiful birds, dramatic landscapes, majestic mountains, captivating Dzongs, refreshing waterfalls and blessing prayer flags in the sky are bound to enthrall us. The local food is quite spicy but Ema Datshi, Kewa Datshi, Suja and some yak cheese will keep calling your taste buds back forever. It’s one of the rarest countries that has come a long in preserving its culture which is evident from the architecture of buildings as every single structure in Bhutan sticks to traditional architecture. Every second men and women wear the traditional attire known as Gho and Kira respectively, even in their everyday lives. The respect for this tiny country increases when one gets to know that Bhutan is the first and the only carbon negative country in the world. It’s a landlocked country sharing borders with Tibet and India. In fact, it rests like a baby in the arms of mother India which very well explains the friendly relations between two countries.

Let’s hold hands and explore one of the most fascinating and exemplary countries in the world in the group of the most wonderful people onboard. 

 

Trip Highlights

1. Buddha Point:  Tourists often drive to Buddha Point to be mesmerized by the breathtaking view it offers. It refers to the statue of Buddha located on the top a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park overlooking the southern entrance of Thimpu.  The statue is known as Buddha Dordenma and it’s the largest sitting sculpture of Sakyamuni Buddha in the world with a height of 51.5 meters, made of sold bronze.  It looks beautifully golden and inside the statue, there are approximately 125, 000 smaller Buddha statues of varied size.  

2. Changangkha Lhakhang: Changangkha Lhakhang is a popular 12th century Buddhist temple which appears like a fortress from outside. The parents usually visit this temple to get auspicious names for their newly born babies and blessings for their young children from temple deity Tamdrin as he has a status of being a ‘protector’. The place has a beautiful old and rustic architecture. It also offers the bird’s eye view of the whole town as we sit down comfortably on the benches near the entrance.

3. Motithang Takin Preserve: The Takin Preserve is a wildlife reserve area for the national animal of Bhutan, Takin.  Takin attracts special attention for its unique appearance. Legends say that it was conjured from the head of a goat and the body of a cow by a 15th century Buddhist saint named Drukpa Kunley in a religious gathering where people requested him to present a miracle.

4. National Folk Heritage Museum: Located in the capital city of Thimpu, National Folk Heritage Museum showcases traditional Bhutanese lifestyle. Some of the galleries inside the museum are open-air while remaining are located inside a wooden three storied 19th century traditional house. Artifacts from rural households such as utensils, big storage containers, hearth, costumes, tools, etc are on the display which gives a very good understanding skills and habits of Bhutanese people.

5. Tashichho Dzong: Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist Monastery and a fortress located in Thimpu next to the banks of the Wang Chhu River. It’s the main secretariat building which houses the offices of the King and the Throne Room including some of the government ministries.

6. Dochula: Located at almost 10,000 feet, Dochula is a mighty mountain pass that offers a captivating 360 degree panoramic view of the snowcapped Himalayan mountain range including some of the highest peaks such as Gangkhar Puensum (24,840 ft), Tari Gang (23,960 ft), Gangchen Singye (23,630 ft), etc. There are 100 memorial stupas at Dochula known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens” which were built to honor the 108 Bhutanese soldiers who laid their lives in 2003 in a military operation.

7. Gangteng Monastery: Gangteng Monastery, established in 1613 and located in the Wangdue Phodrang District of Bhutan overlooking the green Phobjikha Valley, is a beautiful Buddhist Temple. The prayer hall of this monastery is one of the largest in Bhutan which is built in Tibetan style with 18 pillars around a three-storey atrium.

8. Crane Center Phobjikha: Black-necked cranes are migratory birds that visit the Phobjikha Valley of Bhutan from Tibetan plateau during winter season. Crane Center in Phobjikha was begun with the preservation and rehabilitation of a crane named Karma who was found injured in the valley. The center serves information on black necked cranes and other species of cranes along with the natural and cultural history of local area. It also has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes.

9. Chimi Lhakhang: Chimi Lhakhang is a Buddhist Monastery popularly known as Fertility Temple, located on a rotund hill. It was built to honor Buddhist saint Drukpa Kunley who personified the use of phallus to throw away evil’s eye and bad luck. Since it’s a fertility temple, it is visited mostly by women or couples who face problems in conceiving a child and they get blessed by being stroked with a wooden phallus. Visitors also bring phallus to the temple as an offering to The God here.

10. Punakha Dzong: Punakha Dzong is unquestionably the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan located at the confluence of Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu rivers in Punakha. Punakha is the erstwhile capital of Bhutan and hence this dzong remained as a government centre until it all the official work was moved to the current capital city of Thimpu in mid-1950s. However, it’s still the winter residence of official monk body.

11. National Museum of Bhutan: The National Museum of Bhutan does an excellent job in exhibiting the natural and cultural history of the country through its rich galleries, publications and the conservation of artifacts. Some of the galleries house the finest specimens of Bhutanese art including master pieces of bronze statues and thangka paintings. The museum possesses over 3000 works of Bhutanese art that covers more than 1500 years of Bhutan’s cultural heritage.

12. Taktsang Monastery: Most of the travel magazines, articles or postcards use the photo of Taktsang Monastery to represent Bhutan which means that any visit to the land of happiness is incomplete without witnessing Taktsang Monastery. Also known as Tiger Nest Monastery, it’s precariously sitting on a cliff in upper Paro Valley at an altitude of 9678 feet above the sea level.  Legends say that Guru Padmasambhava flew to the location on the back of a tigress.

13. Hot Stone Bath: Hot Stone Bath is one of the traditional experiences Bhutan has to offer. The large stones picked from riverside are heated in a furnace for hours which are gradually dropped into the wooden bath tub filled with water, along with a few herbs such as Artemisia leaves. The rocks release the heat energy into the water along with the minerals which are believed to relieve us from skin ailments, joint pains, hypertension, stomach disorders and arthritis. Not to mention that stones and bathing water in the tub are separated by a partition and hence no danger of getting burnt. In ancient times, hot stone bath used to take place in an open area but methods have evolved with time.

14. Chele La: Located at an altitude of 13,000 feet, Chele La is the highest road pass in the country. It offers a breathtaking view of Himalayan peaks especially Mt. Jomolhari which is the tallest mountain peak in Bhutan with a height of 22,000 feet. Chele La is the home to untouched dense forests and hiking trails. Blue Poppy, the national flower of Bhutan, which is rarely found in the country, can be found at Chele La.  It’s one and a half hours drive from Paro Valley and can be instantly recognized from hundreds of prayer flags gracing this mighty pass.

Itinerary

Day 1: Bagdogra to Phuntsholing

Landing at Bagdogra airport (starting at 2.30 PM) and driving to Phuntsholing
Dinner

Overnight stay in a hotel in Phuntsholing

Day 2: Phuntsholing to Thimpu

Breakfast
Obtaining permit from Immigration office
Driving to Thimpu
Lunch halt
Arriving in Thimpu
Dinner

Overnight stay in a hotel in Thimpu

Day 3: In and around Thimpu

Breakfast
Buddha Point
Changangkha Lhakhang
Motithang Takin Preserve
Lunch in the restaurant of National Folk Heritage Museum
Exploring National Folk Heritage Museum
Visiting Tashichho Dzong from outside
Evening free for group games and leisure
Dinner

Overnight stay in a homestay in Thimpu

Day 4: Thimpu to Phobjikha via DochuLa

Breakfast in Thimpu
Driving towards Phobjikha
Stopover at Dochula
Lunch halt
Gangteng Monastery Phobjikha
Evening walk in Phobjikha Valley

Overnight stay in a resort in Phobjikha

Day 5: Phobjikha to Punakha

Breakfast
Crane Centre
Start driving towards Punakha
Lunch halt
Chimi Lhakhang
Punakha Dzong
Evening free for group games and leisure
Dinner

Overnight stay in a homestay in Punakha

Day 6: Punakha to Paro

Breakfast
Start driving to Paro
Lunch in Paro
Visiting Chele La
Evening free for group games and leisure
Dinner

Overnight stay in a hotel in Paro

Day 7: In and around Paro

Early morning breakfast
Hiking upto Taktsang Monastery (optional)
Lunch while walking down the hill
Walking around in Paro Market
Hot Stone Bath (optional)
Dinner

Note: Those who don’t want to do the Taktsang hike, can be dropped in the market where they can shop, hang out in some quaint cafes and enjoy some good cakes.

Overnight stay in a hotel in Paro

Day 8: Paro to Phuntsholing/ Jaigaon

Breakfast
Airport view Point in Paro
National Museum of Bhutan
Driving back to Phuntsholing
Lunch halt
Evening free for leisure
Dinner

Overnight stay in a hotel in Phuntsholing/Jaigaon

Day 9: Phuntsholing to Bagdogra

Breakfast
Transfers to Bagdogra airport (reaching airport around 1 PM)

Trip Ends

Important

Cost

37000 INR (Bagdogra to Bagdogra)

First five seats are available at a discounted price of 35000 INR

To make a booking, please send an email to hello@transformingtravels.com

Inclusions

  • All transport from Bagdogra to Bagdogra from Day 1 to Day 9
  • Stay in three star hotels for eight nights on twin sharing basis. Please note that in case we have odd number of participants, then in maximum one room, there will be triple sharing. Hence, we expect participants to be a little flexible. Couples will be given a private room.
  • Day 1: Dinner, Day 2-8: Breakfast and Dinner, Day 9: Breakfast
  • Cost of local guide from Day 3 to Day 8
  • Cost of all activities mentioned in the plan except Hot Stone Bath
  • A 24/7 highly professional and friendly group lead throughout the tour
  • All permits

Exclusions

  • Cost of flight/ train/bus travel from your native city to Bagdogra airport
  • Entry cost to the monuments
  • Cost of Hot Stone Bath is not included. Guests can do it on directly payable basis.
  • Lunch, any meals or snacks not mentioned in inclusions section
  • Any expense on any items/services which are personal such as driver tips, medicines, toiletries, sun protection creams, snacks, laundry, STD calls, etc
  • Any extra expenses incurred due to delays arising from bad weather conditions or any unanticipated or uncontrollable conditions
  • Any medical expenses, travel insurance or emergency expenses
  • Any other expenses of any nature not included in the INCLUSIONS section

Basic Info

1. The group size will be limited to 16 participants

 2. Please land at Bagdogra airport before 2 PM on Day 1.

3. We cannot promise to drop you at Bagdogra airport on Day 9 before 1 PM. Hence, book your return flight accordingly.

4. The preparation methods and raw materials used for cooking Indian food differ a lot from what we are being served in India. Hence, be ready to accustom to some different tastes of the dishes which you have been eating forever.

5. Please carry your ID Proof (Passport/Aadhar) and a photocopy of front and back along with two passport sized photographs for permits.

6. The cost of mentioned above is valid only for Indian nationals.

7. You can buy a local sim from Phunstsholing which is issued after seeing a copy of your permit. The cost of data and local calling is quite reasonable. A call to India from local sim is charged at 4 INR per minute.

8. Indian currency is accepted in Bhutan. It’s easy to use the denominations of 100 INR  and 50 INR. Though we have seen most of the places accepting the bills of 10 INR, 20 INR and 500 INR.

Packing List

  • Comfortable Walking Shoes
  • Warm Clothes (including thermals, cap, gloves, socks)
  • Sunglasses/ Hat/ Headgear
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottle
  • Any prescribed medication
  • Neck Pillow
  • Power Banks
  • Toilet papers during road journey
  • Sanitizer
  • POSITIVE ENERGY & ENTHUSIASM!

Cancellation Policy

• 60 days before the trip: 90% refund
• 60-41 days before the trip: 70% refund
• 40-21 days before the trip: 50% refund
• 20-11 days before the trip: 30% refund
• 10-5 days before the trip: 10% refund
• Less than 5 days before the trip: No Refund

Terms and Conditions

You need to follow these terms and conditions while traveling with Transforming Travels.

  • Participants will be respectful to the fellow guests, organizers and the hosts
  • Participants have to show a little degree of flexibility during the tour
  • It's the duty of participant to assess whether they are physically fit or not for the tour before joining it.
Photos

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