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Bhutan Cultural Tour (Extensive)

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Bhutan Cultural Tour (Extensive) Daywise Itinerary


Day 1: 

Arrive in Phuentsholing by Evening. 

Brief day's plan: Report and take checkin to your rooms. Take a local sight seeing of Phuentsholing. By afternoon, we resolve our immigration permits and then in evening, we take a local tour of the place.

As a border city to India, Phuentsholing is a very unique place to visit. As soon as we enter into Bhutan, we witness a dramatic change in the city beyond the gate. The frontier town, it is a thriving commercial centre, situated directly at the base of Himalayan foothills. It is  a fascinating place where different ethnic groups mingle prominently Indian, Bhutanese and Nepalese. Being the border town, Phuentsholing serves as the convenient entry/exit point for Bhutan and also the important link to visit the Indian state of West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam.

In evening, we will visit Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang. Situated in the city centre, this small temple represents the heaven of Guru Rinpoche. On the ground floor there are statues of eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche and paintings on Buddha’s life while the next floor contains eight Bodhisattavas and statues of Avalokiteshvara and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. On the top floor, there is a main statue of Amitabha.

Accommodation: Hotel, Phuentsholing
Meals: Evening Snacks and Dinner




Day 2: 

Phuentsholing (300m ) to Thimphu (2179m ), by Bus, Lunch at Chukha, 179 kms, 5 - 6 hrs. 

Brief day's plan: Today we board a tourist coaster bus or other comfortable vehicles to reach Thimphu - the capital city of Bhutan. As soon as we crossed the border yesterday, we did notice the cultural intensity of Bhutan. Today we  start entering deep into it. We stop for lunch break in Chukha - the Hydro Electric Power Bank of Bhutan, which distributes to India as well.. We reach Thimphu, check into our rooms.

Evening, we take a local tour of the city. 


National Memorial Chorten:

This large impressive monument with its golden spire was built in 1974 to honour the memory of the third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928 – 1972).

Built by his mother Her Majesty the late Queen Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck, the whitewashed chorten is decorated with richly carved annexes facing the four directions, and features elaborate mandalas, statues and a shrine dedicated to the popular third king. There are numerous religious paintings and complex tantric statues housed inside reflecting both peaceful and wrathful aspects of Buddhist deities.

The memorial chorten, with its sun-catching golden finial, is one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu, and for many people it is the focus of their daily worship. Throughout the day people circumambulate the chorten, whirl the large red prayer wheels and pray in the adjacent shrine. The early morning is particularly tranquil as elderly people shuffle in and spruced-up kids on their way to school whiz in and out to pay homage.


Kuensel Phodrang.

The Kuensel Phodrang or the Buddha point is the world’s largest sitting Buddha statue, the statue is 167 feet high. The statue is situated on top of a hill overlooking the city of Timphu, it can be accessed by road and is about 15 minutes away from the city’s center. The word Kuensel means everything is clear and from this place you will surely enjoy a great view of the Thimphu Valley on both sides. The statute houses a temple inside it, the statue and its adjoining car park and recreational center .The statue is constructed out of bronze and is studded with many semi-precious stones. Since they are no factories in country that can make such a large bronze cast structure, the statute was manufactured in China and the pieces were brought to Bhutan and were assembled here. On the drive to the statue the steep winding hill road offers an unparalleled view of the city of Thimphu and is an excellent place to capture a view of the city especially after dark. A journalist once described the view as “seeing an osasis of light in the desert of darkness “as the city light of Thimphu shine very bright in an otherwise dark Thimphu valley.

At night, its time to experience the Night Life of Thimphu.


Accommodation: Hotel, Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.




Day 3: 

Thimphu. Local sight seeing. 

Brief day's plan: We go around Thimphu to get more... 


Folk Heritage Museum.

The folk heritage museum was open to the general public in 2001 upon completion. It treasures troves of culture and rich Bhutanese heritage provide rich insights into the Bhutanese ethos. The folk heritage museum is housed in a replica traditional Bhutanese house learn first-hand about Bhutan’s rich cultural traditions, its deeply rooted heritage which spans thousands of years and the Bhutanese way of life. The tour of this almost living museum will also give you a glimpse onto how many rural folk of the country live today following the ancient Bhutanese ways.


National Institute of Zorig Chusum.

The art and crafts currently taught in Bhutan, were introduced to the country in the 15th century by Trenton Pema Lingpa. Trenton Pema Lingpa also known as the Great Treasure National Institute for Zorig Chusum - Discoverer is credited to have introduced these art forms to the people of Bhutan. These traditional crafts are a representation of the centuries of knowledge and ability that was been handed down to master craftsmen and artisan through each generation. Bhutan’s unique artistic tradition has played a vital role in shaping the countries distinct culture and heritage. It was realized that this unique and priceless heritage of the nation need to be protected and promoted with the strong patronage of the royal government. With this vision in mind the royal institute for Zoring Chusum was established in the year 1971 to train the youth in the 13 traditional Arts and Crafts of Bhutan. The institute now falls under the aegis of the National Technical Training Authority which was established in 1990 to ensure high quality vocational training for the people of the country. The institute has now been operational for almost 40 years and has taught students the arts of painting, embroidery, calligraphy, sculpting and wood carving.


The National Library.

The National Library of Bhutan was first established in 1967 under the patronage of HM Queen Ashi Phuntso Choden (1911–2003), with a small collection of precious texts. The library was initially housed within the central tower (utse) of Tashichodzong. Later, due to its growing collection, it had to move to a building in the Changgangkha area of Thimphu.

To provide a permanent home for the sacred religious books and manuscripts in the growing collection, construction of the present four-storeyed eight-cornered traditional building, which looks like the central tower temple of a Bhutanese Dzong, in the Kawajangtsa area of Thimphu was initiated. The cost of the construction of this building was borne entirely by the Royal Government of Bhutan without any foreign aid.

This building, which houses the collection of traditional texts, was inaugurated and consecrated as a temple by H.H Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche on November 23, 1984 in order to provide a sacred space for the religious books which form the bulk of the collection. The library moved into its permanent home at the end of 1984 under the auspices of the then Special Commission for Cultural Affairs.


Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory:

This is a private factory and they manufacture a special watermark paper as well as products such as lampshades, envelopes and other objects made of traditional Bhutanese paper. They make great gifts to take home with you and are genuinely unique. It is not just the texture of these handmade paper products that will intrigue you, but also their unique earth tones and natural hews. This factory manufactures a special watermark paper as well as products such as lampshades, envelopes and other objects made of traditional Bhutanese paper. Bhutan protects its environment through long-term sustainability, and they follow it because they do not destroy the plant when they extract the raw material required. Paper products are manufactured from "daphne papyracea".


Motithang Takin Preserve. 

The Motithang Takin Preserve also known as the Thimphu Zoo by many is a small natural preserve for the Takin Bhutan’s national animal. It was originally a mini zoo, but it was converted in a preserve later on as the Takin. The mini zoo contained a small number of Takin but the King of Bhutan later decreed that it was improper for a Buddhist nation to keep an animal in captivity. The animals were set free and the zoo was shut down, but for some reason the Takin refused to leave the area for the forests nearby. Instead the animals were frequently found roaming around the streets of the capital city in search for food. As a result the government decided to demarcate an 8 acre fenced location as the Motithang Takin Preserve. The preserve is a forested preserve that mimics the Takin’s natural habitat, in addition to the Takin there are a few musk deer and barking deer that live inside the preserve. There are plans to expand the preserves collection to include other rarely seen animals that live in Bhutan, currently the preserve plans to add the Red Panda and the Himalayan Serow to the preserve.


BBS (Radio) Tower:

It is on a ridge end and from there you can get a bird's eye view of Thimphu valley below. A short walk up from the road end will reach you to another hill with thousands of prayer flags fluttering about in the wind. It is a colourful sight and you can feel the serenity of the prayers as you take in the view and the crisp air.


Accommodation: Hotel, Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.




Day 4: 

Thimphu to Punakha, Wangdue

After breakfast, we set on a picturesque drive to Punakha and Wangdue, enroute Dochula at 3150m which offers a wide view of the surrounding valleys. From Dochula to Wangdue, it's another two hours drive. Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers.   

We have lunch on the way and then visit Punakha Dzong. Built between 1637-1638, it is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. 


Accommodation: Hotel, Wangdue
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.




Day 5: 

Wangdue to Bumthang, via Gangtey, Phobjikha,  Trongsa

Today early morning we leave for Bumthang. We drive about an hour towards Pelela pass (11,000ft) and retrace our 

Steps and take a road that heads to Gangtey Gompa over Tashi La pass. Descend about an hour to Phobjikha Valley. It is a wide open valley, where Gangtey Gompa is ideally located on a hill over looking the valley. It is the winter habitat for the Black necked cranes migrating from Tibet early November till mid March. Gangtey Gompa is institute for monks following the Nyingmapa sect in the country. After visiting the monastery we drive back over the Pelela pass. Descend through the open meadows and valley of yak herders and several villages via Chendeji Chorten built in a form of Nepalese style in 15th century.  Picnic lunch will be served enroute or at the restaurant at Chendebji. We drive for another 2 hours passing through several villages like Tsangkha, Tashicholing. Enroute stop at the viewpoint of Trongsa Dzong. Continue drive to Bumthang


Accommodation: Hotel, Bumthang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.




Day 6, 7: 

Hikes around Bumthang.

Bumthang is a raw beauty. In the next couple of days, we will experience it to the fullest.

There are lots of Lakhangs/ Dzongs/ Monasteries to visit. First day we will visit those.

  • Jambay Lhakhang, 
  • Kurje Lhakhang, 
  • Tamshing Lhakhang, 
  • Jakar Dzong, 
  • Konchogsum Lhakhang, 
  • Chankhar Lhakhang, 
  • Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery

There are some interesting hikes around Bumthang and Jakar which will give you a deeper insight to the place, its history and ancient cultural heritage. 

Hikes include - Uru Valley, Tang Valley, Membartsho (The Burning Lake), Ugyenchholing Palace, Kunzangdrak Goemba, Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, etc


Accommodation: Hotel, Bumthang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.




Day 8: 

Drive back to Wangdue.

Accommodation: Hotel, Wangdue
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.




Day 9: 

Wangdue to Thimphu ( 2320m) to Paro (2300m), 65 kms, 1 - 2 hrs and then Local Sight seeing.

Brief day's plan: Today we ride through the curvy roads to Paro from Wangdue. It should take us around 1.5 hours and then once we reach, we check in to our hotel and take a local tour. We visit the museum and other places nearby and then go by the side of Paro Chu ( river ) to spend the rest of the day. 

The National Museum:

It used to be the watch tower for the Dzong below and the design is believed to be conch like, one will be able to notice how the corridors spiral down to the other entrance/ exit. However, there was a major earthquake which caused quite a bit of damage to the structure and the artifacts have been shifted to a newer building just above. The artifacts include a range of items which represent the history of Bhutan.

Paro Rinpung Dzong:

The name means Fortress of a heap of Jewels is now the center for District Administrations’ and Religious activities’. The structure itself dates back to the 17th century and is quite an imposing building watching over the valley of Paro. The annual festival (Tsechu) starts from this place and the dances take place in the courtyard outside.

A Short Bridge-Hike: 

A hike down the moderate slope to the cantilever bridge, one of the finest specimens in Bhutan with its shingle roof and two guard-houses at each end.


Accommodation: Hotel, Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.




Day 10: 

Paro (2300m) to Tiger's Nest ( over-the-cliff-hanging Taktshang Monastery, 2580m ) to Drugyel Dzong ( 2300m, A Unesco World Heritage Site ), 8 - 9 hrs. 

Brief day's plan: Today we drive till the base of the Taktshang Monastery, a village names Taktshang. We then start our beautiful hike upto the monastery. As the monastery reveals itself hanging on a cliff, the hike become easier. All through the scenery is magnificent. After we reach the monastery, we visit it. It has deep rooted history and impact on present day Bhutan. After spending some good time there, we head back to the base which takes us a little less than 2 hours hike. We then drive to Drugyel Dzong, a historic structure in its ruins. It resembles Bhutan's pride against the Tibetan force. We then come back to Paro to rest out the day. 


Accommodation: Hotel, Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.




Day 11: 

Paro to Phuentsholing, 179 Kms, 4 - 5 hours.

Brief Day's Plan: Today is the last day of our trip. We start early so that those who want to leave today itself are on time to leave for NJP, Kolkata or Bagdogra. On reaching, we check in to our Hotel and then spend the day shopping and partying !!


Accommodation: Hotel, Phuentsholing.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.



Service Ends Here.



Bhutan Cultural Tour (Extensive) - Package & Cost Details

We do not organize fixed departures for this trip.

If you want to do this trek with us, please fill this form to Request A Customized Private Trip Plan just for your team members. We will get back to you with all the details specific to your personalized requirements

When Should You Book?

We typically get booked about 3 - 6 months in advance. It is advisable to book this much in advance as you get early bird discounts and also your travel costs like flights/hotels/trains etc are much cheaper and confirmed if you book well in advance.



Rules Of Cancellation: 

  1. Up to 20 days or more before the trek start date  - Full Refund of the total paid amount
  2. Between 20 days to 0 days before the trek start date - No refund. Free rescheduling or transfer of slots is allowed as specified below.
  3. Transfer Of Slot to a Different Batch/ Trek: No Loss Of Money, valid up to 1 year from the Invoice date. It can be availed up to 15 days before Trek Start Date by sending an email.
  4. Transfer of Slot to Friend/ Family For Same Batch: No Loss Of Money, valid up to 1 year from Invoice date. It can be availed up to 5 days before Trek Start Date by sending an email.
  5. Validity: This rule is only applicable for treks below 4000 meters and not graded as Challenging or Challenging+


Find detailed info on Cancellation & Refund Policy

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