Gateway to Bhutan tour is ideal for those wishing to enter Bhutan from the Indian state of Western Bengal via the southern overland border gateway of Phuentsholing. The Tour can be begin or end with a breathtaking journey on roads surrounded by lush green tea plantations with breathtaking views of the Himalayan foothills, this tour explores the highlights of Bhutan’s western valleys. Enjoy the many cultural sites of Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital including the National Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the arts and crafts school and Tashichhoedzong before crossing the 3050m Dochula Pass into the sub-tropical Punakha Valley featuring the incredible the Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakang, temple of the ‘Divine Madman’. Continue on to the bustling market town of Wangdue before returning to the beautiful Paro Valley to explore the Ta Dzong Museum, Rimpong Dzong with its wooden cantilevered bridge and the incredible Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), perched on a cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor. We highly recommend combining this tour with a visit to the renowned Indian hill station of Darjeeling and Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. We wish you a beautiful journey through our kingdom.
|Day||Day to Day trip Schedule|
|01||Arrival Bagdogra – Phuntsholing||Hotel|
|02||Phuntsholing – Thimphu||Hotel|
|04||Thimphu – Punakha||Hotel|
|06||Paro Taktshang Hike||Hotel|
Upon your arrival at Bagdogra airport you will be greeted by our guide and driver. After short discussion you will be driven to Phuentsholing, the gate way to Bhutan through lush green tea gardens. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Overnight at your hotel in Phuentsholing.
After completing your immigration formalities drive to Thimphu through a pleasant forest. From Phuntsholing you will see how the Himalayas are swiftly rising up from the Indian planes and the road rapidly begins to climbs to a cool environment. The landscape and the climate change vastly en-route makes sure you carry worm cloths. You will pass through almost a perpetually shrouded in a fine mist, and if the weather is clear the surrounding landscape is stunning with magnificent Vince waterfall. Reaching Thimphu you will soon notice that it is unlike most of the capital cities of the world. There are no high rise buildings and the traffic is very low.
This affluent and vibrant province has been a home to the Royal families and government ministries for more than six decades. Thimphu, the city of happening also serves as the cultural hub for ten and thousands of foreigners and locals. Well preserved cultural heritages, serene environment and easy accessibility of modern amenities are peculiarities that sets Thimphu apart from rest of the provinces in Bhutan.
Your tour program in Thimphu includes, sightseeing visit to Folk heritage museum, National library, painting school, Changangkha Lhakhang, Sangaygang view point, Takin zoon and Thimphu Dzong. Evening leisure hour at clock tower square and experience the sights and sound.
After your breakfast check out from the hotel for your next destination, DRUK WANGYEL CHORTEN, “Chortens of the victory of the Druk Gyalpo” the top (dochula pass) is unlike that of any other pass you will encounter here or for that matter anywhere in the world! There are a 109 chortens in three tiers of 45,36 and 27 circumscribing a single large chorten. The building of this chortens was initiated by Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk when her husband, the fourth king, travelled to the South-East of the country in December 2003 leading his army against insurgents from India. Beside these magnificient chortens in an amazing setting you will be able to sport some of the great Himalayan peaks. CHIMI LHAKHANG, it is a pleasant 30-40 minute walk from the road head, through cultivated fields and up a gentle slop. This lhakhang dates back to 1499 and was built by Lama Drukpa Kinley, when he visited this valley. Lama Drukpa Kinley is believed to have subdued the demoness residing at Dochu La with his ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom’ and a wooden effigy of this is preserved within. PUNAKHA DZONG, the dzong straddles the confluence of two rivers and resembles a giant battleship. Its full name is ‘Pungthang Dechen Phodrang’ or ‘Palace of Great Happiness.’ This extremely impressive fortress was built as far back as 1937. It was the second of the mighty dzong built by Zhabdrung and was the seat of government till the end of the reign of the second king.
After break fast drive back to Paro
Visit Kyichu Lhakhang:
The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. The temple was built by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo in the 7th Century AD. The Kyichu Lhakhang was one of the 108 temples constructed by him to subdue a demon that was terrorizing the people of the Himalayas. The temple is believed to have been visited by the Guru Rinpoche in the 8th Century during his visit to the Paro Valley. One of the most important relics of the temple is a 7th century statue of Jowo Sakyamuni which is believed to have cast the at the same time as it famous counterpart in Lhasa Tibet.
The Dungtse lhakhang:
Temple is located just north of the city of Paro. The Dungtse Lhakhang temple is very unique in its design as it’s designed like a Chorten (Stupa), which is highly unlike any other Lhakhang / temple in Bhutan. The Temple was built in the 1443 AD by Thantong Gyalpo, known as the iron bridge builder in Bhutanese legend. The Dungtse Lhakhang is built over 3 levels that represent the 3 spiritual realms of earth i.e. Hell, Earth and Heaven. The walls of the Dungtse Lhakhang are decorated in beautiful hand-painted murals that depict these 3 realms of earth. These beautiful murals are regarded as some of the finest examples of Bhutanese art in the country
Evening free time for shopping
Overnight at hotel Paro
TAKTSANG GOMPA, it is now time to embark on your somewhat arduous adventure for the day ascending the 3000 ft cliff reach the most spectacularly located Gompa in all of Bhutan. According to the legend Guru Padmasambhava visited the site in 8th century flying from the East of the country on the back of a tigress( a form that one of his consorts is believed to have taken). He meditated for three months in the cave here and then domining his terrifying form of Dorli Droloe subjugiated the evil spirits. Following him many permanent saints came here to meditate; notably Milarepa, Labdoenma and Thongtong Gyalpo. Today, Taktsang is more a holy place in the country. KYICHU LHAKHANG, go back in time and history and visit the 7th century Kyichu lhakhang. As the name suggest, the temple is a reservoir of peace, where you will really feel peace here. Next to the temple is a house now turned into museum dedicated to the late Delgo Khyentse Rinpochhe. One can come across photographs and other artifacts belonging to Rinpochhe.
BOARD YOUR FLIGHT BACK HOME
The Trip Cost Includes
- Bhutan Tourist Tariff Royalty & Visa fees.
- Food and lodging in 3star category hotels and resorts in twin room sharing basis (4 & 5 star requires additional cost)
- Tourist standard transport vehicles will be provided depending upon the number of Guest travelling.
- All meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
- All internal taxes will be included
- One time special cultural show program will be organized by Exotic vacations Bhutan for group above 10 pax and if number of pax is exceeding 16 pax .Troop leaders (1pax) will be give complimentary trip to Bhutan
- Local English speaking guide/tour leader.
- All entrance fees and permits.
The Trip Cost Excludes
- Air tickets cost any sector you choose
- Single room supplementary of USD 40 per night
- All personal expenses such as bars, beverages, laundry, telephone and tips.
- Guide and Driver Tipping's
- Pottery pony hire charge of USD 30 per head for visiting Tigers nest for those who cannot walk up to tigers nest
- Surcharge of USD 40 per person per nights and USD 30 and above 3 pax .no surcharge will be charged
- Medical / Travel Insurance.