Trekking in Bhutan is unlike anywhere else in the Himalayas. Whether taking an easy flat stroll or an arduous hike, guests will experience crystal clear air, sensational views andvery often have the trek route to themselves. All parties are accompanied by a trained guide, a cook, an assistant, at least one horseman and all treks are accommodated in tented campsites. Trekkers rarely have to carry more than a daypack as horses and yaks carry all provisions and most of the guest’s belongings.
Bumdra Monastery Trek: Option 1 – Two days / One night.
Trek Rating: MODERATE – means hard in places and good fitness required.
Maximum Altitude: 3,900-4000 metres.
On the Bumdra Trek, trekkers will spend two (or 3) days traversing the area around the Bumdra Temple. After driving to the trek point from your hotel, trekkers climb up to the temple and enjoy lunch and beautiful views. Higher up is the campsite and it is here that guests may learn why this trek is also called the “Trek of Thousand Dakinis (celestial female beings.)” Trekkers have the opportunity to explore the caves where the thousand dakinis had convened. In the descent from camp, guests will visit a number of temples including a hill top nunnery. Beautiful views of the temple complex may be seen on the way home.
Hike from Sang Choekor Buddhist College in the Paro valley (2,800 m) to Yak pasture where we camp below Bumdra Monastery (3,800 m)
The adventure begins with an early morning drive up to the Sang Choekor to meet our ponies; while they are being loaded we may pay our respects at the college. The initial one to two-hour ascent of a shady, forested ridge, brings us to a clearing with prayer flags and views down into both the Paro and Do Chhu Valleys.
Above and ahead the Chhoe Tse Lhakhang (temple) nestles on the mountainside a further one to two hour’s walk away. The trail undulates before the last steep section up to the pretty temple which offers commanding views south over Paro and northwards to the snowcapped Himalayas.
After a final 20-minute climb through ruins and fluttering prayer flags, we plunge back into ancient forest, and, after traversing for about 40 minutes, we come out onto a high wide meadow dotted with sacred chortens and prayer flags.
Our home for the night is tucked away just under Bumdra Monastery (Cave of a Thousand Prayers) and offers unimpeded views of the Himalayan range. After lunch we can visit the monastery (if it is occupied) and also climb the peak to the north (about 4000 m) for even better views, returning in time for a well earned dinner.
Duration: 3–4 hours to camp, optional 2–3 hours return trek to peak
Difficulty: Moderate, guided with picnic.
Return hike from Bumdra Monastery camp via Zangto Pelri Monastery & Taktsang Monastery.
After a hearty breakfast, it is time to either head straight back into the valley or spend a little extra time soaking up the view. Eventually we have to drop back into the ancient pine and rhododendron forest on the monks’ zig-zagging trail.
After one to two hours of descent we catch glimpses of the golden roofs of temples below. The path snakes across the mountainside between these monasteries before reaching the gardens of Zangto Pelri (Heaven on Earth) from which you can, if you are brave, peer over the edge, straight down onto the ornate rooftops of Taktsang Monastery perched against the cliff-face far below.
An hour later and we are across the gorge from Taktsang Monastery. Follow a steep descent to a waterfall then up some steps and you’ll reach the Tiger’s Nest itself. Retracing our steps we begin the final descent of about 45 minutes to Paro Valley floor to reach our vehicle from where you will be transferred by road to your overnight accommodation.
Duration: 5 – 7 hours depending on time taken in monasteries
Bumdra Monastery Trek: Option 2 – Three days / Two night.
This trek operates are per the 2 day/1 night version above except adds a day at leisure in the Bumdra Lhakang area where you can visit the Lhakang and have an audience with the monks engaged in prayer and meditation.
In this monastery you have a clear view of the cave believed to have 100,000 footprints of Dakanis – Goddess & fairies. After your Lhakang visit climb the nearby ridge for approx 30 minutes for a magnificent view of sacred Mt Jhomolhari (mountain of the Goddess) along with other Himalayan peaks and also the sky burial site, still used today.
AMAZING LADAKH...(18 Jun,2016)
AMAZING LADAKH. 5 NIGHTS / 6 DAYS TOUR.
Day 1st :- Leh
On arrival at Leh airport, you will be met by our representative and transfer you to Hotel. Lunch at hotel. Complete day for rest to get acclimatize with the high altitude in Leh (Ladakh) which is 3500 Mtrs above sea level. Overnight at Hotel.
After early breakfast full day sightseeing of Shey, Thiksey &Hemis. Shey was the summer Palace of Ladakhi Kings and is where you can see the 36Ft. high statue of Buddha made of copper and covered with gold. Thicksey : The twelve storied monastery of Thicksey is situated in the most prominent of positions, lies on an island Mountain. Finally visit; Hemis : Farthest away from Leh, this is the wealthiest Monastery in Ladakh belonging to the Red Sect - it is here each summer that plays are held and Ladakhis from all parts of the country will visit Hemis. Evening return to Leh.Meals and overnight at Hotel.
Day 3rd :- In Leh (Visit Stok Palace + Leh Palace + Shanti Stupa &Leh Market)
After breakfast visit Stok palace which houses a fine private museum. There is a superb collection of thangkhas, said to be the best in the world. In the afternoon visit Leh, a fascinating labyrinth of winding streets and quaint bazaars. The main street is open and airy, with rows of shops on either side. On either side of the market are seen a long line of Ladakhi women in traditional dress and colourful jewelry of coral and turquoise, seated behind enormous baskets, selling vegetables. The spectacular eight-storey Leh Palace looming above, overlooking the town, was built in the 16th century, about the same time as the Potala in Lhasa which it resembles. Back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4th :- Leh - Khardongla Pass - Leh (85 Kms)
After breakfast day excursion to Khardongla pass which is the highest motor able pass in the world 5600 Mtrs and has been recorded in the Gunnies Book of world records. At the top enjoy the nature beauty of snow capped mountains. Afternoon back to the hotel and time for your personal shopping and explore market and surrounding. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 5th :- Leh (Excursion Alchi - 67 Kms)
Morning drive to Alchi for approx 2 hours drive. Situated to the west of the town of Leh. Built by Translator, RinchenZangpo, it dates back to the year 1000 AD. Alchi Gompa in Ladakh comprises of a number of blessed temples, including the main one of RinchenLhakhang at LotsaLhakhang. The other temples are the JamyangLhakhang (Manjusri temple) and the SumtsagLhakhang. Alchi Monastery of Leh Ladakh reflects an Indian touch, especially in its paintings. Back to Leh and overnight.
Day 6th :- Leh - Delhi
Transfer in time to the airport to connect onwards destination flight.
MYTHS & MOUNTAINS TOUR...(06 Aug,2016)
"MYTHS & MOUNTAINS TOUR" 9 NIGHTS / 10 DAYS.
Day 01 : Arrive Paro by Druk Air
The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some world's highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport, and after completion of arrival formalities you will be transferred to Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, an exciting blend of tradition and modernity.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02 : Thimphu
Today's full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes, visit to ;
National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion;
Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as Painting School) where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan;
Textile and Folk Heritage Museum: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life.
National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King ("the Father of modern Bhutan") and a monument to world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
Trashichhodzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.
Handicrafts Emporium: This government-run enterprise displays a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products. It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03 : Thimphu / Trongsa ( 200 Km, 6 hours drive)
After early breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
Then continue onwards, reaching Wangduephodrang town in time for lunch. From Dochu-la pass, it is a long, winding descent into the Wangduephodrang valley, which is about 1,700m below the pass. Take lunch at Wangduephodrang town, then continue on to Trongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830 ft), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large white chorten prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo.
Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu's Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes panted at four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.
Arrive at Trongsa late afternoon and check into the lodge for the night.
Day 04 : Trongsa / Bumthang ( 68 Km, 3 hours drive )
After breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong. Built in 1648 it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second Kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. All four Kings were invested as Trongsa Penlop ('governer') prior to ascending the throne, and the present Crown Prince now holds the post. The Dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built.
Then drive to Bumthang, 68 km from Trongsa, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft). The road winds steeply up to the pass, 28 km from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley.
On arrival in Bumthang, check in at your lodge.
Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 05 : Bumthang
Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys - Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.
Visit to Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock., the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and perhaps take refreshments at a local restaurant.
Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 06 : Bumthang / Gangtey / Phobjikha (190 km, 7 hours drive)
After breakfast drive to Gangtey / Phobjikha. In the mountains east of Wangduephodrang lies the beautiful Phobjikha valley, on the slopes of which is situated the great monastery of Gangtey, established in the 17th century. The village of Phobjikha lies a few km, down from the monastery, on the valley floor. This quite, remote valley is the winter home of black necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet in the north, to pass the winter months in a milder climate. Explore Gangtey village and Phobjikha valley.
Overnight at the lodge in Gangtey / Phobjikha.
Day 07 : Gangtey / Phobjikha / Punakha (70 km, 3 hours drive)
After breakfast drive to Punakha.
Afternoon visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. Punakha was Bhutan's capital until 1955, and Punakha Dzong still serves as the winter residence of the central monk body. Bhutan's first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood over the centuries. The latest flood, in October, 1994, caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared its most holy statue. Also visit Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, the newly built stupa.
Overnight at the hotel in Punakha / Wangduephodrang.
Day 08 : Punakha / Paro (125 km, 4.1/2 hours drive)
After breakfast, drive to Paro en route visit Simtokha Dzong. This dzong, built in 1627 is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.
Afternoon visit to Ta Dzong, which in the past served as watchtower for Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong) and now houses the National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal , the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the sprng.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 09 : Paro
After breakfast, drive up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1647 by the Shabdrung to commemorate the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetans in war of 1644.
Then take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery view point. It is one of the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called 'Tiger's Nest'. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime.
While returning to hotel visit en route, Kyichu Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 10 : Depart Paro
After early breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.