Spiritual Journey to Bhutan with Lama Tenzin (Short-tour)

TOUR OVERVIEW

This 11-day Spiritual Journey, short tour will take you through the valleys of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Trongsa and Bumthang.  In these townships you will discover the spirit of the Bhutanese, as you visit numerous sacred sites, dzongs, temples, monasteries, and markets.

The centerpiece to this tour is time spent exploring the central districts of Trongsa, the birthplace of monarchy, and the Bumthang Valley, Bhutan’s spiritual heartland featuring 7th century Jambay Lhakhang and Kurje Lhakhang with its rock imprint of Guru Rinpoche. The tour then returns westward to Paro valley, where you will hike up to the sacred Chumphu Lhakhang and famous Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest), perched on a cliff 900m above the valley floor.

We can easily customize your Bhutan tour to spend more time in the places that you like best, doing the activities that you are most interested in. We will try to visit all of the places listed below but the time and date of visits to each location may change base on your interests, weather conditions and road conditions.

 

Day Activity/Valley Overnight
1 Arrival at Paro International airport / drive towards Thimphu city / Visit Dechen Phodrang monastery
2 Drive towards Punakha valley, have tea at Dochula mountain pass and visit Sangchen Dorji Lhuendup Nunner
3 Hike to Khamsum Yuelly Namgyel Chorten and visit Punakha Dzong (Fortress)
4 Drive towards Trongsa valley and visit Trongsa Dzong (Fortress)
5 Drive towards Bumthang valley, visit Jambay Lhakhang and Kurje Lhakhang
6 Hike up to Tharpaling Monastery
7 Fly to Paro valley, visit Dumtse Lhakhang
8 Hike to Chumphu Lhakhang
9 Receive teaching from Kyapgoen Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche
10 Hike to Tigers Nest
11 International Departure

Day 01| Arrive At Paro Intl. Airport And Drive Towards Thimphu Valley 

Altitude of Paro Valley – 2,250 m / 7,382 ft
Driving distance Paro to Thimphu – 2 hours (65 km)

When you first arrive at Paro International Airport, our delightful tour guides just outside the arrival hall will welcome you. At 2,235m above sea level, the first thing you will likely notice is the effect of the high altitudes, so we will give you time to acclimate as we take an hour and a half drive towards Thimphu valley.

We end the day with a visit to Dechen Phodrang monastery meaning “Palace of Great Bliss” located at the north end of Thimphu town. Built in the 12th century, it is one of the original dzongs of Bhutan and currently serves as a Monastic school where over four hundred monks are enrolled.

Program of the day:

  • Reception at Paro International Airport
  • Drive towards Thimphu valley
  • Visit Dechen Phodrang Monastery
  • Hotel check in
  • Dinner at a local restaurant

Day 02 | Drive Towards Punakha Valley 

Altitude of Punakha Valley – 1,310 m / 4,300 ft
Driving distance Thimphu to Punakha – 2 hours 30 minutes (72 km)

Today we travel to Punakha valley, the former capital of Bhutan until 1955, and will stop off at Dochula Pass along the way. This popular tourist spot provides stunning 360-degree views of the Himalayas. It is also home to the 108 Druk Wangyal stupas that were built on a small hill to memorialize the Bhutanese soldiers killed in a 2003 battle with Assamese insurgents from India.

 Program of the day:

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Stop en route at Dochula pass to view the stunning panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountains
  • Lunch at Lobesa in a local restaurant
  • Visit Sangchen Lhendup Nunnery and witness the gigantic stupa, which resembles the Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. You will also get the opportunity to get a panoramic view of Punakha valley.
  • Hotel check in
  • Dinner at the hotel

Day 03 | Hike To Khamsum Yulley Chorten And Visit Punakha Dzong 

Hiking distance – 45 minutes

Enjoy the day exploring some of the many sites around Punakha, including Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, built by the third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon wangchuck this Chorten is a splendid example of the Bhutanese architecture and art and is the only one of its kind in the world. It has been built over eight and a half years and its details have been drawn from religious scripture.

We will tour what is considered one of the most beautiful site in Bhutan, Punakha Dzong. Sitting at the fork of two rivers, it is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture. Built in 1637, it is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan. It was also the location of the royal wedding of Bhutan’s current king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to Jetsun Pema in 2011.

Program of the day:

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, a 45-minute hike from the Punakha suspension bridge, amid viridian infused pastures and untouched jade-hued woodlands. Socialize with local farmers, glimpsing the simple and humble traditions of the Bhutanese people and their way of life.
  • Picnic Lunch at Zamling Thang near river side
  • Visit Punakha Dzong
  • Dinner at the hotel

Day 04 | Drive Towards Trongsa Valley And Visit Trongsa Dzong (Fortress) (5 June)

Altitude of Trongsa valley – 2,200 m/ 7,200 ft
Driving distance Punakha to Trongsa  – 5 hours (142 km)

Program of the day:

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Drive towards Trongsa valley
  • Lunch at the hotel in Trongsa
  • Visit Trongsa Dzong, the largest dzong at a striking location, is an important administrative building, providing the headquarters of the government of Trongsa district.
  • Dinner at the hotel

Day 06 | Drive Towards Bumthang And Visit Jambay And Kurje Lhakhang (6 June)

Altitude of Bumthang valley – 2,800 m/ 9,185 ft
Driving distance Trongsa to Bumthang  – 3 hours (85 km)

Bumthang Valley is known as the heartland of Buddhism in Bhutan. In 746 AD, it is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here to exorcise a demon from the king and then converted the people to Buddhism, restoring peace to the region. Guru Rinpoche stayed in the valley to build more than 40 temples.

Upon arriving Bumthang valley we will first visit the 7th century Jambay Lhakhang. It dates back to the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan and is one of the Kingdoms oldest temples, after lunch we will proceed to Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom where Bhutan’s patron saint Guru Rinpoche meditated and left his body print on the cliff.

Program of the day:

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Drive towards Bumthang valley
  • Visit Jambay Lhakahng
  • Visit Kurje Lhakhang
  • Hotel check in
  • Dinner at the hotel

Day 6 | Hike Upto Tharpaling Monastery (8 June)

Tharpaling Monastery is situated above Chumey valley at 3,600m.

Overlooking the breathtaking valley of Chumey, Tharpaling Monastery, or the place of liberation, is a beautiful complex attracting innumerable tourists and locals alike. It is believed to have been first established around 12th century by Lorepa, a Drukpa Kagyupa Master from Tibet. The main part of the monastery was founded by Longchenpa or Longchen Rabjam (1308-1363) during his self-exile from Tibet. This monastery was also used as a place of meditation by Jigme Lingpa, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. The monastery contains statues of Longchenpa and Jigme Lingpa in meditation posture and frescoes of the lineage of Longchenpa and Jigme Lingpa. Above the Tharpaling Monastery (to the north) is the Chodrak Monastery, a place where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated and the first settlement here is attributed to the Drukpa Kagyupa master, Lorepa (1187-1250), who founded Chodrak. Above Chodrak Monastery is the meditation cave of Guru Rinpoche, Longchenpa and a rock throne, where Longchenpa wrote part of the Seven Treasures. Tharpaling is known for Longchen Rabjampa, who was a major teacher in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. His major work Seven Treasures encapsulates the previous 600 years of Buddhist thought in Tibet.

Program of the day:

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Drive towards Tharpling monastery base and hike up to the monastery
  • Picnic lunch at Chodrak monastery
  • Dinner at the hotel

Day 7 | Fly To Paro Valley And Visit Dumtse Lhakhang

Flight Details:

  • Bumthang – Paro
  • Baggage allowance – Checked baggage – 20 kg, and Cabin baggage – 5 kg

The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to Mount Jomolhari (7, 300m) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pa Chhu flowing through the valley.

 

Program of the day:

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Drive towards Jakar domestic airport
  • Visit Dumtse Lhakhang upon arriving Paro valley
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Dinner at the hotel

Day 8 | Hike To Chumphu Lhakhang (11 June)

Hiking distance – 6 hours walk

After breakfast we will set off early for a hike to Chumphu Monastery, where the floating statue of Dorji Phamo (Vajravarahi) is situated. It is believed that Goddess Dorji Phamo flew here from Tibet and stayed on in the form of a statue. It is a life-sized statue and it is believed that the statue is floating, some people test this belief by passing a money note below her feet and it passes through smoothly without a hitch. The serenity of this temple is just amazing.

It takes about 1 hour drive to the base and leaving your vehicle the walk is casual and not too tiring as the hike path goes through the forest with lot of shades and cool breeze.

Program of the day:

  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • Set off early for Chumphu Hike
  • Picnic lunch at Chumphu Lhakhang
  • Dinner at the Hotel

Day 9 | Visit Kyapgoen Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche 

Biography

Kyapgoen Ngawang Tenzin is a high reincarnation of the Drukpa Kagyu Lineage of Buddhism in Bhutan. He is regarded as one of the most revered teachers of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage in Bhutan. He is the reincarnation of Drubthop Chenpo Jinpa Gyeltshen Rinpoche who was alive in the 18th century. He started studying Buddhism and learning chanting at the age of 5. By age of 16 he was able memorize all chants, became a dance master and knew how to construct all the sand mandalas. He went on to study Buddhist Philosophy at Tangu Monastery in Bhutan.

At the age of 45, the Royal Government of Bhutan and the center monastic body chose him to become Tshenye Lopen, which means he is now recognized as a philosophy master. Five years later, he became H.E. Dorji Lopen Rinpoche by appointment and oversaw the monasteries and monastic practice of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage in Bhutan.

H.E. Ngawang Tenzin is recognized as a great scholar and meditation master. His teachings are clear, concise and presented in a way that is understandable to the listener. Throughout his life, he has spent 28 years in retreat. His Holiness always radiates great peace, joy, love, compassion and tolerance and many who have met him have been very moved by these qualities, which he exudes.

Program of the day:

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visit HE Kyapgoen Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Relax for the day

We will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, a beautiful seventh-century Buddhist temple, one of the oldest in Bhutan. According to legend, a giant demoness lay her body across the Himalayas to prevent the spread of Buddhism. Tibetan King Songtsen Gambo built 108 temples throughout the region and around her body to pin her down, with Kyichu Lhakhang built to hold down her left foot.

 

Day 10 | Hike To Tigers Nest (13 June)

On our final tour day, we take an exhilarating two-hour hike to Taktsang Monastery (or Tiger’s Nest), one of the most recognizable sites in Bhutan. Built precariously on a hillside cliff, it sits more than 10,000 feet above sea level. Accessible only by foot, we follow a trail decorated with colorful prayer flags along the way to protect travelers from evil spirits. Built over the caves that Guru Padmasambhava meditated in for three years, this eighth-century father of Bhutan Buddhism is said to have been brought there on the back of a tigress. One of the most sacred sites in Bhutan it offers breathtaking views to those energetic enough to make it to the top.

Thereafter, spend the rest of the day at leisure in Paro, take a stroll around Paro Town to pick up some souvenirs.

 

Day 11 | International Departure 

Today we will bid fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take an early flight back. We hope by now you would have kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this beautiful land of endless Enchantments. Tashi Delek!

Flight Details:

  • Paro Bhutan – Kathmandu Nepal
  • Baggage allowance – Checked baggage – 30 kg, and Cabin baggage – 5 kg

 

Trip Highlights

  • Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the Himalayas while flying in/out from Bhutan
  • Explore Bhutan’s important spiritual & pilgrimage sites
  • Explore the capital city of Bhutan
  • Visit Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan
  • Explore some of the most important monasterie and temples in Paro valley and Bumthang valley
  • Private audience with Kyapgoen Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche
  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monastery in Bhutan

Thimphu – 1N | Punakha – 2N | Trongsa – 1N | Bumthang – 2N | Paro – 4N

Bhutan tour package price per person 
For double occupancy  For single occupancy
USD 3,230.00  USD 3,530 .00

 

The Bhutan tour package price includes the followings:

  • A minimum of 3 star accommodations
  • All meals in Bhutan
  • English speaking tour guides
  • All internal ground transportation
  • USD 65 Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) in Bhutan
  • International Air fares Kathmandu – Paro – Kathmandu
  • Domestic Airfare Bumthang – Paro
  • Visa for Bhutan
  • Mineral drinking water
  • All entrance fees

The Bhutan tour package price do not include the followings:

  • Travel and medical insurance, personal expenses, calls, laundries, and tips for guides and drivers 

 

 

 TASHI DELEK!