Central Bhutan is an exciting destination for all visitors. It includes some of the most significant historical and religious sites in the country. The district of Trongsa has always been of great political importance to the leaders of Bhutan due to its commanding location in the center of the nation while Bumthang district has some of the most ancient and important temples and monasteries in Bhutan.
Some of the important landmarks in central Bhutan are: Kurje Lhakhang built in 1652 at the site where the great Buddhist saint Guru Rimpoche meditated. Tamshing Lhakhang, the great religious treasure revealer Terton Pema Lingpa built dating back to 1501. Mebar Tsho: A sacred lake from which Terton Pema Lingpa discovered religious treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche.
The Watchtower of Trongsa Museum: This ancient tower has been made into a museum dedicated to the Wangchuck dynasty and provides visitors with unparalleled insight into Bhutan’s political history, Chendebji Chorten: An interesting and visually striking religious building with eyes painted towards the four cardinal directions. Legend states that it was constructed to subdue the remains of an evil spirit that manifested as a gigantic serpant.
In addition to the traditional annual religious festivals (Tshechus) there are also many newer festivals showcasing the rich traditions of the region like the annual Nomad’s Festival and the Matsutake Mushroom Festival in Ura, Bumthang.
Central Bhutan is a region blessed with great natural beauty and there are miles of pristine alpine and sub-tropical broadlead forests teeming with all manner of flora and fauna. The Thrumshingla National Park is located in this region and is famous for the many rare and endangered birds that inhabit it including the Rufous necked hornbill, Rufous-throated wren-babbler, Satyr Tragopan, Beautiful nuthatch, Ward’s trogon and Chestnut-breasted partridge. Visitors may even catch a glimpse of the exotic animals that live in the park such as the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger or the adorable Red Panda.
10 NIGHTS 11 DAYS CENTRAL BHUTAN TOUR
Day 01: Arrive Paro,Paro-Thimphu ( Distance: 54 km, driving time: 1hr)
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. One can see the Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchanjunga, Mt. Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Mt. Chomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drakay, and Mt. Tsherimgang. The green wall of hills known as the doors, or gateways into Bhutan from the plains climbs continually higher as down the forested mountainsides, and to the north, the great snowcapped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the sky.
Check into the hotel. After the refreshment, visit to the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here an intriguing collection of artifacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom.
Travel to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. Over night in Hotel at Thimphu.
Day 02:Thimphu Sightseeing
In the morning,visit National Library where a vast collection of ancient manuscripts is preserved. Visit the School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts where children are taught the traditional art of woodcraft and painting. Then visit Folk Heritage Museum, which is loated in the same area, and further down to the Textile Museum.
After lunch, visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to browse through examples of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, and other interesting items made from local materials. in evening Visit TashiChhodzong. The seat of the Government of Bhutan.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu – Trongsa (distance: 200 km, driving time: 6 hrs)
After breakfast, travel toTrongsa through Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft). If you have a clear sky, the view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges is spectacular and you can even see the Gasa Dzong as a white dot in the horizon. Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the security and well being of His Majesty the King of Bhutan.
Travel continues through Wangdue via metshina village and further through Pelela pass towards Trongsa with a picnic lunch at Chendebji Chorten. Overnight at hotel in Trongsa.
Day 04: Trongsa – Bumthang ( distance: 68 km, driving time : 2 hrs)
After breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong, the main administration center during the second kings’s reign and it is also known for its masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture.Then visit Ta Dzong, the watchtower built to defend this dzong. After lunch, drive to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation, with lush valleys and hilly forests. Bumthang consists of four valleys–Chumey, Choekhar, Tang, and Ura–with altitudes varying from 2,600 to 4,000 meters. Overnight at hotel in Bumthang Jakar.
Day 05: Bumthang Tour and Sightseeing
Sightseeing includes visit to the following:
– Jambay Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the King Songtsen Goempo of Tibet. In his effort to propagate Buddhism he had a plan to build a total of 108 temples in Tibet and neighboring kingdoms.
-Chakhar Lhakhang. Besides the main road, a short distance beyond Jambay Temple is Chakhar (Iron Castle) Lhakhang. Although it is easy to mistake it for a house and drive right by, this is an interesting temple and is worth a short visit. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region.
-Kujey Lhakhang (Kujey means, “Body imprint”). The temple to the right is the oldest and was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rimpoche meditated and left his body imprint.
-Tamshing Lhakhang. This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message).
-Jakar Dzong, “castle of the white bird”. According to legend, when the lamas assembled in about 1549 to select a site for a monastery, a big white bird rose suddenly in the air and settled on a spur of a hill. This was interpreted as an important omen, and the hill was chosen as the site for a monastery and for Jakar Dzong. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.
In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley. Dinner and overnight in Bumthang.
Day 06: Bumthang – Wangdue Via Phobjikha valley ( distance: 197 km, driving time: 6 hrs)
Drive to Gangtey (95 kms – 4 hours drive). 11Gangtey is situated in Phubjikha valley, which the winter home of endangered Black-Necked Cranes that migrate to this valley from Central Asia in winter.lunch at Gangtey. and after lunch drive o wangdue Phordang. Overnight at hotel in Wangdue
Day 07: Wangdue – Punakha – Thimphu
After breakfast, travel to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. Visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho – Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river. Visit the Dho Jha Gha Lam Temple.
After lunch , walk through the Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to the Divine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can can receive a special fertility blessing.Drive to Thimphu and overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 08 : Hike to Tango Monastery
After breakfast, drive to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike up to the Monastery. Tango is the center for higher studies for monks. The hike up will take approximately 45 minutes. Walk down to the base camp and then walk up to the Cheri Monastery which again takes about 45 minutes to experience the complete serenity. Drive back to Thimphu and evening free to relax / stroll around Thimphu town. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 09 : Thimphu-Paro
In the morning travel to Paro, Sightseeing in around Paro Valley.
Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 10 : Hike to Paro Taktsang Monastery
Drive to Ramthongkha and then hike to viewpoint of Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest (one and a half hours). The monastery is situated on a cliff of about 3000 ft above the vlley.
Day 11 : Paro – Departure
A representative from Access Bhutan tours & Treks will see you off at the Paro Airport for your onward travel destinations.