We will meet you at a pre designated point in Siliguri near the Bagdogra airport & NJP railway station. We will start on the drive to Phuentsholing. The drive today is through the mighty plains of Bengal amidst many tea gardens, small towns and villages until you reach Phuentsholing which is on the Indo-Bhutan border, a bustling commercial town. Free to explore the town on your own. Overnight stay in hotel /guesthouse.
Today morning, set off for a drive to Thimphu (6hours drive), the modern capital of Bhutan. Located at an elevation of 2,300m in a valley traversed by the Wang Chu River, Thimphu is one of the most favorite tourist destinations in the region. After an engaging drive, reach Thimphu. Overnight stay in hotel.
Today visit Simtokha Dzong, Kingdom’s oldest Dzong built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Visit the handicrafts emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts are displayed and can be purchased memorial Chorten, built in the memory of Third King of Bhutan. After lunch relax for some time and later explore the small but extremely charming Thimphu city and the curio shops around the city. We also visit Tashichho Dzong, Thimphu’s most impressive building situated at the banks of Wang Chhu. It houses the King’s Throne room and it is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot. Overnight stay in hotel/ guesthouse.
Today, head out for Gangtey, from Thimphu. Enroute, visit Dochula Pass & witness striking views of Mt. Himalaya. You will also get to visit the grand 108 stupas. After that, continue your drive to Gangtey, a beautiful and tranquil place surrounded by lush green forests. On reaching Gangtey, rest & relax for a while. Evening at leisure. You can also pay a visit to the exquisite Gangtey Goempo set amidst the Gangtey Valley. Overnight stay in hotel/ guesthouse.
For people interested in further exploration of this valley there is going to be a 2 hrs easy hike in the Gangtey National Park very close to our hotel. This is a wonderful hike all around the valley. After the hike we head back to the hotel for breakfast. Post breakfast we set out on the drive to Bumthang. We descend through open meadows and valley of yak herders and several villages via Chendeji Chorten built in a form of Nepalese style in 15th century. Lunch will be served enroute at the restaurant in 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. It’s an enjoyable drive throughout but towards the end as we descend into Bumthang valley it turns truly spectacular. We check into the hotel and spend the remaining day at leisure. Time permitting we make a visit to some of the famous sights here. Overnight stay in hotel / guesthouse.
Bumthang is a very special valley for its extremely scenic landscapes and the cultural treasures in the form of ancient temples, Dzongs & monasteries. We will spend the full day today and first half of next day to explore this valley. Also there are several interesting walks and hikes in the region which one can enjoy. We recommend a morning hike to Pedtseling Monastery (optional). It is located about three hours’ hiking distance above the Swiss Guesthouse on a steep incline. It offers fine panoramic views of the central Bumthang valley. You can also hike beyond the monastery across the ridge and feel the spirit of the mountains and monastery. From here return to town, ending your walk at Tamshing Lhakhang – founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the temple was restored at the end of the 19th century. Later in the day we explore other popular sights of the valley. Overnight stay in hotel/ guesthouse.
Today, continue with your exploration of Bumthang valley, thereafter set off for a drive to Punakha via Wangdue. Enroute pass through Pelela pass and Youtongla pass. After an engaging drive, reach Punakha by the evening. Overnight stay in hotel/ guesthouse.
After a short drive from Punakha, we start a leisure walk through paddy fields and villages and arrive at a hillock where the Chimi Lakhang is situated. This Lakhang is dedicated to a popular saint Drukpa Kuenley, also known as divine Madman. After that, we continue driving to Paro via Dochula Pass. En route, you will visit the Simtokha Dzong. After hotel check-in, you can pay a visit to Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower housing the National Museum and descend for a while to the Paro Dzong, also named Rinphung Dzong. Overnight stay in hotel / guesthouse.
Today is a special day as you hike up or take a ride on a horse to one of the most famous sight & monastery in Bhutan, Taktsang (Tiger Nest) monastery. After an early breakfast we take a short drive to the starting point and from there take a hike to the Taktsang Monastery. Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rimpoche did his meditation here for 3 months. The hike takes about 3 – 4 hrs (both ways) depending on the capability of the hikers. This is also a photographer’s delight; the monastery is adorned with prayer flags and the stands in the cave of granite rocks 300m above the valley floor. Tea/Coffee will be served in the viewpoint cafeteria. We finish the trek and on the way back to the hotel visit the Kichu monastery which is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Genpo who built 108 monasteries around the region with the last being Lhasa in Tibet. We will also visit Drugyal Dzong at the end of the valley to complete our exploration of Paro valley. Overnight in a hotel / guesthouse
Post breakfast, drive from Paro to Bagdogra, on arrival trip ends, depart for onward destination.
For travel to Bagdogra & back one can choose between air and rail. For air travel, Bagdogra is well connected to Delhi and other parts of the country by Indigo, Air India, Jet Airways and other commercial airlines. Train travel is also recommended with a number of options available with the closest railway station being New Jalpaiguri. For train details, you could log on to www.indianrail.gov.in and for online railway ticket bookings you could log on to www.irctc.co.in.
The climate in Bhutan varies widely depending on the elevation. In the southern border areas it is tropical; at the other extreme, in the high Himalayan regions, there is perpetual snow. Temperatures in the far south range from 15°C in winter (December to February) to 30°C in summer (June to August). In Paro the range is from -5°C in January to 30°C in July, with 800mm of rain. In the high mountain regions the average temperature is 0°C in winter and may reach 10°C in summer, with an average of 350mm of rain. Rain occurs primarily during the southwest monsoon season from June to September.
Please keep in mind that the above information is not exact and does not account for sudden changes. Whatever the temperatures and conditions rest assured we will be prepared to handle it with ease as we use equipment of very high specifications
Mountain/adventure travel requires one to be adequately equipped with the right kind of personal gear. Since one is travelling in the wilderness there will be hardly any opportunity to buy anything once you hit the trail so we urge you to carefully pack everything into your bags. Also please keep in mind you can rent out or purchase equipment from our Gear Store, if required.
…LOADS OF ENTHUSIASM!! AND A PLEDGE TO LEAVE NO TRACE
Carry your stuff in a duffel bag, soft shoulder bag or a rucksack. Avoid suitcases, trolleys or any other hard luggage. Please avoid carrying expensive watches, jewellery and electronic items on the safari.
Great Indian Outdoors (P) Ltd. takes utmost care to ensure safety of its clients. However in the case of any unforeseen mishaps, Great Indian Outdoors (P) Ltd. will not be liable for any injuries caused or for loss of life. All disputes rising due to the above are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in New Delhi/Delhi only. All participants would be required to sign an Indemnity Form before the start of the program, without which they would not be allowed to take part in the trip/program/activities.
10Days | Mar - May & Sep - Dec | Moderate | Max Alt : 3000 mts (Gangtey)
Day 1: Bagdogra Phuentsholing Drive 175km /Appx 3.5-4hrs Drive
Day 2: Phuentsholing Thimphu Drive 180km / 5 - 6hrs
Day 3: Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 4: Thimphu Gangtey Drive 140km / 5-6 Hrs
Day 5: Gangtey Bumthang Drive 180km / 5-6 Hrs & Hike (Optional) / 2 Hrs
Day 6: In Bumthang Sightseeing With Option Of Hike To Pedtseling Monastery
Day 7: Bumthang Punakha Drive 214 Km/ 7-8 Hrs
Day 8: Punakha Paro Drive 130 Km / 3-4 Hrs
Day 9: Paro Sightseeing & Hike/Horse Ride To Taktsang Hike Or Horse Ride 3/4 Hrs
Day 10: Paro - Bagdogra Drive 315 Km / 8-9 Hrs, Trip ends
Bhutan is undoubtedly the most exotic region in the entire Himalayas. What sets it aside from the other Himalayan regions, other than its stunning landscapes, is the presence of an extremely rich culture & the beautiful & ever welcoming people that inhabit this land. The experience Bhutan presents is magical, very different from anything else and one which lingers on for a long period. Everything here has a past and an interesting story around it. So for people who love mountains and the stories that have existed within these mountains for centuries, this is a perfect destination.
One visit to Bhutan and the word Lush Green would have a completely different meaning for you. Just six hundred thousand people within its boundaries and a culture which loves conservation has ensured that the forests and foliage is absolutely untouched and pristine. The land is blessed with several high valleys characterized by vast flat undulating meadows which play host to quaint villages. The wide valleys here are something very rare in other regions of the Himalayas.
This comprehensive exploratory trip to Bhutan has got it all. You will get to visit all the popular valleys of Bhutan like Paro valley and moving on to Phobjikha valley and the spectacular Bumthang valley from where we turn around and further explore Punakha valley and Thimpu. Within these valleys lies a treasure of culture, beauty and mystery. We explore these valleys, lot of it by foot (optional - for people who like to hike) and the small villages, town and cities that lie within them. As part of the trip we hike up to Bhutans most famous sight and monastery, Taktsang or tigers Nest. We visit 3 majestic Dzongs (forts) in Thimpu, Paro & Punakha & also explore the beautiful towns of Thimpu & Paro, which surely are the most beautiful Himalayan towns across the Himalayas. This is an easy paced road trip with all interesting elements thrown into the trip plan.
Bhutan is easily accessible from India. You can fly directly from New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta & Bagdogra and join the group at Paro OR you could fly in or take a train to reach Siliguri (Bagdogra airport & NJP railway station are very close by) and from here drive to Paro as mentioned in the itinerary.