Buddhism Cultural Holiday
“Nine day tailor made tour of Bhutan with the emphasis on cultural awareness and finding out more about Bhutanese Buddhism and spiritual enlightenment.”
Focussing a trip to Bhutan on Buddhism opens up the cultural core of the country with visits to monasteries, museums and temples all adding to the excitement of travelling in one of Asia’s most revered hidden kingdoms.
This nine day trip to Bhutan can be tailor made to meet your travelling wishes with suggested itineraries enabling you to envelope yourself within the spirituality, peace and Buddhist traditions of Bhutan as you follow in the footsteps of pilgrims past.
Find out more about Buddhism in Bhutan as you spend time amongst the Himalayas and meet local people and Buddhist scholars who will be more than happy to aid you on your nine day cultural quest for enlightenment.
SOME OF THE THINGS YOU WILL SEE THAT IS UNIQUE TO BHUTAN
- The valleys, farms & villages and farm homes, temples and monasteries perched on peaks and ridges, footpaths & mule tracks, high mountain passes and rural families , unique architecture
- Daily encounters with farmers, horsemen, shopkeepers, bar owners, weavers, monks, teachers, children and others, who without exception are friendly, responsive to our interest in them and interested to know more about us
- Archery practice/tournaments
- Culture and History
- Textiles, art and craft and Local Markets
- Ascend herders’ trails to find valley views and colorful prayer flags
- Hike to Tiger’s nest
Paro, Thimphu, Punakha
Paro International Airport. Paro, Bhutan
Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.
- English speaking Bhutanese guide
- All lodging in 3 stars traditional lodges
- Airport transfers
- Land transfers in a private vehicle
- Processing and purchase of Bhutanese visitor pass.
- Meals, tea, coffee, snacks and non alcoholic beverages
- Bottle water on the private vehicle, and in the hotels.
- All entrance fees for listed activities.
- Visa and permit processing
IncludedBuddhism Cultural HolidayVisa and permit processingProcessing and purchase of Bhutanese visitor passAirport transfersFlights To and From BhutanDedicated tour vehicle and driver3 Meals a Day (B/L/D)3 Star Accomodation (twin sharing)Entry Fees for Parks and MonumentsDedicated English Speaking Guide
Not IncludedDomestic FlightLand transfers in private vehicleTips for Guides and DriversGovernment Royalty and Taxes5 Star AccommodationTravel Insurance
Day 1: Paro’s spiritual and cultural heritage
The cultural highlights of Paro resemble so much the intricate and beautiful textiles worn by the people during the valley’s annual festival. Explore the Rinpung Dzong which the locals call the ‘fortress of a heap of jewels’. Built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. On a ridge immediately above Rinpung Dzong is the Ta Dzong, built as a watchtower to protect the Dzong from intruders and warring factions. In 1968 Paro’s Ta Dzong was inaugurated as the National Museum, and now holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings, Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, together with a small natural history collection.
This first outing is meant to familiarize you with the history of Bhutan and a visit to the National Museum is the very best way to quickly learn the culture and natural history since it houses everything that is Bhutanese in a very different museum style that will delight you.
Day 2: Thimphu-Cruising the capital’s cultural core
The capital has an interesting combination of tradition and modernity, and includes some of the most advanced and remotest parts of the kingdom. It is home to the Kings and the Royal family members, civil servants, expatriates, politicians, business persons and monks. Enjoy this cultural mix based on livelihood. Of culture we will take you through temples, dzongs, chortens, museums, handicraft stores, nunneries, parks and many more. Allow yourself to meet both traditional and contemporary artists.
- Driving distance : 1 Hour
- Hiking/activities grade : Easy
Day 3: Tango Monastery Hike
Participate in Local Temple Life A beautiful, sacred site, it is an hour hike through rhododendron forest to reach the monastery. Perched on the hillside, looking out over the forested mountains, it is truly a place of refuge. Tango is one of Bhutan's most important Buddhist colleges. Its name, meaning horse's head, is derived from the horse-head shaped rock at the top. It is a beautiful dzong built in the 18h century by the 8th Desi, Druk Rabgye. Today Tango is home to the reincarnate Lama, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye. A visit to Tango Monastery provides you a wonderful opportunity, to participate in local temple life. Light a butter lamp for personal grieve, for your family and friends. For those undergoing suffering - make offering to dedicate the merits with a wish that suffering and its cause may be dispelled. For those deceased - make light offerings to ease their passage after death, with the wish that they make a positive future connection with a true spiritual path.
- Hiking/Activities Grade: Easy to Medium
Day 4: Punakha-The ethereal ancient capital
Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in the Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture. This district, levelling from 1300m at the valley floor rises to almost 3000m around Dochhula pass, served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907 and the 1st National Assembly was held here. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for a unified Bhutan. At the Dochula pass, a prayer flag will be hoisted in the name of every member of the group. Arrangements can also be made to include the names of their loved ones on the wish fulfilling prayer flag. We believe that hanging prayer flags with intention releases positive energized wishes out to the world on the wind. Loving kindness, peace, compassion and wisdom are the themes.
- Diving distance : 2-3 hours
- Hiking/activities grade : Easy
Day 5: Nalanda Buddhist Institute
Locals call this place Dalayna and the monks call it Nalanda Buddhist College. The Nalanda Buddhist Institute is a monastic school near the village of Talo, above the Punatsangchu River in Punakha District (Dzongkhag). Chat up with monks in English ,The monks here are dying to practise the new language they learn. Meet Principal Khenpo Sonam Tshewang to talk about meditation, the processes of meditation and its importance in daily Buddhist practice. Bhutan is an abode of Buddhist deities, immortals, and saints in the Himalayas. Scholars, wandering yogis, saints and lay pilgrims, have been irresistibly drawn to these remote and uneven mountains throughout the centuries in their search for wisdom and inspiration. Experience the landscapes they have blessed for all pilgrims by following in their footsteps. As you travel to these hidden holy shrines and otherworldly ancient monasteries, hiking through an unspoiled Himalayan environment, you will rediscover this peace and solitude.
Day 6: Talo & Nobgang Village Walks
The village of Talo (altitude 2,800 m) which is scattered along the hill slopes is known for its cleanliness and hygiene among Punakha villages. Talo is the seat of the mind incarnations of the Zhabdrung. Talo Sangnacholing Dzong is built on a plateau and has majestic view of surrounding villages. The beautiful farm houses of the village have its own flower gardens and on the hill slope corns and sweet peas are grown in abundance. Spend time at Nobgang and Talo villages visiting farm houses and meeting families. The concept of the Village Walks is to facilitate an authentic ’underfoot’ experience and provide a ’snapshot’ of rural life in the Himalayan Mountains of Bhutan. As an honoured guest, the locals are keen to share their way of life with you.
- Hiking/activities grade : Easy - Medium
Day 7: Retrace Steps back to Paro
- Diving distance: 4 Hours
- Hiking/activities grade : Easy
Day 8: Taksang hike
Tiger’s Nest Climb Perched on the high cliffs Taktsang is referred to as the Tiger’s Nest, it has always inspired and awestruck many a visitor. “Trip to Bhutan is never complete without climbing to Taktsang”. Indeed it’s true as the journey turns into a pilgrimage and fills you up in spiritual bliss. For those not choosing the spiritual side it is the dramatic and the artistically structured monument that becomes a hiker’s delight. Let us take you to this magnificently set Buddhist relic hanging from a cliff. Feel the exhilaration of the uphill climb as you ascend more than two thousand feet from the valley floor. A talk on Bhutanese Buddhism by a Buddhist scholar followed by question and answer sessions.
- Hiking/activities grade : Easy - Hard
Day 9: Departure
Alas, all good things must come to an end and our time in Bhutan is over. After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our departure flight. We hope you have enjoyed your visit, have found it rewarding, and leave with new found understanding.Tashi Delek !