Kunzangdra Spiritual Tour

$2290

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Tour Summary

On the cliff opposite of the Tang Valley, is where the Kunzangdra Monastery is located. It was founded by Terton Pema Lingpa in 1488 and is one of his residences. It takes one and a half hours to reach there on foot. Apart from Pema Lingpa’s living quarters, the monastery consists of three temples: the Wangkhang, in which the principal statue is Avalokiteshvara with a thousand eyes and a thousand hands; Oezerphug, the meditation cave of Pema Lingpa’s son, Dawa Gyeltshen; and the Khandroma Lhakhang, which contains a gilded copper statue of Pema Lingpa For pilgrims, this is one important and sacred monastery in Bhutan to visit.


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Day 1: Paro–Thimphu:
 
Arrive at Paro International Airport.
Travel to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. En route, visit to Tachog Monastery.
Afternoon, visit to National Memorial Chorten, Buddha Dordenma Statue, Kuenselphodrang Park and Traditional Handmade Paper Factory.

Overnight: Tara Phendayling (or similar)
 
Day 2: Thimphu
 
Hike to Cheri Monastery.
Afternoon, visit to Takin Park, Centenary Farmers’ Market, Institute of Traditional Arts and Crafts and the majestic Tashichhodzong which houses the office of His Majesty the King.
 
Overnight stay at Hotel Tara Phendeyling (or similar)
 
Day 3: Thimphu–Punakha
 
Travel towards Punakha.
On the way, stop at Dochula pass and visit the 108 Victory Stupas. Then visit Chimi Lhakhang, the fertility temple.
Afternoon, visit to the majestic Punakha Dzong, the longest suspension bridge, and Galem’s house.
 
Overnight stay at Zhingkham Resort (or similar) 
 
 
Day 4: Punakha-Bumthang
 
Leave Punakha for Bumthang.
En route, stop at the re-construction site of Wangduepodrang dzong.
Then stop at the Trongsa Dzong and the museum at Ta Dzong.
Our highest driving point will be a mountain pass- Pelela at 3140 meters. We will also come across Yotongla pass. From there, we gradually take a descent to the floor of Bumthang valley which is often filled by dense fogs.
 
Overnight: Gongkhar Lodge 
 
Day 5: Bumthang
 
Visit Tamzhing Monastery. Then walk to the sacred Kurjey Lhakhang.
Resume walking towards Jambay Lhakhang.
Ramble through the small ad ever quiet Chamkhar town in the evening.
 
Overnight: Gongkhar Lodge
 
Day 6: Kunzangdra Excursion
 Today, we will visit the Kunzangdra Monastery to offer our prayers and receive blessings.

Overnight: Gongkhar Lodge
 
Day 7: Bumthang-Phobjikha
 
Travel to Phobjikha.
Visit Gangtey Goenpa and have stroll along the Nature Trail at Phojikha valley, the winter habitat to endangered Black-necked Cranes.
 
Overnight: Village Home-stay
 
Day 8: Phobjikha-Paro
 
Travel back to Paro.
En route, visit Semtokha Dzong, the oldest dzong in the country.
Afternoon, visit to the National Museum, Paro Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang and have orientation walk along the silent street of Paro Town.
 
Overnight stay at Bhutan Mandala Resort
 
Day 9: Hike to Taksang Monastery
 
Hike to Taksang Monastery or the Tiger’s Nest.
In the evening, visit to one of the nearby homestays and have a hot-stone bath.
 
Overnight stay at Bhutan Mandala Resort
 
Day 10: Paro to Haa
 
Drive to Haa through Chele La (3,988 m).
Picnic at Chelela Pass. Then visit Lhakhang Karpo.
Drive back to Paro.
 
Overnight at Bhutan Mandala Resort
 
Day 11: Departure
 
We will see you off at Paro International Airport. We hope that you have had a wonderful and memorable stay in our dragon kingdom.
Day 1: Paro–Thimphu
 
Fly to Bhutan amid gentle terrains of the Greater Himalayas. For sure, your landing will be little rough but there is nothing much to worry.
At the Airport, you will be greeted by our guide and driver in traditional Bhutanese way, offering silken scarf. Then, you will be driven towards Thimphu.
After a breather in your hotel and brief lunch, you will visit the National Memorial Chorten which was built in honor of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Then, we will drive up to Kuenselphodrang Nature Park where the 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, Vajra Throne Buddha, is located. It is one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. You may also visit Traditional Handmade Paper Factory towards the evening.
You can enjoy the night walking around Thimphu.
 
Day 2: Thimphu
 
The capital city of Bhutan is the biggest town in Bhutan. It is a beautiful valley where people from across the country flock in. Today, we will be exploring this city. And we will begin the errand with a hike to Tango Monastery.
Tango Monastery is the only tertiary education center for Buddhist monks. It is also the seat of one of the highly revered Buddhist master known as HH Gyalsey Tenzin Rabgay.
This after, we will visit the majestic Trashichodzong which houses the office of His Majesty The King and other high ranking officials. We will also visit Takin Park to see the national animal of Bhutan, Takin. If time permits, we will visit Institute for Traditional Arts and Crafts and Centenary Farmers’ Market.
   
Day 3: Thimphu–Punakha
 
Your trip to Bhutan will be incomplete if you fail to visit Punakha. Thus, we will begin our journey early to Punakha today. It takes two hours from Thimphu to reach our destination. In the olden days, the western districts stood witness to scores of historical transitions of the country, even to the unification of the country, and Punakha has a very special significance.
As we travel, we will stop at Dochula and visit the Druk Wangyel Stupas. There are 108 stupas and these were built to commemorate the victory of the Indian militants in 2003. Her Majesty The Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck commissioned the construction of these statues.

We will also be visiting Chimi Lhakhang at Sobsokha and offer our prayers. This temple is famous in the country for blessing with children for childless couples. Thus, it is known as the temple of fertility.

This afternoon, we will visit the Majestic Punakha Dzong, the erstwhile capital centre of Bhutan. Then we will visit the longest suspension bridge which is a few hundred meters away from the dzong. Our next stop will be at Changyul to see the ruins of Galem’s house.
 
Day 4 Punakha-Bumthang

Traversing from the political realm to the spiritual heartland, the drive to Bumthang is an arduous one yet unfurls the natural wonders. The drive ascends us through varying vegetation that is temperate, sub-tropical and alpine.
 
Our highest driving point will be a mountain pass- Pelela at 3140 meters. From there we gradually take a descent to the floor of Bumthang valley often filled by dense fogs.
 
On the way, the imposing Trongsa Dzong is seen at the floor of the valley, the longest in the country. It was the seat of political power and today, every King of Bhutan must first serve as the Governor of Trongsa before being crowned. The religious fortress houses 30 temples and also has four courtyards. Above the fortress is the ancient watch tower that overseers the dzong. However, it is now transformed to a museum designated to showcase belongings of the Kings of Bhutan.After crossing Trongsa, we drive by another mountain pass- Yotongla at 3550 meters. 
 
Day 5 Bumthang

Upon reaching the spiritual heartland of the country, one is greeted by many temples and stupas dotting the sprawling plains of Bumthang. Bumthang gets its name from its own geographical feature; it translates as the- valley of thousand plains.
 
Retracing history, Bumthang was a dwelling of the Great Kings and the evil powers. Considering thousands of myths and legends that embrace the valley about the Kings and evil powers, it is claimed that the advent of Buddhism sprang in Bumthang. It was after the invitation of a sick King that a Great Saint of India, Guru Padmasambhava visited Bhutan dating back to 7th century. The saint also brought Buddhism to Bhutan at a time of lawlessness.
 
Going by history, the real treat of the valley is its temples and palaces that were built as early as 7th century which are conserved and religiously intact. One look at these temples, we can draw a conclusion that Bhutanese are an exceedingly pious lot.
 
Some interesting places to visit are sacred sites that were built on caves possessing body imprint on a rock of the Great Indian Saint Guru Padmasambhava and burning lake harboring a legendary tale. On the tour, we also visit the Palace of our Kings now transformed into a religious center.
 
In the morning, we will hike to the Tamshing Goemba, built in 1501 by the Buddhist saint Pema Lingpa. We will also visit Kurjey Lhakhang (left-bottom), one of the most sacred monasteries in Bhutan. Built by the Guru Rinpoche in 1652, it houses a rock with his body imprint. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche manifested as a Garuda to defeat the demon Shelging Karpo who had taken the form of a white lion.

We will also visit Jambay Lhakhang, built in 659 by Tibetan King Sontsen Gampo to pin down a demoness who was obstructing the spread of Buddhism. Come October, the Jambay Lhakhang Drup is one of the most colourful festivals in Bhutan.

In the afternoon, we will hike up to Thangbi Valley, crossing a suspension bridge to visit the Thangbi Lhakhang built in the 14th century via an unpaved road.
 
Overnight: Gongkhar Lodge (or similar)
 
 
Day 6: Kunzangdra Excursion
 
On the cliff opposite of the Tang Valley, is where the Kunzangdra Monastery is located. It was founded by Terton Pema Lingpa in 1488 and is one of his residences. It takes one and a half hours to reach there on foot. Apart from Pema Lingpa’s living quarters, the monastery consists of three temples: the Wangkhang, in which the principal statue is Avalokiteshvara with a thousand eyes and a thousand hands; Oezerphug, the meditation cave of Pema Lingpa’s son, Dawa Gyeltshen; and the Khandroma Lhakhang, which contains a gilded copper statue of Pema Lingpa. For pilgrims, this is one important monastery in Bhutan to visit.
 
Day 7: Bumthang-Phobjikha
 
Waking up early to depart for the valley of the cranes, the drive from Bumthang to Phobjikha is considered one of the most scenic and peaceful.
 
The glacial valley of Phobjikha is the winter roosting ground of the seasonal and endangered Black-Necked Cranes. For the safety of the cranes, as it is a precious possession of the valley, the state mandates that no household can have overhead cables, it must be connected through underground provisions. The roosting ground is also fenced and people must stay 100 meters away from the fence.

Phobjikha embraces the iconic GangteyGoenpa- the seat of revered Peling Branch of Vajrayana Buddhism. Another one to experience is the Nature Trail- strolling through the tranquil and clean atmosphere, connecting the body to the soul offering healing benefits to any ailments, be it physical or psychological.   
 
Day 8: Phobjikha-Paro

We journey back to Paro via Wangdue valley. It is known as the valley of “ornamental speech” because of the local people’s innate ability to come up with verses that are elegant, poetic and meaningful. This valley was once governed from WangdueDzong which, unfortunately, was destroyed by fire and is being entirely rebuilt. The journey is also remarkable in that we pass through varying landscapes of immense beauty, adorned with numerous shades and hues of alpine flowers.
 
Day 9: Paro

After a quick breakfast equipping everything recommended, we set on the most awaited segment of the tour. The toil of the day before comes to play as you hike to the Tiger's Nest.
Etched precariously on a carve of a granite cliff at 3120 meters, almost 1000 meters above the valley floor, Taktsang is the cultural icon of Bhutan. It is for this particular attraction, tourists flock to Bhutan and pilgrims attempt to visit the monastery at least once in a lifetime, if not more.
A legend spells that the Indian Saint, Guru Padmasambhava, worshipped in the Buddhist world as the Second Buddha flew to this location on the back of a tigress to tame the demon there.
 
The switch-back trail to Taktsang offers respite through picturesque vistas of nature, the opportunity to see the last horizon, the horizon beyond horizon and narration by the guide on many myth and legends of Bhutan continuing the hike in a pace unbothered by time.
 
After finishing the trail, the mind and body equally exhausted, you might want to get a trekker's foot massage for a good night's sleep. Another one could be taking a hot stone bath immersed in a wooden tub with local medicinal herbs offering a relaxing sensory journey. 
 
Day 10: Paro to Haa

Drive to Haa through Chele La (3,988 m). From the pass, you can see Paro valley on one side and then Haa valley on the other. You can also have a picnic at Chele La if you like to. In Haa, some sightseeing and then going to Katsho village and visiting the Katsho Lhakhang. The valley of Haa was only opened to Tourist in 2002 and Haa is the least visited valley in Bhutan due to the lack of tourist infrastructure. This has helped in keeping Haa the way it has always been, with Bhutanese families living their traditional and simple life. There are no tourist standard hotels in Haa valley, so we return to Paro for the night.
 
Day 11: Departure

Today you will bid fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take a quick flight back to your country. We hope by now you would have made some friends and take beautiful memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this unforgettable land of infinite happiness.

GROUP SIZE: Any group Size                                                           
MEALS : Full Board
TRIP ACCOMMODATION : Tourist Standard Hotel,
generally 3 to 4 star category.
ROUTE: Paro, Thimphu,Punakha and Wangdue
TRIP TYPE :Special Interest Tour

TRIP SEASONS: Through Out                                 
BEST MONTHS:Through Out     
TOUR  MONTHS: Through Out     
LEAN SEASON : USD 200  Per person
PEAK SEASON:
USD 225 Pes person 
SINGAL INDIVIDUAL: USD 40 per night
GROUP OF 2 PERSONS:USD 30 per person per night
VISA FEE: USD 40 (One time)

 







 


INCLUDED
  • Bhutan Royalties, tourists fees, Visa fees and taxes.
  • Accommodations in listed or similar hotels (pleasant hotels 3-4 star type) during the tour and in tents during the trek.
  • All meals, including evening tea/coffee etc through-out the trip.
  • All land transfers, sightseeing with entrance fees.
  • Experienced Culture Tour Guide.
  • Bottled water in the vehicle and other camp serivce.

NOT INCLUDED
  • Flights in and out of Bhutan.
  • Travel insurance, Drink, Visa fees, Laundry 

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