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  • Discover Bhutan (The Heart of the Himalayas) Nov 2016
 

Discover Bhutan (The Heart of the Himalayas) Nov 2016

Delhi – Paro – Taksang – Thimphu – Punakha – Gangtey – Trongsa – Bumthang – Mongar – Trashigang – Samdrup Jonkar – Guwahati – Delhi depart

From Sat 12 November to Sunday 27 November 2016
17 Nights/18 Days

Accompanied by Dr. Jacques Vigne

Jacques Vigne

Dr. Jacques Vigne

Dr, Jacques Vigne (Vigyananand) Born in 1956, Jacques Vigne was very fond of mathematics early on, then, chose to study medicine and psychiatry in Paris. After practicing medicine in Algeria, he received a scholarship to study as a psychiatrist from the ‘Roman Rolland Foundation’. He then received a grant from ‘La Maison des Sciences de l’homme’ to study the connection between psychological recovery and traditional teaching of Yoga.

He has been living in India for 28 years and shares his time between an ‘ashram’, near the riverside of Ganges, close to Hardwar, and a hermitage located 2000 meters high in Himalaya. He has written numerous books about science and spirituality, which are a link between Eastern and Western worlds. Jacques Vigne is the author of major literary works. His writings are careful to establish bridges between modern psychology and spirituality, as well as between the wisdom of India and that of Christianity.

 

Day 01 Sat 12 November, 2016 – Arrival in Delhi

On arrival welcome & transfer to hotel, after lunch short visit of New Delhi, dinner in hotel.

Overnight in Delhi.

 

Day 02 Sun 13 November, 2016 – Delhi- Paro (altitude 2280 m) by flight

Early morning transfer to International airport to connect flight for Paro, on arrival welcome by local guide and drive to the hotel. If time permits, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

Overnight in Paro.

 

Day 03 Mon 14 November, 2016 – Paro - Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest, altitude 3120m) 58 km, 1 h drive

After early breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, the trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery.

The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay; this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort. After lunch, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 by the Great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. Srongsen Gampo: He was a Tibetan king who married a Chinese princess, Wenchen in 641, as an apart of her dowry was a statue called “Jowo” which was an Indian image of Buddha, Sakyamuni as a small boy. In 659, He decided to build 108 Temples in a single day to pin the Ogress to the earth forever and, at the same time, convert the Tibetan people to Buddhism. 6 of these Temples lie in Bhutan, most prominent of them are Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang and Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. Kichu Lhakhang is said to hold the left foot of the Ogress and Jambay Lhakhang pins the left knee.

Overnight in Paro.

 

Day 04 Tue 15 November, 2016 – Paro - Thimphu 58 km, 1h (altitude 2320m)

After breakfast, drive to Thimphu, on the way view, Tamchog Monastery built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Popularly known as Lama Chazampa, which literally means, the Iron Bridge builder) in the 15th century. Thang Thong Gyalpo (1385 – 1464) was a wonder working saint from Tibet who came to Bhutan in 1433 looking for Iron Ore. He built 108 bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, out of which 8 were built in Bhutan. His only surviving bridge is in Duksum (Tashi Yangtse in Eastern Bhutan). While in visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch, we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan).

Overnight in Thimphu.

 

Day 05 Wed 16 November, 2016 – Thimphu sightseeing

After breakfast visit Tango Goemba, This monastery was founded by Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa in the 12th century and the present building was built in the 15th century by the "Divine Madman", Lama Drukpa Kunley. In 1616 Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal visited Tango and meditated in a cave near the monastery. His meditation helped ensure the defeat of an invading Tibetan army. The head Lama, a descendent of Lama Drukpa Kunley presented the goemba to Shabdrung, who carved a sandalwood statue of Chenrezig which he installed in the monastery. The picturesque three-storey tower and several surrounding buildings were built in the 18th century by the eighth Desi, Druk Rabgye and Shabdrung Jigme Chhogyel added the golden roof in the 19th century.

Situated north of Thimphu, one way it takes about 30 minutes drive and one hour walk through shaded rhododendron forests to reach the monastery.

After lunch, visit National Textile Museum- With the opening of Textile Museum, under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Sangay Choden, Bhutanese textile have reached new heights as one of the most visible distinct art form. The textile museum has opened its exhibition on six major themes - warp pattern weaves, weft pattern weaves, role of textiles in religion, achievements in textile arts, textiles from indigenous fibers and the royal collection. The crowns of Bhutan's Kings, namzas (dresses), the first version of Royal Crown and other accessories used by members of Royal family can be found in the museum. The goal of the museum is to gradually become a center for textile studies that will carry out documentation, research and studies on Bhutanese textiles.

And finally visit The Folk Heritage Museum It is dedicated to connect people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programmes and documentation of rural life. The principal exhibit in the museum is a restored three storey traditional rammed mud and timber house, which dates back to the mid 19th century. The design and form of house is that of an average household in the Wang area during that era. The age of structure demonstrates the durability and performance of the building materials. From ground to top floor, household objects, typical domestic tools and equipments that would have been used by a family during that period are put on display. The museum is also developing some of the native trees and plants that were used for various domestic purposes in the rural households.

Overnight in Thimphu.

 

Day 06 Thus 17 November, 2016 – Thimphu - Punakha 76 km, 3h (altitude 1310m)

After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view higher Himalayas.

After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “…a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here.

Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952.

Overnight in Punakha.

Punatsangchhu Cottages or similar.

 

Day 07 Fri 18 November, 2016 - Punakha - Gangtey 70 km, 3h (Altitude 3150m)

After breakfast, drive to visit Chimi Lhakhang on foot, the temple of fertility associated with religious art of phallus. Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. Lama Drukpa Kuenley (1455 – 1529) was one of the Bhutan’s Favourite Saints who was born in Tibet, trained at Ralung Monastery and was a contemporary and a disciple of Pema Lingpa. He Travelled throughout Bhutan and Tibet as a “Neljorpa” (Yogi) using songs, humour and outrageous behavior to dramatise his teachings of Salvation through sex. En route visit Wangdi town and continue to Phobjikha over the highest road pass on your trip at 3140m.Visit Gangtey Gompa, the largest and the only monastery of the Nyingmapa sect in western Bhutan. Evening relax in your hotel or take a stroll.

Overnight in Gangtey.

 

Day 08 at 19 November, 2016 - Gangtey – Trongsa 67 km, 3h (altitude 2300m)

After breakfast, drive to Trongsa over the Pelela pass at 3300m which forms the part of the Black Mountains that divides the country into east and west.

In the afternoon visit Trongsa Dzong & the watch tower which houses a museum now. A quick stop for photo opportunity at Chendipje and Kukhubji, evening relax in.

Overnight in Trongsa.

 

Day 08 Sat 19 November, 2016 - Gangtey – Trongsa 67 km, 3h (altitude 2300m)After

breakfast, drive to Trongsa over the Pelela pass at 3300m which forms the part of the Black Mountains that divides the country into east and west.

In the afternoon visit Trongsa Dzong & the watch tower which houses a museum now. A quick stop for photo opportunity at Chendipje and Kukhubji, evening relax in.

Overnight in Trongsa.

 

Day 09 Sun 20 November, 2016 - Trongsa – Bumthang (Jakar) 68 km, 2h (altitude 2800 m)

After breakfast, visit Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”, drive pass by the second highest road pass in your trip at 3425m (Yotong La). on route stop by the weaving place, beside the road where “Yatha” (wool weaving) is hand done which Bumthang is famous for.

The current structure was built in 1667. Visit Jambay Lhakhang, built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang and was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life force. Under the temple is said to be a lake in which Guru Rimpoche hid several Terma. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here. After lunch, we then visit Kurjey Lhakhang that is named after body print of Guru Rimpoche, built in 1652 by Minjur Tempa. Visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. In the evening, visit Membarstho which literally means, “The burning Lake”.

Overnight in Bumthang.

 

Day 10 Mon 21 November, 2016 - Bumthang - Mongar 190 km, 6-7h (altitude 1600 m)

After breakfast, drive to Mongar. Stop at places to view scenery and for photography. The drive from Bumthang to Mongar shall take you across the highest point in Bhutan’s motorable road. The point is known as the Thrumsingla Pass at an altitude of 4000 mts. Picnic lunch on the way. The evening ends exploring the Mongar town.

Overnight in Mongar.

 

Day 11 Tue 22 November, 2016 - Mongar – Drametse - Trashigang 92 km, 4h

Monger to Tashigang. Today we drive from Monger to Tashigang via Drametse, a monastery and small village about an hour off the main road. The monastery was founded in 1511 by the great-granddaughter of Pema Lingpa (known as the treasure Discoverer) and there are about 60 married Nyingma lay monks who live here. Tashigang is the largest district in the country with Tree sub-districts and 15 Gewogs.

Overnight in Trashigang.

 

Day 12 Wed 23 November, 2016 - Trashigang – Samdrup Jonkar (180km, 5h)

After breakfast, drives to Samdrup Jongkhar, on the way visit the college Zangtopelri in Kanglung. It gives a nice aerial view of the campus. We drive further and stop in Khaling to visit “The Blind School”. You can have interaction with the students and teachers. After lunch, visit the weaving centre and drive to Samdrup Jongkhar.

Overnight in Samdrup Jonkar.

 

Day 13 Thus 24 November, 2106 - Samdrup Jonkar - Guwahati 110 km, 3h30

The city also serves as the cultural, political and commercial capital of the region. It is traditionally regarded as the birthplace of the god Kama. The Kamakhya temple situated about ten kilometres south of the city, is a centre of pilgrimage tantric dedicated to Kali where the faithful recognize in a cleft of the rock, sex goddess with water that is sometimes used red , hence the association. There are 52 pilgrimages to the goddess in India that are associated with parts of the body, the idea being that there was only Mahadavi, great goddess, behind all these events.

Overnight in Guwahati.

 

Day 14 Fri 25 November, 2016 - Guwahati- Delhi by flight

Overnight in Delhi.

 

Day 15 Sat 26 November, 2016 – Delhi sight seen

Overnight in Delhi.

 

Day 16 Sun 27 November, 2016 – Delhi – Departure

End of the services.

 

The Price Include:

  • Flight New-Delhi/Paro, Guwahati/ New-Delhi.
  • Transport
  • French guide.
  • Full board (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).
  • Hotels, Monuments entrance fee, mineral water, Tips,

 

The price does not include:

  • International flight
  • Visa.
  • Insurance Life or Heath.
  • Personal expense.

Cancellation policy:

  • At 120 days before departure: 5% of the amount of the advance paid.
  • At 119/45 days before departure: 25% of the amount of the advance paid.
  • At 44/30 days before departure: 40% of the amount of the advance paid.
  • At 29/15 days before departure: 50% of the amount of the advance paid.
  • At 14/07 days before departure: 100% of the amount of the advance paid.

 

Liability:

We suggest that clients should be covered by Travel, medical, health and other types of insurance. These cannot be obtained in India. The above quotations are subject to amendment should the Transporters/ Hotelier amend their rates prior to commencement of the tour Teerth Travels Pvt. Ltd while undertaking tours, transportation, hotel accommodation and other services only act as an agent on the clear understanding that they shall not be, in any way responsible or liable for any accident, damage, loss, delay or inconvenience caused in connection with the travel facilities arranged by the Company, its employees or agents. All bookings are accepted and executed with utmost care, yet no responsibility is undertaken for any change or deviation on account of factors beyond our control.

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