Nepal and Bhutan travel program.
1 day, March 25. Kathmandu. Arrival.
Arrival in Kathmandu, hotel accommodation within walking distance of the famous Boudha Stupa. Rest, meet the guide, dinner. Stupa bypass.
Day 2, March 26. Kathmandu. Namo Buddha.
In the morning we will do a kora around Boudha. After it we will go to Namo Buddha, one of the 3 central Buddhist Stupas of Nepal. It is famous for being the site where, according to legend, Buddha in one of his incarnations gave his body to a tigress. Today it is a monastery where tourists and pilgrims come for meditation and spiritual practices. Nepal is the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism, Prince Siddhartha Gautama.
Lunch at the cafe at the Stupa, walk through the neighboring village.
Return to Boudou.
Day 3, March 27. Kathmandu – Patan – Swayambhunath.
Excursion to Patan, Sanskrit name Lalitpur, located in the southern part of Kathmandu, on the banks of the Baghmati River. One of the oldest cities in Nepal, founded in the 3rd century. BC. Today it is a center of art and culture, a city of Masters and artisans.
Here we will visit the most important Buddhist sites. Golden Temple, Bodhi Temple (a miniature of the famous Temple and Stupa in Bodhgaya, the place of Buddha’s enlightenment), Tara Temple. Also, we will take you to sacred places that are hidden among residential areas and are not known to tourists.
Lunch at a traditional Nevar restaurant.
Afterwards, we will head to Swayambhunath Stupa, the oldest, said to be the self-built Stupa of Kathmandu Valley. With it begins the story of the development of civilization in the Valley.
Day 4, March 28. Kathmandu – Parping.
A walk around the Tawda Lake, where the history of Kathmandu Valley began. Parping is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Here we will visit the cave where Tara self-proclaimed. The next cave is where Guru Rinpoche meditated and left a palm mark on the stone. The Vajrayogini (Red Tara) temple is also located here.
Return to the hotel.
Day 5, 29 Matrt. Flight to Paro. Transfer to Thimphu.
Arrival in Paro.
You will be met at Paro airport by your guide. The transfer to Thimphu town will take 1.5-2 hours. On the way, we will stop at Tamchog Lhakang Monastery.
Hotel Accommodation. Lunch. Vacation.
Then we will go to Tashicho-dzong, the city’s main monastery and royal secretariat. Tashicho Dzong is picturesquely located near Thimphu town on the banks of the Wang Chu River. It is an imposing, massive and very photogenic structure surrounded by neat lawns and idyllic gardens.
We’ll be spending the evening downtown. We’ll stroll the main streets, and at sunset we’ll join people heading to the Memorial Stupa, built in honor of the third King in 1974 by his mother. We will do a “kora” (circumambulation around the stupa) and recite mantras. The Stupa always feels like the whole town has gathered there. Both morning and evening people come here to pray or just to discuss the events of the day.
Dinner at the hotel.
* The final program of the first day depends on the time of arrival .
Day 6, March 30. Thimphu to Punakha. Talo Tsechu Festival.
After breakfast, we will set out to explore the Punakha valley.
Two major Bhutanese rivers, the Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu, meet in the Punakha valley. Where they merge, and stands the famous Punakha dzong. It is a very picturesque place, especially on clear days, when the sun, reflecting off the water surface, illuminates the whitewashed walls of the ancient monastery. Punakha dzong was built in 1637 thanks to Ngawang Namgyal Shabdrung. Punakha was the capital of the kingdom until 1955, and is now the winter residence of the country’s supreme clergy.
Today we will participate in the Talo Tsechu festival dedicated to Guru Rinpoche. The colorful and exciting festival reflects Bhutan’s rich culture and traditions. We will see the famous sacred masked dances accompanied by Astar, the Bhutanese “jester” and hear the sacred songs of the festival.
We’ll spend the night at the farmhouse. In the evening, those who wish will be able to take baths with heated river stones.
Tonight we’re spending the night at the farmhouse. We will meet the kind-hearted hostess and she will show us around the house and farm. Ama Wangmo was born in this house and several generations of her family have grown up here. The main house is about 300 years old and has been added on and changed. There are 5 acres of land surrounding the house, the lot is adjacent to a river with wooden tubs on the bank. It’s a Bhutanese bath. Those who wish will be able to take baths and take a dip in a small waterfall here. Or just to be secluded in nature, there is plenty of space in the estate. We have a dinner waiting for us at the house with the family.
Day 7, March 31. Punakha to Gangtey.
In the morning we will visit Chimi Lhakhang. This monastery is built in honor of Drukpa Kyunle, who is also known as the Divine Fool. Chimi-lhakang is believed to have miraculous powers – curing infertility. Many childless couples come to Chimi for a blessing.
After that, we will be transferred further to Phobjikha valley. Today we are offering you a hike on the Gangtey Trail. You will walk along a trail that winds among moss-covered pine trees and see the delightful mountain scenery with your own eyes. If you’re lucky, you’ll see pheasants and even black-necked cranes. We’ll reach Gangtey-gompa. On a small hill in the Phobjikha valley sits Gangtey gompa (Gangtey). It is the largest Nyingma monastery in Bhutan and the only monastery of this school lying west of the Black mountains range. The monastery is surrounded by a large village and is home to 140 gomchens who take care of the monastery as well as their families. We will visit the monastery as well as the village.
In the evening a walk around the village.
Day 8, April 1. Gangtey – Paro.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Long transfer to Paro (about 6 hours). In Paro, we will visit Kichhu Lhakang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan. It was founded in the 7th century by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo, through whom Buddhism spread in the Himalayas. According to legend, Songtsen Gampo, with the help of Kichu, exorcised a demoness who had settled in the Himalayas and was terrifying people.
Walk around the center, optional souvenir shops. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 9, April 2.. Paro. Paro Taksang.
Early check-out from the hotel. Hike to Paro Taktsang.
Paro Taktsang is located north of the city of Paro at a dizzying altitude of 3120 meters. To reach the monastery, we will make a 2-3 hour trek through shady pine forests.
It seems incredible, but Taktsang Lhakang is located on sheer cliffs 900 meters above the Paro Valley. The name “taktsang” translates to “tigress’ nest” and there is an explanation for this. The monastery was built in 1692 in a cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated in the 7th century. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche came here riding a tigress and meditated for 3 years 3 months 3 days and 3 hours to defeat the demons living in the cave. Since then, the cave has been considered sacred, and many famous Buddhist practitioners have traveled quite a distance to be able to meditate in it.
Day 10April 3. Departing from Paro.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Flight from Paro to Kathmandu.
Have a safe trip!