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Cultural Trips

DISCOVER BHUTAN

Mountains…Monks….Mysticism

  • DATE
    12 May - 21 May
  • DURATION
    10 days
  • PRICE

  • AVAILABILITY
    20

It is a unique, mystical and a spiritual experience amidst pristine wilderness. Ensconced between India, Tibet and Nepal, this kingdom of incomparable natural beauty and intriguing culture is characterized by rolling hills, torrents of sparkling water, snowcapped peaks, crystal clear lakes, sprawling alpine meadows and misty trails that wind their course through sublime wilderness.

Did you know?

 Bhutan has been declared as one of the happiest countries of the world and is the only country which has GNH – Gross National Happiness. How fascinating is that!

 It did not have T.V and internet till 1999

The country had polyandry which was abolished only recently

The entire country of Bhutan is mountainous

What's more?

You could walk down the alleys to have a chit chat with the locals, sit by the river and have a close commune with nature. You can also have hands-on experience of preparing a Bhutanese delicacy. Those who would love to add a bit of adventure shall have an exciting white water rafting session down the Mo Chu.

Where else would you rather be than in the wondrous land of Bhutan!

Day 01

 Assemble at Howrah station ( Kolkata ) by 02.30 p.m and depart for New Alipur Duar by Saraighat Express ( Dep 03.50 p.m ). Overnight travel by train.

Day 02

 Arrive at New Alipurduar at by 04.35 a.m and proceed for Jaigaon( the border town ) by reserved vehicle (Approx 2 hour drive). Upon arrival the group shall complete immigration formalities and depart for Thimphu ( Approx 5 hour drive ). Arrive at Thimphu by late afternoon / evening. Upon arrival the group shall be transferred to hotel. Evening at leisure at Norzin Lam – the main street of Thimphu town. Overnight stay in Thimphu.

Day 03

 After breakfast we shall proceed for a short excursion to Cherry Monastery. Return to Thimphu by 01.00 p.m. After lunch we shall proceed for visit to the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts, the Takin Sanctuary, Lord Buddha Statue, The Buddha Dordenma is located amidst the ruins of phodrang, the palace of SherabWangchuck, the thirteenth desi Druk, overlooking the southern approach to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. On completion, it will one of the largest statues in the world, at a heigh of 169 feet (515.5 meters) , accommodating 100,000 8-inch tall and 25,000 12-inch tall gilded Buddhas respectively in the interior. The statue is surrounded by 943 acres of forest area that comprises the kuenselphodrang nature park, King’s Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme DorjiWangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. We shall drive past Trashichhoe Dzong, “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of monarch&’ throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans. Return to hotel by late evening .Overnight stay in Thimphu.

Day 04

 After breakfast, drive to Punakha- the winter capital of Bhutan ( Approx 3 ½ hour drive ) . Upon arrival at Punakha the group shall be accommodated at a campsite. After lunch the group shall be taken for an exciting white water rafting session down the Mo Chu. The rapids are of intermediate level. Rafting shall end close to the grand Punakha Dzong at the confluence of Mo Chu and Po Chu. Later the group shall visit the Punakha Dzong. Return to campsite by evening. Evening at leisure. Overnight camping in Punakha.

Day 05

 After breakfast we shall depart for Paro ( Approx 5 hour drive ) . On the way we shall visit Chimi Lakhang Temples lies in the fertile Lobesa villge of Punakha Valley. The temple is dedicated to the divine madman-Saint Drukpa Kuenley and the temple is also known as the Temple of Fertility. Arrive at Paro by late afternoon / evening. Transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay in Paro.

Day 06

After breakfast, we shall depart for visit to the National Museum of Bhutan located at a height above Paro valley. The view of paro valley from the museum is mesmerising. On the way back we shall have a halt at Paro market for shopping and individual activities. After lunch we shall proceed for visit to the ruins of the ancient Drug Yel Dzong. On the way back we shall visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the country, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. Return to hotel by evening. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay in Paro.

Day 07

 Paro (Excursion to Chelela Pass) / Trek to Taktsang Monastery ( Tiger’s Nest )

Chele la (pass), at an elevation 3,988 meters is considered to be one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan. About an hour’s drive along a thickly-forested road, is this Pass-a botanical paradise. The pass provides stunning views of the sacred mountain Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. It is also marked by hundreds of prayer flags fluttering in the wind. Here, visitors can see cascades of wild roses; purple and yellow primulas; and swathes of deep blue iris covering the forest floor. The top of the pass bloom with rhododendrons in a variety of colours-pale pink, deep pink, burnt orange, mauve, white and scarlet.

OR Trek to Taktsang Monastery.

Those who wish to trek shall be taken for a visit to the spectacular Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff. A trek of about 3 ½ hours is involved to reach this monastery. Return to hotel by late afternoon / evening. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay in Paro.

Day 08

 After breakfast drive to Phuntsholing (Approx. 6 hrs). Upon arrival depart for Jaigaon by jeeps. Lunch enroute. Arrive at Jaigaon by 04:00 pm. Depart for Howrah by 12346 Saraighat Express at 04:45 pm. Overnight journey by train.

Day 09

Arrive at Howrah 05:10 am. Cultural tour ends.

 Train fare of III AC (Kolkata-New Alipurduar-Kolkata)

 Transport by reserved non-AC vehicle as per the itinerary

 Accommodation on twin sharing basis in clean and comfortable superior class hotels

 Breakfast and dinner during stay in Bhutan on all the days

 All visits as per the itinerary

 All taxes

 Expenses incurred by individuals on beverages, laundry and other expenses of personal nature.

 Lunch during stay in Bhutan

 Visit to any other place / site not mentioned in the itinerary

 Permit/Entry fee (wherever applicable)

 Airfare/Train fare from respected hubs to Kolkata and back

Please Note:

The above rate is valid for Indian Nationals only

While we shall try our best to adhere to the itinerary, should there be any change necessitated due to unforeseen contingencies where addition expense is involved due to route change or over stay the extra cost shall have to be borne by the individual on the actual cost basis

All participants are to carry a valid official ID proof for entry permit which could either be the Passport or Voter’s Card or Adhaar Card

 You are expected to possess a proof of identity which could be your Passport OR Voter’s ID Card OR Adhaar Card & 3 passport size photographs for processing entry formalities into Bhutan

For child/student 17 years and below accompanying their parents be allowed to travel in Birth Certificates. Incase if school going kids, school ID should be shown as well

 Bhutan recently started Biometric system at the immigration check points where all the guests have to give finger prints

Taking pictures inside the altars of the Dzongs (fortress), temples and monasteries is strictly prohibited. Get permission before you take the pictures of the people and religious items

Take off your hats in front of the Dzongs, temples and national flags

Visitors should be properly dressed with long sleeves shirts and pants to visit Dzongs, temples, monasteries, schools and any government institutions

Always walk clockwise while crossing the Dzongs, temples, monasteries, prayer flags or religious artifacts

Smoking in public places is not allowed in Bhutan. (Without custom clearance do not carry any type of Tobacco

Buying of antiques from Bhutan is strictly monitored by the custom at the check points

Rates are as per the itinerary and no vehicle will be given on disposal

Cancellation Policy:

Registration amount would be 25% of the total cost of a trip which will be non-refundable

In case of cancellation made between 5-10 days from departure date, 50% of the total amount would be refundable

In case of cancellation made within 4 days from the date of departure, no refund shall be admissible

If The Explorers has to cancel for any reason, 100% of tour price will be refunded

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