The Over whelming Dragon
Kingdom

The remote Kingdom of Bhutan, with its fascinating cultural heritage and beautiful mountain scenery, was off limits to tourists until many decades back. Today, the country continues to preserve its customs and age-old traditions, as revealed in this comprehensive tour which travels through western and central Bhutan visiting the forts, monasteries and markets of the 'Dragon Kingdom'.

Itinerary idea in details

Day 1 and 2
Kathmandu

Upon your arrival at the Kathmandu International Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. Relax in the comforts of your hotel or feel free to explore the locales in the evening.

Kathmandu is an interesting juxtaposition of the old and the new and hence, a full-fledged city tour will encompass an excursion trip of the many fascinating temples and historic sites of the city.

Begin with Durbar Square, the religious and social point of the capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a home to a cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets that date back to between the 12th and 18th centuries. Team up your visit with a tour of the Kumari Chowk- temple of the living goddess 'Kumari' and the Itumbahal courtyard comprising a number of temples and shrines. The courtyard is an old Newari settlement and is well known for its traders in herbal spices and medicines.

Pashupatinath is the most important Hindu temple in Nepal and one of the most important Shiva temples in the Subcontinent. Continue to Bodhnath, the largest stupa in Nepal and the religious center for Nepal's considerable population of Tibetans.

Day 3 and 4
Paro - Thimphu

Today's sightseeing includes a visit to the arts and crafts school, the institute of traditional medicine, a traditional papermaking factory, the textile museum, the museum of folk heritage and the national library. Post lunch, make a visit to National Memorial Chorten, which was originally the idea of Bhutan's third king, Jigme DorjiWangchuck to erect a monument dedicated to world peace and prosperity, through theatrics of Buddhist philosophy. Later on, head to Tashicho Dzong, also named as the fortress of the glorious religion. Thimphu has this astonishing charm presented in the form of lively markets amidst spiritual attractions. Hence, make a late evening visit to the handicraft ships, which offers a wide assortment of colorful, hand-woven textiles and other craft products.

Evenings are meant to be more on the traditional involvement, as you would be gorging on mouth-watering local delicacies with a Bhutanese family.

Day 5, 6 and 7
Punakha ­ Paro

Enroute your journey from Thimphu to Punakha, make a halt at a Bhutanese farmhouse for tea. Traditionally built, these farmhouses are very colourful and decorated with mud and stones. Once at Punakha, visit the Palace of great happiness, the imposing Punakha Dzong located strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. The dzong is famous for housing a temple where the sacred remains of the Terton Pema Lingpa (a saint in Tibetan Buddhism) and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (a Tibetan Buddhist lama) are preserved. During your visit, meet and interact with Buddhist monks at this monastic college that has this alluring Himalayan ambience to charm you even more.

Next morning, head to Paro - another intriguing sight in the remotes of Bhutan. You would be exploring first the majestic Ta Dzong that encompasses intrinsic pieces of Bhutan's cultural heritage.

Later, try your hand preparing local Bhutanese delicacies such as the fiery 'Emma Datshi' made with red chillies and cheese and heavily seasoned.

Day 8 and 9
Paro - Departure

Start your day with an early morning hike uphill to the Taktshang monastery also known as Tiger's Nest. En route enjoy stunning views of the monastery, where it is believed Guru Padmasambava landed on the back of a tiger in the eighth century and meditated for three months.

On your way back, make a halt at the fascinating Rinpung Dzong. On a knoll that rises in a sheer climb from the river, Rinpung dzong has a commanding view of the Paro valley and is a true testament to Bhutanese architecture. A guided walk around the many quarters and chambers offers an insight into the traditions and secrets of this impressive Dzong.

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