BHUTAN is located in the eastern region of the Himalayas, a small country roughly the size of Switzerland and fondly referred to as Druk Yul (Land of the Thunder Dragon). Bhutan has remained a country where age of customs and traditions are still part of the everyday lives of the people, even while modernization, development and strains of global influence are felt more and more. Bhutan is holy land with many tales of miracles, myth and legends. The eighty percent of the country’s population live in villages and small hamlets, many located a few hours and some takes many days to reach. Bhutan is considered as a spectacular destination with a living culture that goes back to the centuries.
GENERAL INFORMATION: --
Population : 364,482 male / 307,943 female
Capital : Thimphu
National Tree : Cypress
National Flower : Blue Poppy
National Bird : Raven
National Animal : Takin
Official Language : Dzongkhag
Forest coverage : 72.5 %
Country code : 975
Area : 38,394 sq.km.
Local Time : 6 hours ahead of GMT & half an hour ahead of Indian Standard Time.
State Religion : The Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism
Currency : Ngultrum, same value as Indian Rupee.
Political System : Constitutional Monarchy.
National Flag : The national flag is divided diagonally, with the golden yellow upper half symbolizing the secular authority and lower orange part symbolizing the Buddhist faith or religious part of the country. The white dragon in the centre honours the people’s name for the country and the white colour of the dragon represents the purity and loyalty of people. The dragon snarling expresses the strength of the male and female deities protecting the country. The jewels held in its claws depict the wealth of the nation.
National Game : Archery
National / Traditional
Dress : Men wear “Gho” and women wear “Kira”
Meanings : Dzongs (Fortress) / Tshechus (Festivals)
THINGS TO REMEMBER - DO’S & DON’T’S: --
PHOTOGRAPHY (Please check with your guide): -- Request permission before taking photographs of people, events or objects inside the premises of temples, dzongs or monastery, taking photographs is not permitted. Taking photographs is only permitted in the court yard area.
RELIGIOUS ARTIFACT / ANTIQUE: --
Please do not touch any religious artifact or antique.
Purchase of religious items especially antiques is prohibited.
Please do not climb on or do anything that would show lack of respect to Buddhist artifacts or antiques, large or small, ruined or not, they are regarded as sacred.
DRESS CODE: -- Please take of hats while entering dzongs, temples or monastery. Shorts / half pants are not permitted while entering a dzong, temple or monastery.
THE BHUTANESE WAY:
CALLING IN BHUTAN
Calling from a mobile to a fixed line use 0 and area code before the six local numbers.
Example: - Use 02 before the number 17110215.
Calling from a fixed line to mobile, you can use eights digit numbers directly.
Example: - 17110215
Documents: -- Identity Proof & Passport Size Photo Copies.
NOTE: Indian Nationals visiting Bhutan should have a valid passport or Voters ID, INR500 or INR1000 is illegal to carry Bhutan.
Day 1 Arrive Paro from & transfer to Thimphu 65 km 1hrs drive -- Our representative will be at the airport to assist you, meet and greet and transfer to the capital city Thimphu and rest of the day at leisure. O/n at Thimphu.
Day 2 Thimphu – capital city -- When in Thimphu you got to prepare for surprises where this unique capital has no traffic lights but adopted its own version of the British – Indian colonial times traffic policemen who can startle you and memorize others with his elaborate hand gestures, sometimes he may be signaling stop when it looks like go but don’t worry you can observe the flow and notice his smile as you stare at him. Sightseeing includes the Folk Heritage Museum, National Library, Handicrafts Center to view the traditional arts, the indigenous Medicine Hospital, the Painting School and from the road point take a glimpse of Trashichho Dzong. Further drive uphill and visit Takin Zoo where you will find national animal of Bhutan. Afternoon visit National Memorial Chorten a stupa dedicated to the third king of Bhutan and Buddha statue. Evening take a walk to the main city from Clock tower square. O/n at Thimphu.
Day 3 Thimphu - Punakha via Dochula pass 77 km 3 hours drive -- Morning drive to low lands of Punakha valley touching Dochula pass 10,000 ft and on the stop at Hongtsho village. Stop at the immigration check point to stamp in your permit. Next to the check point you will find small local stalls selling fresh juicy local apples available for sale in plastic bags you could try some. You will be driving through the first mountain pass in the western part of Bhutan. You will find the 108 Druk Wangyal chortens on the top of the pass where the ridges are draped in colorful prayer flags greet you. You could take three rounds and offer prayers, take some best photo shots. If the weather is clear you will be able to see the highest peaks towards the north,Gangar Punsum among others is the highest unclimbed peak (24,000 ft) in the world. Proceed down to Thinleygang village and upon reaching Lobesa turn left and enter Punakha valley. Check in the hotel. Afternoon visit majestic Punakha Dzong placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk. Evening at leisure. O/n at Punakha
Day 4 Punakha – Paro 145 km 4 hours drive -- Morning drive to Paro via same road and stop at Lamperi. Visit the Royal Botanical Park for 30 minutes. If you are lucky you could see red pandas, different species of birds, you can take some photo shot close to the natural lake. You could watch a short documentary about the park. Proceed to Paro via Semtokha and check in the hotel. Afternoon visit ruins of Drukgyel Dzong and drive till the base of Tigers Nest. Evening at leisure. O/n at Paro.
Day 5 Paro sightseeing -- Morning visit, the National Museum housed in a round fortress called as the Ta Dzong considered to be one of the best natural history museums in Asia where it has a fine collection of natural and historic artifacts. Just below Ta Dzong lies Paro Dzong. Afternoon visit Kyichu Lhakhang the monastery dates back to 7th century and is one of the oldest and most sacred and visit farm house where you will be able to see the lifestyle of the villagers of Paro. Visit the town for shopping or leisure. O/n at Paro.
Day 6 Departure -- Morning transfer to depart for your next destination.
Hotel To be Used
Entry Fees /Air Fare / Train fare. Personal Expenses such as Laundry, telephone calls, tips & gratuity. Mineral/soft/ hard drinks, Corkage charges, Extra Food. Additional sightseeing or extra usage of vehicle, other than mentioned in the itinerary. Any Entry Fees, Camera fees, Guide, Tour Escort. Any cost arising due to natural calamities like, landslides, road blockage, political disturbances, etc (to be borne by the client, which is directly payable on the spot). Any increase in taxes or fuel price, leading to increase in cost on surface transportation & land arrangements, which may come into effect prior to departure. Insurance. Anything which is not mentioned in the above mentioned Itinerary & Inclusion.
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