Glimpse of Bhutan Tour – 4 days
This short tour gives the visitor an introduction to Bhutan, with a chance to see parts of the fertile Paro Valley, as well as Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital.
Most visitors to Bhutan begin their tour at Paro, because it is the site of the country’s only airport. The Paro Valley was the seat of power in western Bhutan during the nineteenth century, and Paro’s large dzong ( A dzong is a distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the former and present Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas, most notably Bhutan. ) testifies to the former importance of this area. The courtyard of the dzong has several colourful frescoes, including one of the Mystic Spiral, which are symbolic renderings of the cosmos and the earth’s infinitesimal place within it. Inside the dzong is a large room known as the Hall of a Thousand Buddhas, which was the original venue of the National Assembly, before it was re-located to Thimphu.
On a hill to the east above Paro Dzong stands its former watchtower, the unusually round-shaped Ta Dzong, which is now the home of the Bhutan National Museum.
Moving to Thimphu, the capital, you will see that it has a preponderance of buildings constructed since 1960. At first an attempt was made to build everything in traditional Bhutanese style – with dove-tailed joints and no nails – but then practicality outstripped aesthetics and less and less old-style architecture was used.
You will have a chance to spend your ngultrims (the Bhutanese currency has the same value as the Indian rupee) on a souvenir of local hand-woven textiles, before looking round the Tashichho Dzong, the second largest dzong in Bhutan, which houses the National Assembly Hall, the quarters of Je Khempo (the kingdom’s Lord Abbot) and a school for young monks.
Six miles east of Thimphu is Simtokha Dzong, the oldest dzong in the country, which was built in the 1600s with the purpose of guarding the entire valley.
High above Thimphu to the west is Phajoding Monastery, with many tall white prayer flags fluttering in a ring above the temple complex.
Day 1 : Fly to Paro. You will be met at the airport and transported to your hotel. Tour briefing
Day 2 : Thimphu sightseeing tour
Day 3 : Drive back to Paro
Day 4 : Transported to the airport for your departure