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WEST BENGAL, INDIA WEST BENGAL, INDIA
Hasimara Railway Station to Thimphu via Phuentsholing. O/night - Thimphu
On arrival at Hasimara Railway Station, drive to Phuentsholing, a border town towards Southern Bhutan. When in Phuentsholing, check-in the hotel for refresh and lunch only. After completing the immigration formalities, another drive for 180 km to reach Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Check-in the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel in Thimphu.
Sightseeing in Thimphu O/night - Thimphu
After breakfast, drive to Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned the country from 1952-1972. Make a round of chorten and receive blessing. Visit Changgangkha Lhakhang (the drukpa monastery on the hill top of Thimphu town). From there, drive further north to visit the National Animal called the Takin and after that, driving further at the top of the hill from where you can have a pleasant view of Thimphu Valley. Lunch at the local restaurant; visit Simtokha Dzong (Fortress). This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan located about 6 Kms from the town. It houses the largest Monastic schools in the country. From there, drive back to the city and visit the Buddha statue on a hilltop called Kuensel Phodrang. If time permits, there is a trail which goes behind the great statue and takes around 45 mins to an hour.
Visit Tashichho Dzong, after 5 pm, the “Fortress of the glorious religion” houses the throne room of His majesty the king, the main secretariat building and the central monk body. Thereafter drive back to the hotel and later stroll around the town to town and visit shops and etc. Overnight stay at hotel in Thimphu.
Thimphu to Punakha/Wangdue (twin city) O/night- Punakha
After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass(3150meters). Significant sightseeing of Druk Wangyal Chortens(108 stupas) at Dochula. On a clear day, you will be able to see the most spectacular view of Himalayan Mountains but that depends on your luck! From there decent down to Punakha and visit Punakha Dzong (majestically located at the junction of two river pho-chu (Male River) and mo- chu(Female River). It was built by Zhaddrung in 1637 AD). Punakha was erstwhile capital of Bhutan. Also visit Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, this Chorten or Stupa is a impressive example of our fine Bhutanese architecture and art. It was built by the third Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. It took almost eight and half years to complete it. Lunch at local restaurant and after lunch, visit Chimmi Lhakhang (popularly known as the fertility temple) which was founded by the Great saint from Tibet called Drukpa Kuenley or the ‘Divine madman’. It is located on a hill top and built by Lama Ngawang Chogyal – cousin to the Divine Mad man. Unfortunately you won’t be able to visit the ruined fortress or Wangduephodrang Dzong as it was burnt down two years ago. Overnight stay at hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.
Punakha/Wangdue to Paro via Thimphu O/night- Paro
After breakfast drive back the same old road to Paro via Thimphu town for lunch. After lunch, drive to Paro and on crossing the confluence, visit the great Tamchog Lhakhang(Temple) which was built by a great saint from Tibet called Thangthong Gyalpo. He came to Bhutan in search of iron ores and built several iron bridges in and around Bhutan. One of his its kind is still there which you all will be able to see. Later drive to Paro and check in Hotel. Overnight stay at hotel in Paro.
Paro sightseeing O/night- Paro
After breakfast, drive to Drukgyel Dzong (a ruined fortress) 16 kms from the town. Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. Drukgyel literally means Bhutanese victory over Tibetans and in order to mark the victory, this Dzong was built. On a clear day, you will be able to see the peak of Mount Jhomolhari ‘Mountain of Goddess’ 7100m. Visit Kitchu Lhakhang or Temple on the way back. Kitchu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples ever built here in Bhutan. It was built in 7th century by King Songsten Gonpo from Tibet. Lunch at local restaurant and visit the National museum ("Ta-Dzong"). This was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong. It was converted into the National Museum in 1968. It is located on the top of a hill above the Paro Dzong overlooking Paro valley and the river. Visit Rinpung Dzong. This massive fortress is located in the Paro valley and is approached by a gently sloping flagstone road and a beautiful wooden bridge roofed with shingles and abutted by two guardhouses. Today, the Dzong is the Administrative seat of the district of Paro and it contains a state monastic community of about 200 monks. The central tower ("Utse") of the Dzong is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan with its superb woodwork. The Dzong was built in 1646 A.D. Later walk down from the Dzong and stroll around the town till you wish to go back to Hotel. Overnight stay at hotel in Paro.
Paro to Hasimara Railway Station
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Hasimara Railway Station for your onward journey. Tashi Delek