Duration: 5days Max. Elevation: 4,520m
Highest Camp: 4,300m
Best Seasons: April to June and September to November
Start: Gynekha (Thimphu)
Finish: Chamgang (Thimpu)
Itinerary: 8night 9days
Bangkok/Delhi/Katmandu – Paro
Highlights: Spectacular views of Mt Everest (8,848 m), Kanchenjunga (8,586m) and Lhotse (8,414 m); and a literal adrenaline-pumping landing on the roof of the world.
Travel by Druk Air, Bhutan’s national airline, to Paro, the country’s only international airport. The flight is exhilarating to say the least, as the route traverses parallel to the mighty Himalayas enabling passengers to see the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest, and many more. The descent affords a panoramic view of Bhutan’s foothills culminating into a thrilling landing at what is considered one of the world’s most challenging airports.
Meet your guide at the airport and head to the hotel for lunch. Devote the afternoon to sightseeing around the Paro valley famed for its natural beauty, historical monuments, agricultural farms and quintessentially Bhutanese village communities. Visit the National Museum, formerly a watchtower, and then the Castle on a Heap of Precious Jewels or RinpungDzong. Wind up the day with a stroll around Paro town. Overnight at the hotel
Discovering Paro Valley
Highlights: Hike to the Tiger’s Lair, the most famous Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas, built on a sheer rock face.
After breakfast, drive for half an hour and start hiking up to the temple that is renowned in the Himalayan Buddhist world as one of the most popular sites of pilgrimage. The five-hour round trip follows an ancient but oft-trodden footpath flanked by water-driven prayer wheels.
The temple, precariously perched on a hair-raising ravine about 1,000 metres above the valley floor, is considered sacrosanct as it was in a cave within this temple that the eight century tantric saint, Padmasambhava, subdued the evils who obstructed the teachings of the Buddha. The saint is believed to have come to Taktshang in a fiery wrathful form riding a tigress. Over the years, many Buddhist saints have meditated in and around the temple and discovered numerous hidden treasure teachings.
Visit the ruins of DrugyelDzongenroute. The fortress known as the “Castle of the Victorious Drukpa”, is a symbol of Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetan invasions in the 17th and 18th centuries. We can also get a view of the sacred mountain, Jumolhari, along the way. On the way back to our hotel, we will visit the 7th century Kyichu Temple, believed to have been built on a place that resembled a knee of a giant ogress. Overnight at hotel
Paro – Gynekha – Gur (Distance seven km, five hours, 550m ascent, 210m descent, camp altitude 3,290m). 4 hour
Today drive one hour to Gyekha and The trek starts from beautiful Gynekha village with a short descent down to the river. From here – after crossing the river – you start climbing till you reach a huge rock platform from where you have a picturesque view of the valley below. After another two hours you reach Gur, some yak pastures below the main trail. Overnight at the camp.
Gur – Labatama(12 km, 5 hours) (Distance 12km, six hours, 1,220m ascent, 110m descent, camp altitude 4,300m).
While trekking across the ridges, one enjoys the beauty of the rugged mountain vegetation. The path winds through flowers and wild asparagus (in spring).
The meadows are refreshing and inspiring. The first pass symbolised by a huge cairn gives a spectacular view of Kanjenjunga (Sikkim) and more or less all the Bhutanese Himalayan peaks. Dsecnding the pass one will see the whole Dagala range, meadows and yak herders camp. Once descended into the Labatama valley you ascend gradually through the valley passing some yak herder huts till you reach UthsoTsho. The campsite is right next to the lake.
Labatama – Panka (Distance 8km, six to seven hours, 260m ascent, 520m descent, camp altitude 4,000m).
The trail climbs along the western side of DalaTsho up to a saddle at 4,520m from where you have again a majestic view of Himalayan peaks during descent. This point is around 4,460m. The mountain peaks include Everest (Nepal), Kanchenjunga (Sikkim), Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tshering Gang, Khangbum, Masang Gang, Tsende Gang and Gangche Ta.
If you want an even better view, you can climb a peak close to the saddle with an altitude of 4,720m. From the saddle the path descends, passing some yak herder huts to DocchaChhu. You follow the river for a while, but stay higher up on the slope to reach Panka with some ups and downs on the way.
Panka-Talakha(Distance eight km, five to six hours, 180m ascent, 110m descent, camp altitude 3,080m).
This day entails the crossing of several passes, none of them affording a major climb. Search for different varieties of blue poppy (June-July) and mountain birds. After crossing the last pass, Tale La (4,180m) you start a long descent to TalakhaGompa. You will camp right besides the monastery and wake up with the early morning prayers of the monks. One has a great view of Bhutan’s capital Thimphu.
Talakha -Chamgang – Thimhpu (Distance six km, three hours, 440m descent).
From the monastery it’s a short walk down to the feeder road, which will lead you to the village of Chamgang. Overnight at the hotel
Morning sightseeing including the Weaving centre, Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa ) built in memory of the third king of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972, Buddha point, Changangkha monastery built in 12 century, Takin zoo, view point of Thimphu valley, Nunnery monastery, Lunch at local restaurant.
After lunch visit Art & craft school, General Post office, Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased,
Evening visit the TashichhoDzong, the main secretariat building it was built in 1642. This massive structure houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks. Overnight at the hotel
Thimphu- Paro – Fly out
Morning drive one to the Paro international Airport and