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Day 02: Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery:-Following breakfast, drive 10km north through the beautiful valley of Paro and hike to Taktsang (tiger's Den) monastery hanging on a cliff 800m above the valley. In the 8th century Guru Rimpoche flew here on the back of a tigress in one of his eight forms called Guru Dorje Drolo and meditated for 3 months in a cave and converted Paro valley into Buddhism. Later in the 17th century, the 4th temporal ruler of Bhutan Tenzin Rabgye built this present temple and named it Taktsang meaning; tiger's lair in the same spot where Guru meditated. This temple is one of the most sacred and also a pilgrimage centre for Buddhists from all over the world. It was completely burnt down in 1998 and re-built with help from Bhutan government, individual donors and financial supports from other nations.
It takes 2 hours ascend till the closest view point and 1 hour descend to the valley. Stop at tourism café situated half way for refreshment. On your way back, you again stop at the café for lunch. After lunch, continue to walk down to the bottom of the valley where your vehicle is waiting. Drive further north and visit the Drukgyel Dzong (fortress of victorious Drukpas). It was burnt in 1951 by the tilting of butter lamp in the middle of the night so in present days it remains as ruins preserved as monument. It was built in 1647 after Bhutan stand victorious against Tibetan invasion. On your way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest and the most sacred temple in Bhutan built in 7th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gompo. The legend says that he built 108 temples throughout the Himalayan regions in a single day to subdue the demoness who was terrorizing the whole of Himalayan region. Drive to visit Ta-dzong (national museum) an ancient tower, which served as watch tower to the Paro Rimpong Dzong until 1968 when it was converted into museum. The museum collection includes displays of spectacular thankas (religious scroll painting), ancient artifacts dating from 7th century onwards, beautiful Bhutanese stamps, temple with tree of wisdom depicting the history of Buddhism, collection of animals, birds & butterflies and the good collection of ancient armors such as canons, guns, shield, bows & arrows, spears etc. After the museum, drive back to Hotel. Dinner
Day 03: Paro – Chele la – Pangkala. (05 – 06hours of walk) :-We will start early from our hotel to reach the starting point of our trek at the Chele-la (3989m). The drive from your hotel to the Chele-la pass takes about an hour (34Kms). The pass is supposed to be the highest motorable pass in the country. Upon reaching the pass, we will meet with our trekking team. Depending on the weather, we can get glimpse of the Mt. Jumolhari and of course the peak of Mt. Kanchunjunga.
A few minutes' walk along the Chelela ridge will take us to a Yak Herder's camp. From there on, we walk downhill and cross the Dzonglela (3565m)., a short climb further up will take us to our campsite at Pangkala (4150m).
Day 04: Pangkala – Tsendula. (04 – 05hours of walk):-Explore the meadow of Pangkala for a while before we begin our journey to our next campsite at Tsendula. We pass along the forsaken ancient trade route between Paro & Haa valley, the Donglela pass (3565m). This pass used to be the highway between the two valleys with a huge traffic of mules & people, not so long ago. The route is also an excellent place to sight the monal pheasants. Camp at Tsendula (3775m).
Day 05: Tsendula – Thimphu:-It is worth rising up early in the morning to see the sun rise over the eastern Himalayan mountains, and then to see the monal pheasants around or to experience the solitude of this heaven like place on earth.
After breakfast, we will start our trip occasionally passing by beautiful meadows that are being used by the yak herders to keep their yaks in winter. The trail then traverses for sometime before you make your way up through the thick alpine forest of firs, rhododendrons and junipers to the ending point of our trek at the village of Dawakha.
Day 06: Thimphu Sightseeing:-Following your breakfast, you enjoy full day of sightseeing that includes:
Memorial Chorten: This is a most impressive stupa built in the memory of Bhutan's third King by the order of Grand Queen mother Ashi Phuntsho Chhoden in 1974. Changangkha lhakhang. One of the oldest temple in Thimphu valley situated on top of a knoll with commending views of the valley below. This place has a special magical atmosphere with its prayer flags floating in the wind and its feeling of riding above the hurly-burly of the city. This was built in 15th century by one of descendents of Pjajo Drukjom Shigpo, the founder of Drukpa School in Bhutan. The main statue inside the temple is that of the god of compassion.
Mini Zoo: Drive further north and visit the mini zoo where the Takins (national animals of Bhutan are kept). Drive till the dead end of the road at Sangaygang view point to enjoy the fresh air and to view the whole valley of Thimphu below. The hill is dotted with prayer flags and gives a impression that one is near to heaven.
Nunnery (Drubthob Lhakhang): This small red temple is also called Zilukha nunnery. It plays a role of protecting the Dzong from the fire. Now it houses Buddhist nuns. National Library: It holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts, manuscripts and also modern academic books.
Handicrafts Emporiums: It displays wide range of products such as beautifully woven fabrics for man & women, crafted products & other decorative items. You can as well visit many local handicraft products where you have wide range of selection and prices to choose from.
National Institute for Zorig Chusum (thirteen traditional arts & crafts): The Royal Government of Bhutan has sponsored and established this national institute in the year 1971 mainly to preserve and promote culture and to contribute to the country's economy through quality products and services. In the course of history Bhutan has developed a unique artistic tradition, which has played a vital role in modeling its distinct cultural heritage and this tradition is reflected in thirteen traditional arts & crafts.
Traditional medicine Institute: It was established with the help of European Union to improve traditional medicine. The rich herbal medicines abundant in the kingdom are prepared here.
Tashichhodzong: The biggest fort of Bhutan built in 1648. It houses secretariat building, King's throne room and other government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot.
Folk Heritage Museum: One of the oldest house in Thimphu, having been restored and transformed into Folk Heritage Museum in the year 2001 under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo. This museum is meant to serve an account of everyday rural life for the young urbanized generations and as a place for preserving objects related to this life, in case this way of life disappears as time passes.
Textile Museum: This museum was inaugurated under the patronage of Queen Ashi Sangay Choden in June 2001. Many intricate designs of Bhutanese textiles are displayed here. It will also serve as center for conservation, restoration and documentation of Bhutanese textiles. There are many more things to see apart from above mentioned sightseeing places. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 07: Drive to Paro:-Following breakfast, visit the weekend market (Fri, sat & Sun) and then drive to Paro. You may like to do the last minute souvenir shopping in Thimphu before you leave. Free time after lunch for packing for your onward flight the nest day. Overnight at the hotel. BLD
Day 08: Fly out to onward destination