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Amankora Luxury Bhutan

Code:   BT 02

Amankora Luxury Bhutan

Duration : 07 Nights / 08 Days
Destinations Covered : Thimphu - Punakha - Wangduephodrang - Gangtey - Phobjikha - Paro

Day 01 :Arrive Paro/ Paro-Thimphu drive-  54 km/2 hours
Arrive Paro international airport.
Meeting and assistance on arrival and drive to Thimphu, the capital town passing via idyllic countryside, through villages and paddy fields,  Enroute visit the Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country now houses the School for Bhutan studies.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02 : Thimphu
Fulll day sightseeing of Thimphu valley, visiting Taschihhodzong; the seat of the Government, Memorial Chorten, the Stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s third King and Handicrafts Emporium displaying rich traditional crafts of the Kingdom,  National Library which has fascinating collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts and texts, the Painting School: famous for traditional thankhas paintings and traditional Medicine Institute where centuries old healing arts still practiced.

Day 03 – Thimphu-Punakha drive, 2 hours
After early breakfast proceed to Dochula pass (3050 M)  which provides a superb view of the highest peaks of Bhutan, such as Gangkar,  Puensum, table Mountain, Masakhang etc.

Morning  visit Punakha Dzong. Punakha until 1955, served as the capital town of Bhutan and still it is the winter seat of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot.  Punakha Dzong built by Shabdrung Ngawang, Namgyal in 17th century and situated at the junction of Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 04 : Punakha-Gangtey, 2-1/2 hours
Travelling easterly from Punakha, the road passes through the village of Wangdue Phodrang and climbs past deep ravines with dizzying drops to the little visited, picturesque valley of Phobjikha, home to the quaint rural settlement of Gangtey. At an elevation of 3,000 metres on the western slopes of the Black Mountains, Phobjikha is one of Bhutan's few glacial valleys. A designated conservation area, it is winter home of the endangered black-necked crane. The quaint village is dominated by the 16th century Gangtey Gompa, which includes a school, meditation facilities and quarters for monks, and is home to the mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa, one of the region's historically important Buddhist treasure discoverers.

Day 05 : Gangtey
The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space, and extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valley’s are tightly enclosed.
A few kms  beyond the Gangtey Monastery , on the valley floor lies the village of Phobjikha at an altitutde of 2900 m. This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter winter in milder and lower climate. The valley boasts two beautiful meandering rivers, Nakay Chhu (Chhu Naap-black water) and Gay Chhu (Chhu Karp-white water). According to a local legend, the two rivers actually represent a snake and a boar. The two animals once raced each other with an agreement that if the snake (Nakay Chhu) won, Phobjikha valley would be able to grow rice, but if the boar won, then rice could never be cultivated in the area. The snake lost since it had to meander all the way during its journey. Rice cannot be cultivated in the valley even today.
The Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery.  Gangtey was founded by Pema Trinley. In 1613, Pema Trinley established the monastery and became the first Gangtey Tulku. The religious traditions of Pema Lingpa still taught there. The second Tulku, Tenzin Legpa Dondrup (1645 to 1726), enhanced the size of Gangtey while keeping up good relations with Drukpas, and rebuilt the monastery in the form of an impressive Dzong which stands today.

Day 06 : Gangtey-Paro, 6 hours drive
After breakfast, leave for Paro.
Arrive Paro and check-in at the hotel.
Rest of the day free.

Day 07 : Paro
After breakfast, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago.  The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, “mountain of goddess” looms directly over the dzong. Along the way, see the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo.

After lunch visit Ta Dzong, originally built as watch tower, now houses National Museum of the Kingdom. It boasts antique thankhas, textile, weapons and armour, household objects and fnatural and historic artifacts.  Then walk down the train to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels”. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings.

Day 08 : Paro-Dep.
Transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination



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