Arrival at Bagdogra
Bhutan is a landscape of fluttering flags and majestic monasteries. It is also famous for its essentially undisturbed ecology and traditional ways of life. The serene atmosphere is a perfect setting for adventures and exploration. This Bhutanese holiday would commence with your arrival in Bagdogra, where you would be greeted by a MakeMyTrip representative at the airport and he/she shall assist you in your transfer to Phuentsholing (5 hours). The city would be your entry point for Bhutan and is the perfect mix of traditions, landscapes and culture. After your check-in at the hotel you have rest of the day for leisure. You could visit the Bhutan Gate (own expense) - the main gateway for entry from India to Bhutan. It is one of the most photographed sites of Bhutan with depictions of traditional Bhutanese architecture embodying the gate. After exploring the city, you can enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel.
Transfer to Thimphu
In the morning after a hearty breakfast, you would be transferred to Thimphu on a shared basis in a coach (seat-in-coach). The distance between Phuentsholing and Thimphu is 165 km and would take approximately 5 hours to cover. On arrival in Thimphu you would greeted by a MakeMyTrip representative and he/she shall brief you about the tour, itinerary, inclusions as well as cultural practices of Bhutan, including some do’s and don’ts. Post arrival and check-in at the hotel in Thimphu, you have rest of the day at leisure. You could book a relaxing couple’s massage (own expense) at a premium hotel by the river - Terma Linca Resort & Spa; this massage would be relaxing and includes transfers from and to the hotel in a private vehicle. You could purchase this activity on the payment page at the time of booking this package. You could also decide to go for some sightseeing wherein you could visit the Simtokha Dzong - a monastery built in 1627 that today houses the Institute for Language and Cultural Studies. Then you would go to the Memorial Chorten (Entry Fee Not Covered) which is the most visible religious structure in Thimphu and the Buddha View Point. The view of the valley from this point is as magnificent as the statue of Lord Buddha that reside on the premises. After lunch (own expense), you would be taken for sightseeing with visit to the Trashi Chhoe Dzong - a strikingly large structure, surrounded by manicured lawns and beautiful gardens, which houses the throne room, offices of the secretariat and the King. Later, procced to the Takin Mini Zoo. The Zoo houses the Takin - the national animal of Bhutan that looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. Legend has it that it was created by the great Buddhist yogi - Drupa Kunley. The animal is indigenous to Bhutan and its surrounding regions. After taking in the sights of Thimphu, you would be dropped off at the hotel where you can enjoy a delicious dinner
Sightseeing in Thimphu
Enjoy a delicious breakfast and then get picked up from the hotel, tentatively at 8.30 am, for local sightseeing on a seat-in-coach basis. You would be visiting the Arts & Craft School - the Institute for Zorig Chusum or the Painting School - where students are taught and trained in the 13 traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts. Then, to see the extensive collection of Buddhist manuscripts you would be taken the National Library; followed by a visit to the Textile Museum to learn about the national art of weaving. Here, you will see exhibits on major weaving techniques, styles of local dresses and textiles made by women and men. You can grab lunch (own expense) at one of the local eateries and sample local delicacies of Bhutan. For recommendation on restaurants in Thimphu, you could ask the guide. After lunch, your sightseeing continues as you visit the Zilukha Nunnery or Drubthob Goemba - a monastery which offers a view of Tashichhoedzong. After this, you would go to the Handicraft Emporium where an extensive range of colorful, hand woven textiles and other craft products will be available for purchase. In the evening, you would be dropped back at the hotel for dinner and stay. (In case day 3 of your tour is a Tuesday or Wednesday, you could visit the Craft Bazaar - a bazaar marked by a spectacle of traditional bamboo huts, showcasing a wide range of authentic Bhutan-made art and craft products.).
Transfer from Thimphu to Punakha
Today after enjoying a lovely breakfast, you would be transferred to Punakha. The transfer would be on a seat-in-coach basis and tentative pick-up time would be 8.30 am. The distance between Thimphu and Punakha is 75 km and would take approximately 3 hours to cover. En route, you would be making stops to do some sightseeing. The first stop on the roster would be Dochula view point. The Dochula pass is 45-minutes from Thimphu and perched at 3100m, offering a glimpse of the Himalayan range. As you come closer to Punakha valley, you would stop at Chimi Lhakhang or the Fertility Temple. This sacred temple was made in honour of Lama Drukpa Kunley. Childless women go to the temple to receive a blessing or empowerment from the saint. It is a 20-minutes long pleasant walk from road at Sopsokha to the temple. En route, you would also cross an archery ground. Then, you would visit the Punakha Dzong. It stands majestically on an island between the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers and is one of the most photogenic of all of Bhutan's ancient fortresses. The dzong joins the mainland by an arched wooden bridge and houses many precious relics from the days when successive kings reined the kingdom from this valley. In the evening, return to the hotel in Punakha for a comfortable overnight stay after a delectable dinner.
Transfer from Punakha to Paro
Paro is often called the gateway to the Himalayan Kingdom. After enjoying a delicious breakfast, you would be transferred to Paro. The transfer would be on a seat-in coach basis and as the distance between Punakha and Paro is 150 km, it would take approximately 5 hours to cover. After reaching Paro, you can grab a lunch (own expense) at one of the local eateries in the market after which you would have rest of the day at leisure. You could visit the popular attractions of Paro (own expense) such as the National Museum of Paro which displays the antique items gathered from different parts of the country in a revamped Ta-dzong building. Another interesting site would be the Kyichu Lhakhang. This temple built in 659 is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and is believed to have been built to subdue a demoness residing in the Himalayas. In the evening, return to the hotel in Paro; enjoy a warm and comforting dinner before you retire for the night.
Local Sightseeing in Paro
Get set for exploring Paro after a delicious breakfast at the hotel; you would be picked up from your hotel at approximately 8.30 am on a seat-in-coach basis for a hike to the famous Tiger’s nest temple (Entry Fee Not Covered). The Temple or Taksang Monastery is the most famous of Bhutanese monasteries. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at the monastery. Perched precariously on the edge of a 1200m cliff, this monastery is an impressive sight and the unofficial symbol of Bhutan. The up-hill hike would take around 2 hours. You could also choose to ride a horse from the parking lot to the monastery. If the full hike sounds a bit tough, you can hike for 1 hour to the cafeteria - a wooden tea-house restaurant which offers a good view of the monastery. In the evening, you would be dropped-off at the hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.
Transfer from Paro to Phuentsholing
On this day, you would be picked up from the hotel, at around 8.30 am, for a transfer to Phuentsholing on a seat-in-coach basis, after a lovely breakfast at the hotel. The distance between Thimphu and Punakha is 160 km and would take approximately 5 hours to cover. After your arrival and check-in, you would be taken for sightseeing. Here, you would be visiting the Zangtopelri Lhakhang: The structure is a modern replica of Guru Rinpoche's celestial abode. It is surrounded by lush scenic garden where you can take a walk or spin the prayer wheels in a gesture that is a huge part of Buddhist rituals. This would be followed by a visit to the Karbandi Monastery: the temple is flocked with visits from couples wishing for children. The temple became a port of call for aspiring parents after an Indian pilgrim became pregnant as a result of praying at this monastery. Along with answering prayers it also offers a mesmerizing view of the Phuentsholing valley and the Bengal Plains. In the evening, you would be dropped back at the hotel for an appetizing dinner.
Departure from Phuentsholing
After breakfast, you would check out from the hotel and be transferred to Bagdogra airport, on a seat-in-coach basis to board your return flight. Head back to India with memories galore and an increase in your personal happiness index.