Weave your Path on a Textile Trip
Day 01 : Arrive Paro (Bhutan) by Flight
- On arrival at Paro international airport, received by our representative and then drive to the hotel. The lovely valley of Paro encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples, monasteries and the National Museum.
- Evening an exploratory walk in the heart of Paro valley.
- Also visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the country, linked with introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
- Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)
Day 02 : Paro
- After breakfast, excursion to famed Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest (approx 5 hours round trip walk). It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries perched on 900m above Paro valley floor. Legends say that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence it is called Tiger’s Nest’.
- Later in the afternoon, drive to the base of Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress from where Bhutanese repelled several invasion by Tibetan armies. On a clear day, there is a fascinating view of Mount. Chomolhari (7,314m) from this point.
- Nearby visit a traditional farm house / village lodge which offers an opportunity to learn and understand local culture, traditions and way of life especially of village folks.
- Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 03 : Paro / Thimphu (55km, approx 1.1/2 hour drive)
- Morning after drive to Bhutan’s capital town Thimphu en route visiting Tschogang Lhakhang or ‘the temple of excellent horse’.
- Later in Thimphu, visit Textile Museum which has given a new platform to the nation’s textiles and Bhutanese weavers and boasts of an invaluable collection of antique textile artifacts of Bhutan. The museum has opened its exhibition on six major themes - warp pattern weaves, weft pattern weaves, role of textiles in religion, achievements in textile arts, textiles from indigenous fibers and the royal collection.
- Post lunch, drive to Changangkha lhakhang, a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu.
- Thereafter a short drive takes you to Buddha Dordenma, located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and overlooks the Southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. This 51.5 m of Buddha is the largest in the country.
- King’s Memorial Chorten is next in visit, consecrated on 28 July, 1974 in the memory of Bhutan ‘s third King, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan.
- Conclude the day with visit of Trashichhoedzong. Also known as ‘fortress of the glorious religion’, it was initially built in 1641 and later restored in its present form by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1965. The Dzong houses, main secretariat building which houses the throne room of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan.
- Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2,320m)
Day 04 : Thimphu / Punakha (75km, approx 3 hours drive)
- After breakfast, drive to ancient capital town of Bhutan across Dochula pass (3,080m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan. Druk Wangyal Chortens,108 small stupa built by the Queen Mother Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk as a tribute to Fourth King for his selfless service and visionary leadership, presents here fascinating sights.
- Post lunch, visit Punakha Dzong or ‘The Palace of Great Bliss’. This Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan’s history.
- Later embark on a short walking excursion to Chimi Lhakhang also known as ‘Fertility Temple’. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon.
- Evening explore Punakha & Wangdue towns and local market.
- Overnight at the hotel in Punakha. (Altitude 1,300m)
Day 05 : Punakha / Gangtey (85km, approx 3 hours drive)
- Post breakfast, drive to beautiful Gangtey, one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan.
- Afternoon visit Gangtey Goempa, the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan.
- Then take a stroll around lovely Gangtey village.
- Afterwards explore Phobjikha valley, which is famous for Black Neck Cranes those migrate here in winter months from Tibetan plateau.
- Evening enjoy nature walk.
- Overnight at the hotel in Gangtey. (Altitude 3,000m)
Day 06 : Gangtey / Trongsa / Bumthang (153km, approx 6 hours drive)
- After breakfast, proceed to Bumthang via Trongsa. On the way cross Pelela pass (3,300m) and further ahead visit Chendbji Chorten, the stupa patterned on Swambhunath in Kathmandu.
- Visit Trongsa Dzong which itself is a labyrinth of temples, corridors and offices holding court over the local community. It is built on many levels into the side of the hill and can be seen from every approach to Trongsa heralding its strength as a defensive stronghold.
- Also visit Ta Dzong, a cylindrical stone structure rising five storeys, was built in 1652 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, a task entrusted to him by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. After more than 350 years, it has been resurrected into a classy museum, that represents a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity.
- Drive further to Bumthang crossing 3,400m Yutongla pass.
- Overnight at the hotel in Bumthang. (Altitude 2,600m)
Day 07 : Bumthang
- Full day explore fascinating valley of Bumthang visiting Jakar Dzong, Jambay Lhakhang, Kurje Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang.
- Post lunch, drive to Chumey valley to visit Yathra Weaving Centre. 'Yathra' is a hand-woven fabric made from wool of yak and sheep. It is made in vibrant colours giving it a special and attractive look. Bumthang being a cold place is famous for its Yathra weaving and produces woolen clothes, bags, scarfs etc in unique pattern.
- In the evening visit local handloom weaving house and meet a Weavers family .
- Overnight at the hotel in Bumthang. (Altitude 2,600m)
Day 08 : Bumthang / Mongar (187 km, approx 7 hours drive)
- After breakfast, proceed for Mongar, in eastern Bhutan.
- En route visit Membartsho, the sacred lake. Pema Linga found several of Guru Rinpoche’s hidden treasures here.
- Further ahead visit beautiful Ura valley, driving through amazingly open countryside.
- Proceeding further, cross the highest point on Bhutan’s motorable road network, Thrumshing-la pass (4,000m/13,125 ft).
- Overnight at the hotel in Mongar. (Altitude 1,600m)
Day 09 : Mongar / Lhuntse (74 km, approx 3 hours drive)
- Morning after breakfast, visit Mongar Dzong, built in the 1930s and one of Bhutan’s newest dzongs, but constructed in the same way as all previous dzongs, without either plans or the use of nails.
- Then drive to Lhuntse which is one of the most rural and isolated districts in Bhutan. The landscape is spectacular with stark cliffs and gorges, beautiful conifer and pine forests, and remote villages with rice, millet and corn fields. Visit Lhuntse Dzong, built in 1654 on a rocky outcrop is one of the most picturesque in Bhutan.
- Overnight tented accommodation. (Altitude 1,700m)
Day 10 : Lhuntse / Khoma / Lhuntse
- Morning after breakfast, enjoy a walk from Khurbazam to Khoma Village (around 2 hours each way over clear flat paths), where some of the most famous and expensive textiles are woven in silk and cotton. Khoma village is famous for distinctive ‘Kishuthara’ weaving.
- Evening return to Lhuntse for overnight camp. (Altitude 1,700m)
Day 11 : Lhuntse / Ranjung (215 km, approx 7.1/2 hours drive)
- After breakfast drive to Rangjung.
- Afternoon visit Radhi village. Radhi is famous for raw silk, which is known as ‘bura’. You can also witness women weaving raw silk.
- Overnight at the guesthouse in Rangjung. (Altitude 1,120m)
Day 12 : Ranjung / Khaling / Trashigang (126 km, approx 5 hours drive)
- After breakfast drive to Khaling. Visit National Institute for the Disabled (NID), which caters educational needs to the disabled people in the country.
- Afternoon visit the Weaving Center which is operated by the National Women’s Association of Bhutan. Here you can see the girls weaving different types of textiles out of back strap loom. If possible, we can also visit to the house a private weaver to see the techniques of Bhutanese dye.
- Overnight at the hotel in Trashigang. (Altitude 1,100m)
Day 13 : Trashigang (Excursion to Trashiyangtse) (110km, approx 5 hours round trip drive)
- After breakfast, full day excursion to Trashiyangtse which is small, pretty, quiet town.
- Visit the Arts School and the Chorten Kora. Along the way to Trashiyangtse you will stop at the Gom Kora temple, behind which is a large black rock. It is said that Guru Rimpoche meditated in a cave in the rock and that you can see the impression of his thumb, his hat, and his body on the rock.
- Evening return to Trashigang for overnight stay.
Day 14 : Trashigang / Samdrup Jongkhar (175 km, approx 6 hours drive)
- Morning visit Trashigang Dzong, standing at the extreme end of a rocky outcrop far above the river gorge. It serves as the administrative seat for the district and part of the dzong is occupied by the local Drukpa monastic community.
- Then drive to Samdrup Jongkhar. Along the way, pass by Sherubtse College, the only college in country founded in 1978. Further ahead, Deothang town en route is the centre of Technical training college and road maintenance head quarters for the east. From here the road descends fairly rapidly to the plain through a dense tropical forest with an abundance of teak, bamboo and ferns.
- Overnight at the hotel in Samdrup Jongkhar. (Altitude 240m)
Day 15 : Samdrup Jongkhar – Guwahati (Assam, India) (110 km, approx 3 hours drive)
- Morning after breakfast, picked up India representative from hotel and drive to Guwahati, for onward program.