Bhutan Trekking
 
Sacred Trek to Mt.Jumolhari - 15 Days

Season: February to May and September to November
Number of Days: 15 Days
Grade: Strenuous

Day 1: Arrival at Paro International Airport:
Fly on Druk Air to Paro. Druk Air is a Bhutan national flag bearer, which has an exclusive right to fly to Bhutan from 6 other sectors. Limited flights allow only restricted number of flyers into this beautiful Himalayan Kingdom, thereby preserving and conserving valuable culture and environment that has remained intact for centuries. On clear days, during this flight, you will experience breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountains including Mt. Everest, Jichu Drak and Jumolhari in Bhutan. You will land in the beautiful valley of Paro, located at an elevation of 7,400 ft. At Paro International Airport you will be received by representative of Druk Yul Expeditions. White Khaddar or scarf with Buddhist blessings will be presented to you to be carried along your journey. Take a short drive to your hotel and check-in for lunch. After lunch visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong), earlier a watchtower for the Rinpung Paro Dzong. It was converted into the National Museum in 1968 and stands on a strategic site on the top of hill overlooking the Paro valley. On the way back visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. A Dzong in Bhutan is a fortress. Today there are about 20 Dzongs around the country, most built during early part of 17th century. Dzongs are the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. This huge fortresses are equally shared, keeping in tradition from past. It was from these fortresses that the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan and Mongol invasions. Walk down further through walled flat stone pavements, and in about 10 minutes, you will pass through beautiful ancient wooden bridge with shingle roofing, with two guardhouses on each entrance. In the evening, we will walk through the small and picturesque Paro town. Enjoy evening meal at a cozy restaurant. Our representative will conduct detailed briefing about the upcoming tour program.

Day 2: Paro (Excursion):
After breakfast visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong), earlier a watchtower for the Rinpung Paro Dzong. It was converted into the National Museum in 1968 and stands on a strategic site on the top of hill overlooking the Paro valley. On the way back visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. A Dzong in Bhutan is a fortress. Today there are about 20 Dzongs around the country, most built during early part of 17th century. Dzongs are the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. This huge fortresses are equally shared, keeping in tradition from past. It was from these fortresses that the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan and Mongol invasions. Walk down further through walled flat stone pavements, and in about 10 minutes, you will pass through beautiful ancient wooden bridge with shingle roofing, with two guardhouses on each entrance. In the evening, we will walk through the small and picturesque Paro town. Enjoy lunch at a cozy restaurant. In the evening take a stroll around the town. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Taktsang Hike:
Drive to Ramthongkha and then hike to viewpoint of Taktsang, the Tiger's Nest (one and a half hours). This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 3,000 ft above the valley floor. The trail is broad and the walk uphill takes you a little more than a 1000ft above the Paro valley. The view of Taktsang monastery built on the cliff is a spectacular sight. It is a great pilgrim site for the Buddhists and also it is one of the most sacred sites in the Himalayan world. Beyond the viewpoint, the path is narrow and steep as it climbs to a point above the temple, from where walkers descend to the building itself. The main deity of Taktsang is Dorje Drolo, the wrathful form of Guru Rinpoche, the precious Teacher, also known as Padmasambhava. The great tantric mystic is said to have flown here on the back of a tiger, a manifestation of his consort, Yeshi Tsogyal, when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th century. The image of Dorje Drolo inside the temple is shown standing on a tiger. There are 13 sacred sites at Taktsang, and several meditation caves in the cliffs above. Here you can meditate awhile before beginning the descent. Nearby there is a teahouse, where you can stop for lunch or a snack. In the evening, visit a farmhouse in Paro. Overnight at hotel in Paro.

Day 4: Drugyel Dzong – Shana (Altitude - 9,500 ft / 2,800 m. | Distance - 17 km (5 - 6 hours) :
Drive to Drugyel Dzong and where the motor road ends the trek begins. The trail follows the river uphill through a narrow agricultural valley. Camp is just beyond an army post.

Day 5: Shana – Soi Thangthakha (Altitude - 12,664 ft / 3,860m. | Distance - 19 km (6 -7 hours):
The path leads uphill through the river valley and along the river drainage. The trail passes through conifer and rhododendron forests. On the way, there is a great view of Mount Jumolhari. Camp will be set up in a meadow with stone shelter.

Day 6: Soi Thangthakha – Jagothang (Altitude - 13,255 ft / 4,040m. | Distance - 19 km (5 - 6 hours):
Follow the river and pass a small army post where the valley begins to widen again. The view of the high ridges and snow capped peaks can be seen on all sides. At this altitude, one will also be able to see the yaks and yak herders. Camp will be set up beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mount Jumolhari.

Day 7: Jagothang – Rest Day:
One can trek up to Tsophu for hikes in all directions – toward Mt. Jumolhari, adjoining peaks on west, and Jichu Drake to the north. These peaks are some of the world’s highest unclimbed peaks.

Day 8: Jagothang – Lingshi (Altitude - 12,844 ft / 3,915 m | Distance - 19 km (5 - 6 hours):
The trail climbs gradually to Nyili La (Altitude - 15354 ft / 4,680 m). Wide yak pastures can be seen all along the trail. If the weather is clear, one can get a great view of the Lingshi Dzong as one descends into the Lingshi basin. Tserim Kang and its descending glaciers can be seen at the north end of the valley. Camp is in a stone shelter.

Day 9: Lingshi – Rest Day:
During the day halt at Lingshi one can do a day excursion to Tsekha (Lahe) i.e. base camp of Jichu Drake. During the excursion, hundreds of blue sheep and musk deer may be seen on the way.

Day 10: Lingshi – Shodu (Altitude - 12,516 ft / 3,815 m | Trek - approx. 6 - 7 hours):
The trail ascends up to the Yali La (Altitude - 15,814 ft / 4,820 m). From the pass, Mount Jumolhari, Tserim Gang and Masa Gang can be seen on a clear day. Overnight camp.

Day 11: Shodu – Barshong (Altitude 12,090 ft / 3,685 m. | Distance - 13 km (3 - 4 hours):
This trail goes along the Thim Chhu and through forests filled with rhododendrons and water falls. The trail ascends up to the ruins of Barshong Dzong. The camp, which is a stone shelter, is just below a ruined fortress.

Day 12: Barshong – Doelom Kencho (Altitude 11,247 ft / 3,428 m | Distance - 11 km (3 - 4 hours) :
The trail follows the Thim Chhu and through forest of thicker rhododendrons and into pasture land. Camp will be set up at a meadow.

Day 13: Dolem Kencho – (Tango Cheri) Thimpu (Distance - 14 km (4 - 5 hours):
This is the last day of the trek and the path goes over a small pass and through forests. Wild animals may be seen along the way. Your transportation will be waiting for you at Dodena and will take you to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. Overnight at the hotel in Thimpu.

Day 14: Thimpu (Excursion):
Today’s sightseeing in Thimpu valley includes visits to: National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is a both a memorial to the late king (‘the father of modern Bhutan’), and a monument to world peace. The painting and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy; National Library: This holds a vast collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion. Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School): where student undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. National Institute of Traditional Medicine: where the medicinal herbs, mineral, and animals organs available in abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed by traditional pharmacist and medical practitioners. This indigenous healing method is popular in entire Bhutan. Here you will have exclusive privilege of talking to a renowned traditional healer. Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insight into Bhutanese material culture and way of life. Handicrafts Emporium: This government-run enterprise displays a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products. It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture.

Day 15: Thimpu - Paro Departure:
After an early morning breakfast, drive to Paro Airport. All departure formalities will be completed in advance, and assisted by your guide.
Trip ends

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