CULTURAL TOUR IN BHUTAN
Cultural tours offer a unique insight into the history, culture and tradition of the nation. It is an opportunity to interact with the native people. The highlights are Tsechus or annual festivals where Buddhist teachings are enacted through mask dances. Festivals are week-long events, different variations of which take place in each district. All local people enjoy these festivities as it marks the end of harvest. In Bhutan tourism is highly regulated by the government. You must go through a licensed Bhutanese tour company to visit Bhutan. We specialize in cultural tours and trekking in Bhutan, a culturally and ecologically pristine hideaway amidst the beautiful eastern Himalayas.
All of our tour packages include accommodation, meals, overland transport within Bhutan, sightseeing and the local tour guide. Bhutan Travel Planner specializes in Cultural tours, Spiritual Buddhist tours, and Meditation tours, Adventure trekking, Bicycling tours and undertakes special interest tours such as Bird watching, Botany (Himalayan flora and fauna), Weaving, Arts and crafts, Rafting and Kayaking. We offer you best quality service with personalized attention matching international standards to make your trip to Bhutan that you will cherish all your life. Our tour program will take you through some of the most fabulous landscapes of spectacular mountain ranges to the lush green valleys.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN BHUTAN
PARO:WHAT TO SEE IN PARO (7,300 FEET).
RIMPONG DZONG: Meaning fortress of the heap of jewels. Built during the time of Zhabdrung Rimpoche in 1646.it houses both administrative and monastic bodies. It is also a venue of the paro festival (Tshechu) held once in a year at spring time.
DRUKYEL DZONG: It is located in the north end of paro valley built in 1647, now a ruined fort built to commemorate the victory over Tibetan invasion. Destroyed by fire in 1951 but it still serves a historic importance. Mount Jomolhari’s view can be seen on a clear day.
TA DZONG: It served as a watch tower during the time of the war to guard the Dzong from Tibetan invasion. It was later converted into national museum in 1968.it houses a fine collection of art, relics, religious Thankas, paintings, animals, armory and Bhutan’s excuisite postage stamps.
KYICHU LHAKHANG: It is one of the two most sacred and the oldest temples in Bhutan built in 7th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. The legend tells that a giant demon was terrorizing the whole of Himalayan region, so to subdue it the king built 108 temples all over the Himalayan region out of which 2 are in Bhutan.
FARM HOUSE: A cluster of giant farm houses embroiders the beauty of paro valley’s visit to the farm house is very interesting and offers a good glimpse into the life styles of the Bhutanese farmers.
THIMPHU: WHAT TO SEE IN THIMPHU (7,600 FEET).
TASHICHHODZONG: Meaning: fortress of the glorious religion. The dzong was built in 1641 and rebuilt into present structure by late king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1965. It houses the main secretariat building and the central monk body. It is open to visitors during festival time and when the monk body moves to Punakha in winter months.
MEMORIAL CHORTEN: This Stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of third king, his late majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is regarded as the father of modern Bhutan. The temple inside gives a good example of Tantric Buddhism and its philosophy.
PAINTING SCHOOL: The school teaches the traditional paintings and also making of sculpture and statues. You can visit the students at work and have the idea of how they make them. You can even buy some from there if you wish or like it.
TRADITIONAL MEDICINE INSTITUTE: In Bhutan equal importance is given to both traditional and modern medicine. The rich herbal medicines abundant in the region are prepared here. The institute imparts the art of herbal medicines to the trainees in the field of traditional medicines.
HANDICRAFT EMPORIUM: There are many handicraft shops in Thimphu, displaying wide range of beautiful hand woven and crafted products.
SIMTOKHA DZONG: It is located on a lofty hill stand 6 kms away from Thimphu city built in 1627 by Zhabdrung Rimpoche. It is the oldest fortress in the country and present days it houses the school of Buddhist institute for language and cultural studies.
WEEKEND MARKET: Every Friday evening, Saturday and Sundays, people from Thimphu valley and even from other parts of the country come to sell and buy products. It is an opportunity to mix with local people and the products they sell.
PUNAKHA: WHAT TO SEE IN PUNAKHA (4,420 FEET).
PUNAKHA DZONG: This Dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Rimpoche to serve as the religious and administrative center of the region. It was the winter capital of Bhutan until 1955 when the capital was permanently shifted to Thimphu. It still serves as the winter residence of chief abbot. The dzong is open for visitors during festival times and also when the monk body is moved to Thimphu.
WANGDIPHORDANG: WHAT TO SEE IN WANGDUE: (4,430 FEET).
WANGDIPHORDANG DZONG: This Dzong was built in 1638 by Zhabdrung Rimpoche. It is situated on a very strategic location between two rivers. The dzong serves as both administrative centre for Wagdi district and also houses monk body.
GANGTEY GOENPA: Towards the east of Wangdue, there is an old monastery of Gangtey Goenpa some 55 kms away from Wagdi dating back to the 17th century.The valley of Phobjikha lies below the monastery. This valley is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from Tibet in winter months and it is one of the attractive sightseeing in the kingdom.
TRONGSA: WHAT TO SEE IN TRONGSA (7,300 FEET).
TRONGSA DZONG: Built in 1648, it is the ancestral seat of the royal family. Both the first and second king ruled the country from this seat. All five kings held the the post of Trongsa Penlop (honorary governor) prior to being crowned as a king. The dzong is a massive structure with many levels, which slope down the contours of a hill on which it perches. Because of its highly strategic position as the entire connecting route between east and west the Trongsa Penlop was able to control the whole of the eastern region. This dzong is the most impressive and the longest in Bhutan.
TA DZONG: This watch tower, which once guarded Trongsa dzong from internal rebellion, stands impressively and provides visitors and insight into historical significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history.
BUMTHANG: WHAT TO SEE IN BHUMTHANG (8,530-13,125 FEET).
JAMBAY LHAKHANG: This monastery is the oldest and the most sacred in the Bumthang valley. Built in the same time with kyichu Lhakhang in paro in 7th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo, believed to be the reincarnation of the Buddha of compassion. It is one of the 108 temples built by him to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region.
KURJE LHAKHANG: This temple located north of the valley above Jampay Lhakhang. It consists of three temples. The one on the right is the place Guru Rimpoche mediated in 8th century and the temple was built in the same spot in 1652.the second temple was built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of guru’s body and is therefore considered the most sacred. The third temple was recently built by the present royal queen mother. These three temples are surrounded by 108 Chorten’s wall, symbolic of each joint of the human body.
TAMSHING LHAKHANG: Located opposite Kurje Lhakhang on the other side of the river, this temple was founded in 1505 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the re-incarnation of Guru Rimpoche. This monastery has very interesting religious paintings like, 1000 Buddha’s and 21 Taras (female form of bodhisattava). The temple was restored at the end of 19th century.
KONCHUSUM LHAKHANG: This temple is near to Tamshing Lhakhang. This temple was probably built in 7th century. It is now renovated in 1955 and looks new. The structure that you see dates back to 15th century when Terton Pema Lingpa restored it.
JAKAR DZONG: The father of Zhabdrung Rimpoche, Tempe Nyima, founded this dzong. The dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549.it was upgraded after the Zhabdrung had firmly established his power in 1646.the dzong is now used as an districts administrative center of Bumthang district. It also houses monk body.
MONGAR: WHAT TO SEE IN MONGAR
Mongar Dzong: It is the site of one of Bhutan‘s newest dzong, built in 1990s. Yet the dzong is built in the same method and traditions of all the other dzong, no drawing and nails have been used. A visit to the dzong gives visitors an impression of how traditional Bhutanese architecture has contained to thrive through the centuries.
TRASHIGANG: WHAT TO SEE IN TRASHIGANG (3,775 FEET).
TRASHIGANG TOWN: you can also pay a visit to the town which is enclosed on three sides by mountains. If you are lucky, you would be able to see some people from Merak and sakteng, whose dresses and life style are different from the national dress of Bhutan.
GOM KORA: It falls actually in Trashiyangtshi district. Gomkora is a small temple to the east of the road 13km north of Chazam. Guru Rimpoche meditated here and left a body impression on a rock, similar to that in Kurje Lhakhang in Bumthang.
WHAT TO SEE IN TRASHI YANGTSE (ALTITUDE-6,000 FEET).
CHORTEN KORA: This temple falls in Ttrashiyangtse district. It was constructed by lama Ngawang Loday in 1740 in memory of his uncle Jungsho Phesan, to fulfill the desire of the people of the region who wanted the lama to build the temple same as that of Nepal’s Boudhanath temple.