DRUKYUL- in Tibetan ” The Land of Thunder Dragon” Bhutan is indeed, the Last Shangri-la protected by the mighty Himalayas from the rest of the world. Bhutan is only country where still monarch rule is in existence and the Kingdom is blissfully untouched. Hidden in the Eastern Himalayas between INDIA and TIBET as big as Switzerland, but sparsely populated. The Mountains are magnificent, the Forest is dense, and the people are delightful and peaceful due to Buddhism. The main State Religion is Buddhist and is also Drukpa Kagyupa School of Tibetan Buddhist of Mahayana. Buddhism has provided the essence of a rich culture and fascinating History. The reason for Bhutan’s uniqueness and attraction is that its culture and environment have been largely unaltered by the pressure of population or excessive number of Tourist as it used to happen in many other countries. Hence, it is very safe and secure for the Foreign Tourist/travellers visiting Bhutan.
BY AIR: Bhutan is accessible by Air from DELHI and Kolkata to PARO and there is only Bhutan’s national carrier DRUK AIRLINES. PARO is the only Airport, which is 2 hours drive from Thimphu, the Capital of Bhutan. Druk Airline has very strict booking and cancellation policy as they have only 72 setter Aircraft and is mostly over booked. Once we make bookings, it is mandatory to get the tickets issued within 10 days. If one fails to do so, your name gets removed from the reservation list. So, it would be safer to get the tickets issued well in advance if one’s Tour is confirmed. DRUK AIR will charge USD 12 per person extra for the change of Travels date, Sector and spelling in one’s names.
ROAD: Bhutan is also accessible by road from Darjeeling and Sikkim via Silguri or from Bagdogra Airport. It takes about 4 hours to Phuntsog Ling -the border Town of Bhutan.
VISA PROCEDURE: We will apply and process for your Bhutan Visa. You need to send us the following Passport details to process the Visa. We would send you the Visa Clearance Number before your departure and with this Number you will allow to board Druk Air. We insist to all our clients to send Passport details 2-3 month prior to their arrival just to make sure that we would be able to send Visa Clearance Number to you and Druk Airline office in your country and the Airport from where you will fly in so that you will not miss the Flight. The Visa will be issued on arrival at PARO AIRPORT.
PAYMENT: One has to transfer 50% of the Tour Cost and full Air Fare to us on confirming your Bhutan Tour with us. The balance payment should be transferred 30 days prior to commencement of the Tour. Without full payment prior to their arrival to Bhutan, Visa authority of Bhutan will not issue Visa on arrival.
THIMPHU: Old-world capital city is situated in the Wang Chhu river valley at an elevation of 7500 feet. The main street is lined with beautifully painted traditional Bhutanese houses that also double as shops. They stock everything from cooking oil to local fabrics. At the Handicrafts Emporium, you may choose your souvenirs from an array of handcrafted and hand-woven wares. Tashichhodzong, the main secretariat building, houses all the ministries, the National Assembly Hall, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It is also the summer residence of the monk body and the religious chief, the Je Khempo. The Memorial Chorten is dedicated to the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the father of modern Bhutan. Five miles out of Thimphu, on a lofty ridge, stands the Simtokha Dzong which was built in 1627 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal. It was he who gave Bhutan its first written laws, and established a network of dzongs, the imposing fortress monasteries from which the country was governed.
PARO VALLEY: Of all the places to visit in this fascinating country, Paro stands unique, both in beauty and in history. Bhutan’s greatest saint, Padma Sambhava, better known as Guru Rimpoche, which means ‘Most Precious Teacher’, was the one who originally introduced Buddhism into Bhutan. He entered Bhutan through Paro. Taktsang, which means ‘Tiger’s Nest’, is the monastery built around the cave in which Guru Rimpoche, and later his follower Dubthok Singye, meditated. The monastery is precariously situated on the edge of a sheer precipice, and a visit there is a daredevil challenge, both exhausting and thrilling. Across the river Paro Chhu, stands the Rimpung Dzong. Commanding a panoramic view of the entire valley, today it houses the Paro monastic body and the offices of the Dzongda (district commissioner) and the Thrimpon (district judge). The Thongdel, Bhutan’s most sacred giant sized scroll depicting the eight manifestations of guru Rimpoche with the two attendants, Khendu Yesey Tsogyel and Khendu Mindha-Rawa, is displayed for a few hours during the Paro Tsechu. Behind Rimpung Dzong, is the majestic castle-like Ta-Dzong. This one-time look-out stronghold has been a National Museum since 1967.
PUNAKHA: The capital of Bhutan till 1995, Punakha is still the seat of religion. In 1637, the Shabdrung built the fortress of Punakha to serve as both the religious and administrative center for Bhutan. In keeping with tradition, the daily rituals, the serving of meals, are carried out in the same manner as was done during the Shabdrung’s lifetime.
WANGDUEPHODRANG : The last town before central Bhutan, Wangduephodrang is like an enlarged village with a few well provided shops. Located towards the south of Punakha, the higher reaches of the Wangduephodrang valley provides rich pastureland for cattle. This district is also famous for its fine bamboo work and slate, stone carvings.
TRONGSA : This town forms the central hub of the nation and is historically the place from where attempts at unifying the country were launched. The landscape around Trongsa is spectacular. Built in 1648, Trongsa Dzong is ancestral home of the Royal family. Both the first and second King ruled the country from this ancient seat.
BUMTHANG : This fascinating valley is religious heartland of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Jambey Lhakhang, the monastery built in 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo, is one of the 108 monasteries built by him in the Himalayan region. Located above Jambey Lhakhang is the Kurje Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the country. Founded in 1549 by great grandfather of Shabdrung, Jakar Dzong, is now used as administrative center for Bumthang valley.
MONGAR : The journey from Bumthang to Mongar is one of the most beautiful in the Himalayas crossing 3,800m high Thrumshingla pass. Mongar marks the beginning of eastern Bhutan. Built in 1930, Monga Dzong is site of one of Bhutan’s west Dzongs. A visit to the Dzong gives visitors an impression of how traditional Bhutanese architecture has continued to thrive through the centuries
TRASHIGANG : In the far east of Bhutan, on the bank of Gamri Chhu river, lies Trashigang, the country’s largest district. Trashigang, once the centre of a busy trade route with Tibet, is today the junction of east west highway with road connecting to Samdrup Jongkhar and then to the Indian state of Assam. Trashigang Dzong, built in 1659, serves as the administrative seat for the district as well as the home of the monk body. The Dzong commands remarkable view over the surrounding countryside.