6 Nights 7 Days Bhutan Tour is the perfect way to dive into the mystic culture and tradition of Bhutan while also enjoying the serene beauty of this Himalayan kingdom. Sublime Trails takes you on an immersive tour of the three major cities in Bhutan: Thimphu, Punakha and Paro. Thimphu is the capital city with many major tourist attractions like the National Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong and Kunselcholing Viewpoint, which was built on a hilltop over the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang. Throughout the tour, you will see several dzongs, which is the centre of administrative and religious activities in each district. These dzongs were built as fortresses, but now they serve different purposes. Simtokha Dzong is now used as a school for religious and linguistic studies.
Arriving in Bhutan gives a different feeling, that you've left your normal way of life and are on an exploration for a more simplistic and spiritual way of life. Discovering this unexploited and isolated culture makes one feel like travelling into the past when Buddhism thrived. People in Bhutan practice Vajrayana Buddhism in which several tantric deities are paid homage and mantras are chanted during festivals and rituals. One of the major festivals, Tsecho is celebrated in the dzongs of each district on the 10th day of the Lunar calendar. Paro and Thimphu hold the biggest Tshechu festivals. During this time, masked people dance, music is played and different games are playedduring social gatherings.
History, culture, and religion of Bhutan are all intertwined. Each historical place is also a cultural site decorated with prayer flags, prayer wheels, sculptures, paintings, scriptures and images of deities and bodhisattvas. The founder of the unified Bhutan, Ngawang Namgyal, and former kings of Bhutan, also known as Dragon King or Druk Gyalpo, are given utter respect and their images can be found in these historical sites.
This tour takes you to many major dzongs, temples, and chhortens with brilliant architecture draped in serene landscapes. This tour can also be an insight into the lifestyle of ‘dragon people’ of the country of the ‘thunder dragon’. Amazing views are something that doesn’t leave your sight throughout the tour. Tiger’s Nest Monastery is yet another viewpoint to watch beautiful landscapes. For many people, visiting Tiger's Nest Monastery is the favorite moment on the tour.
Amazing Views of the Himalayas
Touring in a Himalayan country brings you the delight of witnessing the majestic views of snow-covered peaks. The flight into Bhutan welcomes you with views of several mountains, including Mt. Everest on a clear day. Beside the plane flight, one can also view beautiful mountains including Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan, from vantage points like Dochula Pass, Buddha Point, and Tiger’s Nest. Not only mountains, but forests, rivers, temples, dzongs, prayer flags, and brightly colored houses equally decorate the cities of Bhutan.
The city of Thimphu offers many places to explore religion, culture, and history of Bhutan. One of them is Tashichho Dzong with its thirty temples and shrines. It serves similar to other dzongs by holding both religious and administrative activities. There is the throne room and office of the king, the secretariat building and the central monk body. Tsechu is a festival celebrated in the dzongs of each district and in Tashichho dzong, it is celebrated grandly.
Memorial Chorten is another beautiful structure built in the memory of late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. This place has several larger than live sized images and statues of tantric deities and mythical creatures. There are two famous spots to get an outstanding view of Thimphu and surrounding. One is the Kuenselcholing Viewpoint where you will also see the biggest seated statues of Buddha and next is Sangaygang (BBS Tower).
The old site of Tashichho Dzong is Dechen Phodrang, where current monastic school lies. Simtokha Dzong is the first dzong serving as the Institute for Language and Cultural Studies featuring more than 300 finely-worked slate carvings.
One of the best vantage points during this tour is Dochula Pass at the height of 3080 meters. The highest point is decorated by chhortens, prayer flags, and mani walls. There are 108 chhortens known as Druk Wangyal Chhortens. Several mountains can be seen from here like Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ). A table mountain can also be seen along with Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan.
To start the tour in Punakha, we take you to Druk Wangyal Lhakhang Temple. This temple was built to celebrate 100 years of the monarchy of the fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Punakha Dzong is a beautiful fortress built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu river. This dzong was built to serve as the religious and administrative center of the Punakha district and is also the main tourist attraction. A suspension bridge over the same Pho Chhu River also serves as a viewpoint to watch Punakha and Pho Chhu. The outstanding beauty of Khamsum Yuley Temple built by Queen Mother of the 5th King stands for world peace. Several Buddhist teachings, paintings, and sculptures can be seen inside it.
This is the city to explore the best art pieces, statues, Thangka paintings, in Bhutan representing culture, history, and art of Bhutan. Kyichu Lhakhang is the oldest temple in Bhutan among 108 other built by Songtsen Gampo, where are believed to be built in a single night. This temple was built to help spread Buddhism by winning over evil. Dumtse Lhakhang is another temple built to win over a demon by chaining her down to the ground. With a special permit, one can explore this magnificent temple.
Tiger’s Nest Monastery
The main attraction of Paro and even Bhutan is the Paro Taktsang also known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Hiking to the sheer cliff for several hours takes you there, where Guru Padmasambhava is believed to have come on the back of a tigress. Also known as Guru Rinpoche, this person brought Buddhism into Bhutan. At the same location, there used to be a cave where he meditated. One can also get to the monastery on the back of a horse. Here, you will get some amazing views of the city.
People and Culture
The culture of Bhutanese people is exotic and beautiful. Vajrayana Buddhism is the most prevalent religion here. Arts and crafts inspired by mythologies and stories can be found everywhere, especially in monasteries, chhortens, and dzongs. It is common to see monks dressed in red robes and men and women in Gho and Kira. People of Bhutan are also known for warm hospitality and providing amazing service while you stay there. Staying with these people lets you peek into their livelihood and traditions.