Travel to Magical and Mystical Bhutan: March 2016

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If there is one destination that should be on everyone’s travel wish list, it is Bhutan. A few lucky ones will be travelling to the country in March with Kunzum & ‘Wander Globe’, and will come back with memories to last a lifetime.

You will get acquainted with your spiritual side by visiting villages, stupas, fortresses and monasteries. Participate in two of Bhutan’s most famous festivals. Witness a spiritual life of myth, legend, superstition and folklore. Take part in a truly transformative experience. Details are given below.

Locations to be Covered
Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Phobjikha, Talo

Proposed Dates (6 Nights / 7 Days)
March 15 – 21, 2016

Who may join in this trip?
This trip has been designed for all Indian nationals. In case foreign nationals would like to be a part of this trip, revised costs will be worked out separately for them.

Trip Curator & Leader
Shibani Ahuja Kapoor (Profile appended at the end)

Maximum Group Size
20

Cost (Per Person on Twin Sharing Basis)
Regular Price: Rs. 39,995*
Early Bird (Book by January 10, 2016): Rs. 34,995*
Groups of 3 or More: Rs. 34,995*
Club Kunzum Member Rate: Rs. 34,995*

*Prices mentioned above are based on a group size of 20 participants. In case fewer people sign up, the trip will go ahead as planned; however, the pricing will increase marginally.

Inclusions in Price

  • Accommodation in 3 star hotels with breakfast
  • Sightseeing with experienced guide
  • Monastery lunch and guided teaching
  • Picnic lunch
  • Transport & group transfers
  • Permit charges
  • Taxes

Exclusions in Price

  • Airfare
  • Bank remittance fees
  • All meals not mentioned in ‘Inclusions’ above
  • Personal shopping
  • Other personal expenses
  • Mini bar
  • Tips

For bookings, contact us at +91.9650 702 777 / wetravel@kunzum.com

Other Conditions / Instructions for Participants

  • Essentials: Carry necessary medicines, cameras, moderate winter garments, etc with you.
  • Currency: Bhutanese currency (BC) is Ngultrum, which is at par with Indian currency (IC). You can use IC in Bhutan. If necessary, you can exchange it for BC. Although crime in Bhutan is very less, do not leave valuables such as cameras, laptops and hard currency in the hotel room when you are out.
  • Weather: Temperature in Bhutan (Paro and Thimphu) is moderate:maximum around 25° C (daytime) and minimum around 10° C (at night). In case of rain, temperature falls below normal. There is every possibility that it will rain so it is better to take moderate winter clothes to wear at night. Carry rain gear if you wish.
  • Attire: You must wear formal clothes(full pants/trousers and long-sleeve shirts) while visiting the Dzong monastery and other similar places.
  • Photography: There will be enough opportunities to click pictures. Some of the most picturesque mountain ranges can be found in Bhutan, which offer breathtaking landscapes. In some places such as monasteries, inside the Dzong (fortress), museum, etc. photography is restricted.

Day-wise Itinerary

Day 1 (15 March): Paro–Thimphu

  • Arrive in Paro and drive to Thimphu, the capital city
  • En-route, stop at Tachog Lhakhang

Did you know? The Tachog Lhakhang dates back to 15th century. It was built by Dupthob Thangthong Gyalpo, the great iron bridge builder who came from Tibet in search of iron ore. He has built many metal suspension bridges all over Bhutan.

  • Stop over at the Confluence (meeting of two rivers) and also the junction of roads which leads towards the border town in India and the westernmost district of Bhutan called Haa
  • Check-in at hotel
  • Lunch
  • After lunch, drive to Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the 3rd King of Bhutan by his mother in 1974)
  • Visit Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point) where you will see one of the biggest Buddha statues which is 69 feet tall, and which is one of the main attractions in Thimphu city. From Buddha Point you will get a magnificent view of Thimphu
  • After 5 pm, visit Trashichho Dzong to witness the flag ceremony

Did you know? The Trashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion) hosts a few ministries and is also the office of the King of Bhutan.

  • Drive back to the hotel
  • Dinner and overnight stay

Day 2 (16 March): Thimphu-Punakha

  • Breakfast at 8 am
  • After breakfast, drive towards Punakha which will take about three and a half hours
  • One hour into the drive you will come across Dochula Pass (3,100 m), where we will stop for a photo shoot. If the weather is very clear you will see some of the highest mountain peaks in Bhutan including mount Gangkar Phunsum (7,500 m)
  • Visit Lamperi Park, which is known for varieties of Rhododendron. Enjoy boating at the lake and then proceed to descend for about two and a half hours towards Punakha district
  • Lunch
  • After lunch, hike for about 30 minutes to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility)

Did you know? The Temple is also famously known for the Crazy Wisdom Master, Drukpa Kuenley. This temple is very important for the people of Bhutan, especially women who cannot conceive.

  • Drive to the hotel and check-in
  • Dinner

Day 3 (17 March): Punakha Talo Festival-Phobjikha

  • Breakfast at 7 am
  • Drive to Talo to witness the festival
  • Arrive at Punakha for lunch
  • Visit Punakha Dzong, the old capital of Bhutan

Did you know? The Punakha Dzong is still the winter residence of the Chief Abbot of Bhutan. The Dzong (fortress) was built in the 17th century by the saint known as Zhabdrung (who unified the country). It is built between two rivers, male and female, and is famous for its marvellous architecture. All important government functions are held here. The Royal wedding was also held in Punakha Dzong.

  • Picnic lunch by the riverside
  • Drive to Phobjikha. Overnight stay

Day 4 (18 March): Thimphu

  • Breakfast and drive to Thimphu
  • Visit Tango for a Buddhist philosophy teaching from a high lama, who will guide us with meditation
  • Lunch with monks in the monastery (all-vegetarian lunch)

Alert: Guests will need to ensure a high level of discipline since monks live in a very solitary state and cannot accommodate a socializing culture.

  • After a day of mesmerizing Buddhist teaching, return to Thimphu city. Check-in at the hotel
  • Town orientation. Buy Bhutanese dresses for the festival in Paro

Day 5 (19 March): Thimphu-Paro

  • Breakfast at 7:30 am
  • Drive to Paro
  • Reach Paro and check into hotel
  • Participate in the Paro festival

Day 6 (20 March): Paro-Taktsang

  • Breakfast at 8:30 am
  • Drive to the base and start hiking towards Paro Taktsang Monastery, which will take about 3 hours
  • Hike for about one and a half hours to the Taktsang Cafeteria where we will stop for tea/coffee and snacks. You will have a good view of the Tiger’s Nest
  • After the stop we hike up again for about one and a half hours to the Taktsang, meaning ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Although it is a tough hike, it is thrilling and mystical

Did you know? The Taktsang is considered as one of the world’s 18 most venerated Buddhist pilgrim sites. Legend has it that in the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche (who brought Buddhism to Bhutan) is said to have flown on the back of a pregnant tigress from Tibet and meditated in the cave there for three months.

  • Visit the monastery and hike back to the cafeteria for lunch
  • After lunch, hike back to the car park. Board transportation and proceed to the hotel
  • Later, enjoy shopping in the town
  • Farewell dinner

Day 7 (21 March)

  • Breakfast
  • Departure for onward destinations

For bookings, contact us at +91.9650 702 777 / wetravel@kunzum.com

Profile of Shibani Ahuja Kapoor – Trip Curator & Leader

UntitledShibani Ahuja Kapoor, Managing Partner of Wander Globe Inc, began her journey as an entrepreneur in the travel industry. She has previously been a journalist and Assistant Editor of two popular magazines, having also freelanced for some foreign magazines. She started her first company Wanderland in 2002 and was also the events partner for the Global Education and Leadership Foundation, adding value to children’s lives across the country and infusing in them a love for life, travel and adventure. Wander Globe, set up in 2008, was born from the desire to bring joy to people, offering interesting travels, genuine experiences and interactions with people across the world. Wander Globe, having a dedicated worldwide clientele, offers quality Inbound and Outbound tours in India and across the globe. ‘Journeys Across The World’ in collaboration with Kunzum are not to be missed!

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Dance of the Drum from Dramitse, Paro Tsechu (festival), Paro Dzong, Paro, Bhutan

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