Bhutan Meditation and Retreat Tour

Bhutan Meditation and Retreat Tour

  • CommunityBasedTourism
  • CrossBorder
  • CulturalSight-seeing
  • Festival
  • Hiking
  • Meditation
  • Photography
  • Textile
  • ValueAddedActivity
  • VillageLife
Bhutan Meditation and Retreat Tour,Bhutan pilgrimage tour
Trip Code: T018
Trip Duration : 16 Days
Trek Duration:
Trip Type: Exclusive Tours
Difficulty Level:
Psychical Demand:
Destination(s): Bhutan
Highest Altitude:
Max Elevation:
Highest Camp:
Max Group Size: 16
Best Season: April to June & Mid September to Mid Nov
Trip Start: Paro
Trip End:Samdrupjongkhar/Paro
Avg. user rating:
Trip Route: Paro > Thimphu > Punakha > Gantey > Trongsa > Bumthang
Activities: Hiking, Visit Farm House, Fortress, Hiking, Monastery, Museums, Weekend market, Stroll around the City etc

Overview


Bhutan Meditation and retreat Tour or Bhutan pilgrimage tour will give you an idea about the stronghold of Vajrayana Buddhism, meditation and retreats is a common feature especially amongst the Buddhist practitioners and the monks. One can come across small retreat centers and hermitages all over the country next to temples, monasteries and monastic schools.

These retreat and meditation centers provide the Bhutanese with the much needed respite from the humdrums of normal life style and it is a common trait amongst the Buddhists to disappear into the mountains for days, weeks and months. The retreats provide people and the practitioners to draw upon their inner self and visualize upon the purpose of life.

Many guest from all over the world and other Buddhist countries come to Bhutan for meditation and retreat tours. Some itinerary includes serious meditation for days while some are solitary retreat for few hours in the high hills and temples where nature surrounds and silence is unbroken.

Our tour can include the meditation in your itinerary if you want to try this Bhutanese way of retreat (solitary confinement). Besides, we also have hotels that provide yoga sessions, retreats and meditation facilities within the hotel premises.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the impressive Dzong (fortresses), former palaces and Buddhist monasteries!
  • Hike through the ridge top Goembas (monasteries) and meet the monks.
  • Hike through the terraced farmlands and villages, visit the farmhouses and meet the villagers.
  • Attend the local festivals and events.
  • Visit the vibrant markets and towns.
  • Visit the traditional arts and crafts workshop, meet the artisans, weavers and painters!
  • And much more…

What’s included

  • Receive and Transfer to Airport
  • Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
  • 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
  • Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver.
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All Sightseeing
  • Museum Fees
  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits
  • Bottled Mineral Water
  • Walks and Hikes

What’s is Not Include

  • Guide and Driver tip
  • International Airfare
  • Laundry Charges
  • Internet, International calls
  • Other Beverages
  • Donation when photographing
  • Travel Insurance
  • Baggage Handlers tip

Intinerary


You’ll follow an itinerary which has been researched and planned by our experts, saving you all the hassle of organizing the trip. The itineraries are designed to minimize the time spent travelling and maximize the variety of experiences. From small buses to riverboats as well as on foot.

Itinerary at a Glance:

  • DAY 1: Arrive Paro International Airport by Druk Air-Thimphu
  • DAY 2: Thimphu-Thimphu
  • DAY 3: Thimphu-Punakha
  • DAY 4: Punakha-punakha
  • DAY 5: Punakha-Trongsa
  • DAY 6: Trongsa-Bumthang
  • DAY 7: Bumthang-Bumthang
  • DAY 8: Bumthang-Tang valley
  • DAY 9: Tang valley-Bumthang
  • DAY 10: Bumthang-Gangtey
  • DAY 11: Gangtey valley excursion
  • DAY 12: Gangtey-Paro
  • DAY 13: Paro-Haa Valley excursion
  • DAY 14: Paro-Paro
  • DAY 15: Paro-Taksang Excersion
  • DAY 16: Paro-Departure

Detail Itinerary

1

Paro – Thimphu(Travel Duration: 2 hrs by car)
Travel central Bhutan is designed to suit the clients flexibility and explore Bhutan with found memories. In clear days, Druk Air’s flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of Himalayan scenery. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Katmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, it is a breath-taking journey above forested hills into the hidden Shangrila.At the Paro airport, Bhutan Creative Tours representative will receive you. After completing the airport formalities, you will experience an interesting two-hour drive along the winding highway to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan.

Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

2

ThimphuThimphu (2400 m) is the only city in the world without traffic lights. It is the seat of government. This bustling town is home to Bhutan’s royal family, civil servants, and foreign missions in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally funded development projects.In the morning, you will visit the National Library, which has an extensive collection of Buddhist literatures, with some works dating back several hundred years. You will also visit the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School), where a six-year training course is given on 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan and the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, where the medicinal herbs abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed.

After lunch, you will visit the National Memorial Chorten. The third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who wanted to erect a monument for world peace and prosperity, originally planned the building of this landmark. After his untimely demise, the fourth king, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuk completed the construction in 1974. It is both a memorial to the Late King (“the father of modern Bhutan”), and a monument to peace. You will also visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and privately owned crafts shops, which offer a wide range of local products, including the splendid thangkha paintings and exquisitely woven textiles. Thereafter, we will take you to the Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums, opened in 2001.

Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

3

Thimphu – PunakhaDrive to Punakha, the road from Thimphu to Punakha goes northeast and one of the highlights of the journey is at Dochu La Pass (3050m), the highest point between Thimphu and Punakha. From here when the sky is clear, one can enjoy a spectacular and panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks to the north that are above 7000m. The pass has 108 chortens (Stupa), honoring those who laid down their lives while flushing out insurgents from southern Bhutan in December 2003. Chortens are Buddhist reliquaries and memorials to the teachings of the Buddha. Sometimes, stupas carry relics of the Buddha or revered monks. Whether or not there are relics inside, the stupas mark the landscape with reminders of the Buddha’s teachings.We will eat lunch in one of the local restaurants. After lunch, we will have a short hike to the 15th century temple of Divine Madman. It is about half an hour hike through the fields and farm houses. You will have good chance to take photographs especially the divine painting on the houses.

4

Punakha (Sightseeing)In Punakha, we will visit the Dzong built by Zhabdrung in 1637. The dzong is on a strategic junction at the confluence of Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). The dzong has played a sacred role in the history of Bhutan. It served as the seat of Zhabdrung’s government, and it has received several foreign delegations in 18th and 19th century. The first King was coronated in 1907 and the third King convened the first National Assembly in the dzong. The central monastic body continues to reside here in winter. The embalmed bodies of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Pema Lingpa are on the top floor of the main tower. Following four catastrophic fires, an earthquake and flood, the fourth King restored the dzong after the latest flood in 1994.Next in line is a short hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten in the northern part of the valley. It is the more elaborate version of the Memorial Chorten in Thimphu. It has an astounding work of frescoes and intricate statues.

Later after lunch, we will drive to Wangduephodrang (1300m), the last town on the highway before entering central Bhutan. Situated on a ridge overlooking a river junction, the formidable Wangduephodrang Dzong is the town’s most visible feature. In the 17th century, Wangduephodrang played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country. Also, we will visit the town.

Overnight – hotel in Punakha.

5

Punakha – TrongsaThe drive to Trongsa takes approximately 6 hours. We start early for the fabulous drive to the central valleys of Bhutan through the breath-taking beauties and serenity of Bhutan’s rich flora and fauna. As we cross the fertile valley of Punakha and enter into the valley of Wangdue Phodrang we will take an opportunity to photograph the majestic fortress of Wangdue Dzong, which stands on a spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. We then climb steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pele la Pass (3300 m/ 10989 ft). With an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo, the Pass is traditionally considered the boundary between West and East Bhutan. During the clear weather we can view the high snow-capped peaks especially the Mount Jhomolhari (7314 m/ 24355 ft). As we descend from the pass through the dwarf bamboo and quite often Yaks grazing we reach at Chendebji Chorten. The Chorten or Stupa was built in 18th century by a Lama known as Shida, in order to subdue a demon that terrorized the inhabitants of this valley and the Ada valley just over the ridge. We will have our packed lunch here. Continue your drive to Trongsa, as you enter Trongsa valley, the huge fortress of Trongsa makes you wonder if you will ever reach it.Backing on mountain and built on several levels, the Dzong fits narrowly on a spur that sticks out into the gorge of the Mangde River and overlooks the routes south and west. The view from the Dzong extends for many miles and in former times nothing could escape the vigilance of its watchmen. Arrive Trongsa.

Overnight at Yangkhil Resort.

6

Trongsa – Bumthang (Three-hour drive)In the morning, you will visit Trongsa Dzong built in 1647 by the Zhabdrung. It is the biggest and most impressive Dzong in Bhutan. Thereafter, you will visit Ta Dzong on the hillside above the town. Ta Dzong is a watchtower to guard Trongsa.After lunch, you will proceed to Bumthang (2600-2900m), one of the most spectacular valleys and the holy heartland of Bhutan. The 68-kilometer journey takes about three hours. The road winds steeply up to Yutong-la pass (3400m/11155ft), and then runs down through dense coniferous forest to enter a wide, open, cultivated valley, known as Chumey valley. From here, the drive to Bumthang takes 45 minutes.

Overnight at lodge in Bumthang.

7

BumthangBumthang is the dzongkhag (district) having a group of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura, with altitudes varying from 2600 to 4000m/8530 to 13125ft.In the morning, we will visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom as Bhutan’s “patron saint”, Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. From Kurje monastery, a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang. Legend has it that the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo built the temple in the 7th century on the right foot of a demon. It is one of the two oldest in Bhutan (the other being Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro).

After lunch, we will visit Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. It contains interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later on, we will visit Jakar Dzong, “the castle of the white bird”, and then take a stroll through Bumthang’s market area before returning to the lodge.

Overnight: lodge in Bumthang.

8

Bumthang (Chamkhar – Tang Valley)Today after the breakfast we will drive to Tang valley with packed lunch and visit one of the old palaces, which is now a museum. From Jakar, we will drive towards Ura in the east. After about 10kms, unpaved road on the left leads you to narrow gorge of Tang. After the turn off, there is a parking lot for short walk to Mebartso. The road climbs above the river for 7km before the Drangchel village. You will notice the monastic hermitage Kunzangdrak Goemba perched on the rocky cliff. It was founded in 1488 by Terton Pema Lingpa. The excursion to Knzangdrak takes about 2 hrs of steep uphill climb. We will continue along high feeder road for about 3km and pass through Jamzhong village.After short descent for about 2km, you will arrive at Misithang. Short distance away from misithang is a lhakhang known as Tag Rimochen (impression of tiger stripes) now known as Tang Rimochen, located below an enormous rock. Tang Rimochen was founded by Dorji Lingpa in 14th Century. The name of the place was derived from the marks on the rock that resemble tiger’s stripes. It is a sacred place where Guru Rimpoche meditated. The rock has body imprints of Guru Rimpoche and his two consorts. After Tang Rimochen, the road gets rougher till Kizum. From Kizum, we will cross the bridge over Tang Chu and climb up to the hill top of UgyenChholing Palace, built in 16th century by Deb Tsoki Dorji. The palace complex is now a museum for religious studies, research and solitude. The exhibits in the main building depict the life style and art works of a Bhutanese noble family.

Overnight: lodge in Tang.

9

Bumthang (Tang – Chamkhar)After breakfast we will see the morning session of the school kids at the community school. It is about a walking distance from the lodge. We will continue our drive to Jakar and on the way we will visit the nunnery, which is only the Nyingma monastery in Tang valley.Overnight: lodge in Bumthang.

10

Bumthang – GangteyAfter breakfast, we will proceed on to the Phobjikha Valley. After crossing the Pele La pass, we will make a left turn on another road that will lead us to the broad and beautiful valley of Phobjikha. This valley also serves as the winter home for the rare black-necked crane that migrates from the plateau of Tibet. If your visit is from end of October then we will have ample opportunity to witness the rare black necked crane feeding in the marshy meadow. Our car will drop us before arriving at the Gangtey Monastery.Overnight at the hotel.

11

Gangtey (Valley Excursion)Today we will start our hike from the hotel and you will get chance to capture the unspoiled valley. We will also visit the crane information centre and the 16th century monastery, which has completed the renovation work. We will continue our hike from the temple to the other side of the valley through farm road and mule track and end the hike at the community school. Then you will have time to explore at your own.

12

Gangtey – ParoToday after breakfast we will drive to Paro, which takes about 6 hours. You can enjoy the drive by taking pictures of the mountains and animals especially the monkeys gray langur and Resses mucake.Overnight at hotel in Paro.

13

Paro-paro haa valley excursion.Today drive to haa valley with pack lunch crossing the chelala pass which is highest on the trip. Visit white temple ,black temple which is said to be built by the Tibetan king songtsen Gonpo in 8th century. Strool in the small town of haa and drive back to paro.Over night in Paro.

14

ParoThe Paro valley has attractive sites to visit. In the morning, you will visit Ta Dzong; once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century. Ta Dzong became the Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968.Next visit is Rinpung Dzong. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, built the dzong in 1646; the dzong continues its age-old function as the seat of the district administration, district court and the monastic body. The southern approach to the dzong has a traditional roofed cantilever bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk across the bridge offers a spectacular view of dzong’s architecture and an opportunity to tread the same path as the ancient warriors. “Little Buddha”, the Hollyhwood movie has captured the beauty and splendor of Rinpung Dzong and Nemi Zam.

After lunch, you will have 18km drive from Paro town to the northern valley to view the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong (victory fortress). Drugyal Dzong is a well-known place from where the Bhutanese fought back several invading Tibetan armies in the 17th century. Unfortunately, the fire that started from a butter lamp destroyed the dzong in 1951. The ruins depict the past war strategies of Bhutanese army and the ancient lifestyle of a farming community and are still a tourist attraction.

You will also visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of 108 lhakhangs built in 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. Legend has it that king Songtsen Gampo built Kyichu Lhakhang on the right foot of a demon. It is now the oldest and most sacred shrine in the kingdom.

In the evening, you will visit traditional farmhouses for an opportunity to interact with the local families and learn more about their lifestyle. Later, you can take an evening stroll along the main street, and perhaps visit a few handicrafts shops, or take refreshments at a local café or bar.

Overnight at hotel in Paro.

15

Paro (Excursion to Tiger’s Lair)After breakfast, your car will take you to the starting point of the hike to view the spectacular Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s lair). The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. You stop at the cafeteria for a rest and refreshments and continue the hike (if not tired) for short while until you see, clearly and seemingly within reach, the remains of Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. The history states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. Looking at the monastery flying tigers doesn’t seem so impossible after all.Overnight at hotel in Paro.

16

Depart ParoAfter breakfast, drive to the airport for your onward flight. Your escort from Bhutan Creative Tours will bid you farewell. As the aircraft gains height and proceed, you will see the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappear behind its guardian mountains.

Images



Photography and festival in bhutan-4Travel Destination in AsiaTrip to Bhutan

Bhutan Videos


  • Trip to Bhutan or Trip to Asia
  • Farmer in bhutan ploughing the fied
  • Monk learning to play flute I
  • Travel to Bhutan (Dochula Pass 3100mts in Bhutan)
  • Tour Bhutan (Festival in Bhutan)
  • Bumthang Festival

FAQ

What is the best time to visit Bhutan?

In Bhutan every season has its own charm; as such the country has variety of doings to the tourist according to their interest. But the most visited months are usually March, April and May during which the country is at its best scenery as the spring just hits off and of course in the later months of the year like August, September, October and November. These are the peak seasons as the weather during these time of the years are pleasant and warm and not to forget the festival months. However, Bhutan Creative Tours is focusing to spread out visitation over the year because, come rain or shine, there is something for all parts of the year. The winters are cold, but we have winter treks and festivals in the southern parts of Bhutan,which has warm weather through out the year. A winter in Bhutan is characterized by clear blue skies, but you need your jackets with you.


Do I need a Visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a Visa for Bhutan?

All visitors traveling to Bhutan are required to obtain a Visa prior to your arrival to Bhutan, except for Indian nationals holding a valid Indian passport. After your confirmation to visit Bhutan with us, you can just download and fill out the Visa Application form from our website and send it to us. We’ll have the visa confirmation letter processed within 7 working days and send it to you. The Visa Application System used by the national tourism office is designed by our CEO when he was working as the Chief Researcher for the Tourism Council of Bhutan. This makes it very easy for us to leverage visa processing even during the final minutes before your arrival to Bhutan.


What Documents will I require at the Airport when I come to Bhutan?

You will need your Passport which has 6 months validity for its expiry date, Druk Air e-ticket, whether you booked it through us or the Druk air’s website and your Visa confirmation letter which we will send you prior to your arrival in the country. And please to carry a copy of your tour itinerary as well.

Route map