Pilgrimage Trip to Bhutan | Following The Footsteps Of Guru Rinpochhe

BHUTAN PILGRIMAGE TOUR - FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF GURU RIMPOCHE

This tour grants privileged access to the holiest Buddhist sites in Bhutan. From the famous, majestic Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang) balanced among the clouds high above Paro, blessed by Guru Padmasambhava himself and then to Baylandra where Guru Rimpche had attained the bliss of long life, to Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo, this tour provides a true insight to the rich religious culture of Bhutan and many other holy sites.

Bhutan is the last Himalayan Buddhist culture to have survived globalization. The culture remains vibrant and the environment pristine as Bhutan continues to thrive in the 21st-century. Apart from the majesty and grandeur of the natural surroundings, the environment allows communion with the divine through meditation and contemplation.

Bhutan is an abode of Buddhist deities, immortals, and saints in the Himalayas. Scholars wandering yogis, saints and lay pilgrims, have been irresistibly drawn to these remote and rugged mountains throughout the centuries in their search for wisdom and inspiration. Experience the landscapes they have blessed for all pilgrims by following in their footsteps. As you travel to these hidden holy shrines and otherworldly ancient monasteries (Gompas), hiking through an unspoiled Himalayan environment, you will rediscover this peace and solitude.

Visit the last Himalayan Buddhist kingdom in the world and experience this spiritually centered culture. Every aspect of Bhutanese life is influenced by Buddhism. Red-robed monks preside over religious ceremonies and rituals—from celebrating weddings, births and the consecration of monasteries, to exorcising spirits from village homes, appeasing the rain gods, or simply welcoming a guest. You will have the opportunity to take part in these special religious ceremonies and rituals being performed by Buddhist monks, nuns, and lamas who live their lives in isolation, devotion and meditation.

On all auspicious days, Bhutanese families make pilgrimages to monasteries to offer prayers and butter lamps. This tour provides the opportunity make similar pilgrimages to visit ancient dzongs--sturdy fortresses that combine monastic and governmental functions--and see ancient Buddhist temples (lhakhangs). Countless monasteries, temples, stupas, prayer flags, and prayer wheels dot the pristine countryside, providing a nurturing ground and supportive, clean atmosphere for a life interwoven with faith. Embark on a journey that will open your heart and mind, as you experience Bhutan’s rich spiritual tradition. This is truly a special journey for your inner self.

Total Land Cost per pax : $ 2620 per pax.

Druk Air fare: Round trip Bangkok to Paro and Paro to Bangkok with airport taxes = $ 825

Cost Includes: Tax, government royalty, all meals, tea and snacks, accommodations, all land transportation, entrance fees, guide services and sightseeing.

Cost Does Not Include: Air fares, visa fee, airport tax, drinks, and other personal bills.

Group size: Between 16 to 35
Duration: 13nights and 14days.

For 2010

01st Oct till 14th Oct 2010.

For 2011

April 13 till April26 2011
Oct 13 till Oct26 2011

Day1: Arrive in Paro by Druk Air; Drive to Thimphu

During the flight, witness breath-taking views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, representatives of ZoPa Adventure Travel will welcome you to Bhutan. After lunch, visit one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, Kyichu Lhakhang. Then visit the national museum and Paro Dzong. Night halt at Paro.

Day 2: Thimphu Sightseeing.

In the morning after breakfast, drive to Paro and then proceed to Thimphu. After lunch, visit changangkha Lhakhang (built in the 12th century) and Zulikha Temple (the only nunnery in the capital).After lunch, visit Memorial Chorten built in memory of the third King of Bhutan, ruler of the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Evening stroll around in Thimphu Town. Overnight at Thimphu.

Day 3: Thimphu Sightseeing includes hike to one of the most sacred pilgrimage Tango Monastery.

After breakfast, drive towards the base camp of Tango Monastery and prepare to hike to monastery built by the "Divine Madman" himself in the 15th century. Today, the Tango Monastery is the center of advanced Buddhist studies for monks. The hike up will take approximately 45minutes, and will provide a birds-eye view of Thimphu’s majestic landscape. In the evening, relax or shop in town. Dinner at local restaurant will provide delicious Bhutanese cuisine. Overnight at Thimphu.

Day 4: Thimphu to Wangduephodrang, with Afternoon Excursion to Punakha.

In the morning, drive to Wangduephodrang across Dochu La (3,100 meters); on a clear day spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges are available. After a scenic 2-and-a-half-hour drive to Wangdi, check-in Dragon’s Nest Hotel. After lunch, drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, and visit Punakha Dzong built by the first Shabdrung in 1637. In the evening, walk across the Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to the Divine Madman’s Temple famous throughout Bhutan as the fertility shrine. Overnight at Dragon Nest, Wangdi.

Day 5: Punakha to Gangtey.

Visit Gangtey Monastery. Evening hike around Gangtey Valley. Overnight at Gangtey Guest house.

Day 6 Gantey to Bumthang.

In the morning, proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the country with lush valleys and hilly forests. Bumthang is one of the most beautiful valleys in central Bhutan, with an altitude varying from 2,600 to 4,000 meters. On the way, visit Tashiling Temple at Tangsibi. Night halt at Bumthang.

Day 7: Bumthang Sightseeing

After breakfast, sightseeing will include a visit to Jambay Lakhang (one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan), Kurjey Lhakhang (home to the bodily imprint of Guru Rimpoche in stone), and Tamshing Lhakhang, built by the Treasure-Discoverer, Terton Pema Lingpa. After lunch, visit Membartsho (Flaming Lake) where the treasure discovers Terton Pema Lingpa discovered treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche.

In the evening, explore and stroll around Bumthang town. Overnight at Jakar, Bumthang.

Day 8: Bumthang to Trongsa:

Visit Trongsa Dzong and Ta Dzong. Night halt at the Yangkhil Resort.

Day 9: Trongsa to Wangduephodrang:

In the morning, drive back to Wangduephodrang. Lunch at Chendebji Chorten. If you wish you may practice your meditation next to the Chorten( Stupa ). In the evening, visit Wangdi Fortress. Over-night at Kyichu Resort.

Day 10: Hike to the famous Baylandra:

This famous place has been later blessed by Chagtrul Rimpoche and recognized as one of the most important Guru Rimpoche’s pilgrimage in Bhutan as in the 17th century Guru rimpoche had attained the bless of long life in this sacred place. Chagtrul Rimpoche himself has said that visiting Maratika in Nepal and Baylandra is the same thing.

Day 11: Day 12: Wangdi to Paro via Paro:

Full day drive with stop at Thimphu for last minute shopping. Over night at Paro.

Day 13: Paro Taktsang

Taktsang monastery, which is located at 900 metres from the floor of the Paro valley, hangs precariously from the cliff. It is about 3-4 hours walk from the road point. Guru Padmasambhava meditated here for three months. Later this pilgrimage was also visited by Longchen Pelgi Singye, Phajo Drugom Shigpo, Tibetan Yogi Mache Lhabdenma, Thangthong Gyalpo and Drukpa Kuenlay (the Devine Madman). Lunch at the cafeteria. Overnight at the hotel in Paro. Audience with Lama at Paro Taktsang.

Day 14: Paro to Bangkok: 14th Oct