Pilgrimage Trip to Bhutan | Festival Tours to Bhutan

Pilgrimage Tour - Looking For Permanent Happiness

Monasteries and Meditation – Includes audiences with revered Teachers, along with special access to sacred sites.

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, 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.

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.

Cost Includes: Tax, government royalty, all meals, tea and snacks, accommodations, all land transportation, entrance fees, guide services, mineral water, and sightseeing. Cost Does Not Include: Air fares, visa fee, airport tax, drinks, and other personal bills.

13 Days Of Pilgrimage Tour In The Beautiful Valleys Of Bhutan

Day 1 : Arrive in Paro by Druk Air

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, the journey begins with a visit to one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, Kyichu Lhakhang. After Kyichu Lhakhang, proceed to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, a scenic drive along the Paro and Thimphu rivers. The Druk Hotel provides comfortable accommodations in the heart Thimphu.

Day 2 : Thimphu Sightseeing

Visit Dechenphodrang Monastery (home to 200 monks), Changangkha Lhakhang (built in the 12th century), Zulikha Temple (the only nunnery in the capital), and the Folk Heritage Museum. After lunch, shop in Thimphu for Bhutanese handicrafts. Overnight at the Druk Hotel.

Day 3 : Thimphu Sightseeing

In the morning, visit the Memorial Chorten built in memory of the third King of Bhutan, ruler of the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Afterwards, 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 Druk Hotel, Thimphu.

Day 4 : Thimphu to Wangdiphodrang, with Afternoon Excursion to Punakha

In the morning, drive to Wangdiphodrang 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 to the 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. Visit the famous shrine of the Buddhist saint Drupthop Nagi Rinchen. The riverside will serve a Bhutanese picnic lunch. 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 : Wangdiphodrang to Gantey

In the morning, drive towards Gantey through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons to visit Gantey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. From Gantey, the picturesque Black Mountain range peeks through the clouds towering above the Phobjika Valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. Attend Offering-to-the-Buddha’s ceremony exclusively arranged for your group at Gantey Goemba. Overnight in Phobjikha at Dewachen.

Day 6 : Gantey to Trongsa

After breakfast, travel to Trongsa, the ancestral home of the royal family. Via the 3,300-meter-high Pele La, the route to Trongsa is along a spectacular winding road, where herds of yak are often sighted. After reaching Trongsa, check-in to the hotel and experience Trongsa Fortress. Formerly the main administration center during the second king’s reign, Trongsa Fortress is known as being a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. In the evening, stroll around the town. Overnight in Trongsa at Yangkhil Resort.

Day 7 : Trongsa 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. After lunch, 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. In the evening, explore and stroll around Bumthang town. Overnight in Jakar, Bumthang at Samtenkhagsar.

Day 8 : Bumthang Sightseeing

After breakfast, visit Jakar Fortress, Karchu Dratsang, and Membertsho (Flaming Lake), the famous spot of discovery for Terton Pema Lingpa of treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche. In the evening, enjoy the charming village. Overnight in Jakar, Bumthang at Samtenkhangsar.

Day 9 : Hike to Tharpaling Monastery

Journey along a scenic forest trail on a 3-hour hike to Tharpaling Monastery, famously known as one of the most important monasteries built by Longchen Ramjamba, the famous saint in the Nyingmapa sect. The monastery has several temples and a small number of monks reside on retreat. From the monastery, you will have a privileged view of the Chumey Valley. A picnic lunch will be served outside the monastery for refreshment. In the evening, the town is the perfect place to relax, browse in local shops, and enjoy the nighttime beauty of the Bumthang valley. Overnight in Jakar, Bumthang at Samtenkhangsar.

Day 10 : Bumthang to Wangdiphodrang

In the morning, drive back to Wangduephodrang. Lunch at Chendebji Chorten, with a meditation session. In the evening, visit Wangdi Fortress. Overnight in Wangduephodrang at Kyichu Resort.

Day 11 : Wangduephodrang and Paro

After breakfast, drive towards Paro via Thimphu. After lunch, visit a variety of handicraft shops around town and view several Thangkas and Bhutanese paintings.

Day12 : Paro Sightseeing

Visit the ruins of Drugyel Dzong and Satsam Chorten. After lunch, visit the National Museum and Paro Rinpung Dzong.

Day 13 : Hike to Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang) Monastery

After breakfast, hike up to the most famous monastery in the entire kingdom of Bhutan. Along the trail, lunch is available at a cafeteria along with a closer view of the monastery, ideal and appropriate for photographs. Perched on the edge of a steep cliff, Taktsang monastery resides approximately 900 meters above the Paro Valley. As per legend, Guru Rimpoche flew from eastern Bhutan on a tigress bringing Buddhist teachings to Bhutan. This is one of the most venerated and sacred sights for Buddhist pilgrims around the world, including local Bhutanese. Attend the grandest Tsechu ceremony at Taktsang and participate in a meditation session. Walk down hill and visit Drukgyel Dzong, the “Fortress of Victory,” built in the 17th century. Overnight in Paro at Olathhang Hotel.

Day 14 : Departure from Paro