Bhutan Textile and Culture Tour

09 Nights / 10 Days

Overview

In Bhutan textiles are considered to be one of the highest form of art and spiritual expression. The knowledge and skills required to create these textiles have been passed down through generations. By utilizing primarily the simple backstrap loom, the Thunder Dragon People have crafted one of the most advanced and sophisticated weaving cultures in the history of civilization. This Bhutan travel package provides opportunity to explore and experience various kind of textile weaving and dying. You will also have chance to see magnificent Dzongs, temples, monasteries and stupas, real Buddhist culture and philosophy, villages to experience rural life, and know more about Bhutan’s friendly and ever smiling people their traditions and way of life and explore the scenic beauty of Bhutan by walking between the rolling hills and virgin forest filled with wild flowers and fragrance. You can also plan your Bhutan journey to coincide with one of the vibrant religious festivals of eastern Bhutan, the region which is also famous for its textile weaving.

Highlights

  • Hike to TaktshangLakhang
  • Hoisting of Prayer flags
  • Dinner with local Bhutanese family to get a taste of the local food
  • Cooking session of authentic Bhutanese cuisine
  • Imposing Punakha Dzong
  • Visit of local Handloom weaving house and meet a Weavers family
  • Archery Session
  • Interactive Session with monks
  • Personal Astrology reading
  • Local Dress wearing Session
  • Traditional Cultural Program with Mask Dance

Thimphu

Punakha

Trongsa

Bumthang

Paro

Tour Route

3 Nights

Thimphu

3 Nights

1 Night

Punakha

1 Night

1 Night

Trongsa

1 Night

2 Nights

Bumthang

2 Nights

2 Nights

Paro

2 Nights

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10

Arrive Paro – Thimphu (By Private Vehicle 55 Kms 1 ½ Hrs Drive)

Upon arrival at Paro Airport you are met by our representative and transferred to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan.

Upon arrival in Thimphu check in at your pre booked Hotel. Thimphu - The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With the population of about 90,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light.

Evening take leisurely walk to local craft Bazar recently established under patronage of Department of cottage & small industry and in collaboration with the department of culture, tourism council and the department of agriculture marketing and cooperatives. This market offers genuine Bhutanese arts & crafts thus contributing in promotion, protection and preservation of traditional arts.
Evening an exploratory walk around Thimphu main street and market area.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Thimphu

Thimphu

Breakfast in the Hotel

Later proceed for a short drive to Buddha Dordenma located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and overlooks the Southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. The statue fulfills an ancient prophecy dating back to the 8th century A.D that was discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa (Religious Treasure Discoverer) and is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. This massive statue of Shakyamuni made of bronze and is gilded in gold, measures 51.5 meters in height, making it one of the largest statues, in Bhutan. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue, each of these also have been cast in bronze and gilded. Here at the Buddha point you have an option to perform meditation at a designated area.

Then drive to Pangri Zampa. Founded in the early 16th century, this complex is a college for traditional astrology. An interaction with monks and personal astrological reading is a gratifying experience.

Post Lunch visit King's Memorial Chorten, continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.
Conclude the tour of the day with visit of Trashichhoedzong. This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.

Dinner with a local family which offers an insight into local culture, traditions, and way of life

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Thimphu

Thimphu

Breakfast in the Hotel Morning visit Institute of Zorig Chusum or Arts & Crafts School where 13 traditional crafts are taught including weaving, embroidery, painting, carpentry, carving, sculpture, casting, blacksmithing, bamboo work, gold &silversmithing, masonry, leather work and paper work. This institute not only helps preserving beautiful heritage but also equips future generations with skill and knowledge to keep heritage alive. Also visit Handmade paper factory, National Library which holds vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts. Afternoon a special visit to Textile Museum. The textile museum has opened its exhibition on six major themes - warp pattern weaves, weft pattern weaves, role of textiles in religion, achievements in textile arts, textiles from indigenous fibers and the royal collection. The crowns of Bhutan’s Kings, namzas (dresses), the first version of Royal Crown and other accessories used by members of Royal family can be found in the museum. A brief and simple talk on Bhutanese textiles weaving. Followed by Folk Heritage Museum and the Institute of Traditional Medicine where ancient healing arts such as acupuncture and herbalism are practiced. Evening time can be spent strolling through the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, interesting items made from local materials. Later proceed to enjoy a dramatic drive over the high mountain pass of Dochu La (3,O8Om) to Gangtey (Phobjikha) passing through dense forests and oak, rhododendron tress. Overnight stay at the Hotel in Thimphu

Thimphu – Punakha (BY Private Vehicle 75 Kms 3 Hrs Drive)

Breakfast in the Hotel

Later proceed to drive to Punakha across Dochula pass (3,O8Om). In Bhutan the passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag. Dochula pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day.

At Dochula Pass, 108 chortens or stupas known as Druk Wangyal Chortens have been built by AshiDorjiWangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother. These chortens are built in three layers, the first lowest level layer has forty-five chortens, the second has thirty six and the top layer has twenty seven, built around the main chorten.

Prayer flag hoisting at Dochula pass - Prayer flags are an integral part of Bhutanese landscape and also the cultural and religious heritage of the country especially the textile and weaving craft. They are ubiquitous in Bhutan; in and around monasteries, chortens or stupas, dzongs, lhakhangs, homes, on the railing of bridges and mountain roads, and invariably on or near the summit of the mighty peaks that preside over the country. Red, blue, green, yellow and white, they add a splash of rainbow colours to the rugged landscape. Deeply religious, the people of Bhutan believe that with each flutter, a flag releases the prayer printed on it into the air which in turn carries it to the heavens. The more the flag flaps, the greater is its divine value. It is for this reason that prayer flags are positioned that catch the wind – high up on the forested slopes of mountains, across bridges, nearby rivers and streams that tumble down the valleys and anywhere where there is wind and tunnel effect.

Later drive onward to Punakha Enroute visit ChimiLakhang (from hotel it is about 15 minutes drive till motorable road and then walk starts through paddy fields and villages. This is total about 1.1/2 hour walk, including both way). The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.

Later in the afternoon visit Punakha Dzong or (Palace of Great Happiness), built at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers in 1637 by ShabdrungNgawangNamgyal. This majestic dzong served as both the religious and the administrative center of Bhutan in the past. It measures some 600 by 240 feet and has a six-story, gold-domed tower. Inside are courtyards and religious statuary that hint at the depth of history and spiritual tradition embodied here. Your guide will illuminate your understanding of this intricate culture that is exotic to us, though long established here.

Cooking session at a hotel / restaurant, followed by dinner:
This is a special cooking session where a team of chef instruct/demonstrate how local Bhutanese delicacies are prepared – guests can also try their culinary skill. Bhutanese food is heavily seasoned with red chilies and can be quite hot. Tasty and fiery ‘Emma Datshi’ made with chilies and local Bhutanese cheese is the national dish of Bhutan. Guests can have fun participating in the preparation of local Bhutanese delicacies.

Overnight stay at the hotel in Punakha

Punakha - Trongsa (By Private Vehicle 137 Kms 5 Hrs Drive)

Breakfast in the Hotel and check out

Morning after breakfast Then drive on to Trongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830 ft), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large white chorten prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo.
Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes panted at four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.
In the afternoon visit Trongsa Dzong. Like almost all towns in the Kingdom, this Dzong architecture dominates the entire Trongsa horizon dwarfing the surrounding buildings. Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second King ruled the country from this ancient seat.
Protected from invaders by an impenetrable valley, Trongsa Dzong is an impregnable fortress.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Trongsa

Trongsa – Bumthang (By Private Vehicle 68 Kms 3 Hrs Drive)

Breakfast in the Hotel and check out

After breakfast visit the Ta Dzong in Trongsa, and continue driving to Bumthang 68 km from Trongsa, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft). The road winds steeply up to the pass, 28 km from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley.

In Chumey valley, visit Yathra Weaving Centre. 'Yathra' is a hand-woven fabric made from wool of yak and sheep. It is made in vibrant colours giving it a special and attractive look. Bumthang being a cold place is famous for its Yathra weaving and produces woolen clothes, bags, scarfs etc in unique pattern.

Upon arrival in Bumthang check in at your pre booked Hotel

Overnight stay at theHotel in Bumthang

Bumthang

Breakfast in the Hotel

Bumthang is the general name given to group of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m / 8,520 to 13,125 ft.

In the morning, we will visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom as Bhutan’s “patron saint”, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. Then a walk of half an hour north of KurjeLhahang leads to Tangbi monastery, founded in 1470 by Shamar Rinpoche of the Kagyupa religious school. The temple has two sanctuaries and a temple of terrifying deities. Later from Kurje monastery, a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang. This temple, erected by the Tibetan King SongtsenGampo in the 7th century, is one of the two oldest in Bhutan (the other being Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro).
Afternoon visit Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. It contains interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later, we will visit Jakar Dzong “the dzong of the white bird”.

In the evening visit local handloom weaving house and meet a Weavers family

Overnight stay at Hotel in Bumthang

Bumthang – Paro (By Flight)

Breakfast in the Hotel

Later you will be transferred to the Airport to avail the flight to Paro. On arrival in Paro you will be met and transferred to your pre booked hotel.

Later in the day proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons &armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.

Evening at leisure

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Paro

Paro

Breakfast in the Hotel

After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery (5hrs hike): It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by ShabdrungNgawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour.

Later in the afternoon an Archery session. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and every village has its own archery range. Using bamboo bows (although modern compound bows are now common in cities) team of archers shoot at targets only 30 centimetres in diameter from a distance of 120 meters. Archery competition are among the most picturesque and colourful events in the country and are the integral part of all festivities. A professional will demonstrate in which you can also try your hands. The Duration is usually one hour.

Evening local dress wearing session at the hotel followed by Cultural Program with Mask Dance:

The National dress of Bhutan is one of the most distinctive and visible aspects of Dragon Kingdom’s unique character. Men wear Gho a long robe like Tibetan Chhuba that is raised till knee, folded backwards and then tied around the waist by Kera (belt). While women wear, ankle length robe called Kira. The Bhutanese textile is made from fine, hand-woven, or milled fabric, with the colorful distinctive patterns.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Paro

Leave Paro

Breakfast in the Hotel and Checkout

Our guest relation executive will assist and transfer you to Paro Airport to board Flight for Onward Journey

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Pricing*

– £ 3385 / US$ 4885 per person for a minimum of 2 travellers on a twin or double sharing basis.
– £590 / $825 for single room supplement.

Price Valid till 30th April 2023 , Prices Quoted in Sterling Pounds & US Dollars & based in Standard Hotels

Included

  • Accommodation on Twin/Double Sharing basis
  • Daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Private Transfers
  • City Sightseeing
  • Private Car with Driver
  • Accompanying English Speaking Guide
  • Entrances to Monuments
  • Bhutan Development Fees
  • Bhutan Visa Fee
  • Domestic Flight as per Program

Not Included

  • International Flight
  • Insurance
  • Expenses of Personal nature
  • Camera and Video charges
  • Tips

* Terms and Conditions Apply

  1. Prices applicable for standard hotels, luxury accommodations available on request.
  2. Prices valid upto 30th April 2023.
  3. Christmas and New Year supplement applicable extra.
  4. Local taxes apply.

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