Meditation and Retreat

As one of the last strongholds of Vajrayana Buddhism, meditation and mediation retreats are a common practice amongst Monks and Buddhist practitioners in Bhutan. Small retreat centers and hermitages are located all over the country, usually next to temples, monasteries and monastic schools.

​These retreats and meditation centers provide places of respite from the cares and stress of everyday life. Devout Buddhists often venture into the mountains for months at a time to meditate. The retreats provide practitioners with the opportunity to draw upon their inner self and meditate upon the purpose of life.

​Many tourists come to Bhutan for meditation and retreat tours. Some itineraries include serious meditation programs that last for days while others offer solitary retreats for few hours in the high hills and temples where the serenity and beauty of nature can be appreciated in undisturbed silence.

​Tour Operators can include meditation programs in your itinerary if you are interested in trying this Bhutanese way of retreat.  Additionally most hotels also provide yoga sessions, retreats and meditation facilities within the hotel premises.

EASTERN BHUTAN TEXTILE TOUR (16 DAYS)

Day 1: Arrive Paro (2250m)
As you get closer to Paro by air, the panoramic views of the Himalayas are sensational, including the Everest and other famous Himalayan Peaks. On arrival, you will be met by your Bhutanese Guide and driven to your hotel.
After lunch sightseeing includes:
Ta Dzong: An ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan. The tower is more than 340 years old and has over 3000 artworks and masterpieces that display more than 1500 years of cultural heritage of Bhutan. The museum exhibits provide a glimpse of rich Bhutanese textile tradition, the skill of the Bhutanese weavers through the ages and finest cotton, silk and wool textiles from all over Bhutan. It also shows the evolution of Bhutanese national dresses – gho and kira, monk’s dresses and religious costumes.
Paro Rinpung Dzong: It literally means “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646.
In the evening visit the Bhutanese textile and handicraft shops around Paro and have your first introduction to the Bhutanese textiles. Overnight stay in Paro

Day 2:Paro
After breakfast, hike to Taktshang Monastery.
Taktsang Monastery: Taktsang Palphug Monastery more famous as Paro Taktsang is a Buddhist temple complex which clings to a cliff, 3120 meters above the sea level on the side of the upper Paro valley.
After lunch sightseeing includes:
Ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong: It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. Peak of Jumolhari (7,329m) ‘Mountain of the Goddess’ can be seen on a clear day from here.
On the way back to Paro, you will visit a carpet weaving factory. You will interact with the carpet weavers. Overnight stay in Paro

Day 3: Paro/Thimphu (2350m)
Driving Distance: 65 Kms
Driving Time: 1 to 1.5 hours
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu.
Eastern Bhutan Textile Tour (16 days)
On the way visit:
Tamchoglhakhang: built in the 13th century by Thangthong Gyalpoalso know as the Iron bridge builder.
Lunch at Wangsisina Heritage Home
Wangsisna Heritage Home:the traditional Bhutanese house is home to the 19th Druk Desi (Deb Raja) Druk Tenzin. Built before the 17th century, this house is also associated to the epic Bhutanese love story of GasaLamai Singye and Changyul Bum Galem. It is said that this was the house where the two lovers could finally become one.
Textile Museum: the Textile Museum was started to promote Bhutan’s achievements in the field of textile arts and to sustain and promote interest of the weavers to continue the traditional textile patterns. Established in 2001, the museum has a good collection of exclusive and antique Bhutanese textile artifacts.
The Institute for ZorigChusum: students are taught the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan in this institute.
National Memorial Chorten: it was built in the honour of the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, also known as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”.
Kuenselphodrang: A place for refreshing with a huge statue of Buddha on the top of the Kuenselphodrang. The area also gives a very good view of the Thimphu valley from the west.
In the evening, discover:
Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion): the Dzong is the seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) at present.Overnight stay in Thimphu

Day 4:Thimphu/Punakha (1310m)
Driving Distance: 76 kms
Driving Time: 2.5 – 3 hrs
After breakfast, drive to Punakha.
On the way, visit:
Dochula pass: The most known pass in Bhutan, about 30 km drive from the Capital City Thimphu on the way to Wangduephodrang. It is at around 3150m height. On a clear day, spectacular view of the mighty Himalayas mountain ranges can be seen. The pass also has 108 Druk Wangyal KhangzangChhortens which is believed brings multi fold merit to all sentient beings and which make the pass a must visit place.
Chhimi Lhakhang: This temple is located on the way to Punakha. Known as the temple of fertility it was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in the 15 century. Lama drukpa Kuenley is also known as the Divine Madman.
After Lunch, explore:
Punakha Dzong: this Dzong was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637. It is built at the junction the Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers. The monk body resides in this Dzong in winter.
Stroll around Punakha town in the evening. Overnight stay in Punakha.

Day 5: Punakha/Phobjikha (2900m)
Driving distance: 70 Kms
Drivinf time: 2.5 hrs
After breakfast, drive to Wangdue.
Then continue discovering:
Rinchengang Village: A small clustered village in Wangduephodrang just opposite where the Dzong was built before. It takes about 20 minutes hike upfill from the nearest road.
Drive to Gangtey.
While in Gangtey, sightseeing includes:
Gangtey Gompa: Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation.
Phobjikha Valley: Phobjikha Valley is one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in the Himalayas and the winter place for the endangered Black Necked Cranes. From November to February is a good time to see the cranes.
Visit the local carpet weavers and interact with them. Try weaving for yourself! Overnight stay in Phobjikha

Day 6 : Phobjikha/Trongsa (2300m)
Driving Distance: 120 kms
Driving Time: 4.5 – 5 hrs
After breakfast, drive to Trongsa. On the way stop at Pelela Pass (3300m) and then the Chendebji Chorten built by Tshering Wangchuk in the style of the great Boudhanath Stupa of Nepal.
Lunch at Chendebji and then drive further to Trongsa.
While in Trongsa, visit:
Trongsa Dzong: The most impressive Dzong in Bhutan. Built by ChogyalMinjurTempa, the official who was sent by Zhabdrung to unify Eastern Bhutan.Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family. The first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong.
Ta Dzong: an ancient watch tower. The chapel inside is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal.
Overnight in Trongsa.

Day 7: Trongsa/Bumthang (2600m)
Driving Distance: 68 kms
Driving time: 2.5 – 3 hrs
After breakfast, drive to Bumthang. While in Chumey Valley in Bumthang, visit the Yathra weaving factory.
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. As a fusion of western and traditional designs, Bhutanese today make woollen clothes, bags, scarfs and many new modern designs from Yathra. Chumeyis known for the beautiful Yathra woven by the locals. Most of the women in this valley, especially in Zungye village, earn their lively hood by weaving Yathra which is supplied to towns in Bhutan.
Overnight in Bumthang

Day 8: Bumthang
After breakfast, sightseeing includes:
Jakar Dzong: meaning “Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667.
LameyGoemba: a large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi. Jambay Lhakhang: built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet it holds the most spectacular, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup”. Chakhar Lhakhang: meaning the “Iron Castle” because the original palace was made of iron. Kurjey Lhakhang: named after body print of Guru Rimpoche.
After lunch, signtseeing includes:
Tamshing Lhakhang: meaning the “Temple of the Good Message”, established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa.
Membarstho: means “The Burning Lake”.
The evening ends with visit to a local handloom weaving house and opportunity to interact with the weavers. Overnight in Bumthang

Day 9: Bumthang/Mongar (1600m)
Driving Distance: 190 kms
Driving time; 7 – 8 hrs
After breakfast, drive to Mongar. Stop over at places to view the beautiful scenery and for photography. The drive from Bumthang to Mongar shall take you across the highest point in Bhutan’s motorable road. The point is known as the Thrumsingla Pass at an altitude of 4000m.
Picnic lunch on the way.
The evening ends exploring Mongar town. Overnight stay in Mongar

Day 10: Mongar/Lhuntse (1460m)
Driving Distance: 78 Kms
Driving time: 3 – 3.5 hrs
After breakfast, visit Mongar Dzong.
Mongar Dzong: rebuilt in 1953 it is unique as it has two entrances.
Drive to Lhuntse.
Lhuntse is one of the most isolated districts in Bhutan. The Kurtoe region in Lhuntse is the ancestral home of the Royal family of Bhutan.
Lhuntse Dzong: the dzong lies on the eastern side of the the Kuri Chhu (River), perched on a hill top. The formal dzong was built in 1654 by the Trongsa PenlopMinjurTenpa after winning a battle. The dzong was named LhuentseRinchentse.
Overnight stay in a guesthouse in Lhuntse
Note: Accommodation will be extremely basic in Lhuntse due to its remoteness.

Day 11: Lhuntse
After breakfast, hike to Khoma village (1-2 hour walk). Khoma Village is most known for the most famous
and expensive hand woven Bhutanese textile, “Kishuthara”.
Kishuthara weaving: is the main source of income for the people in this place. A fabric made by silk on silk weaving with intricate hand woven patterns, it is regarded as tge most expensive textile in Bhutan.
Walk back to Lhuntse. Overnight stayin a guesthouse in Lhuntse
Day 12 : Lhuntse/Ranjung (1120m)
Driving Distance: 218 kms
Driving Time: 8 – 8.5 hrs
After breakfast, drive to Ranjung. In the evening, explore Ranjung Valley. Overnight stay in a guesthouse in Ranjung

Day 13: Ranjung
Another special day for textile lovers, you will visit Radhi village famous for textile called Bura (raw silk).
Bura: is a Bhutanese textile woven from raw silk. Explore Radhi village and see how the men in the village get actively involved in Bura weaving.
Overnight stay in a guesthouse in Ranjung

Day 14: Ranjung/Khaling/Trashigang (1620 mts)
Driving distance: 125 kms
Driving time: 4.5 -5 hrs
After breakfast, drive to Khaling and visit the National Institute for the Visually Impaired (NIVI).
NIVI: started in 1973 with its first three students. Today the institute produces a number of intelligent, talented, hardworking and dedicated citizens every year, who serve the nation in different capacities and ways. See the Khaling textile weaving center which is operated by the National Women’s Association of Bhutan. Drive to Trashigang. Overnight stay in Trashigang

Day 15: Trashigang/Mongar/SamdrupJongkhar (180m)
Driving Distance: 92/180 kms
Driving Times: 3 – 3.5 hrs/7- 8 hrs
After breakfast, visit the Trashigang Dzong.
Trashigang Dzong: lies on the headland of the dzongkhag that gives us the confluence of the Drangme Chhu and the GamriChhuit.
After lunch, continue onward to Mongar and Samdrupjongkhar. Overnight stay in Samdrupjongkhar

Day 16: Depart Samdrupjongkhar
After breakfast, meet your Indian guide at the border gate which divides Bhutan and India and drive onward to Guwahati, India.
You can also return to Paro.

  • Accommodation: A minimum of 3 star accommodations.
  • Guide: Experienced English-speaking guide and driver throughout tour.
  • Meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Transport: modern air conditioned car throughout tour.
  • 2% government tax per person per night.
  • Entrance fees for museums
  • Flight: airfare international and domestic
  • Insurance: travel insurance is not included.
  • Additional services: tipping, laundry, other meals, snacks and drinks, personal shopping.
Travel Destination
Address

  • Ngabiphu, Chang, Thimphu
  • B-mobile:   +97517545041
  • Whatsapp:   +97517545041
  • Telefax:   +975-2-350098
  • Skype ID:   tandin.wangyal118
  • Email Address : tandinbhutantravel@gmail.com

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