Meet the Olep! During this 11-day compact tour to Western and Central Bhutan you will not only experience the beauty of the country, you will also get an insight into the main historical, cultural and religious developments of Bhutan. Even more: a two-day excursion and homestay will take you to Rukha and the land of the Olep people. The Olep are the original settlers of Bhutan and are happy to host you and invite you into their homes.
|Rukha, Wangdue Phodrang
|Paro International Airport
|Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.
Day 1: Departure
be received by Atlas Tour and Travel’s representative and drive to Thimphu. Thimphu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, is the seat of government. This bustling town is home to Bhutan’s royal family, the civil service, and foreign missions with representation in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally funded development projects. After Lunch Visit following places.
Whole day sightseeing: After breakfast visit the following places.
After breakfast drive toward south to Taksha. The trek starts after crossing suspension bridge. There our trekking staff will be waiting. Start hike uphill about half hour. Ride on power tiller about 3 km and again start to walk until lunch stop at Samthang(altitude 860m) with 5 household. Lunch at farm house.
After lunch continue trek for 1 hour to reach Mithana community school (altitude 986m) and is about 1 hour to reach Rukha and there are 22 household (altitude 1391m) . The people are known as Olep and they are the original settlers of center Bhutan. They have their own unique dialect but is it unfortunately dying out as they are now being absorbed into the main stream Bhutanese society. At Rukha the farmers will happily welcome you into their homes. Overnight at farm house.
After breakfast you can take part in game like archery, dart and javelin throw. After lunch explore the local farm houses and visit Penden Lhamo temple. In the evening witness the folk dances with bon fire. Overnight at farm house.
Rukha - Wangduephodrang
After breakfast hike back to Taksha. Our vehicle will be waiting to drive you to Wangdue. Overnight at hotel.
Wangduephodrang - Phobjikha
After breakfast, drive to Phobjikha- is a bowlshape valley on the western slopes of Black Mountain. After lunch visit Gantey Goenpa as it is a major attraction with an old monastery dating back to the 16 century. Later walk around the valley which is also the winter home to the rare blacknecked cranes, which migrate, from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia during winter to this valley. Overnight will be at hotel.
Phobjikha - Paro
After breakfast, drive to Paro. Overnight at hotel.
Paro - Excursion to Taktshang
After breakfast, drive for half an hour and start the hike, which is about 5 hours (round trip.) The trail is along an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels.
As you reach Taktshang you will be struck by the architectural wonder of this most pious Buddhist shrine in Bhutan. Perched some 1000m, 3000ft on a cliff overlooking the valley, it would justifiably qualify as one of Bhutan’s wonders. Tragically wrecked in a fire early in 1998. It has been rebuilt to its original glory. It is said that the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. Hence the name, Taktshang, or the “Tiger’s Lair.”
Descend back to Ramthangka. If the time permits, drive further north to visit another symbolic structure, which is now in ruins. Drugyel Dzong, or “Castle
of the Victorious Drukpa,” which was also built by the Shabdrung to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetans in the 16thcenturies.
From here, the Jomolhari Peak (“Mountain of the Goddess”) can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast visit another symbolic structure, which is now in ruins, the Drugyel Dzong, or “”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa,” which was also built by the Shabdrung to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetans in the 16th and 17th centuries.
From here, the Jomolhari Peak (“Mountain of the Goddess”) can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). Drive back and visit Kichu Lhakhang-one of the oldest and most sacred temple in the kingdom, dating back to the 7th century than visit Rinpung Dzong which houses the monastic school and the office of the civil administration and walk down passing close by crossing the Bhutanese typical wooden roofed bridge to Paro town. Strool around the town. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Paro international airport for your onward flight. The representative of Atlas Tour and Travel will see off and bid farewell.