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Viaggio in Bhutan  - ViaggiIndia Tour
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Nome del viaggio: Solo Bhutan
Viaggio in Bhutan
Programma del tour (giornaliero):

01° GIORNO : ITALIA – PARO
The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane at Paro. Upon arrival at airport Wind Horse Tours, Treks and Expedition representative will meet you and transfer hotel. After tea, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 by the Great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. This Monastery is one of the 108 monasteries built across the Himalayan region by the Tibetan King to subdue the Demoness that lay across the Himalayan region. The rest of the monasteries lie in other neighboring countries. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Paro.

02° GIORNO : PARO – TAKTSHANG DAY HIKE - PARO
After breakfast 20 minutes drive takes you to Satsam Chorten. From the road point the hike up to Taktshang, on a well maintained path, is quite uphill and it takes around 3-4 hours at an average walking speed. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche's meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his consort.
After lunch, visit Rinpung Dzong: The fortress of the heap of jewels was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal on a hill above the township. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge (called the Nemi Zam) and then up a paved stone path running alongside the imposing outer walls. The valley annual springtime religious festival, the Paro Tshechu, takes place in the courtyard of the Dzong and on the dance ground on the hillside above and followed by a visit to Ta Dzong: On a ridge immediately above Rinpung Dzong is Ta Dzong, built as a watchtower to protect Rinpung Dzong. (Means to see in Dzongkha, so the watchtower of a Dzong is always called a Ta Dzong). On account of their function, watchtowers are always round in shape. In 1968 Paro Ta Dzong was inaugurated as the National Museum, and now holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings, Bhutan exquisite postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, together with a small natural history collection. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Paro.

03° GIORNO : PARO - HAA – THIMPHU
We start the day early for the drive to Haa via Chele-la pass. After driving 4 km to Bondey village, we take a side road and begin the steep climb up the hillside to Chele-la (3,810m/12,573ft), reaching the pass after a 45 km. drive upwards through blue pine & rhododendron forest. On a clear day there is a superb view of Mts. Chomolhari and Jichu Drake from this point, so if the weather is favorable we will stop here briefly to stroll around and enjoy the lovely mountain scenery. Then continue on to Haa (2670m/8,811ft), descending all the way for another 22 km., finally reaching Haa after about an hour drive. After a picnic lunch by the river near the new Haa Dzong, we visit two famous monasteries, Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple) The central shrine in Lhakhang Nagpo is said to be almost identical to that of the Jowo temple in Lhasa. Legend has it that local deities assisted in the construction of Lhakhang Karpo. As a result, the place came to be locally known as Hay (meaning surprise) which later became Haa due to varying interpretations and pronunciations over time. The three giant hills looming over the fringes of Haa valley were called Me Rig Puen Sum especially after the event of the Lhakhang Karpo construction. Today the three hills are popularly known as RigSum Gonpa signifying three deities, Jambayang, Chana Dorji and Chenrezig (known in Sanskrit as Manjushri, Varjapani and Avalokiteshvara, respectively). These are the three principal bodhisattvas (Buddhas to be) among the thousand future Buddhas to come, and representations of them are to be found in every Lhakhang (temple) and household shrine room. Later, other Buddhist saints like Guru Rinpoche and Machi Labdorn came to this place, Jungney Drag, in Haa and blessed the locality. After Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal unified the country under the Drukpa Kagyupa sect of Mahayana Buddhism in the early 17th century, the chief guardian deity of Haa became Ap Chundu. We leave for Thimphu (109 km.) in the late afternoon, traveling by the lower road which follows the river and passing two dzongs en route, at Betikha (34 km. from Haa) and at Dobji (65 km. from Haa). We reach Thimphu in the evening, and check in at our hotel. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Thimphu.

04° GIORNO : Thimphu (2,400m/7,875ft)
The capital town of Bhutan and the center of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a lively place, an interesting combination of tradition and modernity. Home to civil servants, expatriates and the monk body, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style. After morning breakfast we will visit to National Memorial Chorten: The building of this Chorten was originally the idea of Bhutan’s third king, H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (the father of modern Bhutan), who had wished to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity, but was unable to give shape to his idea in his lifetime due to pressures of state. After His Majesty’s untimely death in 1972, the Royal Family and Cabinet resolved to fulfill his wishes and erect a memorial that would perpetuate his memory and also serve as a monument to peace. The National Memorial Chorten was consecrated on July 28, 1974. The finely executed wall paintings and delicately fashioned statues within the monument provide a deep insight into Budhist philosophy,Changangkha Monastery,Tashichhodzong: The fortress of the glorious religion was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s,Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. It is open to visitors during the Thimphu Tsechu (held in autumn) and while the monk body is resident in its winter quarters in Punakha, National Library: The National Library was established in the late 1960s primarily to conserve the literary treasures which form a significant part of Bhutan cultural heritage. It now houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature mostly in block-printed format, with some works several hundred years old. This collection, known as the Choekey Collection, mainly comprises Buddhist literature written in Choekey, the religious script of Northern Buddhism, but also includes works written in Tibetan and in Dzongkha, Bhutan national language. There is also a small Foreign Books Collection, stock of which mainycomprises works written in English, with subject interest on Buddhist studies, Bhutan, the Himalayan region and neighboring countries,Institute for Zorig Chusum: Commonly known as the Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Thimphu.

05° GIORNO : THIMPHU - PUNAKHA – WANGDIPHODRANG  - PUNAKHA
After breakfast proceed to Punakha (70 km.) stopping briefly about 45 minutes drive from Thimphu at Dochu-la pass (3,088m/10,130ft), from which there is a superb view of the eastern Himalayan ranges on a clear day. Then descend to Punakha (1,300m/4,265ft). Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and is still the winter seat of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot). Blessed with a temperate climate and fed by the Pho Chu (male) and Mo Chu (female) rivers, Punakha is the most fertile valley in the country. Today we will visit to Punakha Dzong a Placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the Dzong was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative center of the region. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, it has in recent years been fully restored to its original splendor.After visiting Punakha Dzong, we drive back down the valley to Wangduephodrang (1,300m/4,265ft). The higher reaches of the Wangduephodrangvalley provide rich pastureland for cattle. This district is famous for its fine bamboo work, stone carvings, and slate which is mined up a valley a few kilometers from the town. Located south of Punakha and the last town before central Bhutan, Wangduephodrang is like an extended village with a few well-provisioned shops. Stretched along the hilltop above the confluence of the Punakha Chu and Tang Chu rivers, the imposing Wangduephodrang Dzong is the town most visible feature. Enroute visit to Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century. He subdued the demons with his "Magical Thunder bolt". The Temple is also known as "The Temple of Fertility". We will drive back to Punakha for overnight stay. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Punakha.

06° GIORNO : PUNAKHA –  THIMPHU
After morning breakfast drive to Thimphu.En route we visit Simtokha Dzong which is built in 1627 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, stands on a low ridge 8 km. down the valley from Thimphu. The Institute for Language and Cultural Studies is located here. The most noteworthy artistic feature of the Dzong is the series of over 300 finely worked slate carvings behind the prayer wheels in the courtyard. check into hotel. Afternoon at leisure.

07° GIORNO : THIMPHU – TANGO DAY HIKE -THIMPHU
Today we’ll drive to the northern end of the Thimphu Valley and visit the beautiful Tango Monastery. Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa founded this monastic school in the 12th century, and the present building was built in the 15th century by the ‘divine madman’, Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Tango is the residence of an important young reincarnate lama recognized as the seventh reincarnation of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye. After a short hike up to the monastery, we’ll visit the temples and talk with the young monks studying in Tango. Lunch on the banks of the Thimphu River. After lunch, we’ll walk up the opposite side of the valley to visit Cheri Lhakhang. Cheri Lhakhang – built in 1620 by the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, a silver chorten inside the temple holds the ashes of the Zhabdrung’s father. After Cheri we’ll return to Thimphu where you’ll have time in the late afternoon to shop for handicrafts or explore the streets of Thimphu valley. Dinner & overnight stay at hotel in Thimphu.

08° GIORNO : THIMPHU – PARO - ITALIA
After breakfast, transfer to  airport for your onward flight to Delhi.

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