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Dancing with Monks

India, Sikim & Bhutan 
October 3 2016,  $7,980.00

Includes: Roundtrip airfare from Vancouver, domestic travel, airport fees and transfers. Accommodations, all meals, English speaking guides, admissions to museums, historical, religious and cultural sites. Tips and baggage handling, Indian & Bhutanese Visa fees.

ITINERARY:

Day 1: arrive in Delhi

Day 2: afternoon city sightseeing

Day 3: fly to Bagdogra, drive to Darjeeling.

Day 4: early morning sunrise views of the Himalayas, visit: Yigacholing Ghoom Monastery, Everest Institute, Zoo, Tibetan Refugee Center, tea plantation, steam train ride (Built 1881!)

Day 5: Drive through tea plantations, cardamom fields to Gangtok, Sikkim

Day 6: Gangtok, Tibetology Institute, Enchey Monastery & Stupa, botanical gardens.

Day 7: 5 hr. drive to Kalimpong, Famous Rumtek Monastery, concert at the Gandhi Ashram school for orphans.

Day 8: Sightseeing, flower nursery, mountain views.

Day 9: All day drive to Phuetsholing, Bhutan

Day 10: 6 hour drive to the Capital Thimpu

Day 11: Weekend market, handicraft school, Drubthob Nunnery

Day 12: Punakha, view of Bhutan’s highest mountain Gangkar Punsam 7,550 m. Crown Prince’s residence, massive Punakha Dzong (Fortified monastery), temple of fertility.

Day 13: Day drive to Bumthang, with stops in villages.

Day 14: 3 All day at the Bumthang festival, colourful dance rituals dating back to the 9th c.

Day 15: Short drive to Trongsa, Largest Dzong complex in Bhutan.

Day 16: Drive to Thimpu, Himalaya views, Tibetan Village visit.

Day 17: Continue on to Paro, National Museum, Paro Dzong.

Day 18: at. 7 Morning pony ride and hike to the Tigers’ Nest Monastery.

Day 19: Morning flight Paro/Delhi, overnight Delhi

Day 20: Fly to Delhi to Vancouver

Subject to change slightly

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

Delhi: Visit Red Fort, Friday Mosque, India Gate and Qutb Minar (12 century 93 m high minaret)

Darjeeling: Famous for its tea, cool climate and colonial British heri-tage and narrow guage steam train service. Darjeeling is a bustling market town. The third highest Himalayan peak Mnt. Khangchendzonga 8848m domi-nates the skyline.

Sikkim: A reclusive Buddhist kingdom until 1975 when fear of Chinese claims to Sikkim led 97% of the population to vote for union with India. Sikkim is a beautiful region where you are never out of sight of impressive mountain scenery. Sikkim was the first jurisdiction to ban plastic bags and causing pollution is a criminal offense. Its capital Gangtok is built precariously on the side of a steep ridge. The winding streets make for a fascinating walk.

Kalimpong: This charming town set in the foothills was, in the 19th century the trading gateway into Tibet. During this time the Jesuits made a major but unsuccessful effort to convert the Buddhist popula-tion, their leader Father McGuire left a legacy of an orphanage that is still functioning today. Kalimpong has particularly good shopping.

Thimpu: The only capital without a traffic light! With a population of only 65,000 Thimpu is also probably the worlds smallest capital city. The weekend market is fascinating along with meat, vegetables etc. there are also interesting Bhutanese artifacts for sale.

Punakha: The old winter capital of Bhutan, (The King still maintains a residence here) is situated at the confluence of the “He” and “She” rivers. Its low elevation and warm climate is good for growing oranges, bananas and even large cacti are quite common.

Bumthang region: The area consists of four beautiful valleys all rich in Bhutanese history and culture. While here we will witness the Jambay Lhakhang Drup festival. On our first evening the Mewang will take place. This is a sacred fire dance held to bless infertile women so that they may bear children.

Trongsa: Small town surrounded by high passes is home to Bhutan’s largest and most impressive dzong complex. This area is the hereditary home of the monarchy and the first two kings ruled from Trongsa.

Jambay: A walk across a fine suspension bridge leads to the temple where a second festival the Praker Tsechu will be taking place. The castle of the White Bird and the Wangdicholing Palace are close by.

Paro: Bhutan’s only international airport is situated here and as a result virtually all tour-ists use Paro as their base and while Paro is a charming town, tourist shops and internet cafes are now changing its character a little. Guru Rimpoche, who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, arrived on the back of a flying tigress and alighted on the mountainside 900m above Paro. Here he contemplated in a cave for 3 months before setting out to subdue the demons terrorizing the country-side. Bhutan’s most famous and sacred monastery is built around the caves entrance. Most visitors ride by pony to a tea house half way up and then proceed on foot. Quite a climb, but the monastery is fascinating and view magnificent
 

 

Call us; we'd love to help you plan your extraordinary experience

Marie Chang, Certified Travel Consultant
Direct: 604-809-8378
Email: marie@travelg.com

OR

Susan Sandulak, Vacations Consultant
Direct: 604-605-5186
Email: SusanS@travelg.com

 

 



In just 20 days see Darjeeling, Gangtok, Paro, Thimpu, Punakha, Bumthang (Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival) & Trongsa