This is a 7-days Trek from Paro to Jangothang, Jumolhari base camp. The trekkers may return via same route or follow an alternative trail to Paro. The highest point is 4115 m.The view of Jumolhari Mountain (7314 M) is spectacular from Jangothang. There is a good opportunity to see Yaks
This trek may be experienced with extensions to Haa or Punakha with the increase in number of nights. Or may be combined with any other activities or interests as per the convenience, comfort and requirements of the travelers traveling to Bhutan.
DAY 1 – Arrive Paro
DAY 2 – Paro Sightseeing
DAY 3 – Paro – Shana (Trek Start)
DAY 4 – Shana – Thangthangka
DAY 5 – Thangthangka – Jangothang
DAY 6 – Jangothang (Halt)
DAY 7 – Jangothang – Thangthangka
DAY 8 – Thangthangka – Shana
DAY 9 – Shana – Paro – Thimphu (Trek End)
DAY 10 – Thimphu Sightseeing
DAY 11 – Thimphu – Punakha
DAY 12 – Punakha – Paro
DAY 13 – Departure
Altitude of Paro: 2250 m
On your journey to Paro, the panoramic views of the Himalayas are sensational, including the Everest and other famous Himalayan Peaks. The approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro becomes more exciting as you enter Bhutan. Many travelers have termed the landing very much adventurous.
On arrival you will be welcomed by your Bhutanese guide from Find Bhutan with “Tashi Khadar”, and a small welcome note by your Bhutanese host.
Drive to Hotel. After lunch, free time to explore the Paro Valley and town.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Altitude of Paro: 2250 m
After breakfast, excursion to Taktshang Monastery.
Start your day with a hike to the abode of gods and monks would be a pretty good start. It shall be taken care of that the time shall be yours for the hike, no hurries and no worries. Reaching the top shall be worth the climb; the touch of the Himalayan breeze and views of the valley below and temple on the rocky cliff shall be fascinating and shall let you feel the real freedom of mind and happiness.
Taktshang Monastery;The primary lhakhang was built surrounding Guru Rimpoche’s Meditation cave in the 1684 by 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 flew here on the back of a tigress. It is a two to three hours excursion uphill; however, one feels truly blessed reaching the monastery.
After lunch, visit,
Drukgyel Dzong: This dzong is in ruins now. The Dzong was destroyed by fire in 1951 and is now preserved as heritage site. The Dzong is situated in Drukgyal, overlooking the beautiful village with Mount Chomolhari in the background. The dzong was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyal to commemorate victory over the Tibetan invaders led by Mongolion warlord, Gushri Khan.
Kyichu Lhakhang: This temple is one of the oldest buddhist temple in Bhutan. The Tibetan King, Songtsen Gompo, to consecrate the entire region of Himalaya, in the 7th century miraculously built 108 temples. Kyichu Lhakhang is considered to be one of them.
After the visit to the Drukgyal Dzong, drive to a Bhutanese farm house and relax in traditional hot stone bath.
Hot stone bath: The traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath, known as Dotsho in local language has been practiced in Bhutan for centuries as a medicinal soak. Many Bhutanese believe that the bath helps in curing joint pains, helps in relaxing and other medical problems. River stones are heated and then put in water to heat the water; sometime medicinal herbs are added to the water before it is ready for the soak.
Dinner and over night in hotel.
Altitude of campsite: 2,820 m, Distance 14 Km, Time 5 – 6 hours
Our trek to Shana starts at Drukgyal Dzong following the Paro river and we pass cultivated fields and tiny picturesque villages. The forests are alive with numerous birds and brightly coloured butterflies. Overnight at camp Shana.
Altitude of campsite 3610 m, Distance: 21 Km, Time 7 – 8 hr.
The trail follows the river through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. It narrows and closes in and the trail winds up and down along the drainage. We pass a junction enroute, where another path leads north over the Tremo La to Tibet. Camp is in a meadow with a stone shelter.
Altitude of campsite: 4,115 m, Distance: 15 Km, Time: 5 – 6 hr.
In the morning after passing a small army post, the trail slowly leaves the forest line and gradually climbs into a beautiful valley, passing Tegethang, a winter home of yak herdsmen. Lunch will be served in one of these huts. Lots of yaks will be seen today before we arrive at the Jhomolhari base camp (4,115 m). High mountains overlook the camp and visible nearby are the ruins of an old fortress used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasions.
A rest day. A chance to walk up to the Jhomolhari glacier or to the Tsho Phu lakes on the opposite direction.
Altitude: 4050m, Duration 4 hours, Distance 12 Km. Level of Difficulty.
The third day’s trek is a short one so it is possible to set off a little later and progress at a leisurely pace. When you reach the army outpost you are required to stop and register your entry permits issued by the army headquarters in Thimphu. This matter will be taken care of by your guide.
The Pachu River is again to the right and the trail passes through some very small villages. It will take less then four hours to reach Jangothang, Base Camp. The altitude at the base camp is 4,000m and is a beautiful place to spend the night. The imposing, rounded bulk of the Jumolhari Mountain fills the view to the Northeast and in the evening the profile of the ruined Jangothang Dzong, populated by huge ravens creates a mystical atmosphere. The area is rich in bird life. Birds sighted en route include the Fire-tailed Sunbird, Ibisbill, White throated Dipper, Yellow-billed Chough, Rosy Pipit, Snow Pigeon, Blue-fronted Redstart, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Blood Pheasant, Snow Partridge and many more.
Altitude: 2800m, Duration 5 ½ hours, Distance 12 Km. Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Today you will cross the valley through a swampy area to a clear trail through rhododendron bushes climbing steeply to Thombu La (14,005ft/4270m). your can also see the several mountain peaks view from the pass. The ridge walk from the pass is one of the best parts of the trek: very high above the valleys on a good trail with a beautiful view. The trail descends steeply for 2 to 3 hours till you reach to the Shana where you will meet your car and driver. And drive for 45 minutes through the lovely valley, finishing your trek at Drugyel Dzong and then to your hotel in Paro for about another 30 minutes.
Our transport will be waiting (at Drukgyal Dzong) to take us to Thimphu, capital of Bhutan. It takes two hours drive to Thimphu.
Altitude of Thimphu: 2350 m
After a leisure breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu, includes;
National Memorial Chorten: This Chorten was built in the honour of the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, also known as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”. This Chorten was built in 1974 in a typical Tibetan style. This Chorten is also a center of worship for the people living in Thimphu and contains many religious paintings and tantric statues.
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.
Folk Heritage Museum: Founded by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck the museum is one of a kind that portrays the lifestyle of a family in the Thimphu valley in the olden days. This is a three storied, 19th century traditional house giving an insight to the Bhutanese lifestyle, and artifacts from the rural households. The museum contains typical Bhutanese household objects, tools and equipments.
Typical Bhutanese lunch at folk Heritage Restaurant.
After lunch, visit;
The Institute for Zorig Chusum: Students are taught the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan in this institute.
The Institute of Traditional medicine: Here Medicines are prepared according to the Tradition practices.
Sangaygang view point (2685 meters); to have view of whole Thimphu valley and walk through hundreds of colorful prayer flags that dot the hill overlooking the Thimphu valley.
Takin Reserve Centre: The takin, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen here. This particular animal is found only in the Himalayan region.
In the evening, visit;
Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion): A Doom (Blue Stone) Dzong was built on the hill above Thimphu in 1216 the lama Gyalwa Lhanampa. A few years later Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who brought the Drukpa Kagyu lineage to Bhutan, took over Dohon Dzong. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (The one who unified the country) acquired the Dzong in 1641 from the descendants of lama Phajo and renamed it as Trashi Chhoe Dzong. 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.
Dinner and overnight in Hotel in Thimphu.
Driving Distance: 76 km, Driving Time: 2.5 – 3 hr, Altitude of Punakha: 1310 m.
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 3150 mt height. On a clear day, spectacular view of the mighty Himalayas mountain ranges can be seen. The pass also has 108 Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chhortens which is believed brings multi fold merit to all sentient beings and which make the pass a must visit place.
Drive further to Punakha and visit the Chhimi Lhakhang.
Chhimi Lhakhang: This temple is located on the way to Punakha. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility and was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in the 15 century. Lama drukpa Kuenley is also known as the Devine Madman.
After Lunch, visit
Punakha Dzong: This Dzong was built by the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637. It is built at the junction the Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers. The annual Punakha Tsechhu( Festival ) is held here. The monk body resides in this dzong in winter.
In the evening free time to walk around Punakha town and valley.
Over night in Hotel in Punakha.
Driving Distance: 135 km, Driving Time: 4 – 5 hr, Altitude of Paro: 2250 m.
After breakfast, drive to Paro. On the way, visit Tamchog Lhakhang.
You shall enjoy one of the oldest iron bridge built by Tangtong Gyalpo to reach the temple. The cool breeze of the river is enchanting.
Tamchog lhakhang; Built in the 13th century by Thangthong Gyalpo. He is also known as the Iron bridge builder. Situated on a hill top, we have to cross an ancient style bridge to reach the temple. It is owned by the descendants of Thangthong Gyalpo
Drive further to Paro.
After lunch visit;
Ta Dzong: An ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan.
Paro Rinpung Dzong: Literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646. Some of the scenes in the film Little Buddha (1993) were filmed in this Dzong.
Overnight in Hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Paro Airport and farewell.