Get picked up at home and whisked off to your departure point (within 50 miles).
Meals included: 13 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Ride past grand pagodas and fluttering prayer flags in a Kathmandu rickshaw and watch a Himalayan sunrise from Sarangkot. Explore the lush valleys of Chitwan National Park and hike to a cliff-top Buddhist temple in this magical mountain kingdom.
On arrival transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Today visit the important sights of Kathmandu covering Patan City, Swyambhunath and Kathmandu Durbar Square. You will also enjoy an exhilarating rickshaw ride from Hanuman Dhoka to Thamel.
Travel to Chitwan. In the evening you will have an opportunity to see a slide presentation with one of the jungle experts who will introduce the history of the Royal Chitwan National Park.
Enjoy a bird watching tour in the morning, followed by a Jeep Safari into Chitwan National park and canoeing on the Rapti River.
This morning you will be driven to Pokhara. In the afternoon visit the Gurkha Memorial Museum.
Early morning visit to Sarangkot at sunrise, before a hike to Pumdikot, 1300 meters above the sea level. This afternoon will be free to explore the lakeside area of Phewa Lake – the second largest lake in the Kingdom - before taking a boat ride around the lake.
Transfer to Kathmandu and check-in to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Paro, Bhutan. On a clear day, the flight to Paro is breathtaking, with views of major Himalayan peaks such as Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu, and on the final approach Bhutan’s own snowy peaks, the sacred Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang. On arrival drive to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan and an exciting blend of tradition and modernity. Later in the evening drive to Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point), for stunning views of Thimphu. The point has the largest statue of the Buddha.
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. Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley.
Drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/10,130ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chortens, Mani walls, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the high Himalayan peaks towards the northeast will be revealed in all their glory. After lunch, hike to the nearby Chimi Lakhang, a temple dedicated to the "Divine Madman", an eccentric monk from the 16th century, famous for his amusing Rabelaisian folklore stories. Later visit Punakha Dzong, the Dzong 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, the Dzong has been fully restored in recent years by the present monarch. The Dzong is placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. This ancient fortress is the winter residence of the monastic order's head and still serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region. In the evening, take a stroll along the town's main street.
Transfer to Paro this morning. After lunch drive towards the north end of the valley to view the Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artefacts, weapons, coins, stamps and a small natural history collection. Then walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) situated at a commanding height overlooking Paro valley. Built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646, this Dzong now houses Paro's monk body and the offices of the civil administration and is symbolic as the religious and secular center of all affairs of the valley. Visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
This morning visit Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger's Nest. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, founding father of the Bhutanese form of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. The main structure was severely damaged by fire in 1998, but after many years of painstaking restoration work, the complex has now been fully restored to its former glory. Later visit Drukgyel Dzong. This dzong, with a picturesque village nestling below its ramparts, was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646, to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, the towering outer walls and central keep remain an imposing sight. On a clear day, there is a splendid view of Mt. Jomolhari from the approach road to Drukgyel Dzong.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Overnight in Delhi.
Fly from Delhi back to the UK.
Hotels as stated or similar.
A visa is required to travel on this tour. Please refer to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice prior to departure for the latest requirements and how to apply.
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