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This is for 15-days trek…..an extension of the Jumolhari trek, takes you through diverse flora and fauna on trail. This will provide an opportunity to spot the Blue sheep, the Takin (national animal of Bhutan) and the Blue Poppy (national flower). It will also give you a glimpse of the unique culture of the Layaps, a nomadic high-lander community who lives in the northern fringes of the country. You will also have a chance to bathe in the natural hot springs in Gasa. The highest point on this trek is 4115m.
Day 1: Arrival Paro
Pick up from Paro International Airport (2280m) and check into hotel. If time permits, a visit to Paro town in the afternoon.
Day 2: Paro Sightseeing
After breakfast, visit to National Museum housed in Ta-Dzong which was built in 1656 and served as the watch tower of Paro Dzong in the past. Visit Paro Dzong, which is also called the Rinchen Phug Dzong, meaning fortress on a heaps of jewels. Paro Dzong is one of the most impressive and well-known Dzongs in Bhutan and was built in 1644. After the lunch in downtown, proceed towards Drukgyel Dzong. It is about 14 Km from the Paro town. Also known as the Fortress of Victory, which was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1649 to commemorate the victory over Tibetan invaders. Check in to the hotel. Dinner will be served in the hotel.
Day 3: Takshang Sightseeing
After the breakfast, drive for about 8 Km north of Paro town to visit Bhutan’s most famous monastery called Taktshang (Tiger’s Lair) perched on a rock cliff of 900m above the valley floor. The legend goes back that Guru Rimpoche from Tibet, who brought Buddhism into Bhutan in the 8th century …flew to Taktshang on a tigress and mediated for 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days and 3 hours. The trek to the monastery and back takes about 4 hours. Lunch will be served in the cafeteria on way back to the monastery. Afternoon – prepare for the Druk Path Trek.
Day 4: Paro-Shana – (Start of Trek)
Distance – 14 Km and time is 5-6 hours. The trek to Shana starts at Drukgyal Dzong and follows the Paro river through cultivated crop fields, tiny picturesque hamlets and forests with numerous birds and brightly colored butterflies. The overnight halt at camp Shana. Altitude is 2,820m.
Day 5: Shana-Thangthangka
Distance – 21 Km and time is 7-8 hours. The trail follows the river through dense forests with a few isolated farmhouses. After a while, it narrows down and closes in and winds up and down that passes a junction where another path leads north to Tremo La-Tibet. The campsite in a meadow with a stone shelter. Altitude 3610m.
Day 6: Thangthangka-Jangothang
Distance – 15 Km and time is 5-6 hours. After passing a small army check point in the morning, the trail slowly leaves the forest line and gradually climbs into a beautiful valley, passing Tegethang, a winter home of yak herdsmen. Lunch in yak herdsman’s hut. A lot of yaks will be seen before arriving at the Jhomolhari base camp. The high mountains overlook the camp and nearby are the ruins of an old fortress that was used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasions. Altitude 4,115m.
Day 7: Jangothang (Halt)
Rest for a day. A chance to acclimatize and walk to the Jhomolhari glacier or to the lakes in the opposite direction.
Day 8: Jangothang-Lingshi – (Distance – 17 Km and time is 6-7 hours).
The Jangthong-Lingshi trail is a good day’s walk with spectacular views (if the day is clear) of Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake and the Tserim Gang peaks. It has a climb from the start up to Nyelela pass (4,700m) which takes about 3-4 hours. Then it has a descent to a circular hut just below Lingshi, the camp for the day. The descent to Lingshi provides spectacular views of the truly mystical Lingshi Dzong, atop a high hill. Altitude is 4000m.
Day 9: Lingshi-Chebisa – (Distance -12 Km, time is about 4-5 hours).
The Lingshi-Chebisa route is a magical one. Leaving Lingshi behind, the trail, gently climbs to reach another delightful village, Gom Yu, which sits below a 300m cliff. After another few hours walk, the trail enters a little valley with a huge waterfall at one end of the village of Chebisa which is at the riverside camp spot for the day. The walk is with leisure with plenty of reasons and opportunities to linger. Altitude – 3,780m.
Day 10: Chebisa-Shomuthang – (Distance – 17 Km and time is about 6-7 hours).
The day starts with quite a stiff climb through high pastures up the Gokula pass (4,320m) before descending down through forests of dwarf variety rhododendrons. The trail climbs again gradually and descends down to the camp near a riverbed. Altitude – 3,890m.
Day 11: Shomuthang-Robluthang – (Distance – 22 Km and time is about 7-8 hours).
A long haul over the Jarela pass at 4,640m, where we once again get stunning views of the Himalayan mountains above. We go steeply down a forest trail to the Tsarigathang valley, where herds of Takin roam, then cross a knee-deep river before climbing up Robluthang, the camp for the day. Altitude – 4,100m.
Day 12: Robluthang-Lemithang – (Distance – 20 Km and the time is about 6-7 hours).
The Robluthang-Lemithang trail is one of the hardest of all the treks. It begins will a slow climb to Shinchela pass at 4,870m from where one can have a clear view of the mountains like Gang-Chen-Ta at the end of the valley. On a clear day, practically all the mountains on the northern border are visible. Eagles, griffin vultures, blue sheep, mountain goats, rock pheasants and yaks are seen in this area. Altitude – 4,040m.
Day 13: Lemithang-Laya – (Distance – 10 Km and the time is about 4-5 hours).
The trail follows the river, one of the tributaries of the Mochu, through a forest of rhododendron and silver fir and enters the village of Laya. This village.. Laya is home of the Layaps, a unique nomadic community of Bhutan. The Layaps wear vertical stripe yak hair clothing and conical bamboo hats. The women wear their long-hair decorated with turquoise and jade jewelry. The features of the Layaps are more of Tibetan/Mongoloid than the Bhutanese who live in the central valleys. Most part of the day is spent at leisure or visiting village or farm houses and mixing with the locals. Good views of the Masagang and the other peaks are seen. Altitude – 3, 880m.
Day 14: Laya (Halt)
Rest for a day and have an opportunity to meet and interact with the local people.
Day 15: Laya-Koena – (Distance – 19 Km and the time is about 6-7 hours).
The trail winds along the river valley, offering breathtaking views of the crashing river, feeder-streams and waterfalls. Altitude – 3,300m.
Day 16: Koena-Gasa Tsachu – (Distance – 15 Km and the time is 6-7hours).
From Koena, it is a gradual climb to Balela pass at 3,740m and then a descent to Gasa village. The first sight of the Gasa Dzong is a sign of human civilization after days not seeing any human settlement…perched on the hillside over the village is one of the highlights of the trail. From Gasa Dzong, it is an a hour’s walk down, a steep drop to the river and the natural Gasa Hot Springs. Altitude – 2,638m.
Day 17: Gasa Tsachu-Goen Damji – (Distance – 21 Km and the time is about 7-8 hours).
After the climb away from Gasa Tsachu (hot-spring), the trail winds through rolling hillsides with the vista of crop fields, villages and forests of oak and pine. Gasa Dzong will be visible behind us, as if glued to the valley wall, seeming afloat in space. The overnight in camp. Altitude: 2,280m.
Day 18: Goen Damji-Punakha (end of Trek)
The trail descends from the high agricultural benches above the Mochu into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and the sight of an occasional monkey on the way. Overnight stay in Punakha.
Day 19: Punakha-Thimphu
After the breakfast, visit to Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 and was the former capital of Bhutan. It lies at the river confluence of the Mo Chu (female river) and the Pho Chu (male river). Punakha Dzong still serves as the winter residence of the Central Monk Body. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, the Tantric saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. There was a smaller building there called Dzong Chu (small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping. Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. After lunch, drive to Thimphu. En-route visit Chimi Lhakhang also called Temple of Fertility built by Lama Drukpa Kinley in 17th century.
Day 20: Thimphu Sightseeing and Drive to Paro
Sightseeing in Thimphu (2320m) includes visits to: National Library which was established in 1967 and has many ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts); Painting School or the National Institute for Zorig Chusum (13 traditional arts and crafts like painting, sculpture, woodcarving, embroidery and statue making; National Memorial Chorten which was built in 1974 in memory of the third King of Bhutan; Semtokha Dzong which is about 5 Km south of Thimphu. Semtokha Dzong was built in 1629 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Today, it houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.); Tashichhodzong, the seat of the Government of Bhutan. It houses the Secretariat, the Throne Room, His Majesty’s Secretariat, the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. If the sight seeing falls on the weekend, you can visit Thimphu’s open vegetable market where farmers from the nearby regions gather to sell their produce. Evening is set aside for shopping in town. Drive to Paro in the afternoon.
Day 21: Departure
After an early breakfast, our representative will see you off at Paro International airport.
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