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Textiles, Arts and Crafts of Bhutan Tailor-made

Bhutan

Textiles, Arts and Crafts of Bhutan Tailor-made

To the Bhutanese  it is more than a textile, it is a lifestyle, unique pieces, combining exclusive handmade products with sustainable value and an extensive history of weaving. Discover the colourful and unique costumes. Isolated from the outside world for centuries, the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan measures its progress in Gross National Happiness and mass tourism is not welcome. Its Buddhist philosophy, ancient monasteries and pristine environment create a unique travel destination, which delights the mind, body and spirit. It is the last remaining Buddhist kingdom in the world and it has successfully developed its own cultural identity. This culture is unique in its characteristics and achievements in architecture, textiles and other crafts; and still remains distinct from other Himalayan areas.

16 days from £5,120.00 per person
New Delhi - Paro - Trashigang - Mongar - Lhuntse - Bumthang -Thimpu - Paro - New Delhi

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Itinerary View Map
Soaring above the clouds a view from the airplane window

Day 1 : To New Delhi

Please contact us for International flights options from and to Delhi, India.

old-delhi

Day 2 : New Delhi

Arrive Delhi. Meeting, assistance on arrival and transfer to Hotel Oberoi Maidens for overnight stay. In the afternoon take rickshaw ride through old Delhi and a guided tour of the Qutab Minar. Overnight at the hotel.
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Accommodation: Kashthamandap boutique hotel, Kathmandu
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Day 3 : To Paro

Enjoy one of the world’s most spectacular descents as your early-morning flight arrives into Paro amid breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks.
Lunch at the Paro Namjo or Heritage restaurant of your choice. After lunch we continue with a visit to the National Museum. Here, an intriguing collection of artefacts provides a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lies the imposing Paro Dzong, a fine example of historic Bhutanese architecture where the Bhutanese famously repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. From the Dzong, the tour crosses Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge, from where you will be driven to the town temple, built in 1525, to view ancient wall paintings. Perhaps, a visit to a traditional farmhouse depicting the lifestyle of the local people. As we return to Paro town, we visit en route Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the first Buddhist temples built in the country where you can spend time lighting 108 buthanese lamps (chargeable activity) and learn about the ancient Buddhist traditions that are still practised today.

Overnight in Paro at the Eco Lodge/The Village Lodge or similar B, L, D

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Day 4 : To Trashigang

Heading to Paro airport to get on an early morning flight to Yonphulla airport in Trashigang. A unique destination off the regular beaten track for tourists. Visit the local small bazaar where hand woven fabrics of wild silk and hand turned wooden bowls made in the surrounding hills are sold. If time allows visit a nearby monastery. We arrive at the Druk Doetjung, our destination for the night. A charming but small hotel looking out over orchards and terraced rice fields. At last, we can begin to appreciate the peace and serenity that Bhutan is renowned for.  B, L, D

Bhutan

Day 5 : To Mongar

A beautiful drive to Mongar, journeying for some of the time on a wonderful switchback road stopping at a lemon grass farm, as products made of lemon grass are the speciality of this area. We also stop at the village of Yadi, where we will see local women weaving on backstrap looms. After lunch, we explore the dzong and the local bazaar.
Stay at Wangchuk Resort or similar. B, L, D

spinning thread

Day 6 : To Lhuntse

Our destination today is the remote area of Lhuntse, the ancestral home of Bhutan’s Royal Family. The landscape is spectacular, with its scattered villages and small farms high up above the steep river valley.

The region is famous for its weavers, and their distinctive textiles are generally considered to be the best in the country. It is renowned for the weaving of kushuthara, a very distinctive style of weaving using extra-weft patterning and usually made into the most elegant of dresses, popular for formal and festive occasions in Bhutan. There will be time to see firsthand how weaving is a major source of income for many women, who sell their textiles to private clients in Thimphu.

Picnic Lunch will be served in Lhuntse. You will return to Mongar for the night. Stay at Wangchuk Hotel or similar. B, L, D

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Day 7 : To Bhumthang

Today is a long but stunning drive of dramatic contrasts, moving from warmer, sub-tropical climes to a landscape of high alpine scenery and going over the Thrumshingla Pass (12465 ft) into Central Bhutan. We then drop down to the small village of Ura and continue on to Jakar, the capital of the Bumthang district. Bumthang is made up of four small valleys, which constitute the spiritual heartland of Bhutan (Chokor, Tang, Ura and Chhume) and each one is steeped in religious. legends.

Overnight Bhutan Mountain Resort or similar B, L, D

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Day 8 : Bumthang

In the morning we drive north to the beautiful Tang Valley and visit the manor house of Ogyencholing. This was originally a monastery but then became an ancestral home, which is today preserved partly as a museum by a member of the original family, Kunzang Choden and her Swiss husband, Walter Roder. The museum gives a fascinating insight into the everyday life of the Bhutanese aristocracy. The production of cloth was a vital tradition of Ogyencholing and originally five to seven weavers worked in the house. The textiles produced were used as clothing, as gifts and to pay taxes. An interesting display illustrates the spinning, dying and weaving techniques. Kunzang is also a writer and was the first Bhutanese woman to write a novel in English The Circle of Karma, but has also produced several other books.

After lunch in a farmhouse sampling the local cuisine, we explore some of the sacred sites in the Choekhor Valley. These include Kurjey Lhakhang, a monastery that is the resting place of the first three kings of Bhutan; Jampa Lhakhang, said to be one of the 108 temples built by a Tibetan King in 659 AD on a single day, to pin down an ogress, and Tamshing, a monastery that is the seat of an incarnation of Pema Lingpa, who many regard as the most important lama in Bhutanese history. All three temples have some outstanding Buddhist treasures.

Stay at Bhutan Mountain Resort or similar B, L, D

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Day 9 : To Punakha

We leave the Bumthang after early breakfast, and continue our journey to Punakha, stopping at Zugney to see yathra weaving. Yathra are all purpose thick woollens woven with supplementary weft designs; woven in panels and sewn into squares or oblongs to be used as rain capes, blankets, rugs and more recently jackets. There may also be the opportunity here to see the dying process. Then continue to Trongsa, the gateway to Western Bhutan (10,000ft). . Set amidst spectacular scenery, Trongsa Dzong commands the eye from miles away. This was built in its strategic position by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal (the unifier of Bhutan) in 1644, and then became the seat of the Wangchuck dynasty before they became monarchs of Bhutan in 1907. The only road connecting eastern and western Bhutan used to pass through the courtyard of the dzong, so at any time, the Penlop (Governor of the Dzong) could command that the doors could be shut, dividing the country in two! Visit the dzong.

Overnight Zhingkham Resort or similar B, L, D

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Day 10 : Punakha

Above the dzong is the watchtower (Ta Dzong),which today houses an impressive museum dedicated to the Wangchuck dynasty. This is a wonderful and scenic spot to learn more of the history of Bhutan. Two British soldiers were imprisoned in the dungeon of the tower for several months during the Duar War (1864/5). Drive on for 5 hours towards Punakha, stopping in the late afternoon for a gentle walk through the rice paddies to the fertility temple of Chimi Lhakhang. This was built by Drukpa Kunley (known as ‘The Divine Madman’), who was renowned for his eccentric behaviour and is revered as a fertility god. Begin the day with a beautiful walk up to the three storey Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, standing majestically on a ridge above the Valley. It is a splendid example of Bhutan’s current artistic skills and was commissioned by the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck to promote peace and harmony throughout the kingdom. Then visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, known as the ‘Palace of Great Happiness, it is the former winter Capital and today the administrative seat of the district. The fortress is strategically placed at the confluence of two rivers, the Pho Chu and Mo Chu.It was built in 1637 and the Kings of Bhutan are crowned here

Overnight Zhingkham Resort or similar

The Foothills of the Himalayas Day 10

Day 11 : To Thimpu

In the morning, drive on to Thimphu over the Dochu La Pass (3050m/over 10,000 ft). At the pass the party should have a spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayan ranges . This is the site of the 108 chortens (commissioned by Queen Ashi Dorje Wangmo, one of the 4th King’sfour wives) and a beautiful monastery. Proceed on to the capital of Thimphu, where we should have time to visit the dzong or have a wander around the town.

Overnight stay at City Hotel or similar B, L, D

woodcraving

Day 12 : Thimpu

In the morning, visit one of the oldest temples in the Thimphu Valley, the Changangkha Lhakhang, built in the 15 th century, perched on a hilltop overlooking the town. This will be followed by the Textile Museum, which houses an outstanding display of Bhutanese textiles and costumes which reflect the diversity of the weaving and embroidery traditions found in Bhutan. In the nearby Textile Academy, there should be the opportunity to see students weaving or carrying out conservation projects. In the afternoon, visit the Choki Traditional Art School just outside Thimphu. This is a small but impressive privately-run establishment, where the pupils study woodcarving, thangka painting (a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton), clay sculpture and weaving. And if there is time later, we may visit a contemporary weaving workshop run by an award winning weaver/designer from Eastern Bhutan.

Overnight stay at City Hotel or similar

novice monk bhutan

Day 13 : To Paro

In the morning we leave Thimphu and drive 1.5 hours to Paro. In the afternoon, we visit the imposing Rinpung Dzong ‘fortress on a heap of jewels’, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal. Housed in the Dzong’s ancient watchtower is the National Museum which not only contains works of art but also handcrafted objects of daily life, costumes, armour and even stamps. There is also a section devoted to Bhutanese dance and one on the flora and fauna. Continue over a charming cantilever bridge and return to Paro town, where there may be an opportunity to see an archery competition. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and involves skilled marksmanship; dancing and singing.

Overnight stay at Paro Eco Lodge or similar

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Day 14 : Paro

On your final day in Bhutan, there will be the opportunity to walk up to Takstang (or the Tiger’s Nest), an iconic monastery perched on the side of a cliff 900 metres above the Paro Valley. The legend of Takstang dates back to the 8th century, when Guru Rinpoche in his manifestation as Dorje Drolo arrived here on the back of a tiger to subdue the evil spirits in the area. You either walk (or ride) for about an hour and a half up to the tea house, from where there are excellent views of this spectacular monastery; or those who are more energetic can walk up to visit the monastery itself.

In the afternoon, we can visit the beautiful 7th century temple of Kyichu Lhakhang or possibly visit a farmhouse. Finally, we return to Paro to wander through the bazaar before returning to the hotel for dinner.

Overnight stay at Paro Eco Lodge or similar. B, L, D

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Day 15 : To Delhi

Transfer from hotel to airport for your flight to Delhi with Druk Air. Meeting, assistance on
arrival in Delhi and transfer to Hotel Oberoi Maidens. Overnight stay in Delhi. B

Accommodation: Kashthamandap boutique hotel, Kathmandu
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Day 16 : To London

You will return home to the UK, departing from Delhi in the afternoon by Emirates Airlines, arrive Dubai and connect the London-bound flight.
Looking to extend your holiday ? Contact our consultants today for your options. B

Itinerary map

Prices

Price per person (Double/Twin share)
£5,120.00
Cost includes:
  • Regional flights between Delhi-Paro-Delhi on Druk Air.
  • Accommodation with private facilities as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Meal Plan: Full board arrangements in Bhutan. Breakfast only in Delhi.
  • All transfers and sightseeing arrangements by a private vehicle.
  • Entry fee for monuments and places of interest.
  • Bhutan visa fee and Tourism Development fee.
  • Services of a local English speaking guide.
  • Full ATOL Bonding.
Cost does not include:
  • International flights to and from Delhi.
  • Visa fee for India.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Travel Insurance*

*Travel Insurance

It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.

• Make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
• Make sure it provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
• Make sure it covers you for all activities.
• Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
• Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.

If you have any doubts about your cover, check with your insurer. Please note Covid-19 cover is now available.
For a competitive quotation please visit https://www.indusexperiences.co.uk/insurance/

020 8901 7320
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