Known as the land of happiness, Bhutan continues to inspire the world with its unique philosophy of Gross National Happiness. It emphasizes on wellbeing, spirituality and happiness of the people and not just material growth. As a Buddhist nation, the Bhutanese society is deeply spiritual. In fact Buddhism pervades all forms of life and human activity. This Happiness and meditation tour provides the ideal opportunity to reconnect with your inner self in a tranquil environment, such as Bhutan.
Day 1: Arrival/Paro-Thimphu
Our tour guide will welcome you at the Paro International Airport. The flight to Paro can be a meditative process in itself. You will then drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. In the afternoon, a local Bhutanese expert will orient you to the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. During the evening you will take a stroll along the streets of the city.
Day 2: Thimphu
Your day will start early. Our meditation instructor will introduce you to basic forms of Buddhist meditation. After breakfast, you will be driven to north of Thimphu and then hike to Cheri Monastery, which is one of the leading meditation centers in Bhutan. Here, you will interact with Buddhist monks and learn from them the techniques and benefits of meditation. You will also meditate in the inner sanctum of the temple for a while. Return to Thimphu in the afternoon following a picnic lunch by the riverside. You will spend the evening circumambulating the National Memorial Chorten. Meditation before dinner.
Day 3: Thimphu-Punakha
Post breakfast, you will be taken on a drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass. At Dochula, you will visit the Druk Wangyal temple and stroll arond the 108 chortens. On a clear day, you can also enjoy the spectacular view of the Himalayan mountain ranges. From there, you will drive downhill for another two hours. On arriving Lobesa, you will take a short hike to the Temple of Fertility or Chimi Lhakhang. The temple is built in memory of Lama Drukpa Kuenley, a 15th century Buddhist monk. He is popularly known as the Divine madman for his crazy wisdom and explicit teachings using sex.
In Punkha, you will visit the Punakha Dzong, located amid Pho Chu (male river) and Mo Chu (female river). The Dzong is called Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness).
Day 4: Kabesa, Punakha
After early breakfast, you will visit the scenic valley of Kabesa, north of Punakha and hike to Khamsum Yuelay Namgyal Chhorten. The fascinating 45-minute hike takes you through terraced paddy fields splashed in gold and rural villages. Once up there, you will get to see the spectacular view of the valley. The four storeyed temple located on a tranquil hill of Sirigang enshrines several Buddhist treasures believed to consolidate peace and harmony across the world. In the afternoon, you will walk through the village and interact with local Bhutanese. If you are interested, you will be able to help local villagers in their day to day farming life. Halt at Punakha.
Day 5: Drive to Paro
Early morning, we will drive to Paro. In Paro, you will spend the entire afternoon learning meditation techniques. An accomplished meditation expert will teach you the methods. In the evening, you take a short hike around Paro, reconnecting yourself with nature.
Day 6: Tiger’s Nest Hike
Today, you will hike to the famous Taktshang or The Tiger’s Nest. Taktshang, one of the most sacred sites of Bhutan, is perched at a precarious 1000 meters cliff above Paro valley. The gentle hike of about three hours offers a panoramic view of the valley. In the eighth century, Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated there for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the eighth century. To Buddhist pilgrims, this is one of the most sacred sites in the Himalayas, to anyone it has to be one of the most spectacular. At Tiger’s Nest, you will also visit the inner sanctum of the temple. In the evening, you can take a hot stone bath at a local farmhouse to relax your tired muscles. You will be treated to a traditional dinner.
Day 7: Exit
Our Tour guide will see you off at the airport for your onward journey.