$nbsp;

X

Daga La Trek


Bhutan Trek

This is an excellent trek, suitable even for those who have had no previous alpine experience. This moderate standard rated trek passes through various picturesque high altitude lakes. Also the route is particularly rich in bird species, alpine flowers and attractive meadows. The route also presents fascinating views of prominent eastern Himalayan peaks such as Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, Masang Gang, Tsenda Gang and Gangchhenta. 

Day 01: Arrival
Flying into the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression.

On arrival at Paro airport, after immigration and custom formalities, your guide from Bhutan Excursions for the trip will receive you and transfer you to hotel in Paro.

Paro encapsulates a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries, the country’s only airport, and the National Museum. Mt. Jomolhari (7,300m) reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley, its glacial waters plunging through deep gorges to form the Pa Chu (Paro River).   The Paro valley is one of the kingdom’s most fertile, producing the bulk of Bhutan’s famous red rice from its terraced fields.

Your sightseeing in Paro includes visit to the following places;

Rinpung Dzong

It was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan; the Dzong continues its age-old function as the seat of the district administration, district court and the monastic body. The southern approach to the Dzong has a traditional roofed cantilever bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk across the bridge offers a wide view of splendor of the Dzong’s architecture and an opportunity to tread the same path as the ancient warriors.

Kyichu Lhakhang
The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, originally built in the 7th century by the Tibetan Emporer Songtsen Gampo. It is considered to be one of the 108 border taming temples he built.

In 1971 HM Kesang Choden Wangchuck, the Queen of King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, built a Guru Temple next to the old Jowo Temple that was consecrated by HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Since then, the annual rites of great accomplishment for the deities Vajrasattva, Palchen Heruka, and Vajrakilava have been held in this temple for the well being of the country under the patronage of HM Kesang Choden Wangchuck.

There is a belief that the two orange trees in the courtyard of Kyichu Lhakhang bear fruit throughout the year.

Next in line, we will stroll along the street in Paro and see the local people going about their business in a typically unhurried Bhutanese way, wearing their traditional dress. It’s a fascinating sight!

Altitude at Paro: 2300m
Overnight: Hotel in Paro

Day 02: Hike to Tiger’s Nest
Today, we hike up to the famous cliff-hermitage called Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest.” This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.

After visiting what is known as one of the most venerated pilgrimage sites in the country, we will go off the beaten track further up to the temples that are on the hilltops above Tiger’s Nest. It’s so peaceful there and you can really communicate with nature as you enjoy the views from the top be it that of mountains or the valley. No wonder that some monks have chosen this place to meditate for the rest of their lives. They say heaven is a place on earth – perhaps this is one such place. Anyway it is as close as you can get to in a day!

Coming back, we follow a different path that takes us through the pristine thick forest of oaks and rhododendrons festooned with Spanish mosses.

Approximate Walking time: 06 hours
Altitude at Paro: 2300m
Overnight: Hotel in Paro

Day 03: Geynekha – Gur
Drive to beautiful Geynekha village to start your trek. The villages of this region produce famous matsutake and chantarelle mushrooms. Wander through terraced fields and coniferous vegetation then the true communion with the nature starts with alpine flora and plenty of birds. Begin the short descent down to the river crossing followed by two hours of gradual uphill climb until you reach the huge rock platform, which offers a picturesque view of the valley. After another two hours of trekking you will reach Gur amongst abundance of flowers where you camp for the night.

Overnight: Camp at Gur (3290m)
Approximate walking time: 05 hours

Day 04: Gur – Utsho Lake
Whilst trekking across the ridges one enjoy the beauty of the rugged mountain vegetation. The path winds through flowers and wild asparagus (in spring) and the meadows are refreshing and inspiring. The first pass symbolized by a huge cairn gives a spectacular view of Kanchenjunga (Sikkim) and most of the Bhutanese Himalayan peaks. Descending from the pass one will view the whole Dagala range, meadows and Yak herder’s camp. Once descended into the Labatama valley you ascend gradually through the valley passing some Yak herder huts till you reach Utsho Tsho. The campsite is right next to the lake, where plenty of golden trout flourish. 

Overnight: Camp at Utsho Lake (4300)
Approximate walking time: 06 hours

Day 05: Utsho Lake - Panka
The trail climbs along the western side of Dala Tsho up to a saddle at (4520m) from where you have again a majestic view of the prominent Himalayan peaks such as Kanchenjunga, Masang Gang, Gangchhenta, Tsenda Gang and Jichu Drake. You may climb up to the peak (4720m) close to the saddle to see if the view gets better. From the saddle the path descends, passing some Yak herder huts to Doccha Chuu. You follow the river for a while, staying higher up on the slope until you reach Panka. On this stretch of the trek, it is common to see Himalayan Monal, the most beautiful pheasants.

Overnight: Camp at Panka (4000)
Approximate walking time: 06 hours

Day 06: Panka – Thimphu
This day entails the crossing of several passes, none of them affording a major climb, and often with an abundance of mountain birds. After crossing the last pass, Tale La (4180m) you start a long descent to Talakha Goempa. Continue walking through pine forest, you will finally arrive at the main motorable road of Chamgang (2640m) where your transport will be awaiting to transfer you to Thimphu.

 

Altitude at Thimphu: 2400m

Overnight: Hotel in Thimphu

Day 07: Thimphu
Thimphu which would be perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world is the seat of government, 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.

What to see in Thimphu?

Buddha Dordenma Statue
This massive statue of Shakyamuni measures in at a height of 51.5 meters, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue, 100,000 8 inch tall and 25,000 12 inch tall statues respectively. Each of these thousands of Buddhas has also been cast in bronze and gilded. The throne that the Buddha Dordenma sits upon is a large meditation hall.

The Buddha Dordenma is located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and overlooks the Southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. The statue fulfills an ancient prophecy dating back to the 8th century A.D that was discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa (Religious Treasure Discoverer) and is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world.   

Motithang Takin Preserve
A short distance up the road to the telecom tower is a trail leading to a large fenced area that was originally established as a mini-zoo. The king decided that such a facility was not in keeping with Bhutan's environmental and religious convictions, and it was disbanded some time ago.

The animals were released into the wild but the takins, Bhutan's national animal, were so tame that they wandered around the streets of Thimphu looking for food, and the only solution was to put them back into captivity. It's worthwhile taking the time to see these oddball mammals. The best time to see them is early morning when they gather near the fence to feed. It's a five-minute walk from the road to a viewing area where you can take advantage of a few holes in the fence to take photographs.

Weaving Centre
In Bhutan, textiles are considered the highest form of art and spiritual expression. Our handlooms have evolved over centuries and reflect the country's distinctive identity. Most of the designs and patterns of weave are unique to the country. Bhutanese weavers have been very innovative in their designs while maintaining the traditional character of the art. By utilizing primarily the simple back strap loom, the Thunder Dragon People have crafted one of the most advanced and sophisticated weaving cultures in the history of civilization.

Weaving Centre produces hand-woven textiles on site and has a selection of cloth and ready-made garments for sale. This is one of the few places where you can watch weavers at work.

Tashichhodzong
The “fortress of the glorious religion” was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in the 1960s. While other governments around the world ensconce themselves in fortresses of stone and steel, the seat of Bhutan's Royal Government is in a building that mirrors the country's culture and its people.

The building we see today is largely a modern affair, built in 1962 when His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk moved the government to Thimphu after a fire at its original location.

The complex's central tower is original. Tashichhodzong houses the main secretariat building, throne room of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. During the warmer summer months the monk body headed by His Holiness, the Je Khenpo, makes its home in the Dzong.

Altitude at Thimphu: 2400m
Overnight: Hotel in Thimphu

Day 08: Departure
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport in time to catch up your onward flight. Your escort from Bhutan Excursions will bid you farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.