ADVENTURE IN THE KINGDOMS OF BHUTAN AND KAMARUPA

05 – 17 November 2022

Exclusive departure for our group, an unusual journey to discover the culture and nature of this wild region at the foot of the Himalayan mountains. We will meet unknown ethnic groups and visit three very different regions. The mountains of Bhutan in November offer clear skies and spectacular vistas, perfect backdrop to the picturesque Buddhist fortresses and monasteries, just when the rare Black-necked Cranes gather by the thousands in the remote Phobijkha Valley the festival dedicated to them takes place at the nearby monastery of Gangtey. Royal Manas National Park, together with the contiguous Indian Manas National Park, forms a protected area of ​​enormous importance. We will explore both parts of it; we will enjoy private jeep and elephants safaris, to discover a unique fauna. If we are lucky, here we will be able to see the big five: herds of elephants, wild water buffaloes, leopards, tigers and the Indian rhino. This is one of the reasons why it has also been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tiger Reserve, Elephant Reserve and Biosphere Reserve. Kaziranga National Park, in the Assam region, is home to more than 1100 Indian rhinos, over 70% of the world total, Asian elephant, wild water buffalo, marsh deer and the endangered dolphin of the Ganges River.

PROGRAM

 

05  November
Arrival in Paro and transfer to the hotel.
The charming town located in the Himalayan valleys hosts an interesting national museum that we will visit in the afternoon, the Ta Dzong is the best way to start a trip to Bhutan as it will allow us to better understand the extraordinary culture of the country.
Later we will go at the discovery of Rinpung Dzong, more simply called Paro Dzong is one of the most impressive and well-known fortresses in Bhutan, and it is perhaps the most interesting example of Bhutanese architecture.
Overnight at Paro Eco Lodge or similar *** Sup.

06  November
In the morning we will move to Taktsang Lhakhang, the most iconic religious site in Bhutan. The name Taktsang translates to, the tiger’s nest. This temple is one of the holiest places in the kingdom and was built at an altitude of 3120 above sea level in a scenic location overlooking a 900 meters high rocky wall in the Paro valley. To get to the temple it is necessary to walk for about 3 hours through beautiful pine forests.
In the late afternoon we will visit Drukgyel Dzong, the victorious fortress, following the numerous victories over the invading Tibetan marauders. It is considered the most beautiful and famous archaeological site in Bhutan, from here the view of Mount Jomolhari is magnificent.
Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest and most beautiful temples in Bhutan. The main chapel date back to the VII century, while other buildings and a gilded roof were added in 1839. Senior pilgrims constantly move around the temple turning its many prayer wheels, making this one of the most fascinating places in the Paro valley.
Overnight at Paro Eco Lodge or similar *** Sup.

07  November
After breakfast we will drive to Thimphu, along the way we will stop to visit Tamchog Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the XIII century saint Thangthong Gyalpo, the bridge builder. To reach the building it is necessary to cross a spectacular suspension bridge, one of the few remaining among the many built by Thangthong Gyalpo.
After a photo stop in Chuzom, at the confluence of the Paro and Thimphu rivers we will reach the surroundings of Thimphu, where we will visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress in the country.
In the afternoon we will begin exploring the small capital of the kingdom, Changangkha Lhakhang temple complex, Buddha Dordenma, the imposing 50-meter-high statue overlooking the Thimphu valley, and King’s Memorial Chorten, an iconic stupa located near the center.
Overnight at Hotel Lemon Tree or similar *** Sup.

08  November
Full day dedicated to Thimphu. We will begin with a visit to the Institute of Zorig Chusum, School of Arts and Crafts, to continue with the Textile Museum and the Museum of Popular Heritage.
After lunch we will go to the National Library, to the Takin Reserve, a protected area where we will meet this curious animal related to chamois and capricorn symbol of Bhutan. Later we will visit the Nunnery of Zilukha and Trashichhoe Dzong where the palace of the government and the king’s throne room are located.
Overnight at Hotel Lemon Tree or similar *** Sup.

09  November
In the morning we will drive towards Punakha passing the Dochula pass, at 3088 meters offers the most spectacular and enchanting views in Bhutan. Not before visiting the Royal Botanical Park, located in Lamper.
Once in Punakha we will enjoy the magnificent Punakha Dzong, this dzong was the second to be built in Bhutan and was the seat of government until the mid-1950s, when the role of capital passed to Thimphu. It is probably the most beautiful in the country. Later a short walk through the fields will drive us to the picturesque Chimi Lhakhang or Temple of Fertility.
Overnight at Zhingkham Resort or similar *** sup.

10  November
We will continue to Gangtey where in the afternoon we will explore the picturesque glacial valley of Phobjikha, known for the thousands of Black-necked cranes that spend the winter months here after having migrated from the Tibetan plateau. We will visit the Black Necked Crane Center and enjoy a walk in this unspoiled nature following the Gangtey Nature Trail.
Overnight at Phobjikha Resort or similar *** sup.

11  November
For most of the day we will attend to the annual Black-Necked Crane Festival which is celebrated in the Gangtey Goenpa in the Phobjikha Valley. The festival is an opportunity for locals to party and celebrate the arrival of this majestic endangered bird that becomes an inseparable part of their daily lives during the winter months. The event includes cultural programs such as folk songs and dances and masked dances performed by the local population, crane dances as well as dramas and songs related to environmental conservation.
We will also have time to visit Gangtey Goenpa, the largest Nyingmapa monastery, the ancient school of Tibetan Buddhism, in the country and to take a walk in the charming village of Gangtey.
Overnight at Phobjikha Resort or similar *** sup.

12  November
In the morning we drive to Wangdue where in the afternoon we will go to the newly restored Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. This Dzong was built in 1638 on the top of a high ridge overlooking the valleys below.
Next we will explore the charming village of Rinchengang. Located opposite the Wangdue Dzong it is famous for traditional stone processing methods and is believed to be one of the oldest villages in Bhutan.
Overnight at Puna Tsangchu Cottages or similar *** sup.

13  November
Today we will head south towards the city of Gelephu, on the southern border between Bhutan and India. It is a pleasant border town located in a strategic position for an overnight stay before or after the trip to Bhutan but above all it is the gateway to the Royal Manas National Park, the oldest nature reserve in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
In the evening we will have time for a walk in the charming city center.
Overnight at Hotel Kuku Grand or similar *** sup.

14  November
After breakfast we will continue to the picturesque village of Panbang, located near the Royal Manas National Park. Even today, the villagers live in thatched banana-leaf houses and practice shamanism and depend on nature for food. Here we will have the opportunity to learn more about the local customs and traditions of the Kheng ethnic group, a real immersion in this extraordinary culture.
Overnight at Panbang Eco Lodge, Royal Manas National Park.

15  November
Full day inside the Royal Manas National Park where we plan a jungle safari and a raft excursion in the river, both activities are private and exclusive for our group. This is the oldest national park in Bhutan and extends over a thousand square kilometers in the south of the country, even today with fewer than 100 foreign visitors a year, it remains virtually unknown and infrastructures are very limited.
The park’s forests are home to a great variety of animals, including elephants, water buffaloes, leopards, a few dozen tigers, Indian rhinos and over 350 species of birds.
Overnight at Panbang Eco Lodge, Royal Manas National Park.

16  November
We will spend the morning in the Royal Manas National Park before returning to Gelephu in the afternoon.
Overnight at Hotel Kuku Grand or similar *** sup.

17  November
After crossing the border with India we will head towards the city of Guwahati.
Overnight at Hotel Radisson Blu or similar *****.

* IT IS POSSIBLE TO FLY HOME OR TO CONTINUE THE TRIP TO INDIA IN THE KAMARUPA KINGDOM, ASSAM, SEE THE PROGRAM BELOW.

POST TOUR EXTENSION

November 2022 – The kingdom of Kamarupa, in search of the Indian Rhinoceros

17 –  22 November 2022

Exclusive departure for our group, at the discovery of the spectacular and unique fauna that inhabits the Indian region of Assam. We will explore two important protected areas, Manas National Park and Kaziranga National Park. We will organize, exclusively for our group, some private safaris aboard jeeps and elephants that will allow us to discover this wonderful region. If we are lucky, here we will be able to see the big five: herds of elephants, wild water buffaloes, leopards, tigers and the Indian rhino. This is one of the reasons why it has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tiger Reserve, Elephant Reserve and Biosphere Reserve. Kaziranga National Park, in the Assam region, is home to more than 1100 Indian rhinos, over 70% of the world total, Asian elephant, wild water buffalo, marsh deer and the endangered dolphin of the Ganges River.

.PROGRAM

17  November
Coming from Bhutan, today we will reach the Assam region which is home to over 170 species of mammals, including rare and endangered species such as the great one horned Indian Rhinoceros, the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Langur, a primate living in this area, the western Hoolock, an endemic gibbon and a spectacular avifauna. Our first destination is the Manas National Park, the Indian part is contiguous to the Bhutanese Royal Manas.
Overnight at Musa Jungle Lodge *** sup or similar.

18  November
At dawn we will enjoy a elephant safari, private and exclusive for our group. After breakfast, a half day jeep safari awaits us, private and exclusive for our group, maximum 4 people per jeep, in the Manas National Park.
We will return to the Lodge for lunch and then continue, always aboard the jeeps hired exclusively for our group, maximum 4 people per jeep, to explore a different part of the protected area.
In the territory of the park there are numerous rare and surprising animals, including the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Asian Elephant, the Indian Rhinoceros, the Clouded Leopard, the Ganges Dolphin, the Golden Langur, the Marsh Deer, the Wild Boar, the Himalayan bear, the wild buffalo, the gibbon and the macaque. Here 365 species of birds have been officially registered, among them the colorful Giant Hornbills, Pelicans and various species of birds of prey.
Overnight at Musa Jungle Lodge *** sup or similar.

19  November
Today we leave Manas to reach Kaziranga National Park. It will be a long journey that will take most of the day. In the late afternoon we will reach the comfort of the resort that will host us for the next few nights.
Overnight at Borgos Resort & Spa ****.

20  November
In the morning we will explore the central part of Kaziranga park, the Kohora Range. At dawn we will enjoy a splendid elephant safari, private and exclusive for our group. After breakfast, a half day jeep safari awaits us, private and exclusive for our group, maximum 4 people per jeep.
We will return to the Lodge for lunch and then we will continue, always aboard the jeeps rented exclusively for our group, maximum 4 people per jeep, the exploration of the western part of the protected area, the Bagori Range.
Kaziranga National Park is a large area of ​​swamps interspersed with large fields of tall grass, forests, streams and reeds. In addition to seeing the endangered Greater One-horned Rhinoceros, we also hope to see Kaziranga’s important population of Water Buffalo, one of the last remaining wild populations, and a variety of other mammalspecies, such as Rhesus Macaque, Common and Capped Langurs, Sambar, plus Swamp, Barking and Hog Deer, Common and Clawless Otters, and Wild Boar. We will make every effort to locate other more elusive inhabitants of the Reserve such as Asian Elephant and Hoolock Gibbon. Birdlife is equally diverse and among the bird species found here is an exceptional range of waterbirds.
Overnight at Borgos Resort & Spa ****.

21  November
Another full day in Kaziranga National Park, today we will explore the eastern part of the park aboard the jeeps hired exclusively for our group, maximum 4 people per jeep. We will also to visit the Kaziranga Orchid Park which is home to over 600 varieties of wild orchids that grow in northern India.
Overnight at Borgos Resort & Spa ****.

22  November
After breakfast we drive to Guwahati.
Overnight at Hotel Radisson Blu or similar*****.

 

Included in the price:

–  Double room accommodation breakfast included.
–  All mentioned excursions.
–  English speaking guide.
–  All meals from 17/11 to dinner on 21/11.

Not included:

–  Not mentioned meals and beverages (alcoholic and not alcoholic).
–  Flights.
–  Visa expenses.


PRICE PER PERSON  Euro 1900,00

Included in the price:

       –  Double room accommodation breakfast included.
       –  All mentioned excursions.
       –  English speaking guide.      
       –  All meals from dinner on 05/11 to dinner on 16/11.

Not included:

       –  Not mentioned meals and beverages (alcoholic and not alcoholic).
       –  Flights.
       –  Visa expenses.      

Voyage Map

PRICE PER PERSON Euro 3900
*Exchange Rate 1 USD = 0,90 Euro

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