On arrival in Phuentsholing, met by our representative at the hotel followed by check-in and installation. The gateway to the south, Phuentsholing is a thriving commercial centre on the northern edge of the Indian plains. Situated directly at the base of the Himalayan foothills, it is a fascinating mixture of Indian and Bhutanese, a perfect example of mingling of people and their culture.
Day 2 : drive from phuentsholing to thimphu (180 kmapprox. 6 hours)
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. 4 km ahead of Phuentsholing, visit Kharbandi Gompa, the beautiful monastery situated in garden of tropical plants and flowers. The monastery contains paintings depicting scenes from the life of Buddha and statues of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rimpoche. From the monastery garden there is a splendid view of Phuentsholing and plains of West Bengal and their tea gardens beyond. Proceed further to Thimphu. Lunch stop enroute. Five miles, before Thimphu, visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the School for religious and cultural studies.
After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit to the following: the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan/’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later visit Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions. After lunch, also visit King’s Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulator by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan/’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (/“the father of modern Bhutan/”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.
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