Hike to Cheri Monastery and Sightseeing in Thimphu After breakfast, drive to the base camp of Cheri Monastery and then take a 45mintues hike to the monastery. Cheri Monastery was founded by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the 17th century unifier of the Bhutanese nation state. Initially coming from Tibet, Shabdrung moved to Bhutan and promoted a distinct Bhutanese cultural identity from the dominant Tibetan culture. He established Cheri Monastery at the end of Thimpu Valley in 1620. Cheri, also known as Chagry Dorjeden, had been a sacred place ever since Guru Rinpoche visited it in the 8th century. Shabdrung added to its sacredness, and nowadays, it is a prominent teaching centre of the Drukpa Kagyu order. Like many monasteries, Cheri offers ample opportunities for people to go into retreat, and even in the 20th century, a new meditation centre was opened. Shabdrung himself spent three years in retreat, and later, regularly used it as a residence. Later, visit the Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress like temple perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, who came from Tibet and is dedicated to Avalokitesha, the Buddhist emanation of compassion. The central statue here is Chenrezig Avalokitesha in a manifestation with 11 heads. From the courtyard of the temple, there is fascinating view of the Thimphu valley. Next, visit the weekend market where the locals come to do their weekly shopping. This will be one of the highlights of your trip as you observe the Bhutanese people's culture and life styles. Later, we will make a stop at the Centenary Park where the walking Buddha resides; the entire statue was built by Thai workers who specifically came to Bhutan to build the statue. It stands at 45 feet tall. Overnight stay in a hotel welcome home or similar
After breakfast check out of your hotel and get back to NJP/BAGDOGRA AIRPORTIXB. As you go home let the everlasting memory of the radiant Himalayas and this beautiful serene kingdom linger in your mind and prompt you now and again to revisit this place.
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