Bhutan Trekking – Chorten and prayer flags (Druk Path Trek, Bhutan)
Image by jmhullot
Photography taken on the Druk Path Trek between Timphu and Paro.
On each pass in Bhutan, even on the most remote trails, there is at least one chorten and many prayer flags.
Chortens (also called stupas) are the earliest Buddhist religious monuments and were originally only a simple mound made up of mud or clay, or a cairn in barren areas, to cover supposed relics of the Buddha.
Lung Ta (horizontal) prayer flags are of square or rectangular shape and are connected along their top edges to a long string or thread. They are commonly hung on a diagonal line from high to low between two objects (e.g., a rock and the top of a pole) in high places such as the tops of temples, monasteries, stupas or mountain passes. Traditionally, Lung Ta come in sets of five, one in each of five primary colors. The five colors represent the elements and are arranged from left to right in a specific order: blue (symbolizing sky/space), white (symbolizing inner-self/cloud), red (symbolizing fire), green (symbolizing water), and yellow (symbolizing earth).
Darchor (vertical) prayer flags are usually large single rectangles attached to poles along their vertical edge. They are commonly planted in the ground or on rooftops. Although they can also have the 5 different colours mentioned above, they are very often all white in Bhutan.
Bhutan trekking – Chomolhari Trek 12 Days
Trekking in Bhutan: This trek is one of the most popular trek in Bhutan that endows you with great variety of Bhutanese landscape and is without doubt, one of the most beautiful & unspoiled trekking areas in the entire Himalayas.
On this 12 day trek you not just embrace an amazing opportunity to trek the hotspots of Bhutan but also get to feast on an incredible diversity of mountains and ecosystems. A hike to Takstang Monastery provides ample acclimatization for a delightful trek from Drugyal dzong towards campsite at Shana (2800 m) and thereon to Soi, Thangthangkha and then to Jangothang. A rest day in Jangothang acclimatizes you completely for further trek to Lingshi, Shodu, Barshong and finally to Dodina.
Along the trekking trail, nature scintillates you with its lush forests of pine, oak, rhododendron, juniper, bamboo and spruce, Pachu River gracing down the majestic landscape, outstanding views of Chomolhari (7320 m), Jichu Drake (6900m) and Tshrim Khang, cliffs overlooking stunning views of cascading waterfalls, yak pastures and trout-fishing sites. If you get lucky, you may get to spot rare fauna like blue sheep and snow leopard. Eventually, after insightful sightseeing in Thimpu you bade your farewell to Bhutan with indelible trekking experience, photographs and mementos that intimately bond you to Bhutan and its people throughout your lifetime.
Trip length: 12 Days
Grade: Soft trek – Grade Explanation
Starts in: Paro
Ends in: Paro
Group size: Maximum 12
Transportation: private car
Accommodation: Hotel & Camping
Maximum altitude: 4950m
> Outstanding views of Chomolhari (7320 m), Jichu Drake (6900m) and Tshrim Khang
> Plenty of opportunities for acclimatization
> A hike to Takstang Monastery
> A wealth of scenic trekking trails that overlook cascading waterfalls, verdant vegetation, yak pastures, trout-fishing sites and many other natural delights
Bhutan Trekking – OUTLINE ITINERARY
Day 01 – Arrive Paro by Druk Air.
Day 02 – Hike to Taktsang monastery.
Day 03 – Drive to Drugyel Dzong and trek to Shana camp.
Day 04 – Trek from Shana to Soi Thangthangkha.
Day 05 – Trek from Soi to Jangothang.
Day 06 – A rest day at Jangothang.
Day 07 – Trek from Jangothang to Lingshi.
Day 08 – Trek from Lingshi to Shodu.
Day 09 – Trek from Shodu to Barshong.
Day 10 – Trek from Barshong to Dodina and drive to Thimphu.
Day 11 – Sightseeing in Thimphu are drive to Paro.
Day 12 – Transfer to airport for departure.
USD 3340 per person on twin sharing
(Group joining – required minimum of 3 participants to run this trip)
Single Supplement: USD 40 per night (Compulsory if no one to share the room with)
EXTRA: Kathmandu/Paro/Kathmandu Airfare: USD 380+49 tax (subject to change)
Bhutan trekking Price Includes
Accomodation at all places with meals
Trasnsfers and sightseeing by a deluxe vehicle
Bhutan Govt. Royalty
Tourism Development Fee
An English speaking guide throughout the tour
Entrance fees to the monuments
Complete trek arrangement as per the itinerary
All applicable taxes
International and internal flights
Personal Insurance, evacuation and medical expenses of any kind
Expenses of personal nature like bar bills, telephone calls, laundry etc.
> Bhutan Trekking -DETAILED ITINERARY
Day 01 ARRIVE PARO BY DRUK AIR
Arrive Paro by Druk air BAe 146-100 series, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by Our members. Afternoon / evening time at leisure. Overnight Kichu Resort.
DAY 02 DAY HIKE TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY
Day hike to Taktsang monastery. Horses can be arranged with an extra US $ 5/- The hike which is all the way uphill takes about 2 /3 hours through villages and pine forests. The monastery which clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the Paro valley was devastated by fire in 1998 but the Royal Government has taken immediate steps to restore the monastery to its original structure. It is believed that the great saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley into Buddhism. During the end of the 17 century a monastery was built on the spot where the saint meditated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time. Stroll back to Resort.
DAY 03 DRIVE TO DRUGYEL DZONG AND TREK TO SHANA CAMP
Drive to Drugyel Dzong where the trek begins. The path goes upstream of the Pachu river through villages gradually ascending to 2800 meters at Shana camp. Walking time 5/6 hours.
DAY 04 TREK FROM SHANA TO SOI THANTHANGKHA
Shana to Soi Thangthangkha. The trail again follows the Pachu river ascending through pine, oak and spruce forest. Lunch will be served near a wooden bridge. The camp is at an altitude of 3800 meters near a stone shelter. Walking time 7/8 hours.
DAY 05 TREK FROM SOI TO JANGOTHANG
Soi to Jangothang. Climb slowly for a while till you reach an army camp. Then follow the river above tree line with stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a Yak herders camp. A easy walk will reach you to Jangothang at an altitude of 4050 meters. The view of Chomolhari (7320 meters) and Jichu Drake (6900
meters) is superb. Both the mountains are still virgin peaks. Walking time 4/5 hours.
DAY 06 A REST DAY AT JANGOTHANG
Halt at Jangothang. Explore the surrounding areas like Tshophu lake, visit Yakherders or simply relax.
DAY 07 TREK FROM JANGOTHANG TO LINGSHI
Jangothang to Lingshi. The trail follows the stream for half hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Climb up the ridge and enjoy stunning views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshrim Khang mountains. Than walk through the wide open valley sometimes coming across herds of blue sheep. The climb upto the Nyele la pass 4700 meters is not too difficult and the view is breathtaking. After the pass its a gradual descend and through the valley with beautiful views on all side. Nearing the camp you will see the Lingshi Dzong perched ontop of a hill with commanding view of the valley. Arrive camp at 4100 meters near a stone shelter. Walking time 6/7 hours.
DAY 08 TREK FROM LINGSHI TO SHODU
Lingshi to Shodu. Today is the most difficult day so start early. Begin walk opposite the dzong gradually through the valley until the stiff climb to Yale la pass at 4950 meters the highest point of the trip. The panoramic view of Mt.Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshrim Gang is breathtaking. After the pass its a long descent to the camp at 3750 meters. Walking time 7/8 hours.
DAY 09 TREK FROM SHODU TO BARSHONG
Shodu to Barshong. The path follows the Thimchu river descending through rhododendron, Juniper and pine forests. The view of the cliff facing rocks and water falls are stunning. The trail gradually ascends after 3/4 hours to the ruins of Barshong Dzong reaching the camp at 3500 meters. Walking time 5/6 hours.
DAY 10 TREK FROM BARSHONG TO DODINA AND DRIVE TO THIMPHU
Barshong to Dodina. The path descends for a while joining the Thimchu river and gradually ascending and descending through thick bamboo and pine forests. From Dolemkencho the trail descends all the way to Dodina where the Our coach will be waiting for your return. Walking time 7/8 hours. Drive 1 and half hour to Thimphu (capital city). Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 11 SIGHTSEEING IN THIMPHU AND DRIVE TO PARO
AM stroll around the market and drive 2 hours to Paro. PM Paro sightseeing. Overnight Kichu resort.
DAY 12 TRANSFER TO AIRPORT FOR DEPARTURE
Transfer to airport for final departure.
More information about this tour http://www.explorehimalaya.com/trekchomolhari1.php
Subodh gurung explore himalaya
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Jomolhari Snow Leopard Trek, Bhutan’s Chomolhari Trek also spelt at Jomolhari, Chomolhari trek from Paro to Jangothang and follow the route to Soi Yaksa and return to Paro Bhutan with Wind Horse Tours, Treks & Expedition.
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Bhutan is a tiny Himalayan Kingdom squeezed between its two giant neighbours – India and China. Its King measures his country’s wealth in terms of Gross Domestic Happiness rather than the economic measure of Gross Domestic Product. Where better for a father and son to undertake an expedition? The purpose of the trip was to trek its high mountain passes and to visit remote villages but most importantly to re-discover each other as individuals. Bhutan would also prove to be a fantastic location in which to…
List Price: $ 33.49
Price: $ 32.66
Bhutan Trekking – information about Bhutan.
In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land to British India. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined India’s responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. A refugee issue of over 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of the refugees are housed in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the government’s draft constitution – which would introduce major democratic reforms – and pledged to hold a national referendum for its approval. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience as head of state before the democratic transition. In early 2007, India and Bhutan renegotiated their treaty to allow Bhutan greater autonomy in conducting its foreign policy, although Thimphu continues to coordinate policy decisions in this area with New Delhi. In July 2007, seven ministers of Bhutan’s ten-member cabinet resigned to join the political process, and the cabinet acted as a caretaker regime until democratic elections for seats to the country’s first parliament were completed in March 2008. The king ratified the country’s first constitution in July 2008.
Source: CIA World Fact Book
Bhutan trekking: Geography of Bhutan
The northern region of the country consists of an arc of Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows reaching up to glaciated mountain peaks with an extremely cold climate at the highest elevations. Most peaks in the north are over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) above sea level; the highest point in Bhutan is Gangkhar Puensum, which has the distinction of being the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, at 7,570 metres (24,840 ft). The lowest point, at 97 metres (318 ft), is in the valley of Drangme Chhu, where the river crosses the border with India. Watered by snow-fed rivers, alpine valleys in this region provide pasture for livestock, tended by a sparse population of migratory shepherds.
The Black Mountains in the central region of Bhutan form a watershed between two major river systems: the Mo Chhu and the Drangme Chhu. Peaks in the Black Mountains range between 1,500 and 2,700 metres (4,900 and 8,900 ft) above sea level, and fast-flowing rivers have carved out deep gorges in the lower mountain areas. The forests of the central Bhutan mountains consist of Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests in higher elevations and Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests in lower elevations. Woodlands of the central region provide most of Bhutan’s forest production. The Torsa, Raidak, Sankosh, and Manas are the main rivers of Bhutan, flowing through this region. Most of the population lives in the central highlands.
In the south, the Shiwalik Hills are covered with dense Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests, alluvial lowland river valleys, and mountains up to around 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) above sea level. The foothills descend into the subtropical Duars Plain. Most of the Duars is located in India, although a 10 to 15 kilometres (6.2 to 9.3 mi) wide strip extends into Bhutan. The Bhutan Duars is divided into two parts: the northern and the southern Duars. The northern Duars, which abuts the Himalayan foothills, has rugged, sloping terrain and dry, porous soil with dense vegetation and abundant wildlife. The southern Duars has moderately fertile soil, heavy savannah grass, dense, mixed jungle, and freshwater springs. Mountain rivers, fed by either the melting snow or the monsoon rains, empty into the Brahmaputra River in India. Data released by the Ministry of Agriculture showed that the country had a forest cover of 64% as of October 2005.
Terraced farming in the Punakha valley
The climate in Bhutan varies with altitude, from subtropical in the south to temperate in the highlands and polar-type climate, with year-round snow, in the north. Bhutan experiences five distinct seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. Western Bhutan has the heavier monsoon rains; southern Bhutan has hot humid summers and cool winters; central and eastern Bhutan is temperate and drier than the west with warm summers and cool winters.
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