Guru Rinpoche’s Meditation Caves Pilgrimage


Main description of trip

Many important masters have come to Bhutan to pray homage to Guru Rinpoche’s meditation caves. On your spiritual tour, you discover Guru Rinpoche caves, Dzongs, monasteries and local temples; you will learn about Bhutan’s lovely people and their ways of life, culture; you will be given an opportunity to sit and meditate in each and every ancient holy sites and caves and, as well, as to react and conversed with the village temple being visited in charged. In so doing, you encounter the country’s historical past and present, can; meet inspiring hermits, be are immersed in the murmuring sounds of monks and in the flow of the energy of meditation.

Tours are designed to give you a first-hand experience on many aspects of Bhutanese life and culture. On a fascinating journey into dense endless jungles, through vibrant landscapes and rough rushing rivers, and in various villages found along your way, you may see some of the world’s highest snow peaked mountains, and possibly meet golden langur (and others wild animals) in their natural habitat. For spiritual pilgrimage tour group visiting for ten days or more, the tailor-made itinerary will include complimentary special permits, plus dharma talk & meditation (optional) and will be escorted by spiritual experts cum the tour leader throughout your tour.

Price range Excludes air fare (high and low season)

[ 11 days]

USD2945/ for a solo traveler and USD2595/ each for a couple and USD2295/

per head in a group of three + . The above price excludes all flight tickets; but it includes surcharge, visa fee, and tourism development fee in the package (, which is un-commissionable).

Price inclusions & exclusions

Bhutan tour arrangement is a quite unique system. It is a full package tour that includes all meals, transport, accommodation, special entrance permits, museum entrance fees; but, it excludes drinks, laundry, and compulsory insurance from your respective country.

 

When is the best time to go?

March, April, May, September, October, and November are best seasons. Mid- June to mid- September is our wet and rainy season. We have local festivals almost every month. The Royal Government of Bhutan has declared all seasons as “the Tourist Season.”

Walking holidays:

Bhutan being a country in the Himalaya almost all the temples and villages in Bhutan are built on the cliffs and in-betweens the valleys, mountains, and hills. Therefore, walking may be easy to moderates in some places; but most walk involves strenuous steep climbs. Walking through the forests, villages, on the ridges, breathing fresh Himalayan air is a real value of spiritual pilgrimage tour.

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Departure dates

No fix departure dates: W, we are open to any dates and arrange accordingly to clients’ request. But, always, we do have always some clients on almost every month for a small group trips. Season months are March, April, May, September, October, and November.

Summary paragraph

The spiritual pilgrimage tour is an exceptionally breathtaking journey inspiring one in each and every holy site we visit.  You will discover Dzongs, temples, monasteries, and & monks and will learn about Bhutan’s lovely people and their ways of life, culture. From time- to- time, we may be joined by a local pilgrimage group or an individual. We offer you the highest quality services, care and personal attention that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Itinerary

Arrive in Paro: Flight to Paro, usually arriving in the morning. During the flight, if the weather is clear, one has the opportunity of experiencing some of the world’s most amazing scenery of the high sacred peaks of the Himalayas. At the airport, after collecting your baggage, you will be received at the gate of exit by our host, who will guide during your stay in Bhutan.  You will next be driven straight to Kyichu temple, to receive blessing and good luck for the pilgrimage ahead. The Kyichu Temple is one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century A.D by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet as a missionary project (to pin down the left foot of ogress).

After lunch, a visit to Ta Dzong, (literal meaning watchtower), erected to safeguard the main structure of the dzong (below) from the Tibetan invaders. It was converted, in 1968, to house the National Museum in 1968. It has 6 galleries and a visit to the museum gives us, in a very short time, an idea of the culture and ecological richness of Bhutan in a very short time. Dungtse Lhakhang, the only temple in the form of a chorten ‘stupa’, was built by the famous Iron bridge builder in 15th century; and the ruin Drukgyel Dzong ‘fortress of the victorious drukpas’ was built in 1649 to celebrate a decisive victory over Tibetan forces and to curtail further invasion.

O/n at Jigmeling Hotel

Paro – Thimphu (58 km 1:25 hours): After breakfast, drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan with in route stops to visit Drak Karpo (meaning white rocky cliff) of Guru Rinpoche meditation cave and the first of Dzong of Bhutan, built in 1629. Check in to your hotel and after lunch visit the Memorial stupa, Changgangkha Lhakhang, and BBS Tower (Sangay Gang) viewpoint and Mini Zoo, Nunnery, Dechenphodrang monastic school, and Tashichodzong.

O/n at Phuntsho Pelri

Thimphu – Punakha (77 kms 2:30hours): Visit Folk Heritage Museum, it was established to preserve the remains of yesterday and ensure the survival of the culture of today, so that the future generation can know and appreciate their past, which after all has shaped their present. Also visit The National Library, The National Institute for Thirteen Arts, The Traditional Hospital, and local paper factory. In the evening drive to Punakha with an in route stop at Dochula pass (at 3140m). On a clear day, one can view the eastern Himalayas snow peak.

O/n at Damchen Resort

Punakha Sightseeing: Morning hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, perched high on the strategic ridge above Punakha valley in Yebesa, 7 kms from Punakha. The chorten contains the images of all the manifestation of the wrathful Dorje Purbha (Vajrakilaya). It was built to help remove negative forces and promote peace, stability, and harmony in the changing world, and for the well-being and long life of our beloved monarch. On the way back, visit Punakha Dzong, the second of Bhutan’s dzongs, built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Rinpoche. Punakha was the country’s winter capital for more than 300-years. It is still the winter residence of the Central monk Body. The coronation of the 1st King Ugyen Wangchuk was held here at Punakha dzong, on 17 December 1907. The very secret relic called Rangjung Kharsapani, a statue of Avalokitesvara that, which appeared miraculously from the vertebra of Tsangpa Gyare the founder of the Drukpa School, was placed in this dzong. After lunch, visit to Wangdiphodrang Dzong and, in the evening, visit the Chimi Lhakhang, the famous fertility monastery, built in 1456. A pleasant short walk through the paddy fields and farm houses ends at Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to yogi saint Drukpa Kuenley, popularly known as ‘the divine madman’ (1455-1529).

O/n at Damchen Resort

Excursion to visit Langdra holy cave of Guru Rinpoche

A whole day pilgrimage excursion to holy sites of Langdra caves and surround sacred sites.

Punakha – Trongsa (135 kms 5:00hours): Today morning we will be driving eastward through the 3300m Pelela Pass to Trongsa Dzong one of the largest and the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan, signifying the magnificent work of buddhist architecture. It has been described as being perched so high on a mountain that the clouds float below it. It is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family. The first two hereditary kings ruled from this dzong, and it is still a tradition that the crown prince first serves as Trongsa Penlop before ascending to the throne. The 3rd King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, was born here in Trongsa. In the evening, visit the Trongsa Dzong and Museum.

O/n at Yangkhill Hotel

Trongsa – Bumthang (68 km 3 hours); Today’s onward journey begins upward across the Yotongla Pass at 3425m, which then opens out, into the Chhume Valley, dotted with a number of villages and temples; in route, stops to visit Tharpaling monastery and Choedrak Cave of Guru Rinpoche. In the evening, visit Bumthang town and pay homage to Jarkar Lhakhang and to, the statue of the Guru Pema Jungney in the Lhakhang, which is this was believed to be the artwork of thousands of dakinis (female celestial divine beings) and not one of human design. Bumthang is the most historical valley visited by the great buddhist saint from India, Guru Rinpoche, in the 8th century A.D. Bumthang also served as the home of famous saints of Nyingma School, such as Longchen Rabjampa (1308-1521) of Tibet, who was exiled to Bhutan for more than 10- years, and Terton Pema Lingpa, the reincarnation of Longchen Rabjampa, to whose descendants the present dynasty traces its ancestry.

O/n at Yoedzerling Lodge

Bumthang Holy Pilgrimage: In the morning a visit to Jakar Dzong, the ‘dzong of the white bird’. A picturesque location overlooking the spectacular Chhoekhor valley. Jampa Lhakhang is, one of the 108 lhakhangs built by Songtsen Gampo, King of Tibet, in 7th century A.D., to pin down demon’s left knee. Each November, one of the most spectacular festivals in Bhutan, Jampa Lhakhang Drup is held and on one evening of the festival, the lhakhang is lit by a fire dance to bless the infertile women. Kurjey Lhakhang, the actual Kurjey complex, consists of the three temples, positioned against the hillside facing south. The first temple on the right was built on the rock with the imprint of the body of Guru Padmasambhava. King Ugyen Wangchuk built the second temple to house a monumental statue of Guru Rinpoche. The third temple is a 3-storied Lhakhang which houses statues of wrathful deities and a life size statue of Zhabdrung and the four temporal rulers. It was built by the Royal Queen Mother Ashi Kesang Chhoden Wangchuk. Tamshing Lhakhang, the most important Nyingma temple was built Pema Lingpa, in 1501, with the help of dakinis (female celestial beings). The inner walls contain the original unrestored images that were painted by Pema Lingpa himself. In the evening, a visit to Namkhai Nyingpo Monastery to see monks chanting ritual for world peace.

O/n at Yoedzerling Lodge

Bumthang – Gangtey (156 kms 6hours): This morning we will drive to back, following the same route, and will visit the 453 years old Gangte Gonpa, the most important monastery of the Pedling tradition of Buddhism in western Bhutan. The valley is one of the most beautiful spots in the country and is home to endangered Black Necked Cranes, that migrate from northern Tibet to escape its harsh winter. One can see the cranes only in the month of (October, November, December, January, February, and midst March).

O/n Farm House

Gangtey – Thimphu (137 kms 5hours): Today we will drive back to Thimphu. Evening visit a local handicraft shops and to purchase some souvenirs for dear and near one.

O/n at Phuntsho Pelri Hotel

Thimphu – Paro (58 kms 1:25hours) (Taktshang Pilgrimage hike): Today we will have the opportunity to hike at Taktshang (Tiger’s Lair) the most famous and sacred hanging cliff monastery in Bhutan. This place is especially venerated because of its association with Guru Rinpoche, who is said to have flown to Paro Takshang in the form of Guru Dorje Drolo, mounted on a flaming dakini-tigress, in the 747 A.D. We will also pay homage to the temple of Machig Labdron and Phadampa Sangay temple nearby the Taktshang Monastery. This is perfect opportunity for those who wish to connect with Guru Rinpoche on the final day in Bhutan.

O/n at Jigmeling Hotel

Departure: Farewell transfer to airport for international departure

Things to keep in mind

Local community:

  • Our main aim is to serve local community through creating awareness and helping to preserve their age-old culture and traditional values.
  • From time-to-time, we used their farmhouses and restaurants for our guest accommodation and pay them the same urban prices for it.
  • We employ local guides, along with our regular guide, to explore the best possible value of the local area.
  • We often encourage our valued clients to visit villages and taste local cuisine or locally made wine with the villagers.
  • We encourage our clients to buy local made handicrafts and textiles, and, too, we suggest the local people to make tourism related products to generate more cash.
  • Visiting monasteries and temple and making offering or donation also help in small ways the private monk communities to sustain their livelihood.
  • Where ever possible, we help the private monasteries and village communities with our knowledge, and we share experiences in their business ventures and contributes in little ways to start their dream goals.

Environment:

  • We always keep in mind that our tour or visit to village communities has no environmental effects.
  • During our visit to communities, we make sure that our clients to use the designated trails used by the local people themselves.
  • We make sure to visit parks, cultural site and Museum where fees contribute to conservation.
  • When we lead a tour, we remind our clients to respect the laws to protect wildlife, biodiversity and the people
  • We discourage a farmer who does farming and agricultural activities in areas close to forest and wildlife sanctuaries.
  • We advocate the buddhist philosophy of inter-relatedness of all living things and make sure that local belief that has contributed to a healthy and intact environment.
  • We value the continued living in harmony with nature and desire to pass on this rich heritage to its future generations.
  • We remind that to communities that healthy environment is essential for material and spiritual happiness. In the words of his majesty the King of Bhutan: ‘Gross National Happiness is more important than gross National Product.’
  • We take tourists to the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature in Thimphu, which is partially sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature, to and discover for themselves the great lengths to which of the country has gone, and continues to go, to protect its environment.
  • Knowing that main cause of the environment degradation is due to unawareness of the people of the consequences of their everyday action, we advocate for future sustainability of the precious resources around the community’s habitats.
  • To educate the illiterate on environmental issues, we support the establishment of Nature Clubs in schools, and we encourage monastic institutions on basic gardening and caring of their own surroundings.