Experience one of the most spectacular flights in the world along the Himalayan mountain range offering fascinating views and an exciting descent into the kingdom. Dive into the cultural and historical highlights of Bhutan by visiting the Tiger’s Nest, experience ancient traditions and get to know the local crafts. See Bangladesh in all its glory when viewing the lush tea plantations with the white Himalayan mountain range in the background, various monasteries and a stunning sunrise over the Himalayas. Take in the many colours, flavours and scent during a stroll through the Shankhari Bazaar in Old Dhaka, get mesmerized by the Star Mosque and visit a tribal market among the locals. This tour invites you into another world where you can indulge yourself in the culture and history of Bhutan, Bangladesh and India.
Day 1: Arrival Paro – Thimphu
In time transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift to you as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative, and afterwards drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan with enroute stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Three different style of stupas; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence. Shortly before reaching Chuzom, you will see on your left TschogangLhakhang, “the temple of the excellent horse”. It is a private temple, built in 15th century, as the result of visitation from Balaha, the excellent horse, a manifestation of Chenrezig, the compassionate Buddha.
On arrival in Thimphu; Check-into the hotel. The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of Government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With the population of about 90,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light.
Evening an exploratory walk around Thimphu main street and market area. Also visit the Local Crafts Bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, Thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials.
Day 2: Thimphu
After breakfast, proceed to visit Changangkha Lhakhang; It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley.
Further take a short drive (15 km) to Pangri Zampa, 16th century one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan located just north of Thimphu. Here is a monastic school where Buddhist student’s monks learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy.
After lunch, visit to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley.
King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated 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.
Later visit to Trashichhoedzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.
Day 3: Thimphu - Paro
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 Museum, which provides insight into Bhutan’s one of the most distinct art form. Also visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people.
Continue drive to Paro along scenic highway. Enroute visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country built in 1627 which now houses the School for Buddhist studies.
On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. After lunch, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Ta Dzong visit immediately followed by a short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Day 4: Paro
After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest (approx. 5 hours walk): It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by ShabdrungNgawangNamgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour.
Afternoon drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong.
Evening, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
Day 5: Paro – Bagdogra - Darjeeling
After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to your flight to Bagdogra. Upon arrival, our executive will meet you and assist for the transfer to the Darjeeling. On arrival check in to your hotel. Evening is at leisure to explore the surroundings on your own.
Perched high atop a steep mountainous ridge, Darjeeling lies like a jewel surrounded by the lush tea plantations on nearby hills and by the brilliantly white Himalaya range off in the distance. During the British Raj, Darjeeling's temperate climate led to its development as a hill station for British residents seeking to escape the summer heat of the plains.
Day 6: Darjeeling
Early morning visit Tiger Hill and Ghoom Monastery. Tiger Hill site is a summit in nearby Ghoom, famous for spectacular sunrise views over the Himalayas. Hundreds of visitors assemble in the pre-dawn chill to catch the first golden rays of the sun as they crest over the horizon and illuminate the twin peaks of Kanchenjunga.
Return to hotel for breakfast followed by a visit to Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (closed on Thursday), Zoological Park (closed on Thursday), Tibetan Refugee Centre (closed on Sunday), Tenzing rock and Gombu Rock. You have the option of taking a short Toy train journey.
Day 7: Darjeeling - Gangtok
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Gangtok. On arrival check in at your hotel.
The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is a picturesque town, which cascades down the mountainside from a ridge 1520 mts high. Gangtok means ‘Hilltop’, which was flattened in 1716 to build the Gangtok Monastery. Today, the town has grown into a busy, bustling city with pagoda-style houses, painted turquoise roofs and colorful, people-thronged bazaars.
This dynamic city is both the capital and largest town of Sikkim and is located in the eastern Himalayan range at an altitude of 1870 meters. With a long ancient history, Gangtok remained a small hamlet until the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840 made it a prominent pilgrimage center.
Day 8: Gangtok
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed for sightseeing visiting Rumtek Monastery, Flower Nurseries and Dro Dul Chorten and Enchey Monaster Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (closed on Sundays) and Cottage Industry (closed on Sundays). The Rumtek Monastery: Located on the outskirts of the town, this is one of Buddhism's most sacred monasteries. The monastery is the seat of the Kagyu order, one of the major Tibetan sects, and houses some of the world's most sacred and rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures and religious objects in its reliquary.
Enchey Monastery: This two-hundred year old baroque monastery is the oldest in the city and houses images of gods, goddesses, and other religious artifacts. Dro-dul Chorten: This modern structure is a stupa which was constructed in 1945 by Trulshi Rimpoché, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism. Inside this stupa are a complete set of relics, holy books, and mantras while the edifice is surrounded by 108 prayer wheels.
Day 9: Gangtok – Bagdogra - Kolkata
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Bagdogra airport to board your flight for Kolkata. Upon arrival our executive will meet you and assist for transfer to the hotel. Rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore on your own.
As the capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is known as the “Cultural Capital of India” and has long shed its British moniker of Calcutta. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational center of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port. Kolkata and the surrounding state of West Bengal functioned as the nucleus of the Indian Renaissance of the 19th and 20thcenturies which spawned great innovation in the local traditions of drama, art, film, theater and literature and have gained wide audiences both locally and throughout the international community.
Day 10: Kolkata
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed for sightseeing of The Victoria Memorial. Officially known as the Victoria Memorial Hall, this stately memorial building is dedicated to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom. The design of the structure represents a fusion of British and Mughal architecture with the facades constructed from white marble from Rajasthan, the same quarry used to supply the construction of the Taj Mahal. The Memorial currently serves as a museum run by the Government of India's Ministry of Culture and is the largest repository in India for a visual history of Calcutta. Kalighat Kali Temple: This Hindu temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali and is visited by pilgrims from all over India irrespective of sectarian differences. The thousands of pilgrims who flock daily to the Kalighat temple treat Kali very much like a human mother, bringing her their domestic problems and prayers for prosperity and then returning when their prayers are fulfilled to express their gratitude. St. Paul's Cathedral: An Anglican cathedral of the Church of North India, this resplendent structure was completed in 1847. The main cathedral hall is a large a spacious chamber with beautifully carved wooden pews and chairs along with a magnificent stained glass window to the west, intricate colored artwork covering the eastern walls and two spectacular Florentine Renaissance frescoes.
Day 11: Kolkata - Dhaka
On your arrival at Dhaka International Airport, our representative will be meeting you (after clearing passport and customs formalities) and shall assist with the transfer to your hotel for check-in.
Bangladesh (lit. "The country of Bengal"), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh forms the largest and eastern part of the Bengal region. The country's maritime territory in the Bay of Bengal is roughly equal to the size of its land area. Despite its relative small size, Bangladesh is the world's eighth most populous country. Bangladeshis include people of different ethnic groups and religions. Bengalis, who speak the official Bengali, make up 98% of the population. The politically dominant Bengali Muslims make the nation the world's third largest Muslim-majority country. Most of Bangladesh is covered by the Bengal delta, the largest delta on Earth. The country has 700 rivers and 8,046 km (5000 miles) of inland waterways. Highlands with evergreen forests are found in the northeastern and southeastern regions of the country. Bangladesh has many islands and a coral reef. It is home to the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. The country's biodiversity includes a vast array of plant and wildlife, including critically endangered Bengal tigers, the national animal.
Day 12: Dhaka
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed for sightseeing.
Dhaka Sadarghat, also called Sadarghat Port, the Dhaka City River Front, located on the river Buriganga, is one of the most dynamic places in Dhaka. Here, the Sadarghat River Boat Terminal is one of the largest river ports in the world. Every hour, about 300 large and small motorized passenger river boats depart and arrive with an average of 500 passengers each at the terminal every day. According to the officials at the terminal, an average of 150,000 people use the terminal every day. At this place hundreds of country boats laden with passengers and merchandise cross the river.
Ahsan Manzil, also known as the Pink Palace due its bold coloring, was the official residential palace and seat of the Nawab of Dhaka. Construction was started in 1859 and was completed in 1872 and has since been designated as a national museum. It was constructed in the Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture.
In Mughal era, Sheikh Enayet Ullah had a garden house here then acquired a very big area and included it in his garden house. Here he built a beautiful palace and named it "Rongmohol" (Rangmahal). (Closed on Thursdays),
Shankhari Bazaar is one of the oldest areas in Old Dhaka. It stretches along a narrow lane, lined with richly decorated brick buildings, built during the late Mughal or Colonial period. The area belonged to the Shankhari Community (Hindu), who borrowed their name from Shankha, a decorated bangle crafted from slices of Shankha or conch shells. Shankha is the symbol that indicates that a Hindu woman is married. In the 17th century, the Shankhari people were brought by the Mughal emperor, who allotted this place to them for living which later known as Shankhar Bazaar.
The Star Mosque (also known as Tara Masjid) has ornate designs and is decorated with motifs of blue stars. It was built in the first half of the 19th century by Mirza Golam Pir (Mirza Ahmed Jan). Star Mosque was first built by Mirza Ghulam Pir, as a three-domed oblong edifice. But an over enthusiastic and zealous merchant named Ali Jan Bepari completely remodeled and reconstructed it with extremely delicate and richly colored tiles of variegated patterns.
Lalbagh Fort (also called Fort Aurangabad) is an incomplete 17th century Mughal fort complex that stands before the Buriganga River in the southwestern part of Dhaka. The construction was started in 1678 CE by Mughal Subahdar Muhammad Azam Shah who was son of Emperor Aurangzeb and later emperor himself.
For long the fort was considered to be a combination of three buildings (the mosque, the tomb of Bibi Pari and the Diwan-i-Aam), with two gateways and a portion of the partly damaged fortification wall. Recent excavations carried out by the Department of Archaeology of Bangladesh have revealed the existence of other structures. (Closed on Sundays),
Also continue with Dhakeswari Temple, the Language Martyr's Monument, the National Museum (Closed on Thursdays), and the National Parliament Building.
Return back to the hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 13: Dhaka – Chittagong - Bandarban
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight to Chittagong.
Upon arrival in Chittagong, transfer to Bandarban Hill district and check-in at hotel.
Bandarban (meaning the dam of monkeys), or in Marma or Arakanese language as "Rwa-daw Mro" is also known as Arvumi or the Bohmong Circle (of the rest of the three hill districts Rangamati is the Chakma Circle, Raja Devasish Roy and Khagrachari is the Mong Circle, Raja Sachingprue Marma). Bandarban town is the home town of the Bohmong Chief (currently King, or Raja, U Cho Prue Marma) who is the head of the Marma population.
Afterwards, depart for sightseeing.
Visit a Tribal market, local market, Bom tribal village, and Murong tribal village. Also visit some Buddhist Temples in the area.
Back to hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 14: Bandarban - Rangamati
Early in the morning, transfer to Chimbuk Hill by 4-wheel drive Jeep. It is one of the highest peaks in Bangladesh. From the top you have views of the Bandarban skyline. Also visit the tribal villages at the bottom of the hill.
Then drive approximately three hours to the Rangamati Hill district. Upon arrival, check-in to hotel.
Afterwards, visit the Ban Bante Temple, Chakma King’s house, Tribal handicraft center, local market.
Return back to hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 15: Rangamati - Chittagong
After an early breakfast join for a cruise in the Rangamati-Kaptai Lake by local power boat. Kaptai Lake is the largest man-made lake in Bangladesh. The lake was created as a result of building the Kaptai Dam on the Karnaphuli River, as part of the Karnaphuli Hydro-electric project. During the cruise, visit the Chakma village to discover their life-style.
Then leave for the Chittagong
Day 16: Chittagong – Dhaka
After breakfast enjoy a city tour of Chittagong including Ethnological Museum, World War II cemetery, Shrine of Bayzid Bostami.
Bayazid Bostami was a famous Persian Sufi born in Bostam, Iran. Its shrine area as a complex consists of a tomb surrounded by a brick structure along with an old mosque and a large pond. There is no significant historical evidence about Bostami's visit and tomb in this area. The whole complex is located on a hillock of Nasirabad, considered to be a holy place and attracts a large number of visitors and pilgrims daily.
The tomb and the sarcophagus it houses were originally discovered in 1831 and, at the time, were enclosed by a wall with protective pillars that have since been replaced by a more modern structure. At the foot of the tomb hill there is an ancient three-domed mosque, which is believed to date from the time of the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb (1658–1707 CE).
Airport to take an evening flight to Dhaka. Upon arrival at Dhaka airport, transfer to your hotel.
Day 17: Departure Dhaka
After breakfast departure transfer for onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.