We received many questions regarding the agenda for our Bhutan Yoga retreat so we’re here to satiate your curiousity! But first, did you know Bhutan is the only country in the world that measures its progress by the Gross National Happiness? You’ll find out why they are the world’s happiest country on this 7-day trip as you immerse yourself in their strongly-guarded traditions and culture, visit religious and sacred sites, explore Bhutan with the locals and see life through their eyes.
Once at Paro International Airport, there will be a group pick-up to our first location. We will visit the Ta Dzong (National Museum) which possesses a collection of over 3000 Bhutanese art works that covers more than 1500 years of their cultural heritage and the Rinpung Dzong, also known as the Fortress on a Heap of Jewels. After driving to Thimpu for lunch, we will visit Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point), the largest statue of Buddha in the country that overlooks Thimpu valley. Lastly we will visit the National Memorial Chorten, a monument to the Third Druk Gyalpo and to World Peace. We will end the day with an evening Yoga session with Arya.
Before we go Thimpu-sightseeing, we will start our morning with yogic cleansing and Sunrise Yoga (and breakfast too, of course!) We will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine which collects medicinal plants from remote corners of the Bhutanese Himalaya and also The Institute of ZorigChusum or more commonly known as The Painting School where the students there specialise in painting, woodcarving, embroidery and statue making. We will visit the oldest temple in Thimpu – Changankha Lhakang, which came into construction in the 12th century. Parents usually visit this sacred temple to get auspicious names for their newborns or to get blessings for their young children. Not forgetting, the Craft Bazaar & Centenary Farmers’ Market which offers traditional Bhutanese arts & crafts. To wrap up the day, we will visit Tashichho Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress.
After we complete our yogic cleansing, Sunrise Yoga and refuelled our energy, we will be making the journey to Punakha Valley. But before we reach, we will make a pitstop at Dochula Pass where you get to see a 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. Afterwards, we will make a visit to the Chimi Lhakhang, a Buddhist monastery that tells the tale of the “Divine Madman – Drukpa Kenley”.
We’ll start our activities differently today, with a hike to Khamsum Yuley Temple. Of course, after our morning yogic cleansing, sunrise Yoga & breakfast! This Chorten was established by the Queen Mother, not for worship or retreats but for heading off negative forces and transportation peace and harmony for all the living beings. Just before lunch, we’ll go river rafting! We’ll explore the Punakha Dzong or more famously known as The Temple of Happiness. It is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of the most majestic structures in the country.
Today we will be driving up to Paro after completing our yogic cleansing, sunrise Yoga and a filling breakfast. Even though the drive up will take 3 hours, don’t miss out on the scenic views as you pass by! We will see one of the most important Himalayan Buddhist temples, that was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo – the Kyichu Lhakhang. After a day of exploring Paro Valley, we will close the day with an evening Yoga session with Arya to relax the body for a new start tomorrow.
We’re hiking up to the famous Taktsang Monastery today – more commonly known as the Tiger’s Nest. Legend has it that the tigress residing in one of the caves was Yeshi Tshogyal , a consort of Guru Rinpoche, who had transformed herself to ward off evil spirits. As tonight is our last night in Bhutan, there will be a special Bhutanese Cultural Programme with music and dance for us to enjoy before having a farewell dinner.
Farewell Bhutan, Hello Singapore!
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