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Sikkim - Bhutan Buddhist Tour

Sikkim-Bhutan Buddhist Tour is a rare opportunity to visit the most sacred and holiest shrines or Chortens in Sikkim and Bhutan. The Sikkim-Bhutan Buddhist Tour starts at Gangtok with Enchey Monastery built in the style of Chinese Pagoda and Do-drul Chorten (Stupa)  built by Trulshik Rimpoche  to invoke the Gods for the peace and tranquillity. Visit to these monasteries will let you observe holy books, relics, rare mandalas coins, statues, rosaries, antic documents, brass bells and dorjis. Visit the Research Institute of Tibetology or The Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology, a world-renowned research and also Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim’s first monastery built in 1717.  Other sites include Tsuklakhang, the palace monastery of the Chogyals,  Pemayangtse Monastery in Pelling, Rabdenste Palace Ruins, Tashiding Monastery.

The second leg of Sikkim Bhutan Buddhist Tour takes you to Thimpu the capital of Bhutan where you will be able to visit Memorial Chortan, Tashichho Dzong, seat of the government of Bhutan and the summer residence of the central monk body, Simtokha Dzong, Bhutan's oldest fortress which now houses a school for Buddhist studies, Taksang Monastery (Tiger's nest), where Guru Padmasambava landed on the back of a Tiger in the 8th century, and meditated for three months.

  • Outline Itinerary
  • Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Fly from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur Airport. Transfer for the Airport to Gangtok. Check in at Hotel at Gangtok. Leisure overnight.

Day 02: Enjoy the Sikkimese breakfast and transfer for the sightseeing around Gangtok Monasteries. The places you will be visiting are as follows.

Day 03: After breakfast transfer from Gangtok to Pemayangtse ( Pelling ) a small town in western Sikkim. Check in at hotel at Pelling. Leisure Overnight.

Day 04: Today after Breakfast Transfer for the Sightseeing around Pelling.

Day 05: Today after breakfast transfer from Pelling to Phuntsholing. Check in at Hotel at Phuntsholing. Leisure overnight.

Day 06: Transfer from Phuntsholing to Thimpu the capital of Bhutan. Check in at hotel at Thimpu. Leisure overnight.

Day 07: Today enjoy an Bhutanese breakfast and transfer for sightseeing in Thimpu. The places you will be visiting are as follows.

Day 08: Transfer from Thimpu to Paro. Check in at hotel at Paro. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 09: Today after breakfast Paro sightseeing. The places you will be visiting are as follows.

Day 10: Today after breakfast drive to Paro Airport and fly to Delhi or Kathmandu. Check in at hotel.

Day 01: Fly from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur Airport. Transfer for the Airport to Gangtok. Check in at Hotel at Gangtok. Leisure overnight.

Day 02: Enjoy the Sikkimese breakfast and transfer for the sightseeing around Gangtok Monasteries. The places you will be visiting are as follows.

Enchey Monastery - About 3 km from the centre of town, a small hermitage was built by lama Druptob Karpo (renowned for his power of flying) at this spot after he flew here from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim about more than 200 years ago. During the reign of Sidkeong Tulku, 1909-1910. The present monastery was built in the form of Chinese Pagoda. It follows Nyingmapa order. The annual puja is celebrated with religious masked dances on the 18th and 19th days of the 11 month of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar corresponding to the month of December.

Do-drul Chorten (Stupa) - Situated on a hillock, it is a five minutes drive from Gangtok town. Built by late Trulshik Rimpoche in 1946, head of the Nyingmapa order and the late Chogyal Tashi Namgyal in 1957 to invoke the Gods for the peace and tranquillity in the State. Set of Kagyur holy books, relics, complete mantras, rare mandalas of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya) and other religious objects are found inside the Chorten. A small Chorten known as Jhang Chub is built beside the Phurba Chorten in memory of Trulshik Rimpoche who passed away in 1962. Few yards below the Chorten is the rock known as “DO-TA-PU” or “Stone Horse”. There is a monastery close by called “Guru Lakhang” with the state of Guru Padmasambhava and Guru Snong Zisil Gnen, the incarnated one of the first. Around the Chorten is installed the ‘180’ Mani-Lhakor or prayer wheels. The Chorten has the sacred topped stupa.

Research Institute of Tibetology - The Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology is a world-renowned research centre for Tibetan Buddhism and is well stocked with rare books and manuscripts on Buddhism. Contains rare collection of antique like coins, statues, rosaries, antic documents, brass bells, dorjis, and thankas. Ti has a collection of almost 30,000 volumes on diverse subjects like astrology, philosophy, magic and religion. It conducts research in the fields of language and culture of Tibet. The foundation was laid in 1957 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and was inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in October 1958. It also has a number of religious art and craftwork as well as books for sale. It’s vast wealth of Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts attracts scholars from all corners of the world. The institute is open from 10.00 AM to 4.00 PM, Monday to Saturday and is closed on Sunday, Second Saturdays and on Government holidays.

Rumtek Monastery - It is about 24 km From Gangtok nested in a lovely landscape. The first monastery was built in 1717 At Rumtek by the then Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal, but was destroyed by the earthquake and aging. His Holiness the late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa constructed the second monastery in 1960. It is the headquarters of the Kagyu-pa (Red Hat) sect of the Tibetan lamaistic Buddhism. It is an excellent replica of the original Kagyu headquarters at Tsurpu in Tibet. It houses some of the world’s most unique art objects, ancient manuscripts and icons. Above the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre is a hermitage where the monks go into complete seclusion for meditation for a period of three years. The important chaam (religious masked dance) is performed on the 10th day of the 5th month of the Tibetan Calendar, and presence eight manifestations of the Guru Rimpoche. This is highly colourful and spectacular and draws many pilgrims and visitors. Prayers at about 0400 and 1800 hours.

Tsuklakhang - The palace monastery or Royal Chapel of the Chogyals opens only once a year for the civilians in the last week of December for the Lossong festival when the famous Black Hat dance portrays the triumph of good over evil. This was once the most important monastery where all the important national and religious festival was celebrated here. It was the site of the coronation ceremonies of the kings of Sikkim, of royal marriages and of celebration ceremonies of the kings of Sikkim, of royal marriages and of celebrations to mark victories. Tsuklakhang, standing on the high ridge has a large and impressive collection of scriptures. Tsuklakhang is a very elegant structure in typical Sikkimese style with carved and painted woodworks, murals, wall hangings and priceless Buddhist treasures. Lavishly decorated altars hold images of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas and Tantric deities. Among the important festivals still celebrate at Tsuklakhang are Pang Lhabsol held in mid September in honour of Mount Khangchendzonga the guardian deity of Sikkim, Kagyad in early December, which features a dance – drama enacted by Buddhist monks, and losar is strictly prohibited

Day 03: After breakfast transfer from Gangtok to Pemayangtse ( Pelling ) a small town in western Sikkim. Check in at hotel at Pelling. Leisure Overnight.

Day 04: Today after Breakfast Transfer for the Sightseeing around Pelling. The places you will be visiting are as follows:

Pemayangtse Monastery- The premier monastery of Sikkim, Pemayangtse (Perfect Sublime Lotus) is about 118 km From Gangtok and is situated at a height of 2085 mtrs. It is the second oldest monastery of Sikkim and it is of Tantric Nyingmapa order. It was founded furring the reign of 3rd Chogyal, Chahdor Namgyal in 1705. The ministry contains numerous antique idols and objects of worship. The monastery is a three storied structure filled with wall paintings and sculptures including seven tiered painted wooden sculpture on the top floor portraying the Mahaguru’s Heavenly palace ‘Sangthokpalri’ which was completed in a span of five years, single handily by the late Dungzin Rimpoche. The Chortens around t he place have however stood the elements of nature. The ruins are now being preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India and have been declared as monuments. Annual Chaam dance is held o n the 28th and 29th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar. Dressed in costumes of rare magnificence the lamas represent Mahakala and Guru Drag-dmar. The dance ends on the third day with the unfurling of the Ghyo-ku – a gigantic embroidered Buddhist scroll as the devotees bend down.

Rabdenste Palace Ruins- Rabdenste was the second capital of Sikkim shifted from Yuksom. The second Chogyal of Sikkim, Tensung Namgyal, established it in the late seventeenth century. Presently the Rabdentse Palace in West Sikkim is in ruins, now being preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India and have been declared as a monument.

Khechopalri Lake- It is located at a distance of 33 Km away from Pemayangtse. The name Khechopalri mean' Wishing Lake’ and is considered to be one of the sacred lakes in Sikkim. The Sikkimese calls it Tsho-Sho-Tsho. The water is placid and crystal clear. Not a single leaf can be seen floating and there is an ancient belief that if a leaf drops on the surface of the water it is picked by a bird. Khechopalri lake (1780m) lies in a depression surrounded by prayer flags and forested hills. The tranquillity of the lake is mood elevating.

Tashiding Monastery- It is about 40km From Gyalshing. It is of Nyingmapa order at a hilltop that looms up between Rathong River and Rangit River. It is surrounded by flags and stone plates skilfully carved with holy Buddhist mantras was ‘ Om Mani Padme Hum” by Yanchong-Lodil. The main monastery was built in 1717 by Pedi Wangmo (Ngadak Sempa Chenpo) during the reign of 3rd Chogyal Chahdor Namgyal, on a spot consecrated by Guru Rimpoche. Tashiding Monastery (1469m) is considered to be the most sacred and holiest shrine or Chorten in Sikkim. It is believed that to merely view the sacred Chorten Thongwa Rangdol and Bumcho (holy water) is enough to cleanse one of all sins. Lhatsun Chenpo built the chorten. Bumchu is one of the sacred objects of worship to the Sikkimese. It is a sacred pot-containing holy, blessed by a Buddhist saint in the 17th Century, which does not dry up nor spoil. Today, even after 300 years the water remains as fresh as before. The sacred ceremony of Bumchu is held on the 15th day of the first Tibetan month, when the Bumchu containing the holy water is opened for public 'darshan' once a year. Pilgrims come each spring for the Bumchu or water-pot festival in February to drink water from the sacred pot to the gold-topped monastery – Tashiding. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 05: Today after breakfast transfer from Pelling to Phuntsholing. Check in at Hotel at Phuntsholing. Leisure overnight.

Day 06: Transfer from Phuntsholing to Thimpu the capital of Bhutan. Check in at hotel at Thimpu. Leisure overnight.

Day 07: Today enjoy an Bhutanese breakfast and transfer for sightseeing in Thimpu. The places you will be visiting are as follows.

Memorial Chortan: dedicated to the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.

Tashichho Dzong: seat of the government of Bhutan and the summer residence of the central monk body.The Traditional Medicine Hospital where herbal medicines are prepared the National Library, a treasure trove of ancient texts the Painting School where children learn the traditional techniques of drawing and painting Dechenchholing to see traditional gold and silver smiths at work. Changangkha Lakhang which contains ancient scriptures and thangka paintings. Simtokha Dzong, Bhutan's oldest fortress which now houses a school for Buddhist studies.

Day 08: Transfer from Thimpu to Paro. Check in at hotel at Paro. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 09: Today after breakfast Paro sightseeing. The places you will be visiting are as follows.

Taksang Monastery (Tiger's nest). The climb up to the view point will take around 3 hours and enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambava landed on the back of a Tiger in the 8th century, and meditated for three months. The monastery was later built in this holy place in 1684. After lunch walk back to the road point and drive to Hotel.

Ta-Dzong: built in the 17th century, as watch tower to defend Paro Dzong below. This Dzong was later converted into the National Museum in 1967, and is filled with antique Thankha paintings, textiles, weapons and amour.

Day 10: Today after breakfast drive to Paro Airport and fly to Delhi or Kathmandu. Check in at hotel.

NOTE: This trek has to be booked in advance period of atleast 3 months. Royalty fees are implied in this trek and the minimum number of 4 participants are required for this trek. This is the real base camp for Mt. Kanchenjunga Climbing from India, Sikkim.

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