Bhutan Jhomolhari Circuit Trek
Destination : Bhutan
Duration : 13 Days
Style of Trip : Trekking, Historical, Spiritual
- 4 nights hotel
- 8 nights camping
- 12 Breakfasts
- 12 Lunches
- 12 Dinners
Bhutan Jomolhari Circuit trek is a 13 days program in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Program is basically for trek lovers who wants to explore mountain terrain of Bhutan with fine view of mountains and landscape. Also couple of days have been incorporated to explore the famous historical and religious sites of Bhutan. Taktsang Monastery will not be missed out.
Bhutan Jomolhari Trek is the most popular trekking routes in Bhutan. With altitude starting from around 2,500m and going more than 4,000m it offers a wide range of landscapes, fauna and flora. The highlight of this trek is the spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari (7,315 m) which is the sacred mountain for the people of Bhutan.
This is classified as a demanding trek and definitely one needs to be physically fit and used to altitudes. Good time to undertake this trek is between Oct to Nov or during spring Mar till April.
Trek goes through country side of Paro then through scattered farmhouses, orchards and rice fields. Initially for couple of days till the Jangothang base camp the trail follows the Paro River. The base camp offers you the amazing view of Mount Jumolhari (7315m). The mountain is sacred to the people of Bhutan who believe it is the abode of one of the Five Tsheringma Sisters female protector goddesses (Jomo) of Tibet and Bhutan. During the trek you will also come across Lingzhi, the highest settlement in the north with a unique mountain culture. En route you will have spectacular views of Mount Jichu Drake (6989m) and Tshrim Gang (6789m). From Lingzhi, you will descend to the lower valleys of Thimphu through varied vegetation and gorges formed by unique rock canyons. You will finally end your trek in the north of Thimphu valley.
Program also explore some of the famous sites of Bhutan which is spread around Paro and Thimphu Valley. The famous Dzongs, Chortens, National Museums and definitely the holy site for Bhutanese people the Taktsang Monastery will be visited.
The flight to Paro in a clear weather day can be spectacular with magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks and lush green Paro valley as you land. Complete your Immigration formalities then exit to arrival lounge where your Bhutanese escort will greet you and drive you to your hotel for check in.
Then in the afternoon visit some of the important sites around Paro valley. We start with a visit to Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan which houses many religious relics, art and handicrafts. After, it’s the Rimpong Dzong which is just below the museum. Here you can see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered by Bhutanese as the master of meditation and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. A short distance further is one of the innumerable archery grounds. (Archery is the national sport of Bhutan). If we are lucky, we may catch a match in action.
Overnight at the hotel.
Morning is an excursion to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger Nest) perched 900 m high up in the cliff. Built in the 1600s, this is one of Bhutan’s most important spiritual site. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. To reach there it involves bit of driving till Satsam Chorten and then uphill walk of approx. 2hrs.
After an amazing trip to Taktsang monastery, our tour continues to a historic 17th Century monuments Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans. In a clear weather day the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7,314 m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On our way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 659. This is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang temple of Lhasa.
Overnight at the hotel.
Our trek to Shana starts with a drive to Mitshi Zampa village which is the starting point of the trek. The trek begins by crossing to the left bank of the clear and fast following Paro Chhu river. Then the trail goes gradually up traversing through rice terraces and millet fields. It then goes through blue pine forest, small streams and White Chorten. The valley then widens crosses the army-check post then cross the Paro Chhu river to Sharna Zampa for an overnight stay.
Today is bit of tough day as it involves long hour of walking with lots of ups and down. The trail continues climb up along the Paro Chhu river through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. It narrows and closes in and the trail winds up and down along the drainage. We pass a junction enroute, where another path leads north over the Tremo La to Tibet. Camp is in a meadow with a stone shelter.
In the morning after passing a small army post, the trail slowly leaves the forest line and gradually climbs into a beautiful valley, passing Tegethang, a winter home of yak herdsmen. Lunch will be served in one of these huts. Lots of yaks will be seen today before we arrive at the Jhomolhari base camp (4,115 m). High mountains overlook the camp and visible nearby are the ruins of an old fortress used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasions.
Today is an acclimatization day. This day for acclimatization we have an option to either walk up to the Jhomolhari glacier or to the Tsho Phu lakes on the opposite direction. Overnight at the camp.
The trail follows a gentle stream for half an hour and crosses a bridge to the right bank. We now start our climb up the first ridge, enjoying breathtaking views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang. The trail then takes us across a fairly level valley floor until the climb up to Nyele-la Pass (4700m). We descend gradually enjoying a panoramic view of the mountainous peaks and Lingshi Dzong from the pass until we reach our campsite at Lingshi (4000m). Overnight at campsite
Today is a very long and tiring day so we start early. The trail climbs up towards a small white chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south up the deep Mo Chu valley. The trail stays on the West side of this largely treeless valley, climbing steadily a short distance above the Mo Chu. It then crosses the river, and climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli-La (4930m). If the weather is good from the top of the pass you will enjoy the fantastic view of Chomolhari, Gangchenta, Tserimgang and Masagang. Then the trail descends alongside a stream to a rock shelter in a cliff face. It then continues on downstream until reaching Shodu (4100m), where we will camp in a meadow with a chorten in it. Overnight at campsite.
Our trail follows the course of the Thimphu Chu, descending through Rhododendron, Juniper and mixed alpine forests. There are stunning views along the way. We stop at the riverside for a hot lunch. Then the trail takes us gradually upwards to the ruins of Barshong Dzong (3600m), near which we camp for the night. Overnight at the camp.
Today the trail goes down gently through a dense forest of Rhododendron, Birch and conifers, then drops steeply to meet the Thimphu Chu. The trail runs along the left bank of the river, climbing over ridges and descending into gullies where side streams run down into the river. The final stage of the trail climbs around a cliff face high above the Thimphu Chu, coming out onto Pastureland where we camp for the night at 3600m. Overnight at campsite.
Final day of our trek is quite short. The trail goes in and out of a side valley above the Thimphu chu, making a long ascent through a forest of conifers and high altitude broadleaf species to a pass at 3510m. The trail then drops steeply down to the river, following it southward to the road head at Dodena (2600m). Bhutan Travel Bureau transport meets us here, and we drive to Thimphu. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Today explore the capital of Bhutan with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten which depicts the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. The Third King first started building the Stupa as a protection from the negative elements of modernization. Later The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the third King who passed away in the year 1972. The other places which you will be visiting are the 12th Century Changangkha Temple, Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha nunnery, the School for Arts and Crafts where the students are taught to master the 13 types of Bhutanese art, the National Library housing a collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. In the early evening depart for Paro.
Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
We have breakfast and then transfer to the airport as per the flight schedule.
- Bhutan Tourist Tariff Royalty & Visa fees.
- All private excursions and transfers in a private vehicle.
- Local English speaking trekking guide/tour leader.
- Cook and camp hand who will take care of camp chores and provide wholesome meals.
- Services of horsemen who will look after the yaks & ponies that transport luggage and camp gear.
- Experienced driver.
- Accommodation in carefully selected, highest standard government approved hotels & guesthouses.
- All meals in Bhutan.
- All entrance fees and permits.
- All personal expenses such as bars, beverages, laundry, telephone and tips.
- Flight tickets
- Medical / Travel Insurance.
- Extra expenses in case of flight cancellation, political turmoil, natural disasters, epidemics etc
- Trekking gears, sleeping bags