Towards Abode of the Goddess – Jomolhari Trek
This is one of Bhutan’s most popular treks and takes you to the base of Mt Jomolhari (“Mountain Goddess”) at Jangothang. Apart from the scenic beauty of the trek, it will offer you an opportunity to interact with the people of Lingshi and get to know their life styles.
Jomolhari (7,300mts) is the source of the Paro Chu (Paro river) which flows from the south side and the Amo Chu which flows from the north side. The mountain is sacred to and believed to be the abode of one of the Five Tsheringma Sisters; female protector goddesses (Jomo) of Tibet and Bhutan, who were bound under oath by Guru Padmasambhava to protect the land, the Buddhist faith and the local people.
- Duration: 13 Days
- Start: Paro
- End: Thimphu
- Entry: Paro
- Exit: Paro
Day 01. Arrival at Paro:
During this flight one will enjoy the view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan Mountains including the sacred Mt. Jomolhari & Mt. Jichu Drake(7,000mts) in Bhutan.
On arrival at Paro Airport you will be received by the representative of Atlas Tour and Travel and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon, visit Ta Dzong former Watch Tower which now houses the National Museum and then visit Rinpung Dzong which houses the monastic school and the office of the civil administration and walk down passing close by crossing the Bhutanese typical wooden roofed bridge to Paro town. After a short stroll in town drive back to hotel for the night halt.
Day 02. Paro – Excursion Taktsang:
After an early breakfast drive up to the Ramthangka (base camp) of Taktsang and then hike up to the most famous monastery Taktsang, the Tiger’s nest. This magical monastery clings to the vertical granite cliff 3,000 mts above the valley floor. It is believed that Guru meditated here in the 8th century by coming riding on a Tigress in a wrathful form, to subdue evil spirits obstructing the spread of Buddhism.
The disciples of Guru Padmasambhava built the temple, which was later enlarged by Zhabdrung in the 17th century.
After lunch we walk back and then drive towards the north to visit ruins of Drukgyel Dzong built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. From there one can see Mt. Jomolhari (mountain of goddesses) overnight at hotel.
Day 03. Paro – Shana:
(Distance 17km, five to six hours, 360m ascent, 80m descent, camp altitude 2,850m)
Your trek now begins. We drive up to Drukgyel Dzong where the motor-able road ends and then trek to Shana begins a start which is about 5 to 6 hours walk with gradual climb following the Paro river through agricultural valley and villages. The campsite is opposite the army check post in the meadows, near the river at an altitude of 2,580m.
Day 04. Shana – SoiThangthangkha:
(Distance 22km, seven to eight hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent, camp altitude 3,610m).
The trail gradually ascends following the Paro river through conifers and Rhododendron. The path narrows and closes in and the trail winds up and down along the drainage.
Your camp is in the meadow with stone shelter built for trekkers surrounded by conifer and birch forest. On clear days one can have a magnificent view of Mt. Jomolhari, which looks as if the Mountain is peeping at you through the clouds.
Day 05. Thangthangka – Jangothang:
(Distance 19km, five to six hours, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4,080m).
The trail leads by passing the army post and the valley begins to widen and enters the winter houses of yak herder where hot lunch will be served.
We will camp beneath ruined tress at the base of Mt. Jomolhari.
Day 06. Jangothang-Halt:
The day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jitchu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatization. Trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lay directly west, Jitchu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.
Day 07. Jangothang – Lingshi:
(Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 840m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4,010m)
After your breakfast you start ascending up the mountainside towards Nyelila (pass 4,700m).
During the ascend you will be seeing Mt. Jomolhari, Mt. Jitchu Drake and Tsherim Gang till Nyelila at which point you will be seen off by the former two mountains, with only Tsherim Gang visible. From Nyelila pass the trail leads you all the way down to the camp at Lingshi.
Day 08. Lingshi – Shodu:
(Distance 22km, eight to nine hours, 940m ascent, 920m descent, camp altitude 4,080m)
The trail is through a deep valley and ascends to Yeli-la pass( 4,820 m). From here Mt. Jomolhari, Mt Tsherim Gang and Mt. Masagang (6,994m) can be seen on clear days.
Camp at Shodu.
Day 09. Shodu – Barshong:
(Distance 16km, five to six hours, 250m ascent, 670m descent, camp altitude 3,710m)
The trail winds up and down gently following the Thimphu Chhu and gradually climbs to Barshong, our camp for the night.
Day 10. Barshong – Dolamkencho:
(Distance 15km, four to six hours, 290m ascent, 640m descent, camp altitude 3,320m).
The trail descends down to the Thimphu Chhu river valley, through dense forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples and bamboos and then ascends to pasture lands. The camp at Dolom Kencho is in a meadow.
Day 11. Dolam Kencho-Dodena:
(Distance 8km, three to four hours, 500m ascent, 930m descent).
The trail continues through forested areas winding up and down and through a small pass. Langur’s (monkeys) can be seen along the way. You will exit the Jigme Dorji National Park and reach the road head next to an impressive cantilever bridge.
It is the end of the trek. Our staff will meet you there who will drive you back to Thimphu. In the evening stroll around the town and drive back to hotel.
Halt in hotel.
Day 12. Thimphu- sightseeing.
Bhutan’s capital Thimphu could be called mini Bhutan, for people from all parts of the country live here. It also houses some important national treasures. We will be visiting them.
- Buddha Point/ Kuensel Phodang: The construction of the largest Buddha statue in the country is almost completed. From there you can get a 360 degree view of Thimphu valley.
- Changangkha Lhakhang – A 12th century structure built on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo.
- Motithang Takin Preserve – It houses the rare national animal of Bhutan, Takin which is listed by international conservation agencies as a vulnerable species. It is a rare animal found only in Bhutan, Nepal and Burma.
- National Institute of Traditional Medicine (NITM) – In Bhutan, equal emphasis is given to both allopathic and traditional medicines. The rich herbal medicines made up from medicinal plants are prepared and dispensed here.
- National Institute for Zorig Chusum – or the school of Arts and crafts is an institute where student undertake a six year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
- Folk Heritage Museum – the house replicates a traditional farmhouse and is furnished as it would have been about a century ago.
- Weaving center, Changzamtog
- Bhutanese Paper factory.
We will also be visiting Trashichhodzong, the seat of Bhutanese polity, which houses the King’s Office, Throne Room and is the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monk body.
Overnight at hotel
Day 13. Departure:
After breakfast, you will be driven to Paro international airport for your onward flight. Our representatives will see you off.