Mountain Biking Tour

Mountain Biking in Bhutan is relatively a new sport but emerged as one of the most sought-after activity for adventure enthusiasts. This tour program is crafted to offer blend of cycling and cultural tour experience to travelers, amidst landscape of incredible beauty. The average daily cycling duration does not exceed to more than five hours hence it is adventurous and enjoyable, at the same time, not taxing.

Day 1

2280 meter
Slopes: Gentle
Roads/slopes: Gentle slopes, winding roads, black topped and smooth

The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift, 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 the hotel.

Afternoon explore Paro town and valley at your own pace on bicycle. Also visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the country.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Alitude 2,280m)

Day 2

After breakfast, ride on bicycle to the base of Taktshang Monastery.

Distance: 8 Km ride
Approximate Time: 20 Minutes
Riding elevation: 2280 Meters
Road: Through the villages among blue pine trees and a slight uphill after the diversion of 3 kms.

Later 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’.

Afternoon, ride to the base of Drukgyal Dzong.

Distance from the base: 10 km
Time: 30 Minutes approx.
Riding elevation: 2280 Meters
Road: Among the villages and blue pine forest through winding road with gentle up hills and downhill.

Drukgyal Dzong: It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. Peak of Jumolhari ‘Mountain of the Goddess’ (Alt. 7,329 m /24,029 ft.) can be seen on a clear day from here.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Alitude 2,280m)

Day 3

Paro – Thimphu

After breaking biking to Thimphu en route stop at places for photography and to admire scenery.

Distance: 55 km
Time: 2.5 – 3 hours
Road:  Winding but well maintained and smooth. Biking along the side of the Paro River (Pa Chhu) till Chuzom and then the – Thimphu River (Wang Chhu). The route remains windy in the afternoon.

En route visit Tamchog Lhakhang, built in the 13th century by Thangthong Gyalpo, also known as the Iron bridge builder. Situated on a hilltop, we need to cross an ancient style bridge to reach the temple.

Further ahead take a short stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers. Three different style of stupas adorn the confluence.

Afternoon explore Thimphu valley and town, using bicycle.

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2,320m)

Day 4

Altitude: 2320 meters
Slopes: Gentle and uphill
Roads/slopes: Gentle slopes, uphill and downhill, winding roads, black topped and smooth, good number of vehicles on the road.

After breakfast, ride to the Kuenselphodrang.

Distance: 6 km from town
Time: Uphill 30 minutes approx.
Elevation: 2320 m to 2500 m at Kuenselphodrang
Road: Smooth and good, uphill

Kuenselphodrang: 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.

Then ride to National Memorial Chorten

Distance (Kuensel Phodrang to Memorial Chorten): 4.8 km
Time: approx. 15 minutes
Road: Smooth and good, downhill.

National Memorial Chorten: This Chorten was built in 1974, in honour of the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, also known as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”. It is also a center of worship for the people living in Thimphu and contains many religious paintings and tantric statues.

Back to hotel. After lunch, cycle to Sangaygang viewpoint.

Distance from town: 7 km
Time: approx. 30 minutes
Elevation: 2685 metes
Road: Smooth and good, uphill.

On the way, visit:
The Takin Preserve Centre: The takin, is the national animal of Bhutan and found only in this region.

Sangaygang viewpoint: (2685 meters) to have view of whole Thimphu valley and walk through hundreds of colorful prayer flags that dot the hill overlooking the Thimphu valley.

Ride back to Changangkha Lhakhang downhill.

Changangkha Monastery: This monastery was built in 15th Century by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhipo, overlooking the Thimphu valley. Many parents of Thimphu take their newborn babies to this monastery to be blessed by a high lama.

From there cycle towards the Drupthob Lhakhang, visit Drupthob Lhakhang.

Drupthob Lhakhang: This Lhakhang is one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan.

After the visiting Drupthob lhakhang, ride back downhill to hotel from Zilukha stoping on the way for a view of the 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.

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2,320m)

Day 5

Thimphu – Punakha & Wangdue
After breakfast, cycle to Dochula pass from Thimphu.

Distance: 22 km
Time: approx. 1 hour
Elevation at Dochula: 3080 meters
Road: Blacktopped and smooth (in some places road maintenance and widening are going on). Also, uphill and winding road along the slopes of the Himalayan ranges

Environment: You will come across Hongtsho and Yusipang villages, Bhutanese Chortens and forest consisting of pine, hemlock and spruce bright with rhododendrons. Prayers flags greet you at several places en route.

Dochula pass: On a clear day, spectacular view of the mighty Himalayas mountain ranges can be seen, from this pass. The pass also has 108 Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chortens which is believed to bring multi fold merit to all sentient beings. Himalayan peaks that can be seen from Dochula are Masagang (7200 m) Tsendagang (6960 m), Terigang (7060 m), Jejegangphugang (7158m) and Kangphugang (7170m).

After a short break at Dochula to view the Himalayas and photography, cycle downhill towards Punakha.

Distance: 55 kms
Time: approx. 2-3 hours
Elevation at Dochula: 3080 meters
Road: Blacktopped and smooth (in some places road maintenance and widening are going on). Downhill and winding road along the slopes of the Himalayan ranges.

Environment: Thinlaygang village, Royal Botanical park, great views of the Wangdue valley and the Punatshangchhu river, and the forest as it changes to Semi tropical forests.

Stop at the Royal Botanical Park and visit the Park.

Royal Botanical Park: Situated at an altitude range of 2100 meters – 3800 meters, the park covers an area of 47 square kilometers and is located between Thimphu and Punakha. The park contains a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and features a huge species of plants and animals.

Cycle towards Punakha. Stop at Lobesa for a short break. Cycle downhill towards Punakha at an altitude of 1300 meters.

While in Punakha view the Punakha Dzong from outside.

Overnight at the hotel in Punakha / Wangdue. (Altitude 1,300m)

Day 6

Punakha & Wangdue
Today is your only sightseeing day.

After breakfast, visit Punakha Dzong:  Built at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This majestic dzong served as both the religious and the administrative centre of Bhutan in the past.

Drive to Wangdue and on the way visit:
Chimi Lhakhang: This temple is located on the way to Punakha. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility and was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in the 15 century. Lama Drukpa Kuenley is also known as the “Divine Madman”.

Drive further and view the ruins of Wangduephodrang from the base. Then visit the Rinchengang village.

Rinchengang valley: it is small and clusterd valley located opposite to Wangduephodrang dzong. It is about 20 minutes hike uphill from the near road.

After lunch, excursion to Khamsum Yulley Monastery:

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten: This chorten is built by Her Majesty, the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, on a ridge above the Punakha valley and it took around nine years to complete this. It is said that the Bhutanese craftsmen consulted Holy Scriptures to construct this 4 storey temple.

The evening ends walking or cycling around the Punakha Valley.

Overnight at the hotel in Punakha / Wangdue. (Altitude 1,300m)

Day 7

Punakha & Wangdue – Thimphu
After breakfast, cycle uphill towards Dochula.

Time: 4 hours approx.

Lunch at Dochula cafeteria.

After lunch, cycle downhill for around half an hour. Evening time can be spent strolling through the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and 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, jewelry, interesting items made from local materials.

Day 8

Thimphu – Chelela Pass – Paro

After breakfast, cycle towards Paro and then cycle uphill 35 kms towards Chelela pass at an elevation of 3988 meters for approximately two hours. Cycle back down hill to Paro approx. time 1 hour.

Later in the day after checking into hotel, 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.

Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Alitude 2,280m)

Day 9

Depart Paro
After breakfast, you’re driven to the Paro airport for your departure flight to onward destination.

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