Essence of India Tour programs with Singapore Airlines


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Trip cost includes:

- Accommodations on a twin share basis

- Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner in  Bhutan

- Airport transfers in Bhutan

- Sightseeing and excursions by private vehicles, with English speaking local guides

- Entrance fees to all monuments listed in the itinerary

- Local taxes & service charges on the above

Not included are airfares to/from Bhutan, visa fees, personal expenses of all kinds


Private Journeys in India

Encounter India - 9 Days

Prelude to India - 11 Days

Glimpse of India & Nepal - 11 Days

Spices & Sandalwood - 14 Days

The Tiger's Den - 15 Days

Temples, Taj & Turbans - 15 Days

Royal India - 16 Days

Treasures of India - 16 Days

India in Style - 17 Days

Coast to Coast - 18 Days

Walk on the wild side - 18 Days

Rhinos, Tea & Monasteries - 18 Days

Indian Potpourri - 23 Days

Passage to India - 27 Days


Small Group Tours

Customized Trips

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Bhutan - the last Shangri La

Bhutan is a land of myths and legends. Sheltered from the influence of the outside world for many years, the charming Bhutanese people have managed to retain their ancient religious and cultural traditions almost perfectly: This is apparent not only from the traditional architecture all over the country but also the clothes people wear; all this with the backdrop of the mighty Himalayan ranges, dense forests and cool mountain springs. Like timeless images from the past, the visitor encounters the full glory of this ancient land through its strategic fortresses known as Dzongs, numerous ancient temples, monasteries which dot the countryside and Buddhist prayer flags which flutter along the high ridges.

A short trip to Bhutan, such as this 8 day itinerary shown here, can easily be arranged as an extension from India; regular flights operate from Delhi & Calcutta and one can also travel overland from Darjeeling in India. We can also arrange longer trips of course, upon request.

Punakha Dzong, Bhutan
Punakha Dzong, Bhutan

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Thimpu The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering awesome views of some world’s highest glacial peaks. After landing in the Paro, drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Thimphu is a lively place, an interesting combination of the traditional and the modern. Enjoy a traditional cultural performance by local artists this evening.
Day 2 – Thimpu to Punakha Visit the National Memorial Chorten (temple) with its finely executed wall paintings and delicately fashioned statues. Meet young arts and craft trainees at a painting school and drive past the Tashichhodzon, the “fortress of the glorious religion”, that was initially erected in 1641. Enjoy superb views of the mountain ranges as you drive via Duchula Pass to Punakha, an important Buddhist town and the former capital of Bhutan. The Punakha Dzong, a magnificent fortress built in 1637 is located at the confluence of two glacial rivers, and is a very impressive site to visit this afternoon.
Day 3 – Punakha to Bumthang Leaving Punakha this morning, head to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation. Bumthang is the name given to a region of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitudes ranging from 7,800 ft to 12,000 ft. Bumthang is home to some of the most important Buddhist temples and monasteries in Bhutan. Visit the local market in Wangduephodrang. Then continue on to Trongsa across Pele-la pass (10,830 ft), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large white chorten prayer flags. Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath stupa, with eyes panted at four cardinal points.
Day 4 – Bumthang to Trongsa Spend the morning exploring some of the sights around Bumthang valley, before driving to Trongsa, which was the seat of the Wangchuks, the traditional rulers of Bhutan. Trongsa Dzong, built in 1644, is located high on the spurs of a mountain gorge and offers spectacular views all around.
Day 5 – Trongsa to Punakha In the morning visit the Trongsa Dzong. The dzong is a labyrinth of temples, corridors and offices holding court over the local community. It is built on many levels into the side of the hill and can be seen from every approach to Trongsa heralding its strength as a defensive stronghold. Then drive via the beautiful valley of Gangtey back to Punakha.
Day 6 – Punakha to Paro On route to Paro visit Simtokha Dzong: This dzong, built in 1627, stands on a low ridge and features over 300 finely worked slate carvings behind the prayer wheels in the courtyard. In the afternoon visit Ta Dzong, built as a watchtower to protect Rinpung Dzong. Then walk down the trail to Rinpung Dzong, before heading towards Paro.
Day 7 –Paro Early this morning, visit Drukgyel Dzong, from where on a clear day there is a splendid view of Mt. Chomolhari. Then hike up a steep slope to “Tiger’s Nest’ (approx. 2 hours each way, though mules can be hired locally for the ascent). This most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries is perched on the side of a cliff 2,700 ft above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this place, hence the monastery is also called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Though the climb is steep, the journey is most worthwhile on account of the superb views en route. Return to Paro late in the afternoon.
Day 8 – depart Paro Leave Bhutan this morning for the next leg of your journey.

Private Journey

Thimphu, Punakha, Bumthang, Trongsa, Paro

8 Days from $2,069

Jun-Aug '18 $2,2669 on request
Sep-Nov '18 $2,699 on request
Dec '18 $2,879 on request
Jan-Mar '19 $2,679 on request

Departs Daily

We offer two categories of accommodation: Silver hotels are some of the best tourist class hotels available in Bhutan - all  rooms have private facilities and hotels are well located. Gold hotels are exclusive, luxury resorts (not available in all locations in the itinerary).
 The departure date determines the price applicable. All prices are per person and based on twin-share accommodation.


Locals in traditional Bhutanese costume
Locals in Thimpu
Locals in traditional Bhutanese costume


Traditional wooden architecture in Bhutan
Traditional wooden architecture


Temple at Bumthang, Bhutan
At a Bumthang temple


Tigers Nest Dzong, Bhutan
'Tiger's Nest' Dzong, perched high on a sheer cliff


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