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Bhutan Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
Dagala Trek is the off beaten track as you hardly see trekkers on the trail. As this moderate short day trek passes through various shimmering high altitude lakes, it is often named as the Thousand Lakes Trek. Trekking amidst the picturesque lakes, one will be treated with stunning views of some of the world’s highest Himalayan ranges including Mount Everest in Nepal, Jumolhari, Masanggang, Jichu Drake, Tiger Mountain in Bhutan and many more. The trail also takes you through bird rich areas, alpine flowers, attractive meadows and several traditional Bhutanese villages.
Day 1 Arrive Paro International Airport
Day 2 Paro - Sightseeing
Morning: Drive to Drugyel Dzong (a ruined fortress - 16 kms. away front Paro Town). Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical significance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Chomolhari "Mountain of the Goddess" can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329 mtrs/24,029 ft.). On the way back visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. After lunch, at the hotel, take a leisurely stroll around the compound.
Visit the Rinpung Dzong. This massive fortress is located on a small hill just above the Paro river (Pachu) . You have to walk about 15 minutes by crossing an ancient wooden bridge with shingle roofing. The Dzong houses the district administration office and the District Monk Body. It was built in 1645 A.D.
Lunch in the Hotel. After lunch, visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). This was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong and was converted into the National Museum in 1965.
Visit Kyichu Lhakhang (monastery). The monastery was built in 659 A.D. by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet as one of the 108 such monasteries he built across the Himalayas to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong.
Day 3 Paro - Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu takes about 2 hrs to cover the distance of 65 kms. Check in at Hotel. After some rest visit the following places: Memorial Chorten,a huge stupa built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972.
The National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved.
Visit Tashichho Dzong, the scat of the Royal Government and the summer residence of the Head Abbot and the central monastic school.
Evening : Reception with cultural show.
Day 4 Thimphu - Sightseeing
Visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 A.D. and houses the largest monastic school in the country.
Visit the wood craft and painting school where traditional art and crafts are still kept alive.
Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts are displayed and can be purchased.
Lunch and afternoon siesta Early evening will be left free to stroll around Thimphu valley and its town.
Day 5 - The Trek Begins from Thimphu to Talekha
The trek starts from Simtokha Dzong where the ponies and camping crew members will be waiting. The trek trail leads through blue pine and evergreen forests till Talekha village which lies at an altitude of 2925 mtrs. The first two hours entail some difficult climbing but it is downhill for the remaining two hours. The Talekha village consists of five houses and a huge temple called Tale-Lhakhang. Overnight at Talekha campsite.
Day 6 Talekha - Japhuna
The trek leads you through thick forests of blue pine and evergreen oak trees into soft pine and spruce forests for about two and half hours. For lunch halt at a yak camp site. Here the tree line ends. After lunch you cross a pass called Jelezela - Alt. 4000 mtrs. From the pass, one can have a breathtaking view of Thimphu valley and its surrounding mountain ridges. After crossing two ridges, you arrive at the second campsite, Japhuna, at Alt. 3800 rntrs.
Day 7 Japhuna - Jaduna
The trail from Japhuna takes you up and down over several ridges for about 4 hrs till you come across a small stream where you will find two trails which will lead you to the same destination. Along the route, there are many small lakes. Another hour and a half climb through rhododendron shrubs, you reach the third campsitewhich is also a yak camp. Alt. 4100 mtrs.
Day 8 Jaduna - Labatama
There are two trails, one going on the left side of Aum Jomo ( highest peak in the Dagala range ), and the other onto the right side of Aum Jorno over the Jomigue pass and Setso Yumtso lakes. We follow the trail that goes on the right side of Aum Jomo and climb up to the, Jomigue pass (alt. 4460 mtrs) after passing the Dungka Tso lake. From the pass, you you can see beautiful views of the high mountains towards northern Bhutan. After the pass, you descend for about 2 hrs. to reach Labatama yak camp by the side of the Yumtso lake where you camp for the night.
Day 9- Labatama ( halt )
You can visit several lakes and enjoy a good fishing day in the takes or go back to Jomigue pass and climb Aum Jomo till the summit (5050 mtrs) which will take about 5-6 hrs.
Day 10 Labatama - Genekha
Today, you leave the lovely pasture of Labana and move out of Dagala range. The trail ascends gradually through beautiful landscape till you reach Pagalaptsa pass ( alt 4170 mtrs ), the highest point of the day. From the pass, you have beautiful views of the Genekha village and a portion of the Paro valley. After the pass, you gradually climb down through thick Rhododendron shrubs and thick oak forest till you reach Genekha.
Overnight in camp in Genekha.
Day 11 Genekha - Paro
A short walk will bring you to the motor road where your transport will be waiting. Drive to Paro which is only 45 kms and takes a little over an hour. Overnight in hotel.
Day 12- Day excursion to Taktsang Monastery.
Drive upto Satsam Chorten ( 10 klms from Paro town ) and from there walk upto Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means " Tiger's Nest ", The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000 ft. and overlooks the Paro valley. It is believed that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava, meditated here after having alighted upon the back of a flying Tigress. The monastery itself was built in 1684 A.D.
Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 4 hrs.
Day 13 - Depart for Paro International Airport