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Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek - Bhutan

11 Days / 10 Nights (Tour Code: PI-0185)
This picturesque trek is an excellent option for those with good fitness and wants to experience the alpine heights. Passing through various high altitude lakes, the route is particularly rich in alpine flowers, bird species and attractive meadows. There is also the additional advantage of having some exceptional views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari, Masang gang, Jichu Drake and Gangchhenta.

Day 1: Paro

Druk Airways flight to Bhutan is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, each flight is a mesmerizing aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the Kingdom.

Day 2: Paro

Morning drive up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong (built in 1646), which once defended this valley from Tibetan invasion. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, its towering outer walls are still an imposing sight. On a fine day, there is a grand view of Mt. Chomolhari (7,314m) from the approach road to Drukgyel Dzong.

Day 3: Paro - Thimphu

Morning visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower which now houses Bhutan-s National Museum. After that walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century. It is symbolic as the religious and secular affairs of the country.

Day 4: Thimphu

Morning visit Arts & Crafts School where centuries old traditional art is taught. National Library is another interesting place to visit which houses vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts. Visit Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of Bhutan-s living traditions.

Day 5: Thimphu

Drive for about 45 min to reach starting point for the trek. The first day-s walk is along a mule path, passing by terraced paddy fields and coniferous forest, and ending at the signboard of Genekha School. Overnight camp at Genekha (2,800m) alongside a stream.

Day 6: Thimphu - Geynekha

On today-s trek the true communion with nature begins, and you will see many varieties of alpine flora and also some animals and bird species. After two hours of walking gradually uphill, rest at a huge rock platform, from which there is a picturesque view of the valley below. After another two hours the trek ends for the day. Camp at Gur, where flowers are abundant in spring.

Day 7: Geynekha

While trekking across the ridges, on enjoys the beauty of the rugged mountain vegetation. Today-s trek takes us across meadows where wild asparagus and other small plants grow, and if taking this trek in the spring, you will feel you are walking over carpets of flowers. The first pass (4,250m) marked by a large cairn gives a spectacular view of the whole Dagala range, alpine meadows and yak herders- camps. We will lunch at a nearby yak herders- camp. After lunch we will walk across hills and over meadows, ending the third day of our trek at Yutsho Lake, where golden trout abound. Overnight camp near the lake.

Day 8: Geynekha

Walk for 20 minutes upwards before beginning the descent at around 4,460m. There will be splendid views of the Himalayas on descent. Your escort will help you in identifying invidual peaks such as Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tsering Khang, Khangbum, Masagang, Tsendegang and Gangchecn Ta. Himalayan monal pheasants are a common sight, due to vegetation in this area. Overnight camp on a grassy meadow at Panka.

Day 9: Gur

This day entails passing of several increasingly impressive passes. You will see varities of the blue poppy (if trekking in June-July) and also many mountain birds along the way. Lunch at the point where the trail divides into two paths leading to Talekha and to Wangduephodrang respectively. After lunch, an hour-s gradual climb brings us to the top of the last ridge on the Dagala range from where there is a spectacular view of Thimphu valley below. Another hour-s walk and you are at the last camp, a little above Talekha monastery.

Day 10: Gur

Passing through alpine and mixed vegetation (bamboo thickets and wild flowers) one reaches Talekha monastery and village and once again the view of Thimphu is superb. We walk through mixed vegetation and apple orchards, finally reaching the main motorable road to Thimphu where our transport is waiting for us. Drive to Thimphu in time for lunch, and in the evening drive back to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 11: Labatamba

After early breakfast in the hotel, transfer to Paro airport for flight to onward destination.

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