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Dagala trek in Bhutan

Do not experience nature, Become a part of nature, Go on the dagala trek

The Bhutan trekking experts at Yetis & Dragons Bhutan Travel Agency bring you yet another phenomenal Bhutan trekking experience-the Dagala Trek.

Starting above Thimphu, this fabulous trek in Bhutan takes you to several mesmerizing high altitude views which feature lakes, incredibly pristine terrain untouched by civilization, and glimpses of the country no travel picture book has ever captured. The trek is of six days duration and follows a route less traveled. Although the highest camp is 14,104 feet/4300 m above sea level, the route takes you up to a lofty 15,416 feet/4700 m, from where you can witness the innate beauty of the Himalayan mountain range first hand. You will even get an opportunity to view the majestic Mt. Everest during this trek.

The Dagala Trek is rated as a medium difficult trek which essentially means that first timers can do it as long as they are willing to rough it just a little bit. For those adventurers who are experienced in Bhutan travel, the Dagala Trek is a breeze and a cake walk.

Duration of Trek: 13 days Season: April, September and October

Day 1:Arrive at paro

When you land at Paro, you will meet a Yetis & Dragons representative, who will take you to the hotel after completion of arrival formalities. Subsequently, there will be evening visits to the Paro market and downtown. We will bring you back to your comfortable hotel in Paro in good time to enable you to get a full night's rest.

Day 2:Paro sightseeing

After breakfast, you will be driven up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong which was built in 1646 AD. The monument played the role of a fortress and defended the valley from repeated Tibetan invasions from the north. 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.Chomoihari from the approach road to Drukgyel Dzong. You will drive back along the valley to visit a traditional farmhouse and then the 7th Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan's oldest and most sacred shrines.

After enjoying a sumptuous lunch, you will visit the Ta Dzong which was built in 1651 AD as a watch tower and inaugurated as Bhutan's National Museum in 1968. By the way, the word "ta" means "watch" and you will find several ta dzongs as you experience the joys of Bhutan travel with us. The collection at this monument includes art, craft items from the past, relics, religious thangkha paintings, postage stamps, coins and handicrafts. There is a small natural history collection too which you should check out while you are there. Wait. there is more!

Take a short stroll along a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong which is also known as Paro Dzong. This monument was constructed in 1646 AD and currently houses the District Administration offices. The official files won't interest you but the architectural beauty of the building will. Enjoy your dinner and stay back the night at the hotel in Paro.

Day 3: Paro -thimphu sightseeing

Early next morning, you will be accompanied down the valley to follow the Pa Chu, also known as the Paro river to the meeting point with the Wang Cnu Ulnimphu river. Once you take a sharp left up the valley, you will begin to approach the nation's capital, Thimphu. On the way, your fun-loving group will visit Simtokha Dzong which was built in 1627 AD. This, by the way, happens to be the kingdom's oldest fortress which now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies. As you have guessed rightly, this isn't worth missing at any cost. The Institute is used to welcoming guests and tourists from all over the world and so you won't be disturbing a class on Bhutanese linguistics.

After lunch, you will visit the National Memorial Chorten. It was built as a memorial to Bhutan's third king, who is also regarded as the Father of Modern Bhutan. The monument is also Bhutan's salute to world peace and sustained global harmony.

You will also visit Tashichho dzong which is considered to be Thimphu's most stately edifice. The remarkable monument is situated by the Wang Chu river. It houses His Majesty's Secretariat, several ministries as well as the central monk body during summer.

As evening sets in, be sure to take a few moments to saunter along the Thimphu market and the downtown area.

Day 4:More Thimphu sightseeing for you

After a hearty breakfast, you will visit several significant points of interest. They include:

The Institute for Zorig Chusum where students are taught the thirteen traditional arts & crafts of Bhutan.

The National Library of Bhutan which, in addition to its architectural significance, houses an extensive archive of the Buddhist cannon including a few rare and precious manuscripts which date back several centuries.

The National Institute of Traditional Medicine located nearby where medicinal herbs are researched and processed for distribution to patients and advanced-level training in herbal medicine is imparted.

Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums which provide deep insights into Bhutanese culture and the Bhutanese way of life.

In the afternoon, you can visit the government-run handicraft emporium which features a wide range of products made out of hand-woven fabric as well as craft products. Browse through the bookshops and quaint little handicraft shops around the town. You should start early in the morning the next day and drive up to a lookout point that is elegantly decorated with prayer flags. From here, you will be able to take in great views of the Thimphu valley. Rest for the night at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 5:Thimphu - geynekha

Distance: 14 km, 4 hours

It will take us approximately 45 minutes to arrive at the point from where the trek is scheduled to depart. The first day's walk will take you along a mule path which passes through terraced fields and coniferous forests. It will end at the Genekha School. You will be made very comfortable at the overnight camp at Genekha, 2,800 m close to a natural stream.

Day 6:Geynekha - gur

Distance: 15 km, 4 hours

Experience nature at its sublime best on this day of your trek. Take in the natural beauty of Bhutan.

After two hours of a low gradient uphill walk, you will get to rest on a huge rock platform from which there is a picturesque view of the entire valley below. Two hours later, the trek will conclude for the day and you will be able to take in a good dose of shut eye after a sumptuous camp meal. You will camp with the entire trek group at Gur. This location is close by and is also called the Spring Garden by local residents. If you are into star gazing, you are in for a treat.

Day 7:Gur - labatamba

Distance: 12 km, 5 hours

The trek will take you across meadows where wild asparagus and several other forms of natural vegetation grow in abundance. If there is a botanist in you, this is the trek for you. This trek also provides you with a chance to examine plants that are unique to this part of the world. You will go through several ridges and thus enjoy many scenic views of the mountains. If you happen to go on the trek during spring, the amazing number of flowers you will see is sure to enthrall you to the core.

The first mountain pass you will cross, which is marked by a large cavern, presents you with a spectacular view of the entire Dagala range. The alpine meadows and yak herders' camps you will cross, in themselves, make the trek worth the effort.

You will enjoy a camp feast at a traditional yak herder's camp. Soon after, you will walk across a naturally scenic terrain. You will eventually arrive at the campsite at Yutsho Lake. The golden trout in the lake are indeed a sight to behold. You will rest at the lakeside camp and recharge yourself for yet another day of Bhutan travel at its best.

Day 8 and 9: Rest stop at labatamba

You are free to choose from an excursion to any one of three lakes: Relitsho, Hentsho and Jamatsho. All three lakes are surrounded by legends dating back several centuries which your trek guide is sure to share with you. It is time to get into a trout fishing mood because Bhutan offers some of the best trout fishing in the world much of which is featured on this trek. We will camp here for the night. Sit outside your tent for an hour after dinner, trade travel stories and anecdotes with your fellow-travelers and breathe in the crisp and clean mountain air. If Bhutan isn't heaven on earth, we would like to know what is.

Day 9: Rest stop at labatamba continued

Your trek to Bhutan and its best kept secrets will take you to Setsho and other nearby lakes. The hike to Setsho lake is both light and casual. Ask your trek guide to arrange a packed lunch so that you could go on a trout fishing expedition.

Once you reach Setsho, cross over a small ridge and go down to Jagetsho lake. You could also consider going on a short mountain climbing expedition to Mt. Jomo, a 5,050 m peak. Enjoy the views in all four directions while enjoying a packed lunch.

Day 10:Labatama - panka

Distance: 8 km, 4 hours

We recommend that you take a short uphill walk before you start your descent. This is perhaps the only place in Bhutan from where you can view Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Chomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake, Tserimgang, Khangbum, Masagang, Tsendegang and Gangchenta all at the same time. If you haven't had a chance to see the Himalayan monal pheasant yet, you will surely see them here in abundance. You will camp overnight in a plush green meadow overlooking the peaks.

Day 11:Panka - talekha

Distance: 8 km, 4 hours

Your trek is guaranteed to be scenic owing to the diversity of the lush landscape. You will go through several mountain passes under the careful guidance of your trek guide and staff. You will have lunch at a point where two trails meet- one leading to Talekha and the other to Wangduephodrang respectively.

If you are a plant lover and a bird watcher rolled into one, expect to have a field day because there is plenty to keep you busy. Hundreds of species of mountain birds frequent this area the year round and the vegetation is very different from anything you have ever experienced. Memories for a lifetime? That's Dagala Trek for you.

After lunch and a quick break, a short climb will take you to the top of the last ridge on the Dagala range from where there are terrific views of Thimphu valley below. You will camp close to Talekha monastery for the night and will enjoy a hearty meal after a long day. This is your final camping destination on the trek but we are hoping you will come back again and so this won't be the last camp for you.

Day 12:Talekha - thimphu - paro

Distance: 6 km, 2 hours

Your last but one day on the trek will take you through apple orchards and dense vegetation replete with alpine, bamboo and other flora. Before you know it, you will be back on the highway to Thimphu. Arrive in Thimphu just about lunch time. You will then proceed to Paro. Spend the night at your hotel and experience all the creature comforts you have been wondering about.

Day 13:Departure

a bundle of memories that you have so warmly woven into space and time on your Bhutan travel finally comes to an end. It is time to bid adieu. Your Yetis & Dragons tour specialist will help you with all the arrangements and make sure that you have a safe and pleasant homeward bound trip with the hope that you will return even before WE know it.

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