Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

Trekking duration: 5 days

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek is easy 5 days trekking in Bhutan and most trekking days are short but there are some long steep climbs. Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek starts near Thimphu to a large number of lovely high altitude lakes. The Trek is easy and most trekking days are short but there are some long steep climbs. It starts from Khoma (near Thimphu) and ends in Chamgang, Thimphu. The highest point is 4300 Meters.

Detailed Itinerary for Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek:

Dagala Thousand Lakes TrekDay 01. Arrive at Paro:

Upon arrival at Paro airport, your guide from Yak Holidays will receive you and transfer to the hotel.

After lunch, we visit:

  • Visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley.

In the evening, free to stroll in the town for shopping and photography. Dinner and over night in Hotel.

Day 02. Hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest):

After breakfast, hike to the Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery

  • After breakfast, a short drive to Satsam Chorten and start the hike. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. The primary temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684 by the Penlop of Paro Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort.

After Lunch, visit to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire.

On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo.

  • Srongsen Gampo was a Tibetan king who married a Chinese princess, Wenchen in 641. In 659, He decided to build 108 Temples in a single day to pin the Ogress to the earth forever and, at the same time, convert the Tibetan people to Buddhism. Six of these Temples lie in Bhutan, most prominent of them are Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang and Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. Kichu Lhakhang is said to hold the left foot of the Ogress and Jambay Lhakhang pins the left knee.

Dinner and over night in Hotel.

6-nights-bhutan-tourDay 03. Paro – Geynekha – Gur: Start of Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

After a relaxed breakfast, drive to Geynikha (1 ½  hours). On the way, view Tamchog Monastery built in 15th century by Thangthong Gyalpo (Popularly known as Lama Chazampa, which literally means, the Iron Bridge builder)

  • Thang Thong Gyalpo (1385 – 1464) was a wonder working saint from Tibet who came to Bhutan in 1433 looking for Iron Ore. He built 108 bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, out of which 8 were built in Bhutan. His only surviving bridge is in Duksum (Tashi Yangtse in Eastern Bhutan).

We stop at Chuzom to take a view. The bridge is built on the confluence of the Paro river and the Thimphu river. The bridge connects the four districts of Paro, Haa, Chhukha and Thimphu. One will witness the three Stupas, built in Bhutanese, Tibetan and Nepalese style at Chuzom.

We drive further to Genekha. The road leaves the main highway and passes through the villages of Bama and Chizhi. We disembark at Gyenekha and walk past Tsochekha village. Packed lunch will be served. We hike to Gur crossing a suspension bridge through oak forest famous for its Mushrooms perhaps the most prominent mushroom habitats in the country. Distance: 7 km, Walking Duration: 4 Hours, Altitude at Campsite: 3290 m

Day 04. Gur – Labatamba:

We cross the pass at 4240 meters for a view of Spectacular Dagala village. Pass though several herders camps enroute to the foot of the broad Labatamba valley at 4300 meters near Utso Lake, where plenty of Golden Trout flourish. There are so many lakes in the vicinity. Camp near the lake at 4300 meters. Dinner and over night in Camp.

Walking Distance: 12 Km, 5hrs, Ascent 1040 meters, Descent 110 meters

Day 05. Labatamba – Panka:

The trail climbs along the western side of the lake to saddle at 4500 meters, where there are good mountain views. From the pass there is a steep descent to another lake at 4350 meters. A short distance beyond the lake leads to the valley and then to Panka at 4000 meters.

Walking Distance 8 kms, 6-7 hours, Ascent 260 meters, Descent 520 meters. Camp at 4000 meters.

Day 06. Panka – Talakha:

The route leads north crossing a pass at 4000 meters, then climbs along the side of the ridge to a crest at 4270 meters. From here there is a view of the Dagala range and a view of Thimphu, far to the North. It is then a long descent through forests to the Goemba and village of Talakha (3080 meters).

Walking distance: 8 kms, 6-7 hours, Ascent 180 meters, Descent 1100 meters, Camp at 3080 meters.

Day 07. Talakha – Chamgang – Thimphu (End of Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek):

Today is the last day of Dagala Thousand Lakes trek. We walk downhill on a steep trail to Chamgang (2640 meters) from where the Vehicle will pick you up and drive to Thimphu. After lunch, Rest and free to stroll in the town.

Dinner and over night in Hotel.

Walking Distance: 6 Km, 3 Hrs, 440 meters descent.

National-Memorial-Chorten-in-ThimphuDay 08. Thimphu Sightseeing:

After breakfast, visit to:

  • Visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honor of our 3rdKing, late His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (The Father of Modern Bhutan). The paintings and statues give a rare insight into Bhutanese culture.
  • Tallest Statue of sitting Buddha (51.5 meters) at Kuenselphodrang, Changangkha Lhakhang, Takin Preserve center, Sangaygang view point, and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan.

Lunch at Simple Bhutan Museum restaurant, where you can enjoy typical Bhutanese dishes, Ara (Local wine), witness Folk dances, visit to the Folk Museum and many more.

  • Visit to the Painting School, school of 13 Arts and crafts.
  • In the evening, Visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan).
  • And free to stroll in the town for shopping and photography.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Day 09. Thimphu – Punakha (Altitude 1310 m, 76 Km, 3 hrs drive):

After breakfast, drive to Punakha. On the way,

  • Visit to the Dochula pass with its 108 stupas and the beautifully arranged Himalayan mountain ranges in the background.
  • Chimi Lhakhang built in 1499 by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, popularly known as “The Divine Madman”. The Temple is also called “the Temple of Fertility”. Lama Drukpa Kuenley (1455 – 1529) was one of the Bhutan’s Favourite Saints who was born in Tibet, trained at Ralung Monastery and was a contemporary and a disciple of Pema Lingpa. He Travelled throughout Bhutan and Tibet as a “Neljorpa” (Yogi) using songs, humour and outrageous behavior to dramatise his teachings of Salvation through sex.

After lunch, we visit:

  • The Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Punakha is the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck convened the First National Assembly here in 1952. Punakha was also an ancient capital of Bhutan until the rule of the second king of Bhutan.

In the evening, we hike to:

Hike to Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery.

  • We drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Choling Chorten, built by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Punakha-Suspension-bridgeDay 10. Punakha –Wangdiphodrang – Thimphu: (Altitude 2280 m, Distance 90 km, Drive Time 4 hours).

After breakfast, walk the longest Suspension bridge in Bhutan (160 meters).

  • The Punakha Suspension Bridge is considered the longest of its kind in Bhutan. It is located in the Punakha district and it connects the two sides of the Po Chhu river. You will get a great view of the river, valley, temple, and a good boost of adrenaline as well. In the early years, the bridge was made for the Lamas of Punakha Dzong (temple) who crossed the river very often to visit nearby villages. Today it serves both for locals and tourists who want to visit the temple.

Drive to Thimphu via Wangdiphodrang.

  • View the Wangdiphodrang Dzong built in 1638 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This Dzong was razed by fire in 2012 and is under construction now. The Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong; four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered auspicious sign, representing the spread of religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers.

Lunch at Dochula cafeteria.

After lunch, visit to the Postal Museum where you can make personalized stamps.

Then witness the Archery match at Changlimithang stadium.

In the evening, free to stroll in the town for shopping and photography.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Day 11. Paro – Departure (54 kms, 1 hour):

After breakfast, drive to the airport and farewell.