After breakfast, you will be transferred to the village of Toeb Chandana in the Punakha Valley. On arrival, visit the Toeb Chandana Lhakhang (temple), also known as the Chandana Lhakhang, meaning ‘where the arrow landed’. Legend has it that when Drukpa Kuenley fired an arrow from Tibet to determine his course, it landed here in Toeb Chandana. The temple itself was built in the 15th century to ward off the evil energy of a demoness and then served as the religious seat of Ngawang Chogyal. The two hills at each end of the temple resemble knees and are said to be the knees of Ngawang Chogyal herself.
Next door to the Temple is the house of Toeb Tshewang, which Drukpa Kuenley’s arrow is said to have struck when it landed. Legend has it that, dressed as a hunting beggar, Kuenley courted Tshewang’s wife and that, in a fit of jealous rage, Tshewang drew a sword which Drukpa Kuenley miraculously knotted. Realizing Kuenley’s divine power, Tshewang offered him his wife as a gift to aid him in fulfilling his prophecies. The building still houses the eleven-stepped wooden ladder that Kuenley’s arrow is said to have struck; and the descendants of Tshewang have preserved the house as a monument for fifteen generations.
Afterwards, head out on your bike along the Trans Bhutan Trail towards the town of Punakha. First, the Trail ascends towards Sew Drangsa where you will find a clearing marked with prayer flags, which is where the monks stop for lunch when using this route to transfer between residences in Thimphu and Punakha. From Sew Drangsa, the trail descends towards Punakha Dzong (fortress), offering spectacular views of the Punakha Valley on the way.
On arrival in Punakha, enjoy a live cooking demonstration followed by an outdoor lunch. Then, in the afternoon, enjoy a gentle rafting expedition down the Mochhu River. Head to the put-in spot, around 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) north of Punakha Dzong and enjoy a leisurely float down the wide river valley past Her Majesty the Queen’s winter residences and His Majesty the King’s weekend retreat.
Dinner will be with your guide at a local restaurant.
Cycling Distance: 12.5 kilometres (7.78 miles)
Elevation Gain: 250 metres (820 feet)
Starting Elevation: 1,582 metres (5,190 feet)
Ending Elevation: 1,227 metres (4,026 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 1,780 metres (5,840 feet)