DAY 8 | Wednesday, March 30 | THIMPHU TO PARO
In the morning, before departing for Paro, a small group set off to visit the King Jigme Dorje Wangchuk Memorial Chorten, where the shrine was dedicated to Vajrakilaya, and joined local people in circumambulating the chorten. After a visit to a textile centre and an art gallery, the group offered khatags and received blessings at the wonderful Chang Gangkha Monastery built around the 12-14th century. Monks were offering prayers at a corner shrine dedicated to Hayagriva under a large statue of Avalokiteshvara. Before boarding buses to travel from Thimphu to Paro, a lovely buffet luncheon with traditional Bhutanese dishes was offered by the family of Choenyid Choedron, one of the senior nuns of Samten Tse. After the relaxing meal, everyone climbed aboard buses for the 2-hour drive to Paro—the base of operations for the final five days of the pilgrimage. There was great anticipation about the upcoming treks to the Tiger’s Nest and the Vajrayogini Cave at Chumphung Nye.