Thimphu Festival- 19th Sept to 21st Sept 2018 (Tour 8 Days)

About this Tour

Destination: Thimphu, Punakha, Paro
Bhutan is rich in cultural diversity and this richness is further enhanced by the wide variety of elaborate and colorful religious festivals that are celebrated throughout the country. Every village is known for their unique festival though the most widely known is the annual Tshechu, meaning a religious festival.
In the early spring, we see Punakha Tsechu and Punakha Dromchoe, and bit later into full spring, attend Talo village festival, along with the famous Paro Tsechu festival, where we also see the unfurling of giant Thangkha. In the autumn, you’ll see three festivals of Wangduephodrang, Gangtey and Thimphu Tshechu festival. As these festival periods are extremely popular, flights and hotels tend to get booked out soon, so book this tour early!

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: - PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - THIMPHU (L/D) Upon arrival at the Paro International airport, you will be met by BHTC guide and transferred to your hotel in Thimphu. Before proceeding to Thimphu, visit Ta-Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rinpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
After lunch drive along the winding road by the Paro Chu (Chu means water or river) downstream to the confluence with the Wang Chu, then turn upstream along the Wang Chu to Thimphu, Bhutan’s scenically located capital city. In the evening, visit the Tashichho Dzong, the seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body which includes the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). Welcome dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 2 : THIMPHU (B/L/D) After breakfast drive to Dodeyna to climb through a beautiful forest track to the Tango Monastery which overlooks a forested valley and other Buddhist retreats high in the mountains. After lunch visit the National Memorial Chorten built in honor of Bhutan’s late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and drive uphill to the Kuensel Phodrang to see a large statue of Buddha Shaky Muni being built.
In the afternoon, you will also get an opportunity to visit National Institute of Traditional Medicines, National Institute of Zorig Chusum (School of 13 arts & crafts), Royal Textiles Academy and local handmade paper house. In the evening, explore Thimphu town.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 3-4 : 19th to 21st September - 2018 - THIMPHU TSHECHU FESTIVAL (B/L/D)
Either on the first day or the second day after noon, we will arrange a walking tour along the beautiful Sangaygang – Wangtse walking trail. On the way visit the mini zoo at Motithang to see the Takin, Bhutan’s national animal at close hand. In the evening you will have free time to explore Thimphu town for shopping of souvenirs and other items in the shops of Thimphu. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 5 : THIMPHU – PUNAKHA (B/L/D)
Drive to Punakha via the Dochula Pass (3,140 m). On the way stop to see the spectacular array of chortens, to enjoy the superb view over the snow capped Himalayan Mountains and also to the Gasa Dzong at a distance if the weather is clear. After lunch walk about 25 minutes along the beautiful terraced farmlands and farm houses to visit Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (the Devine Madman) in the 15th century. He subdued the demoness with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.
Then visit Punakha Dzong. The impressive Punakha Dzong lies between two great rivers. The names of the rivers are Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). This Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the district administration. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Punakha.

Day 6 : PUNAKHA – PARO (B/L/D) After an early breakfast, drive about 7 km from Punakha and cross the suspension bridge over the Mochu River before walking approximately 30-45 minutes to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten (Stupa) which is perched on a strategic ridge overlooking the nearby villages under Kabisa geog. It was built under the sponsorship of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangden Wangchuck to remove evil forces and promote peace, stability and harmony throughout the world. As the first of its kind in the world to have been constructed, the details and the architectural designs were drawn from scriptures as visualized by Dudjom Lingpa.
Later on, drive to Paro with the journey taking about 4 hours via the Dochula Pass. Stop for lunch at Druk Wangyel cafeteria. Upon arrival in Paro, visit the 7th century old Kyichu Lhakhang (a ten-minute drive from Paro town). The Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest Lhakhang to have been built in Bhutan. It is one of the 108 Lhakhang built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century AD. The king is said to have built 108 Lhakhang in a day throughout the Himalayan regions, of which Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro and Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang are two. Most of the remaining Lhakhang can be seen in Tibet. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 7: TAKTSANG MONASTERY OR TIGER’S NEST (B/L/D)
After breakfast visit Drukgyel Dzong (a ruined fortress) which is a 16 km away from Paro. Although it is now in ruins, this Dzong has great historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetan invasion. On a clear day one can view sacred Mt. Jomolhari (Mountain of Goddess).
We will then drive you to the trail head to take a breathtaking and memorable hike through beautiful pine forest. You will stop for light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria before walking on to the famous, Taktsang monastery or Tiger’s Nest. The primary Lhakhang or main temple was built around Guru Rinpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 m into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in the east. In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Paro. Experience our traditional Bhutanese Hospitality and Authentic Bhutanese Cuisine with the family member in the Traditional Farm House. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 8: PARO - PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
In morning after breakfast drive to Paro International Airport where your guide from BHTC will accompany you for a fond farewell.

All night stay at 3 star hotel
All transportation throughout the tour
All meals (B/L/D) throughout the tour
All entry fees to dzongs and museums
Complimentary mineral water bottle
Well experienced guide service
Airport pick & drop
Government royalty
Doctor consultancy only

Airfare cost
Upgrade to 4 & 5 star hotels
Upgrade to specific language guide
Personal purchases & expenses
Extra cost due to natural calamities
Extra cost due to delays
Travel insurance
Bellboy services