Thimphu Festival Tour
Mani Festival Tour | Jambay
Lhakhang Drup Tsechu Festival Tour
Crane Festival Phobjikha Tour |
Domchey Festival Eight Nights Tour
Domchey Festival Ten Nights Tour
Kora Tsechu (arrive Paro, Depart Paro)
Kora Tsechu (arrive Paro, exit India)
Kora Tsechu (arrive India, exit Paro)
| Gom Kora Tsechu
(enter Paro, exit Paro) | Gom
Kora Tsechu (enter Paro, exit India)
| Gom Kora Tsechu
(enter India, exit Paro) |
Festival Tour | Paro
Tsechu Festival 7 Dzongkhags Tour
Tsechu Festival Tour with Druk Path Trek
Yakchoe Festival Tour ]
Thimphu Tsechu Festival Tour
- 9 Nights 10 Days
Thimphu Valley, at peace with the environment... (Tashichhodzong
from the north side of Thimphu)
- Western Bhutan
Dzongkhags covered: Paro, Thimphu,
Wangdue, Bumthang, Trongsa
Duration: 9 Nights 10
Trip Cost: US$ 2290 per person.
Dates: Sunday, 08 September - Tuesday, 17 September 2013
Trip Grade: Easy.
Day 01: Arrive at Paro
Day 02: Paro – Thimphu
Day 03: Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 04: Thimphu Tsechu Festival
Day 05: Thimphu Tsechu Festival & Sightseeing
Day 06: Thimphu to Gangtey/Phobjikha
Day 07: Gangtey/Phobjikha to Bumthang via Trongsa
Day 08: Bumthang sightseeing
Day 09: Bumthang-Paro
Day 10: Paro Departure
Thimphu Tsechu Festival:
The Tsechus (festivals) are religious festivals in
honour of Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to this country in the 8th
century. He is regarded as the founder of the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism,
the "oldest school" of Lamaism which is still followed very
popularly. His biography is highlighted by 12 episodes of the model of
the Buddha Shakyamuni’s life. Each episode is commemorated on the
“Tshe Chu” meaning on the 10th day of the Bhutanese calendar.
The dances are performed by monks followed by a mix of laymen. Religion
is a part of life for a Bhutanese and by attending a Tsechu, people believe,
one gains merits. The Bhutanese, dressed in their finest clothes, come
from all over for the festivities of the Thimphu Tsechu. It is believed
one who witnesses the festival will gain luck, merits and have their wishes
realised. The Tsechu is also a yearly social gathering where people rejoice
together, a time Bhutanese look forward to the whole year, a time to gather,
a time to celebrate, a time to enjoy.
The Thimphu Tsechu or Thimphu festival is held in a dance
place adjacent to the Tashichhodzong. Every year the number of visitors,
both tourists and Bhutanese had been increasing such that all the people
could not be accommodated in the Dzong's courtyard. Thus this new dance
place was constructed adjacent to the Dzong where more people can witness
and enjoy the Thimphu Tsechu in comfort. Most dances in the program have
religious significance. Folk dances are carried out by the Royal Academy
of Performing Arts and is interspersed with religious mask dances. The
Thimphu Tsechu was established by the 4th temporal ruler, Tenzin Rabgye
in 1670 on the 8th month of Bhutanese calendar to commemorate the birth
of Guru Rinpoche. Thimphu Tsechu is one of the most popular tsechus amongst
Day 01: Arrive
On arrival at Paro International Airport,
you will be welcomed and received by our representative from Bhutan Rebirth.
After checking in to your hotel and resting for a while it's time to begin
our holiday. First we'll visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. We will also visit
the Tag Dzong (watch tower for Rinpung Dzong) which is also the Paro National
Museum. We can also go on a short hike, which starts from above the National
Museum ending at Uma Paro. From this hike we can see the Paro Valley,
the International Airport in Bhutan and other adjacent villages beautifully.
Also, stroll around Paro town. Dinner and overnight stay at a Three Standard
Hotel in Paro.
Day 02: Paro
In the morning we will hike to Taktsang
Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). Taktsang Monastery is one of the most
important pilgrimage sites in the Buddhism world and it is the one of
the highlights of this tour. Lunch at Taktsang Cafeteria or in Paro. Then
drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, an hour's distance. Stroll
around Thimphu town. We will also try some Traditional Bhutanese dinner.
Overnight stay at Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu
Today we will enjoy together with the
Bhutanese the festivals that is Thimphu Tsechu (above).
Later, time for more Indigenous & Authentic Bhutanese Dinner and overnight
at Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 04: Thimphu Tsechu Festival & Sightseeing
Today the first half of the day we will
enjoy with the Thimphu Festivities (left- crowds at Thimphu Tsechu).
At the heart of Thimphu visit the Third King's Memorial Chorten
(Stupa) built in 1974 where you will find many devotees circumambulating
the Chorten. You will also visit the Changangkha Lhakhang (Lhakhang means
temple), Jungshi Paper factory where they make traditional Bhutanese paper,
the National Library that houses the world’s largest book, ancient
Buddhist texts and manuscripts, a Painting School famous for traditional
thangkha (thangkha is a religious painting), the Folk Heritage Museum
founded by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck.
The Museum is one of a kind that portrays the lifestyle of a genteel family
in the Thimphu valley in the olden days. Visit the Choki Handicrafts shop
where Bhutanese textiles and other handicrafts are displayed and can be
purchased. The shop is closely linked to the Choki Traditional Art School-
many of the goods are produced in the school itself and all proceeds go
towards the upkeep of the school and the provision of tuition for its
students. Later, visit the Tashichhodzong- The ‘Fortress of the
Glorious Religion’- houses the throne room of His Majesty the King,
the main Secretariat Building and the Central Monk Body. Its courtyard
is open to visitors during the off-office hours- on weekends and weekdays
after 4 pm during winter and 5 pm in the summer. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 05: Thimphu
Tsechu Festival & Sightseeing
Most of this day can be spent on an adhoc
basis in and around the festival as you find that there will be so many
new and exciting things happening at the festival, the people dressed
in their finest, the atsaras (clowns) always upto something, you have
to see it for yourself. Stroll around the capital in the evening and see
how the capital calls itsef urban yet with traffic police diverting the
traffic in the absence of traffic lights, the evening entertainment of
its own kind, and the tiny bistros that dot the capital.
Day 06: Thimphu
We head out of town on a spectacular
5 hours drive to Phobjikha valley crossing the Dochula Pass at 3100 metres
from where you can see the 108 beautiful Chortens built by Her Majesty
the Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. From this pass on a clear
day, you can have a superb view of the highest peaks in Bhutan. After
a hot cup of tea at a cafe atop the pass and time to savour the mountain
views, we continue our drive to Phobjikha Valley in Wangdue Dzongkhag.
We hike in the beautiful environment
of the Phobjikha Valley and visit a farm house. It is a glacial valley
on the western slopes of the Black Mountains. The only Nyingmapa (a sect
of Buddhism) monastery, Gangtey goemba sits prominently on a hilltop.
The valley is a designated conservation area and borders on the Black
Mountain National Park. Because of the large flock of Black-Necked Cranes
(Grus nigricollis) here that migrate for the winter from Tibet, it is
one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country.
The Royal Society for the Protection
of Nature (RSPN)’s Crane Observation Education Centre was established
in Phobjikha Valley in 1996 by the Bhutanese government with assistance
from the World Wildlife Fund. The Centre studies the conservation needs
of the valley and holds workshops for farmers and students. Here you can
use the Centre’s powerful binoculars to observe the cranes in the
valley and also get information about the cranes. The rare and endangered
black-necked crane occupies a special place in Bhutanese hearts and folklore.
Its arrival every autumn from Tibet inspires songs and dances- it usually
heralds the end of the harvesting season and signals to the villagers
that the time has come to pack up and go to the warmer lower valleys since
Phobjikha valley is snowed-in during the winter months. The world’s
entire population of about 5000 Black-necked cranes breed in Tibet and
Ladakh. They winter in south-central Tibet and Bhutan. Overnight at lodge.
Day 07: Gangtey/Phobjikha
to Bumthang via Trongsa
We continue our drive to Trongsa crossing
the Pelela pass (altitude 3,300 metres above sea level), the traditional
boundary between east and west Bhutan. The pass is marked by a large prayer
flag and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboos. Stop
enroute at Chendbji Chorten (right), which was built
in the 18th century by a lama named Shida- it is Nepalese in style with
eyes painted at four cardinal points (see left). After breakfast walk
by Trongsa Dzong, built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan,
in 1647 and visit the Tag Dzong (watch tower), dedicated to the Buddhist
epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. Then drive to Bumthang which is about a
2 hours drive. 29 kms from Trongsa the road reaches the Yutong La pass
(alt. 3,400 m). Further 13 kms ahead the road enters into a wide, open,
cultivated valley known as Chumey valley. On arrival in Bumthang, check
into the lodge.
Day 08: Bumthang
Bumthang valley is one of the most sacred
in the Kingdom and innumerable legends surround the area. It is here that
the Kings are cremated and the present Royal Family traces their ancestry
back to the famous saint, Pemalingpa. Full day sightseeing include visit
to Kurjey Lhakhang (where the Saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon
and left his body imprint on a rock), Jambay Lhakhang which was built
in the 7th century, then Jakar Dzong (the Fortress of the White Bird)
built in the 17th century by Tenzin Rabgay (the fourth Desi), Tamshing
Lhakhang built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa (the Founder of Religious
Treasures). Then visit Kenchosum Lhakhang and Membartsho (the Burning
Lake)- in fact it is a gorge where the river runs through but legend runs
that Pema Lingpa discovered religious texts in this lake. Also worth seeing
are the woodcraft workshop, traditional hospital, and the cheese factory.
Overnight in Bumthang.
Day 09: Bumthang-Paro
Return by Dochula pass at 3100 metres
above sea level from where you can see the 108 beautiful Chortens built
by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. From this
pass, on a clear day, you can have a superb view of the highest peaks
in Bhutan. After a hot lunch at the cafe atop the pass and time to savour
the mountain views, we continue our drive to Punakha Valley. On the way
drive to Wangduephodrang and visit the once beautiful Wangduephodrang
Dzong built in 1638, a beautiful example of Bhutanese architecture. Sadly,
the Dzong was razed by fire in 2012 and funds to renovate have been raised
from both Bhutanese and visitors. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 10: Paro
After breakfast drive to Paro International
Airport for your onward flight. We hope you enjoyed the Thimphu Tsechu
and vacationing in Bhutan. Let us wish you a very safe and pleasant journey
back to your next destination. We hope to see you again in Bhutan in the
future. Fare thee well.