The Thimphu Festival is the grandest festivals held in the capital city of Bhutan among festivals. This festival is held for three days in honour of Guru Rimpoche, the saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 16 centuries. The Tshechu is witnessed by thousands of people with all the best of their attires and ornaments. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods.
Mask dances like the Guru Tshengye – Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche, Shaw Shachi – Dance of the Stags and many more are performed by the monks. It is all to subdue the demons that are against dharma.
- Government Royalty: USD 65 per Person per Night.
- 2% Government Tax per Person per Night.
- All Meals.
- Daily Mineral Water.
- English Language Speaking Guide.
- Comfortable and Luxurious Imported Cars for Internal Transportation with Skilled Driver.
- Entrance fees for Museums.
- The Government set package rates are valid for accommodation on twin sharing basis.
- A minimum of 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star may require an additional premium).
- Airfare international & Domestic.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal shopping.
- Tips for Guide & Driver.
Cost: US$1500 per person in a group of three or more.
DAY 1- ARRIVE AT PARO
DAY 2- PARO – THIMPHU
DAY 3- THIMPHU –
DAY 4- THIMPHU – PUNAKHA
DAY 5- PUNAKHA – GANTEY
DAY 6- GANGTEY – PARO
DAY 7- HIKE TO TAKSHANG
DAY 8- DEPARTURE TO NEXT DESTINATION
You arrive at Paro International Airport. Company representative, your tour guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. Go for a stroll around Paro town and visit the impressive Paro Rimpong Dzong of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture that holds the district administrative office.
You can also visit Ta Dzong (‘the watch tower’) now housing the National Museum. Ta Dzong a watch tower turned to be a National Museum of Bhutan in 1968. It displays collection of Thangka, both ancient and modern, depicting important saints and teachers, and also odd things egg of mule and a horse horn attributed to Guru Rimpoche.
Today after breakfast drive to Thimphu for some sightseeing. Visit Heritage Museum– Dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past though exhibition of artifacts used in rural households. Visit Textile Museum – Witnesses the art of traditional weaving. Visit Papermaking Factory – Witnesses the art of papermaking. Visit Simtokha Dzong – Five miles from Thimphu, on a lofty ridge, stands Semtokha Dzong the oldest fortress in the Kingdom built in 1629. Visit Centenary Farmers’ Market – The Market was built on the banks of the river Wang-chu to celebrate the 100 years of peace and prosperity of Bhutan. The market is open from Wednesday to Sunday. Here villagers from Thimphu valley and other parts of the country come to sell their agriculture products.
Today after breakfast we visit Thimphu festival, which is held in the courtyard of the Tashichho Dzong. This is the main Secretariat Building, where office of His Majesty the King, the throne room, the Government ministries, and the living quarters of the monk body and its Chief Abbot are housed here. You will see people from around the city dressed in their finest clothes to attend the festivities. People come to watch masked dances, to pray, and to feast. The underlying purpose of the festival is spiritual, dances are more often like plays, telling stories where good triumphs over evil, or depicting significant historical events, especially surrounding the life of Bhutan’s patron saint, Guru Padmasambhava.
Elevation 2320m – 1200m
Today after breakfast we will drive down south to the old capital, Punakha, via Dochula pass with an altitude of 3050m. On top of this mountain pass there are 108 chortens called “Druk Wangyal Chortens” that was built in 2003 by the present Queen Mother of Bhutan Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Indian militants and for the liberation of the souls lost in this operation. From here we will stop for a hot drink and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. In the afternoon visit Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) which was built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). Later in the afternoon visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong where our 5th King His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and Jetsun pema got married in 13th October, 2011.
Drive to Gangtey (at 3500 metres). Enjoy the views of the immense and remote Phobjikha valley and the black mountain ranges. Visit Gangtey Gompa (one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and currently under renovation). Overnight in Gangtey village where the villagers continue to live a traditional Bhutanese rural lifestyle.
Return to Paro via Wangdi, originally considered Bhutan’s secondary capital and commanding an important central position. We will stop for lunch or a drink in Wangdi although sadly the Dzong, built by the Zhabdrung in 1638. It was badly damaged in a fire in June 2012 so there is not much to view until renovations works are complete. After lunch continue on your way Paro. We may be time this afternoon to visit Drukgyel Dzong (‘fortress of victory’), and the sacred Kyichu Lhakhang (temple).
Take a day walk to the ‘Tiger’s Nest’, the sacred Taktshang monastery which clings to the rock face 900 metres above the valley floor. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He subsequently meditated here for three months. You can have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria from where you get a spectacular view of the monastery.
DAY 8- departure to next destination