Thimphu Tshechu is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan. The festival is held in Thimphu for 3 days beginning on the 10th day of the 08th Month of the lunar calendar. This festival is witnessed by thousands of people from all over Bhutan. During the festival, the monks perform sacred mask dances or Chams, to the accompaniment of religious music, and district dancers perform traditional dances. It takes place within the cobbled stone courtyard of the magnificent Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress).The festival concludes with the display of a giant Thangka or Thongdroel (tapestry) at 3 in the morning and is brought down just before sunrise.
Day 1 ARRIVE PARO
Arrive at Paro International Airport. Our Nirvana Trip representative will meet you here and escort you to the hotel. Enjoy an afternoon stroll through the town and visit the famous Paro Rinpung Dzong, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. You may also visit Ta Dzong (‘the Watchtower’); it also houses the National Museum. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 2 PARO - THIMPHU (50 KM / 02 Hours)
After breakfast, you will drive to Thimphu for sightseeing. Your guide may suggest an alternative plan if some sites are closed due to the festival time. You may visit the National Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the School of Painting or the Folk Heritage Museum. In the afternoon, you may visit further sightseeing attractions of Thimphu and experience the local culture, or drive out of town to Simtokha Dzong (one of the oldest castle monasteries in Bhutan, dating back to 629 AD).
To stay closer to town, we will visit the National Textile Museum and sift through the striking collection of intricate textiles, or drive up to the Radio Tower to feast your eyes upon splendid views of the city from a hilltop. Also, visit the Takin Reserve to see the unique national animal, the Takin. Overnight stay in Thimphu.
Day 3 THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING
On that day, you will witness the Thimphu festival, celebrated in the courtyard of the Tashichho Dzong. This is the main Secretariat Building and houses the Government ministries, the office of His Majesty or the King, the throne room, and the living quarters of the monk body and it’s Chief Abbot. The locals dress in their finest clothes and many of them walk miles to attend the festivities, marked with masked dances, prayers, and feasting.
As it’s a religious festival, the dances are quite like plays enacting the triumph of good over evil. Some of the dances depict major historical events, especially concerning the life of Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche (the patron saint of Bhutan). Inevitably, there is a great deal of socializing. The festival is an opportunity for people to relax and forget the mundane daily routine of life. Besides dressing up in their finest clothes and jewelry, the revelers also offer prayers and seek blessings. Overnight stay in Thimphu.
Day 4 THIMPHU - PUNAKHA (86 KM / 03 Hours)
In the morning, you will drive to the old capital of Punakha. The drive passes through the Dochu La pass and here you will halt for a hot drink and also feast your eyes upon panoramic views of the Eastern Himalayan ranges from an altitude of 3050 meters. In the afternoon, you will visit the imposing Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility), built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’, also known as the Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Overnight stay at the Punakha hotel.
Day 5 PUNAKHA - GANGTEY (78 KM / 03 Hours)
Drive to Gangtey, situated at an altitude of 3500 meters. Take in the fabulous views of the huge and remote Phobjikha Valley and the black mountain ranges. You will visit the Gangtey Gompa which is one of the oldest monasteries of Bhutan. It’s been restored to its earlier state of glory. After that, you will visit a local village to see how the rural folks continue to live a traditional Bhutanese lifestyle. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 6 GANGTEY - PARO (214 KM / 5 Hours)
Return to Paro via Wangdi, originally regarded as Bhutan’s secondary capital due to its commanding strategic position. You will have lunch at Wangdi. The Dzong here was built by Shabdrung (spiritual leader) in 1638 at a site deemed auspicious as four ravens were seen flying in four different directions here. The structure was badly damaged in a fire in June 2012 and renovations are still underway. After lunch, you will continue on your way to Paro. If there is time, you will visit Drukgyel Dzong (‘fortress of victory’) and the sacred Kyichu Lhakhang (temple). Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 7 PARO VALLEY SIGHTSEEING
Today, you will walk to ‘Tiger’s Nest’, the sacred Taktshang monastery, which precariously clings to a rock face at a height of 900 meters over the valley floor. The legend goes that Guru Rinpoche flew here astride a tigress and meditated. After your visit to Tiger’s Nest, enjoy a celebratory Champagne picnic lunch. Spend a leisurely evening. Overnight stay in Paro hotel.
Day 8 DEPART PARO
All departure formalities will be completed well in advance and you will be assisted by your guide. After an early breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to the Paro Airport for your flight back home.
- All meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Transfers in Non-Ac Innova.
- Complete Tour services.
- Road taxes / Toll taxes.
- Travel Insurance.
- Any Airfare / Train fare.
- Any Tips, Laundry & Phone call.
- All personal expenses.
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things to do
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7N / 8D
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