Thimphu Festival Tour - 7 Days

Trip Fact

  • Destination: Bhutan
  • Trip Difficulty: Easy
  • Trip Style: Sightseeing
  • Transport: Luxury Private Vehicle (Car/Van/Hiace)
  • Food: As Per Itinerary
  • Accommodation: 3 Star Standard Hotel
  • Group Size: 1-16 pax
  • Max Elevation: 2,334m

About Thimphu Festival Tour

One of the biggest festivals in the country is the Thimphu Tshechu. This festival is held in the capital city for three days beginning on the 10th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. This Tshechu is witnessed by thousands of people, many of which travel from neighboring Dzongkhags (districts) to attend the festivities. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods.

When it was initiated by the 4th Desi, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 the Tshechu consisted of only a few dances being performed strictly by monks,the Thimphu Tshechu underwent a change in the 1950s, when the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, introduced numerous  the dances.

Equally important are the Atsaras, who are more than just mere clowns. The Atsaras are the dupthobs (acharyas), who provide protection. The dances and the jesting of the Atsaras are believed to entrance evil forces and prevent them from causing harm during Tshechus. Modern Atsaras also perform short skits to disseminate health and social awareness messages.to farmers, the Tshechu is also seen as a break from farm life. It’s an occasion to celebrate, receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.

 

Highlights

  • Sightseeing in Thimphu & Paro
  • Punakha Dzong
  • Sightseeing in and around Paro and Thimphu
  • Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger's Nest)
  • Local farmhouse and Paro market.
  • Panoramic views of the Himalayan Mountains from Dochu La pass
  • 3 Star Accommodations
  • Thimphu Cultural Festival

Itinerary

Open All Days + Close All Days -
Day 01 : ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU

The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our guide and driver will meet you at Paro airport after customs formalities.

After lunch we will start with the sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Then we will drive to the capital, Thimphu (1hour) following the Pachu River. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation by your guide

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • 3 Star Accommodation
  • Thimphu
  • 2,334m
  • 1.30 Hours

After breakfast, drive to Tashichhodzong to attend the Thimphu festival. You will see locals dressed in their finest clothes who have walked from miles around to attend the festivities. They come to watch masked dances, to pray, and to feast. While 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, Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche). There is inevitably a great deal of socializing as well.

Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’. Initially erected in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was rebuilt in the 1960s during the reign of Bhutan’s third king in the traditional style, without plans or nails. Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • 3 Star Accommodation
  • Thimphu
  • 2,334m
  • 5/6 Hours

Enjoy a morning of sightseeing, including a visit to the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernization, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial Stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972. Buddha Dorderma Statue and Folk Heritage Museum.

In the afternoon return to Tashichhodzong to further experience the colorful events of the Thimphu festival.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • 3 Star Accommodation
  • Thimphu
  • 2,334m
  • 5/6 Hours

Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdom. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.

Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’. It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • 3 Star Accommodation
  • PUNAKHA
  • 1,242m
  • 2.30 Hours

After breakfast we will enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenley who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing and head toward Paro via the capital visiting the centenary Farmers market where you can see lots of people selling their farm products from around Bhutan.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • 3 Star Accommodation
  • Paro
  • 2,200m
  • 4/5 Hours

After breakfast, hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 1/2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometer above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to the viewing point). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrimage site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then meditated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for lunch.on the way back before going to the hotel we will visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Before we have our dinner we will have a cultural show performed by the local troops showcasing different songs and dances from within Bhutan.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • 3 Star Accommodation
  • Paro
  • 2,200m
  • 5/6 Hours

Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.

  • Breakfast

What's included

  • Pick up from and drop off at the hotel and the airport by a private luxury vehicle.
  • Accommodation in 3 star standard hotels on twin sharing basis.
  • Full-board meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea & snacks.
  • Bhutan Visa fees
  • Licensed English-speaking Bhutanese tour guides.
  • Private Luxurious transportation throughout the tour.
  • All entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • Cultural afternoon/evening sessions with traditional mask and folk dances (with beverages). Only for group tours.
  • All internal taxes and fees
  • Mineral drinking water
  • All government taxes and official expenses.

What’s Excluded

  • International Airfares
  • Travel insurance
  • Your personal expenses.
  • All the alcoholic and non-alcoholic Drinks.
  • Tips for the guide & driver. (Tipping is expected).

FAQs

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Useful Information

One of the biggest festivals in the country is the Thimphu Tshechu. This festival is held in the capital city for three days beginning on the 10th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. This Tshechu is witnessed by thousands of people, many of which travel from neighboring Dzongkhags (districts) to attend the festivities.