Witness the vibrancy of colourful Buddhist Festival
Day 01 : Arrive Paro (Bhutan) by Flight & transfer to Thimphu (55km, approx 1.1/2 hour drive)
- Meeting & assistance on arrival and transfer to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan en route visiting Tamchog Lhakhang, by crossing a traditional suspension bridge.
- Drive further, taking a short stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Paro & Thimphu rivers. Three different styles of stupa namely Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn the confluence.
- On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel.
- Evening take an exploratory walk around Thimphu city centre.
- Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Alt. 2,320m)
Day 02 : Thimphu
- After breakfast, visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating rich cultural heritage of Bhutanese people.
- Then visit Textile Museum for deep insight into one of Bhutan’s most distinctive art form.
- National Library, holding vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts is next in sightseeing schedule. This is followed by visit of Institute of Zorig Chusum or Arts & Crafts School.
- Post lunch, visit Changangkha Lhakhang, the beautiful temple situated on a hillock also providing fascinating view of Thimphu valley.
- Then drive to Kuenselphodrang, to see the largest statue of Buddha in the country.
- Afternoon visit to Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s Third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan.
- Conclude the day with visit of Trashichhoedzong, beautiful medieval fortress / monastery.
- Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03 : Thimphu / Punakha (75 km, approx 3 hour drive)
- After breakfast, drive to ancient capital town of Bhutan en route taking a short stop at Dochula pass (3,080m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan and also the site of picturesque Druk Wangyal Chortens.
- On arrival in Punakha, check into the hotel, followed by lunch.
- Later visit magnificent Punakha Dzong. Until 1955, Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan and still it is winter seat of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot.
- Then a short walking excursion to Chimi Lhakhang also known as ‘Fertility Temple’.
- Overnight at the hotel in Punakha. (Altitude 1,300m)
Day 04 : Punakha / Paro (125 km, approx 4.1/2 hour drive)
- Morning after breakfast drive to Paro. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country, built in 1627 which now houses the School of Buddhist studies.
- Today’s sightseeing in Paro includes, visit to Ta Dzong (national museum) ; holding fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps, Rinpung Dzong ; the fortress which has a long and interesting history, Kyichu Lhakhang ; one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the country.
- Evening explore Paro city centre and local market.
- Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)
Day 05 : Paro
- After breakfast, full day to witness and enjoy Paro Tshechu (festival).
Festival or ‘Tshechu’ in local term is a religious event celebrated every year in various monasteries, temples and fortresses across the Kingdom of Bhutan. The dates and duration of the festivals vary from one district to another but they always take place on or around the 10th day of the lunar calendar corresponding to the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava, an 8th century Buddhist scholar.
During Tshechus, the dances are performed by monks as well as laymen wearing ornate costumes and masks; the each aspect of dance has a symbolic meaning mostly depicting events from the life of Guru Padmasambhava. It is widely believed that one gains merit by attending any of these festivals. Some of the festivals are observed to purify the souls and ward off evil spirit. Such high spirited sacred events are conducted & choreographed by fully ordained religious heads.
Paro Tshechu is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan, held annually since the 17th century when Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of the state of Bhutan, and Ponpo Rigzin Nyingpo initiated the festival together with the consecration of Paro Dzong (fortress) in 1644.
- Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 06 : Paro
- After breakfast, witness the festival.
- Later excursion to famed Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest (approx 5 hours round trip walk). It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries perched on 900m above Paro valley floor. Legends say that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence it is called Tiger’s Nest’.
- Later in the afternoon visit a traditional farm house to experience Bhutanese rural lifestyle, culture & traditions.
- Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 07 : Depart Paro
- After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination. Our representative will assist you with exit formalities and bid you farewell.
N.B : This itinerary is planned on Paro Tshechu (festival) held in spring and on similar line programs can be designed incorporating various festivals scheduled in different parts of the country at different time of the year.