Druk Wangyel Tshechu Festival Tour

Trip Facts:

Trip Name: Druk Wangyel Tshechu Festival Tour
Trip Duration: 09 Days
Festival Dates: 13th December (Every year) 
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) 
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above  
Transportation: Private vehicle

Trip Overview:

The Druk Wangeyl Tshechu is celebrated on every 13th December at the Druk Wangyel Lhakhang located at the Dochula pass (3140m) en-route Thimphu to Punakha. The festival began celebrating from the year 2011 to mark the victory over the insurgents residing in Bhutan in 2003. The Druk Wangyel Lhakhang was built in four year’s period (2004-2008) by her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo. The festival is unique as it is performed by the Royal Bhutan Armed Forces and not by monks or lay men. It comprise of mask dances and cultural performances held at the open fiends with spectacular Himalayan backdrop. Besides, the tour visits other interesting locations around Bhutan like the beautiful Bumthang Valley, Punakha and going along for the popular hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ perched in a vertical cliff located outskirts of Paro town.

Trip Highlights:

  • Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the Himalayas while flying in/out from Paro. 
  • Explore around Paro town exploding with colors and tradition. 
  • Discover the tiny capital Thimphu. 
  • Attend the Druk Wangyel Festival at Dochula pass (3140m)
  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan. 
  • Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan. 
  • Explore beautiful Gangtey Valley. 
  • Visit Bumthang- the religious heartland home to oldest monasteries & temples 

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrive Paro (2250m) – Thimphu (2350m)
Arrive Paro by the Bhutanese National Carrier flying over the world’s highest mountains and finally landing at the lush green Paro valley. A cool and clean fresh air greets the visitor as stepping down from the plane, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing customs and visa formalities, meet the representatives and the Bhutanese guide, and a short tour brief by the guide then transfer to Paro town for lunch.

Then drive towards Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan) for about 1 & half hours drive. In Thimphu, visit Buddha point for a stunning view of Thimphu city and Takin Compound- on the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin. Then continue to Tashi Choe Dzong- the fortress of the glorious religion was initially constructed in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in the 1960s, Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum, Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha (1310m) - Druk Wangyel festival
After breakfast, drive to Dochula Pass (3140m) which takes about 45 minutes from Thimphu where the Druk Wangyel Festival is held. From the pass, one can witness spectacular views of the eastern Himalayas. The festival portrays Bhutanese culture & traditions performed by the Royal Bhutan Armed Forces rather than the monks or lay people. It is a tribute to the wise leadership of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck and celebrated for the continuous efforts of the Royal Army in protecting the sovereignty and the stability of the country. The festival is held at the Druk Wangyel Lhakhang by the Majesty Queen Mothe Ashi Dorji Wangmo. After attending the festival drive to Punakha en-route taking a hike to the Chimi Lhakhang. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03: Punakha – Gangtey (2900m)
Drive to Wangduephodrang Dzong, which is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view both up and down the valley. Then drive up a winding mountain road through oak and rhododendron forest, and over a high pass down into the Phobjikha valley, surely one of the loveliest high altitude valleys in Bhutan. Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys, and chosen winter home of black-necked cranes, migrating from the Tibetan plateau. Enjoy 1½ hours Gangtey nature trail from the monastery through the jungle before emerging to the valley floor. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 04: Gangtey – Bumthang (2800m)
Today, we drive 5 hours to Bumthang valley. The road climbs rapidly through a series of hairpins out of Trongsa and there are great views back to the Dzong and out across the valley. After passing through cultivated fields for a while, the trail re-enters the forest and reach the Yotong La (3400m). Descending to a low point of 2650m at a village called Chumey; the scenery is once again totally different as the route enters the wide-open Bumthang valleys. It takes about an hour to get to the roadside at Chumey, the first of the four valleys in Bumthang. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 05: In Bumthang (2800m)
In the morning visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom as Bhutan’s “patron saint”, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. From Kurje monastery, a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang. This temple, erected by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, is one of the two oldest in Bhutan (the other being Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro). After lunch, hike to Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. It contains interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later, visit Jakar Dzong, “the castle of the white bird”, and then take a stroll through Bumthang’s market area before returning to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 06: Bumthang – Wangdue (1310m)
After breakfast, re-trace the same route back towards Wangdue and the road journey today is bit longer with 6 hours of drive. Upon arrival at Wangdue, check-in hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 07: Wangdue – Paro (2250m)
After breakfast, drive back to Paro cross Dochula pass which is about 4 hours drive. PM: Stroll around the streets of Paro. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 08: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (3120m)
This morning, make an excursion to Taktsang Monastery – this has to be the monastery with the most outstanding setting in Bhutan. Set on a vertical cliff face at 2950m above sea level, it defies all engineering logic. For the energetic, hike 2 hours up to get a more dramatic view of the monastery. (The hike demands a certain level of fitness and a pony ride to the monastery can be arranged at additional cost). Just on the outskirts of Paro town, visit Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and have the opportunity to meet the local villages in a local farm house. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 09: Paro – Depart
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappearing again behind its guardian mountains.

Cost Details:

The tour cost depends upon the category of hotels used and as per the group-size. Normally we use government approved 3 star and above hotels. Please contact us for the trip pricing. 

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