Thimphu Tshechu Festival Tour

Trip Facts:

Trip Name: Thimphu Tshechu Festival Tour
Trip Duration: 09 Days
Festival Dates: 30th September- 2nd October, 2017
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above 
Transportation: Private vehicle

Trip Overview:

The Thimphu Festival (Tshechu) is one of the grandest of Bhutan’s festivals and attracts the largest audience. Featuring dances performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes, Tshechu (festivals) are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan. A Tsechu is a Buddhist festival in honor of Guru Rimpoche, the saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. The Thimphu Tshechu was established by the 4th Temporal Ruler, Tenzing Rabgye (1638-1696) in 1670. This festival also provides a great opportunity to witness locals gathered in their finest Gho’s and Kira’s in a celebration of their culture and faith. The tour starts with spectacular flight over the Himalayas and towards the lush green valley of Paro. Upon arrival in Paro, drive to the tiny capital city – Thimphu and city tour around the town with visits to religious and historical landmarks. The next three days is spent for Thimphu Tshechu plus more sightseeing around Thimphu. Afterwards, move towards the Paro to hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ and eventually end the tour at Paro after unforgettable memories of the Dragon Kingdom.

Trip Highlights:

  • Scenic flight onboard to/from Paro over the world’s highest mountains 
  • Explore colorful ‘Paro’ & the tiny capital ‘Thimphu’ 
  • Witness three days Thimphu Tshechu at Tashichho Dzong 
  • Discover age-old Buddhist culture and tradition of the Himalayan Kingdom 
  • Hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ 
  • Spectacular snow-capped mountains views 

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrive Paro (2250m) & transfer to Thimphu (2350m)
Arrive Paro by Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, and it’s a scenic flight as the plane touch down the lush green Paro Valley flying past the world’s highest mountains. Steeping down from the plane, cool, clean and fresh air welcomes the visitor, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing the customs and visa formalities met by the representatives and transfer to Paro for lunch. Afterwards drive to Thimphu (1 half hrs) following Pa Chhu downstream. 

In Thimphu, drive on to the Buddha Terrance for a stunning view of the valley and take a drive to visit Takin Preserve to see Takin, Bhutan’s national animal - a strange looking beast which some say resembles a beestung moose! Take a view of the majestic Tashichoe Dzong, the seat of the government before circumventing the Memorial Chorten – a monument erected in memory of Bhutan’s third king H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Visit Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar, National Institute of Traditional Medicine that still dispenses traditional herbal medicines to the locals, the Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02: Attend the Thimphu Festival
After breakfast, attend the Thimphu festival where the whole day is spent in the festival with various mask dances and folk dancers along with jokers actions in the crowd.  Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03: Attend the Thimphu Festival
Another day in the interesting Thimphu festival. Or during the afternoon proceed for sightseeing at other places like visiting Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the valley, Takin’s preservation center. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 04: Thimphu - Punakha (1310m)
After breakfast, drive for about 3 hours to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, descend through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as the Divine Madman.The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Enjoy some tea and snacks at the end of hike while overlooking the fields. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 05: In Punakha (1310m)
After a fairly breakfast, hike up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyel Chorten erected by Royal queen mother for the purpose of present king in 2002. It offers a great view of the lower valley. The temple is regarded as one of the most intricate with paintings. At the temple one could see three different sect of Mahayana Buddhism. Afternoon: visit Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male- river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 06: Punakha - Paro (2250m)
Drive to visit a stunning hill-top nunnery - Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Chholing. Have a chat with the nuns and enjoy the charm of the surrounds! The main temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva of compassion (Avaloketeshvara) and next to the temple is a beautiful Stupa and there are slate carvings of religious figures. Re-crossing Dochula and stopping at Thimphu for lunch. Arrive Paro in the afternoon and check hotel. Overnigh at Hotel.

Day 07: In Paro - Sightseeing
After breakfast, head out of the tourist trail for a short hike to 15th century Zurig Lhakhang above Paro Dzong overlooking the valley. It offers great views of Ta Dzong (watch Tower) and Paro Rinpung Dzong. En-route, visit the iconic 17th century Paro Rinpung Dzong which means “the fortress of the heap of jewels.” A quick descent takes us to covered cantilever bridge marked with giant stupas. Upon descend, drive 30 minutes to see the exterior of the remote ruins of Drukgyel Dzong (entry not allowed) and on clear day, get rewarded with a view of snow-capped Mt Jhomolhari which is the third highest mountain in Bhutan. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 08: Paro - Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (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

Our entire Bhutan tours are private journeys and tailor made programs suited for any independent travelers according to their chosen traveling dates. Should you wish, the tour can be easily customized as per your interest and activities you wish to get involve in or spend more time in your places of interest. Contact us to customize this tour as per your requirements. This tour can be undertaken round the year.

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