All Tshechu festivals, honors Padma Sambhawa, also known as Guru Rimpoche, the precious yogi and saint who is credited with having introduced Tantric Buddhism throughout the Himalayas. The festival’s masked dances are performed by monks clad in colorful brocade attire and permeated by chants and reading of Buddhist scripts. The culmination of festival constitutes the unfolding of a huge cloth thanka, a sacred scroll, depicting Padma Smabhawa and imagery from Buddhist pantheon.
◾Government Fees, Royalty & Taxes.
◾Tours as mentioned in the itinerary.
◾Standard hotel room (Twin/double bed).
◾All meals (Breakfast/Lunch & Dinner) at a local restaurant or hotel.
◾SUV Car, Mini Van or Bus with driver throughout your stay.
◾Experienced tour guide.
◾Sights & entrance fees as per the itinerary.
◾Costs for extra activities
◾Personal drinks & beverages
◾Additional hotel facilities like laundry, personal calls etc.
◾Single room supplement: US$ 20 per room per nigh
- Day 1 PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - THIMPHU
Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be met by your guide. During the flight on a clear day, you will get to enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjungha, and other famous Himalayan peaks including sacred Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake Peaks in Bhutan. Upon arrival at Paro Airport, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel. The drive to Thimphu is about 1 hour. On route, enjoy the view of the Valley of Thimphu River through a rather arid and Rocky landscape.
After lunch we will take you to visit The King’s Memorial Chorten (built-in memory of The Third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and The Thimphu Dzong).
Overnight - Thimphu.
- Day 2 THIMPHU
After breakfast, we will then drive about 45 minutes to the base camp of Cheri Monastery. The hike to reach Cheri Monastery takes about 1 hour. Cheri was built high on the slope in 1619 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal as his first monastery in Bhutan. It takes you through the temperate forest of oak, rhododendrons and other species of hard wood trees. The view from monastery below is spectacular. Lunch will be provided at the base camp along the river side as we descend down from Cheri Monastery. After lunch, we proceed to visit places like Zorig Chusum – the Institute of the 13 Arts & Crafts of Bhutan (sometimes closed for visitors); the National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts; the hand-made paper making factory & if your trip happens to fall on weekend (Fri-Sun) we take a quick visit to weekend market where everyone goes to buy an array of fresh fruits and vegetables and many colorful local items such as yak tail duster, cups of butter tea, turquoise from Tibet, and musical instruments etc. We will end the day with an evening visit to the Buddha Point (left). The massive statue of Shakyamuni measures in at a height of 51.5 meters, making one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed with the Buddha Dordenma statue, 100,000 8 inch tall and 25,000 12 inch tall statues respectively. Overnight in Thimphu.
- Day 3 THIMPHU – THE PUNAKHA TSHECHU FESTIVAL
Drive to Punakha via the Dochula Pass (3,140 m). On the way stop to see the spectacular array of chortens, to enjoy the superb view over the snow capped Himalayan Mountains and also to the Gasa Dzong at a distance if the weather is clear.
Attend the Punakha Tshechu festival. We will be arranging walking tours to suit. Visit some of the Bhutan most interesting sight like Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lakhang, Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Stupa. Upon completion of tour, you’re transferred to your resort, where you can enjoy dinner and an evening at your leisure.
Overnight - Punakha.
- Day 4 PUNAKHA - GANTEY
Upon arrival at Phobjikha Valley- you will visit the well-known winter home of the Black necked crane. Every winter from early November till end March, there will be around six hundred black-necked cranes visiting Phobjikha Velley. The birds fly in from Tibet overlooking the Phobjikha velley is the Gangtey Goempa. This is an old monastery that dates back to 17th century, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan and it houses about 200 monks. This monastery has one of the finest woodcarvings and paintings. Present Rinpoche is the 9th reincarnation and mind reincarnation of Treasure discover Pema Lingpa. He is heart son of Guru Rinpoche.
Overnight - Gantey
- Day 5 GANTEY – PARO
After an early breakfast, drive about from Gantey and cross the suspension bridge over the Mochu River before walking approximately 30-45 minutes to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten (Stupa) which is perched on a strategic ridge overlooking the nearby villages under Kabisa geog. It was built under the sponsorship of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangden Wangchuck to remove evil forces and promote peace, stability and harmony throughout the world. As the first of its kind in the world to have been constructed, the details and the architectural designs were drawn from scriptures as visualized by Dudjom Lingpa. Later on, drive to Paro with the journey taking about 4 hours via the Dochula Pass. Stop for lunch at Druk Wangyel cafeteria.
Upon arrival in Paro, visit the 7th century old Kyichu Lhakhang (a ten-minute drive from Paro town). The Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest lhakhangs to have been built in Bhutan. It is one of the 108 lhakhangs built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century AD. The king is said to have built 108 lhakhangs in a day throughout the Himalayan regions, of which Kyichu lhakhang in Paro and Jampa lhakhang in Bumthang are two. Most of the remaining lhakhangs can be seen in Tibet.
Overnight - Paro.
- Day 6 PARO - TAKTSANG MONASTERY OR TIGER’S NEST
Taktsang Monastery (aka as Tigers Nest) is one of the most scared and revered monasteries in the Kingdom and all Bhutanese Buddhists desire to make a pilgrimage visit to Taktsang at least once in their lives. Each step taken towards the monastery gains merit points towards their future. This morning you too will have the opportunity and good fortune to take a pilgrimage hike to the Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest). Choose between a 2 hour round trip hike to the monastery viewpoint or a longer 5 hour hike into the Monastery itself. Tigers Nest clings impossibly to a cliff of rock at over 1000 meters above the valley floor and where Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress to subdue the local demons followed by 3 months meditation in a cave still visible in the monastery. If time permits, we will visit Kyichu Lhakhang – one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit followed by a visit to the old ruined fortress of the Drugyel Dzong (14km from Paro). This is the historical site of the Fort of Drukpa Victory, from which the Bhutanese used to repel the Tibetan invaders again and again. On a clear day views of the 7314 meter snow domed peak of sacred Mt Chomolhari can be seen.
Overnight - Paro.
- Day 7 PARO - PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
After breakfast at your hotel, drive to Paro International Airport where your guide will accompany you to bid you farewell.