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 - Thimphu
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. In the eveving visit Buddha Point which is located at Kuensel Phodrang, the 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, Vajra Throne Buddha symbolising indestructibility will be completed soon. The Buddha statue itself is competed awaiting paintings, but visitors can drive up to the Buddha point and view the tallest statue of Lord Buddha. The view of Thimphu valley from the Buddha point is spectacular and beautiful, especially at night.
Overnight - Thimphu.
- Day 3 THIMPHU TSHECHU FESTIVAL
The Thimphu Tshechu, as 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.
In the evening you will have free time to explore Thimphu town for shopping of souvenirs and other items in the shops of Thimphu.
Overnight - Thimphu.
- Day 4 THIMPHU – PUNAKHA
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.
After lunch walk about 25 minutes along the beautiful terraced farmlands and farm houses to visit Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (the Devine Madman) in the 15th century. He subdued the demoness with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. Then visit Punakha Dzong. The impressive Punakha Dzong lies between two great rivers. The names of the rivers are Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). This dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the district administration.
Overnight - Punakha.
- Day 5 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 6 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 7 PARO - TAKTSANG MONASTERY OR TIGER’S NEST
After breakfast visit Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress), 16 km away from Paro. Although it is now in ruins, this dzong has great historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetan invasion. On a clear day one can view sacred Mt. Jomolhari (Mountain of Goddess).
We will then drive you to the trail head to take a breathtaking and memorable hike through beautiful pine forest. You will stop for light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria before walking on to the famous, Taktsang monastery or Tiger’s Nest. The primary Lhakhang or main temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 m into the valley below. In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Paro. Overnight - Paro.
- Day 8 PARO - PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
In morning drive to Paro International Airport where your guide will accompany you to bid you farewell.