Jomolhari Mountain Festival

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Tour Summary

The communities of Soe Yaksa and Soe Yutoed, located along the Jomolhari trek, in collaboration with Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) and the Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Division(NRED), with support from Snow Leopard Conservancy and Bhutan Foundation, bring together the Jomolhari Mountain Festival as a community based initiative towards conservation of snow leopards. The festival includes snow leopard themed folk songs and dances performed by the local people, JDNP staff and students. The other activities that happen during the festival are yak and horse race, khuru (dart) and shot-put competition, sampling of local delicacies and boutique handcrafts. The observers also get a guide hike in and around Jomolhari.


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Categories: Festival Tour

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Day 1: Arrival

Arrive at the Paro International Airport.
Visit Paro Rinpung Dzng, the National Museum and Kyichu Lhakhang. If you prefer, you may have orientation walk in the evening along the silent and peaceful street of Paro town.

Accommodation: Bhutan Mandala Resort (or similar)
 
Day 2: Hike to Taksang

Today, we will hike to Taktshang Monastery (2900m) which is also known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. It is one of the holiest sites in the country, in fact in the world.
You may visit some temples within Paro, such as Dungtey Lhakhang, if time permits after your hike.

Accommodation: Bhutan Mandala Resort (or similar)

Day 3: Paro to Sharna Zampa
(17KM | 5-6 HOURS | 230M ASCENT | DESCENT 60M | CAMP ALT 2870M)
 
Drive about 12 kms north of Paro valley from your hotel to the historic Drugyal Dzong ruins at 2,580m. From there your trek starts. You will pass through Mitshi Zampa and Sangatan, and also Gunitsawa army post.

You will halt at Sharna Zampa


Day 4: Sharna Zampa to Soi Thangka
(22KM | 7-8 HOURS | 690M ASCENT | CAMP ALT 3750M)
 
Resume the trekking.
After 2 hours of continuous hiking and crossing several streams, you will reach at Shingkharap, a stone house at 3110m. there, we will have lunch and continue trekking.
After climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, we reach our camp at 3750m, which is amidst beautiful meadows.
 
Day 5: Soi Thangka to Jangothang Base Camp
(19KM | 5-6 HOURS | 290M ASCENT | CAMP ALT 4040M)
 
Today’s is not a long trekking day but a significant height gains as your trail goes above tree line. After hours of trekking, we will break for the day Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the views of Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.

Day 6-7: Festival Days
We will be attending the Tsechu or festival at Dangojang for two days. we will witness various songs and dances performed my children and local people, mostly themed to conserve the snow leopard.
 
Day 8: Jangothang – Lingshi/Chershithang
 (Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, 840 m ascent, 870 m descent, camp altitude 4,010 m)
Resume the trek. Begin from Jangothang to Lingzhi.
The trail begins climbing rapidly towards the Nyilila pass (4,870m). Through the trek, we might see herds of Blue sheep and Marmots.

Halt overnight at a campsite at Chershithang
 
Day 9: Chershithang – Shodu
(Distance 22km, eight to nine hours, 940m ascent, 920m descent, camp altitude 4,080m)
The trail follows the stream and climbs up to the Yelila pass (4,930m) from where one can have a clear view of Jumolhari, Tserimgang and Masanggang.

Spend the night at Shodu.
 
Day 10: Shodu – Barshong
(Distance 16km, five to six hours, 250m ascent, 670m descent, camp altitude 3,710m)
The trail follows the Thimphu Chhu through rhododendron forests, past beautiful waterfalls along the way. The valley narrows till the path takes to the slopes and gradually ascends to the
ruins of Barshong Dzong.

Overnight stay will be at campsite near the Dzong.
 
Day 11: Barshong –Dodeyna/Thimphu
(Distance 15km, five to six hours)
The trail descends down to the Thimphu Chhu valley, through dense forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples and bamboos and then ascends to pasture lands.
If time permits, visit to Tashichoeddzong (fortress of glorious religion) which houses His majesty the King’s office and central monk body is highly recommended.

Overnight stay will be Hotel Tara Phendeyling (or similar)
 
Day 12: Depart, Thimphu -Paro
Drive to Paro Airport for departure.
 
Day 1: Arrival and sightseeing in Paro (2280m)

Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival gate. Today, we will make you acclimatize to the altitude.  After checking in your hotel and taking a respite for a while, we will visit National Museum (a best start to know about the culture, history, people and biodiversity of Bhutan).
Then, visit Paro Dzong (fortress) built in 17th century which now houses the administrative and monastic bodies of the Paro district. In the evening, have a stroll around the town’s main street.

Overnight at hotel in Paro.
 
Day 2: Hike to Taktshang(Tiger Nest)

After breakfast, we hike for Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 2900 meters above sea-level. In 8th century Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley.
Afternoon, you can visit to Kyichu monastery, one of the oldest temples of Bhutan said to have built in 7th Century. 

Overnight at hotel
 
Day 3: Paro to Sharna Zampa
(17KM | 5-6 HOURS | 230M ASCENT | DESCENT 60M | CAMP ALT 2870M)
 
You will drive 12km north of Paro valley from your hotel to the historic Drugyal Dzong ruins at 2,580m, from were your trek starts. Your trekking crew will be waiting here for you. After a brief meeting, you will walk downhill on a wide trail following the Pachhu (river), which then climbs gently traversing through well-maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. Soon the valley widens and the route enters an area of apple orchards, traditional farmhouses and the tiny settlements of Mitshi Zampa and Sangatan. You reach the army post of Gunitsawa at 2,810 after walking for a while through blue pine forest. Here your trekking permit will be checked and stamped. This is the last stop before Tibet and border close to it. You will then cross Pachu River on a wooden bridge and then climb to Sharna Zampa at 2,870m. Just beyond Shana Zampa, there are several meadows surrounded by trees where you will camp for tonight.
  
Day 4: Sharna - Thangthangkha

Distance 22 km, 6-7 hours, 770 m ascent, 10 m descent, camp altitude 3,610 m.
After breakfast, drive to Sharna.
On this long day hike, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After going uphill through the river valley the valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up. We will have a great view of Mt. Jhomolhari from the camp site.
 
Day 5: Thangthangkha – Jangothang

Distance 19 km, 5-6 hours, 480 m ascent, camp altitude 4,080 m.
If you did not see Mt. Jomolhari the previous evening, we will still have a chance to get a great view early this morning. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growth of forest. We will cross an army check post along the way before we reach a village of Soe, Takethang and Jangothang. We will camp at Jangothang (Jhomolhari base camp) with a spectacular view of Mt.Jhomolhari(7314m).
 
Day 6-7: Festival Days

The festival will be held at Dangojang. It will begin will Marchang Ceremony, followed by welcome song and dance by a group of performers. After the formal opening of the stall by the chief guest, yaks and horses will be put for show. The competition such as horse race, shor-put and dart throwing will begin after lunch. During these days, you will be kept busy songs and dances and different competitions.  
 
Day 8: Jangothang – Lingshi/Chershithang

Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, 840 m ascent, 870 m descent, camp altitude 4,010 m.
A short distance from the camp the trail begins climbing rapidly for about an hour and then becomes a gradual ascent to the Nyilila pass at 4,870m, from where we can see most of the Himalayan snow-capped peaks. We can also get a great view of Tsheringma/Tserimgang(6500m) next to Jichu Drakey. While on the climb we might see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of mountain and marmot spying on us near their holes on certain times of the year. We can also see some yak herders’ camps along the trail as we decent to Lingshi Army check post. We will climb for a few minutes on the slope of mountain and descend down to the camp site by the side of river.
 
Day 9: Chershithang – Shodu

Distance 22km, eight to nine hours, 940m ascent, 920m descent, camp altitude 4,080m.
The trail follows the stream and climbs up to the Yelila pass at an altitude of 4,930m. From the pass, on a clear day you will get an excellent view of Jumolhari, Tserimgang and Masanggang. The trek from the pass to the campsite at Shodu is a steep downhill.
 
Day 10: Shodu – Barshong

Distance 16km, five to six hours, 250m ascent, 670m descent, camp altitude 3,710m.
The trail follows the Thimphu Chhu through rhododendron forests, past beautiful waterfalls along the way. The valley narrows till the path takes to the slopes and gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong. We will camp near the Dzong.
 
Day 11: Barshong –Dodena/Thimphu

Distance 15km, five to six hours.
 
The trail descends down to the Thimphu Chhu river valley, through dense forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples and bamboos and then ascends to pasture lands.
The trail continues through forested areas winding up and down and through a small pass. Langurs (monkeys) can be seen along the way. At Dodena, you will exit the Jigme Dorji National Park and reach the road head next to an impressive cantilever bridge. Then we will drive about 30 minutes to the capital city.
If time permits we will visit Tashichhodzong (fortress of glorious religion) which houses His majesty the King’s office and central monk body. In the evening we will stroll around the main street of Thimphu.

Overnight at the hotel, Thimphu.
 
Day 12: Depart, Thimphu -Paro

Drive 1hr, 55km
Today after breakfast, we will drive to Paro Airport and our guide will bid you farewell at the Airport. We hope that you had a wonderful journey with us.

GROUP SIZE: Any group Size                                                           
MEALS : Full Board
TRIP ACCOMMODATION : Tourist Standard Hotel,
generally 3 to 4 star category.
ROUTE: Paro, Thimphu,Punakha and Wangdue
TRIP TYPE :Cultural Tour 

TOUR  MONTHS: 14th -15th Oct
LEAN SEASON : USD 200  Per person
PEAK SEASON:
USD 225 Pes person 
SINGAL INDIVIDUAL: USD 40 per night
GROUP OF 2 PERSONS:USD 30 per person per night
VISA FEE: USD 40 (One time)

 







 


INCLUDED
  • Bhutan Royalties, tourists fees, Visa fees and taxes.
  • Accommodations in listed or similar hotels (pleasant hotels 3-4 star type) during the tour and in tents during the trek.
  • All meals, including evening tea/coffee etc through-out the trip.
  • All land transfers, sightseeing with entrance fees.
  • Experienced Culture Tour Guide.
  • Bottled water in the vehicle and other camp serivce.
NOT INCLUDED
  • Flights in and out of Bhutan.
  • Travel insurance, Drink, Visa fees, Laundry 

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