Thimphu Tsechu

$1400

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Tour Summary

Tsechu in Tibetan and Bhutanese languages means ‘tenth day’ of their calendar. It is always a good day to perform rituals, host gatherings and organize special events. In Bhutan, every district observes an annual festival on the tenth day of Bhutanese calendar in different months. The programme which usually goes on for three days is more than just a simple festival wherein we get to witness different mask dances. It is the occasion of reunion, the event to mark our distinct culture and the moment to celebrate and receive blessings. Thimphu Tsechu falls in the month of October. If you desire to see the uniqueness of Bhutanese culture, then visit Bhutan coinciding the Thimphu tsechu.


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Categories: Festival Tour

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DAY 1: PARO/THIMPHU
 
Arrive any time at Paro International Airport (2200 meters above sea level) and transfer to Thimphu.
In Thimphu (2300m), if time permits, take an orientation walk in town, do shopping and get settled in.
 
Meals Included: Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Tara Phendeyling (or similar)

 
DAY 2: THIMPHU
 
Visit Tashichhodzong to watch Thimphu Tsechu, the most awaited annual festival that marks with the display of colourful mask dances.
 
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Evening
Accommodations: Hotel Tara Phendeyling (or similar)

 
DAY 3: THIMPHU/PARO
 
Travel to Paro.En route, visit TaChog Lhakhang built by the famous 15th century Buddhist Master known as the Iron Bridge Builder.
Then visit the majestic Paro Rinpung Dzong, National Museum, and Kyichu Lhakhang-one of the oldest temples built in 7th century.
In the evening, have a stroll along the peaceful town of Paro.
 
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Bhutan Mandala Resort

 
DAY 4: HIKE to TIGER’S NEST MONASTERY
 
Hike to Paro Taktsang which is also known the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. This is one of the holiest sites in the country.
In the evening, visit a home-stay, have a hot-stone bath and witness a cultural show performed by a group of local people.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Bhutan Mandala Resort
 

 
DAY 5: DEPARTURE
 
Leave Paro for your respective country.

DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our Bhutan Travel Bureau representative will meet you at Paro airport exit doors following customs formalities.

After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 02: THIMPHU
After breakfast, drive to Tashichhodzong to attend the Thimphu festival. You will see locals dressed in their finest clothes who have walked from miles around to attend the festivities. They come to watch masked dances, to pray, and to feast. While the underlying purpose of the festival is spiritual, dances are more often like plays, telling stories where good triumphs over evil, or depicting significant historical events, especially surrounding the life of Bhutan’s patron saint, Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche). There is inevitably a great deal of socialising as well.

Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’. Initially erected in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was rebuilt in the 1960s during the reign of Bhutan’s third king in the traditional style, without plans or nails. Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 03: THIMPHU
Enjoy a morning of sightseeing, including a visit to 12th century Changangkha Temple, and the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernisation, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972.

In the afternoon return to Tashichhodzong to further experience the colourful events of the Thimphu festival. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 04: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA
Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.

Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’. It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned.

After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing. Overnight at your hotel in Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.

DAY 05: PUNAKHA – THIMPHU – PARO
In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike to through ricefields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions.

Drive back to Thimphu where you will visit The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. You will also have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of food of Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery chillies, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items.

Afterwards proceed to Paro, On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

DAY 06: PARO
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to the viewing point). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments.

In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.

Alternatively, day 6 could be spent on a day trip to the Haa Valley, one of the most picturesque districts in Bhutan. Reached via the beautiful Chelila Pass, Haa Valley is characterised by its surrounding rugged and mountainous terrain. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

DAY 07: DEPART PARO
Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
Tashi Delek!

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

TOUR  MONTHS: 26th sept- 28th Sept 2020
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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