Explore with us! Simply Bhutan

The Tshechu is a festival in honour of Padmasambhava-”one who was born from a lotus flower “, popularly known under the name of ” Guru Rimpoche ” the Precious Teacher. This Indian saint contributed enormously to the diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan region of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan, etc around 800 A.D. The biography of Guru Rimpoche is highlighted by 12 episodes on the model of the Buddha Shakyamuni’s life. Each episode is commemorated around the year on the 10th day of the month by “the Tshechu “which has become the name of a very popular festival. The dates and the duration of the festival vary from one district to another but they always take a place on or around the 10th day of the month according to the Bhutanese calendar.

Main Highlights of Thimphu Festival Tour:

Thimphu festival is one of the most popular festivals in the country. During the mask dances known as cham and are performed to bless onlookers, to teach them the Buddhist dharma, to protect them from misfortune and to exorcise all evil. It is believed that merit is gained by attending the tsechus. The dances invoke the deities to wipe out misfortunes, increase luck and grant personal wishes.

A group of ladies perform traditional Bhutanese dances during the intervals between masked dances. Apart from its religious implications, the Tshechu is also an annual social gathering where people dress in their finest clothing and jewelleries.Bring you a closer contact with the people and give you an insight into the Bhutanese lives, beliefs and more.

Day 01 : Arrive Paro, Paro-Thimphu

Arrive at Paro.You will be welcome by your travel guide from Bhutan Traveldom-Global Connect ( Bhutan tour operator) at the Paro Airport.

After the refreshment,visit the Ta Dzong rated as one of the finest natural Museum in South Asia, and is filled with antique thanka paintings, textiles, weapons and Armour. The visit the Rinpung Dzong ( in the same location) built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now use as an administration center and school for monks. Then walk down to Rimpung Dzong Bridge, one of the oldest bridges in Bhutan.

In the evening drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

Day 02:Thimphu Sightseeing

In the morning,visit :

National Library where a vast collection of ancient manuscripts is preserved.

School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts where children are taught the traditional art of woodcraft and painting.

Folk Heritage Museum, which is loated in the same area, and further down to the Textile Museum.

National Institute of Traditional Medicine

National Textile museum

After lunch, visit:

Tashichhodzong, “the fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of the monarch’s throne room and seat of the Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in the 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.

National Memorial Chorten, continuously circumambulated by the faithful, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who had wished to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.

The government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to browse through examples of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, and other interesting items made from local materials. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 03 Thimphu Tsechu

Attend first day Thimphu Festival. Venue- Tashichhoedzong courtyard. This is the perfect occasions to witness the Bhutanese unique culture, religion and history. Overnight halt in the hotel.

Day 04: Thimphu tsechu OR Thimphu Short Hike to Tango Monastry

Option 1

Attend second day Thimphu Festival. Venue- Tashichhoedzong courtyard

OR

Option 2

After breakfast, drive to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike up to the Monastery with a picnic lunch. Tango is the center for higher studies for monks. The hike up will take approximately 45 minutes. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtaking. Drive back to Thimphu and evening free to relax / stroll around Thimphu town.

Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

Day 05: Thimphu -Punakha –Wangduephodrang

After breakfast, drive to Punakha through Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft). If you have a clear sky, the view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges is spectacular and you can even see the Gasa Dzong as a white dot in the horizon. Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi

Dorji Wangmo for the security and well being of His Majesty the King of Bhutan.

Drive onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. Visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho – Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river. Visit the Dho Jha Gha Lam Temple.

Evening, walk through the Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing .Overnight at hotel in Wangdue.

Day 06: Wangdi-Thimphu

After breakfast, walk to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (50 Mins) temple built by the Queen Of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world.

Drive back to Thimphu, visiting Simtokha Dzong en route. This dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies

In the evening,drive to see the Takin Zoo, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. Drive further upto Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the Thimphu valley in the evening. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

Day 07: Thimphu-Paro

After breakfast, drive to Paro. Visit Kichu temple,one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demoness.

After lunch, drive up the valley to view the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, 18 km. from Paro town on the north side of the valley. It was from here that the Bhutanese repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. Evening at leisure to visit local shops. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 08: Paro- Short Hike

After breakfast,drive up to the base camp of Taktsang and then hike up to the most famous Monastery in the entire kingdom of Bhutan perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to the viewpoint will take about an hour and it will take 2 hours to the monastery. Lunch at the viewpoint. Overnight at hotel in Paro.

Day 09: Depart Paro

After breakfast,your tour guide from Bhutan Traveldom-GlobalConnect will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward journey.


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