Trip Name: Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival Tour
Trip Id: TIB1388
Trip Duration: 10 Days
Max. Altitude: 3,120m/10,240 ft (The Tiger Nest Monastery)
Festival Date: 24th – 27th October, 2018
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above
Transportation: Private vehicle
Jambay Lhakhang Drup festival tour visits the important cities of Bhutan and attends one of the popular festivals at Bumthang– Jambay Lhakhang Drup. The festival is a grand ceremony with festive atmosphere celebrated at the cultural heartland of Bhutan – the Bumthang Valley. It’s a great opportunity to witness the ancient living culture of the Dragon Kingdom. A Tsechu is a Buddhist festival in honor of Guru Rimpoche, the saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. Unique masked dances and other celebrations is the main feature of the festival when locals gather around in a spirit of festivity with deep faith. The tour also visits other scared sites like the Chimmi Lhakhang, Punakha Dzong, hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ and sightseeing around Paro, the tiny capital – Thimphu and the old capital – Punakha.
- Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the Himalayas while flying in/out from Paro.
- Explore the tiny town of Paro exploding with colors and tradition.
- Discover the tiny capital Thimphu.
- Witness Jambay Lhakhang Drop at the cultural heartland – the Bumthang Valley
- Hike Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan. Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan.
- Bhutanese ancient culture and tradition
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrive Paro (2250m) – Thimphu (2350m)
Arrive Paro by Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, and it’s a scenic flight as the plane touch down the lush green Paro Valley flying past the world’s highest mountains. Steeping down from the plane, cool, clean and fresh air welcomes the visitor, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing the customs and visa formalities met by the representatives and transfer to Paro for lunch. Afterwards drive to Thimphu (1 hour) following Pa Chhu downstream. In Thimphu, drive on to the Buddha Terrance for a stunning view of the valley and take a drive to visit Takin Preserve to see Takin, Bhutan’s national animal – a strange looking beast which some say resembles a beestung moose! Take a view of the majestic Tashichoe Dzong, the seat of the government before circumventing the Memorial Chorten – a monument erected in memory of Bhutan’s third king H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Visit Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar, National Institute of Traditional Medicine that still dispenses traditional herbal medicines to the locals, the Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum. Overnight at Hotel (Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 02: Thimphu-Punakha (1,310m)
After breakfast, drive for about 3 hours to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, descend through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as the Divine Madman”. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site forchildless couples. Enjoy some tea and snacks at the end of hike while overlooking the fields. In the afternoon, we visit Punakha Dzong. Located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 03: Punakha – Gangtey (2,900m)
Drive to Wangduephodrang Dzong, which is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view both up and down the valley. Then drive up a winding mountain road through oak and rhododendron forest, and over a high pass down into the Phobjikha valley, surely one of the loveliest high altitude valleys in Bhutan. Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys, and chosen winter home of black-necked cranes, migrating from the Tibetan plateau. Enjoy 1½ hours Gangtey nature trail from the monastery through the jungle before emerging to the valley floor. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 04: Gangtey – Bumthang (2,745m)
Today, we drive 5 hours to Bumthang valley. The road climbs rapidly through a series of hairpins out of Trongsa and there are great views back to the Dzong and out across the valley. After passing through cultivated fields for a while, the trail re-enters the forest and reach the Yotong La (3400m). Descending to a low point of 2650m at a village called Chumey; the scenery is once again totally different as theroute enters the wide-open Bumthang valleys. It takes about an hour to get to the roadside at Chumey, the first of the four valleys in Bumthang. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 05: Bumthang – Witness the 1st day of the festival
In the morning visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom where Bhutan’s patron saint Guru Rimpoche meditated and 7 th century Jambay Lhakhang. It dates back to the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan and is one of the Kingdoms oldest temples. After lunch, visit Jakar Dzong and Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pemalingpa and containing interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Afterwards enjoy exploring the village of Jakar, Bumthang’s main township. In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley. After dinner attend the first day of Jambay Lhakhang festival. The first day of the festival begins in the evening around 8:30 pm.
The details of the first day of the festival are as follows:
- Black Hat Dance (Shana) and of the Gings (emanations of Guru Rinpoche): Costume: Dancers, wearing long brocade robes and ornate black hats, perform this dance. The dancers’ who represent the Ging wear shorter robes with masks. This dance is performed to purify the ground and to chase away evil influences.
- Dance of Offering (Tshogcham): A dancer offers the body of evil spirits to the deities. After the offering is made the audience goes outside the temple where an arch of pine bushes has been erected.
- Fire Dance (Mecham): The arch of pine is set on fire. The fire is said to purify the earth of evil spirits. People who pass through the arch have their sins cleansed. A dancer chases away the evil spirits.
- At around 12 – 2 am, the naked dance will be performed where you can only witness the act for yourself and photography will not be allowed during the act. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 06: In Bumthang (2,745m)
Return to experience more of the festivities at Jambay Lhakhang, or enjoy an excursion to Tang Valley, the most remote valley in the Bumthang district. Activities may include a 45 minute walk uphill to Ugyen Chholing Palace, built in the 16 th century by the Trongsa Penlop Tshokey Dorji. The main building in the complex now features a fascinating museum offering a real insight into the lifestyle of a Bhutanese noble family. Highlights include a book of divination, a dakini dance costume made of bone. Option also includes visiting the 14 th century Tang Rimochen Lhakhang where Guru Rinpoche meditated and Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake), where some of Guru Rinpoche’s treasures were found in the 15 th century by the famous treasure discover Pema Lingpa. It’s a good location to meditate. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 07: Bumthang – Gangtey (2320m)
After breakfast, re-trace the same route back towards Gangtey and the road journey today is bit longer with 8 hours of drive. Upon arrival at Gangtey, check-in hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 08: Gangtey – Paro (2250m)
After breakfast, drive back to Paro cross Dochula pass which is about 5 hours drive. PM: Stroll around the streets of Paro. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 09: Paro – Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,120m)
After breakfast drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. It’s about two hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in 8th century. Then visit the Taktsang Monastery and hike back to the road point then drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Afterwards, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 10: Paro depart
After breakfast, drive to the Paro airport in time to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains. (Breakfast only included)
The tour cost depends upon the category of hotels used and as per the group-size. Normally we use government approved 3 star and above hotels. Please contact us for the trip pricing.