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Trip Name: Paro Tshechu Festival Tour
Trip Duration: 07 Days
Paro Tshechu Festival Date: 4th – 8th April, 2020
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above
Paro Tshechu Festival is the biggest and important festival in Bhutan and definitely the most popular. The festival is celebrated with ceremonial dances, rituals of blessings and held at the Paro Ringpong Dzong courtyard during spring. The interesting feature is the unfurling of the world’s largest religious scroll, the Paro Thangka, on the last day of the festival. The pageantry of this site is nothing ever witnessed before. People from all walks of lives attired in their best clothes come to witness the festival. The celebration is basically performed by monks, lay monks and citizens, and such tshechu ‘festivals’ are celebrated to recount the history of Bhutan and for Buddhism. Initially the tour begins with scenic flight over the Himalayas to the lush green Paro then after finishing sightseeing around Thimphu and Punakha, return back to Paro to witness the Paro Tshechu.
- Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the Himalayas while flying in/out from Paro
- Explore Paro exploding with colors and tradition
- Attend Paro Tshechu at Paro Ringpong Dzong
- Observe unfurling of the world’s largest religious scroll, the Paro Thangka
- Guided city tour of the tiny capital Thimphu
- Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan Experience Bhutanese culture, tradition and lifestyles
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrival Paro (2,250m) – Thimphu (2,350m)
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 half hrs) 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 for childless couples. Enjoy some tea and snacks at the end of hike while overlooking the fields. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 03: Punakha-Paro (2,250m)
Drive to visit a stunning hill-top nunnery – Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Chholing. Have a chat with the nuns and enjoy the charm of the surrounds! The main temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva of compassion (Avaloketeshvara) and next to the temple is a beautiful Stupa and there are slate carvings of religious figures. Re-crossing Dochula and stopping at Thimphu for lunch. Arrive Paro in the afternoon and check hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 04: Paro festival
After breakfast, visit the Paro Ringpung Dzong where the festival is held to witness the celebration, and enjoy the dances and other religious rituals. Locals in their best dresses come to see the festival. Afternoon: Visit Kyichu Lhakhang one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo, the first Tibetan King to spread Buddhism across the Himalayas. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 05: Paro festival
After breakfast, again move towards the Paro Dzong to witness the festival enjoying the ceremonies and celebrations. Afternoon: At leisure/Free for shopping. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 06: Paro – Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,120m)
View unfolding of the gigantic sacred ‘Throngdrul’ Thangka painting and watch as people from all over the country come to seek its divine blessing. The ceremony begins before dawn and it is folded before sunrise. Afterwards, 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 the 8th century. Afterwards, hike back to the road point and drive towards Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort. This fort once defeated this valley from the Tibetan invasions during the 17 th century. Also visit the local farm house at Drukgyal to witness daily life of the Bhutanese people PM: Stroll around the main shopping district in Paro. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 07: Paro – Depart
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains. (Breakfast only included)
Includes the following service during Bhutan tour.
• Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
• 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
• Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
• Route Permit
• Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
• All land transportation by private vehicle
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Monuments entrance fees where applicable
• Drinking water
• All internal taxes and charges
• A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
Excludes in the package cost
• Airfare & Travel Insurance
• Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
• Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
On the day of departure, the ‘local agents’ host obligation shall be limited to providing breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on a usage basis.
Our entire Bhutan tours are private journeys and tailor made programs suited for any independent travelers according to their chosen traveling dates. Should you wish, the tour can be easily customized as per your interest and activities you wish to get involve in or spend more time in your places of interest. Contact us to customize this tour as per your requirements.