Trip Name: Punakha Tshechu Festival Tour
Trip Id: TIB1386
Trip Duration: 07 Days
Festival Dates: 1st – 3rd March, 2023
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above
Transportation: Private vehicle
The main feature of Punakha Tshechu Festival Tour is to experience the spectacular Punakha Tshechu ‘festival’ celebrated at the grounds of the towering Punakha Dzong. It’s said that Guru Rimpoche, a saint, brought Buddhism to Bhutan and the tshechu ‘festival’ is to honor Guru Rimpoche. The festival consists of typical masked dances which are very colorful and interesting with the events and enactments being different each day. Locals gather in spirit of festivity, celebration and with deep faith to witness the festival. One of the best ways to witness the ancient living culture of the Dragon Kingdom is attending the tshechus. Initially, the tour begins with spectacular flight over the Himalayas towards the lush green Paro Valley then drive to Thimphu for a bit of sightseeing around. Afterwards, head towards Punakha way across the Dochula pass (3,116m) to attend the festival. The tour closes with hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ perched in a vertical cliff and spending another night to eventually fly back home.
- Majestic views of the world’s highest peaks onboard flight to/from Paro and excitement level builds up as the plane cuts through different hills towards the deep valley of Paro
- Guided city tour of the tiny capital Thimphu
- Attend Punakha Tshechu at the Punakha Dzong
- Explore Paro exploding with colors and tradition
- Visits to different dzongs, monasteries, temples & ancient fortresses
- Discover rich Buddhist, Tibetan culture and traditions
- Experience the lifestyle and traditions followed by Bhutanese people
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrive Paro (2250m) & transfer to Thimphu (2350m)
Arrive Paro by the Bhutanese National Carrier (Druk Air) flying over the world’s highest mountains and finally landing at the lush green Paro valley. A cool and clean fresh air greets the visitor as stepping down from the plane, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing customs and visa formalities, meet the representatives and the Bhutanese guide, and a short tour brief by the guide then transfer to Paro town for lunch. Then drive towards Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan) for about 1 & half hours drive. En-route Thimphu, one can do a short hike to Tamchog Monastery, a private temple owned by the descendents of famous Tibetan bridge – builder Thangthong Gaylpo. Later on continue the drive to Thimphu.
In Thimphu, visit Buddha point for a stunning view of Thimphu city and Takin Compound- on the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin. Then continue to Tashi Choe Dzong- the fortress of the glorious religion was initially constructed in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in the 1960s, Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum, Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar. Overnight at Hotel (Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha (1310m)
After breakfast, drive for about 3 hours to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La Pass 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. In Punakha, 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 Festival
We will spend whole day in the festival which will accompany with various mask dances and folk dancers along with jokers actions in the crowd. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 04: Punakha Festival
Whole day in the interesting Punakha festival or in the afternoon we can proceed for other sightseeing like visiting Khamsum Yulay Temple or Wangdue excursion visit Rinchingang. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 05: Punakha – Paro
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 06: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery (3,120m)
This morning, make an excursion to Taktsang Monastery – this has to be the monastery with the most outstanding setting in Bhutan. Set on a vertical cliff face at 2950m above sea level, it defies all engineering logic. For the energetic, hike 2 hours up to get a more dramatic view of the monastery. (The hike demands a certain level of fitness and a pony ride to the monastery can be arranged at additional cost). Just on the outskirts of Paro town, visit Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and have the opportunity to meet the local villages in a local farm house. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 07: 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.
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 to your requirements. This tour can be undertaken round the year.