Thimphu Tshechu is an important annual event for residents of Thimphu and visitors alike. The festival attracts a huge crowd of people from all walks of life, Thimphu residents come dressed in their finest traditional costumes with intricate design and color and synchronously tuned mask dances performed by the monks of the central monastic body.
- Accommodation (twin sharing basis) in Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) certified 3 star hotels
- All meals
- All internal transport in a SUV or Mini Bus
- A licensed tour guide and a driver during the tour
- Entrance fees and activities as per itinerary
- All taxes and charges
- Government Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of US $ 65 per night
- One time visa processing fee of US $ 40
- All drinks, laundry and items of a personal nature
- Tips and gratuities
- Flight tickets
Upon cancelation of the tour after booking, the following charges apply:
- Cancelled 40+ days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – Full Refund
- Cancelled 35-39 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – 50% Refund
- Cancelled 30-34 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – 25% Refund
- Cancelled within 30 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – No Refund
DAY 1 PARO TO THIMPHU
Arrival in Paro. You will land in the one and only international airport of Bhutan, squeezed in between the valleys of Paro (2,250 meters). You can enjoy the bird’s eye view of the panoramic landscapes through your aero plane window. After your check out formalities, you will be received at the exit gate of the airport by our representative in a traditional manner of welcome with offering of Tashi Khadhar (a white scarf symbolizing good wishes).
After a short welcome tea, you will visit Paro Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan that holds the assortment of ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts. Next, visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, consecrated in 1646, a centre for administrative and monastic body which served as fortress in the ancient time. The sight of this fortress with enormous walls, stunning architecture, Milarepa painting and the courtyard is fascinating.
Board the vehicle across Pachu (Paro river) after you walk along the traditional cantilever bridge Called Nyimizampa.
Visit 7th century Kyichu Lhakang, one of 108 lhakhangs constructed by Buddhist Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. This temple is one of the oldest and considered to be very holy and holds great significance in Bhutanese history.
After lunch drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. On the way, a quick visit to Tachogang Lhakhang (literally, temple of the excellent horse) built by Tibetan monk Thangtong Gyalpo in 15th century. It is situated on a hillock across an iron bridge constructed in a traditional style. Further, drive to Thimphu, 40 miles north-east from Paro, about 1 hour and 20 minutes drive alongside the river with awesome views of narrow valleys, mountain ridges and hill slopes.
Check-in the lodge and come out to stroll around the town. You can see modern buildings ornamented by traditional architect, people in traditional dresses and graceful gestures of a policeman controlling the traffic.
DAY 2 THIMPHU
Second day morning, immerse in the radiance of festival. Visit Tashichhodzong the 13th century giant building that houses the King’s throne room, monastic centre and other administrative offices. It is also here in the courtyard that this grand festival called Tshechu, is held that runs continuously for three consecutive days. Highly skilled artists and talented performers display a variety of mask dances transforming themselves into different forms of dieties. Each of these performances holds significance of many myths and mystical glory of the past and commemorates the life of Guru Padmasambhava, who is also known as Guru Rinpoche, the whisperer of Buddhism in Bhutan. Tsechus conclude with the grand unfurling of aThrongdrel, the large scroll painting of Guru Rinpoche, Zhabdrung and Lord Buddha.
It is believed that people attending this festival will cleanse their sins and get blessings. Therefore, it attracts a big crowd of people with deep faith from the community who come dressed in finest traditional costumes of most intricate designs and colours. This is the opportunity for them to exhibit themselves in the best of their attire and pay homage to Guru Rinpoche.
In the late afternoon, sightseeing in and around Thimphu valley. Firstly, you will visit the iconic National Memorial Chorten (temple) built in memory of third king of Bhutan at the heart of Thimphu with its grandeur in intricate Bhutanese sculptures, designs and paintings. We can drive up the hillKuenselphodrang to see 169 feet (51.4 meters) tall bronze statue of Shakyamuni Buddha called the Dordenma gilded in gold. On return we can enjoy spectacular view Thimphu city. Next, visit a 12th century monastery Changangkha Lhakhang the residence of the protective deity Tamdrin. All new born babies get their names from here.
DAY 3 THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA
After breakfast, in Thimphu, visit to Jungshi small industry where Dehsho is manufactured. Itis a handmade authentic Bhutanese paper produced locally using traditional method. While you study the entire process involved in this ancient craft, you can also try your hand and have feel of it. Followed by visit to school for Bhutanese traditional art and crafts called Institute of Zorig Chusum (the 13 crafts) and witness students learning their lessons
Drive up to BBS Tower. Onwards, stop at Takin Reserve. Takin is the national animal of Bhutan found only in eastern Himalayas. Climb up the hillSangeygang to enjoy the spectacular view of Thimphu valley.
After lunch, drive to Punakha. Journey to Punakha from Thimphu is less than three hours on road. On the way, you will see the abundance of richness in natural beauty with spectacular views of wild flora and fauna.
After 45 minutes drive from Thimphu, stop at Dochula, a mountain pass at 3100 meters. The majestic elevation ornamented by 108 miniature Druk Wangyal chortens (temples) is an ideal place to shoot pictures of panoramic view of distant snow capped Himalayan mountain ranges and wilderness of woods.
In the evening, visit Chhimi Lhakhang (temple) the temple of fertility situated on a spherical hillock built in 1499. Walk about 15 minutes through a village and paddy fields. There is an interesting history behind this sacred place about Drukpa Kuenley whose crazy wisdom of teaching Buddhism through sexual references using wooden Phallus as one of the symbols for driving away evils, because of which he is commonly referred as ‘The Divine Madman’.
Punakha, to the lodge. If you wish, stroll in the town and meet locals.
DAY 4 PUNAKHA TO PARO
Visit Punakha Dzong in the morning, one of the most beautiful and majestic dzongs built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637 at the confluence of two significant rivers; Pho chu (male) and Mo chu (female). This Dzong holds a great significance in history of Bhutan.
After lunch, a short hike of about 30 minutes to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel chorten built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk in over eight years time. This is a unique 4 storied temple on a hill top constructed by means of spiritual consultation rather than the modern engineering. Walk through rice fields and climb up the ridge. Enjoy the scene of spectacular valley downhill with a thin line of meandering river.
After an early lunch, onward to Paro.
In Paro, visit to a historic site of a ruined Drugyel Dzong approximately 9 miles towards north built somewhere in 1647 to commemorate victory ofDrukpas (Bhutanese) over Tibetans. Unfortunately, in 1951 it caught fire and raged to ground leaving behind the collapsed walls outlining this historic site.
Overnight in a hotel in Paro.
DAY 5 PARO, HIKE TO TAKTSANG, THE TIGER’S NEST
No visitors leave Bhutan without hiking to Taktshang in Paro. Built in 1692, Takshang literally means ‘Tiger’s Nest’ is perched amazingly on a rocky cliff above 900 meters above the valley. It is believed to be the cave where Guru Rinpoche, the whisperer of Buddhism in Bhutan, flew on a tigress’s back and meditated for years to subdue evil demons.
The hike of 2 to 3 hours uphill by the winding trail through pine forest to the monastery is irresistibly gratifying. The view of incredible grandeur of the structure clinging on a crag will leave a lasting impression of your journey to Bhutan. On return, take lunch in the cafeteria.
Last shopping in some handicraft shops in Paro town. Overnight in hotel.
DAY 6 DEPART FROM PARO
After an early breakfast, our tour guide will reach you to the airport for your departure to onward destination.