Thimpu Festival – Bhutan

Thimpu Festival – Bhutan

17 Nights & 18 Days


Join the colorful Thimpu Festival tour. Thimpu Festival ia a religious festival of Bhutan in honor of their Guru Rinpoche, who brought the buddhism to Bhutan in 8th century. During this festival Bhutanese dressed in their finest clothes, and wear masks for their dance performances. They come to Thimpu from all over the Bhutan to celebrate this festival. This Tsechu festival is also known for the yearly gathering of people of Bhutan to rejoice together.
Festival dates mentioned in our program are tentative and are subject to change. In case of any change in the festival dates the program might get changed at a later stage. As per the dates of the festival we have arranged the rest of the dates and offering you the detailed program.

Day 01 : Arrive Delhi

Arrival in Delhi.
On arrival meet and greet at the airport and transfer to the hotel.
(Rooms will be booked from 1200 hrs noontime).
Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 02: Delhi

After breakfast visit Red Fort* – the 17th century imposing fortress, the Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), India’s largest mosque where more than 20,000 people can kneel in prayer and Raj Ghat -Mahatma Gandhi’s Memorial. In the afternoon visit New Delhi. You will drive past President’s Palace and India Gate (42m high), built to commemorate the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in the 1st world war. Later visit Humayun’s Tomb, and the Qutub Minar, the highest sands stone minaret in the world (73 meters).
* Red Fort is closed on Mondays.
Dinner and Overnight in the hotel.

Day 03: Delhi - Bagdogra (By flight) and Bagdogra – Darjeeling (By surface: approx 3 hrs)

In the morning flight to Bagdogra, lunch at airport and drive to Darjeeling 100 kms (03 hours), Darjeeling, which is well known for its high-quality tea cultivation, offers the flair of a typical health resort of the British colonial age. A broad mall with it's interesting shops invites you for strolling and discovering.
Dinner and Overnight in the Hotel.


In the early morning drive to the vantage point - Tiger Hill with a view of the snow peak of the kanchenjunga (8,579 m). Afterwards visit to the Tibetan Refugee camp and the Buddhist Ghoom monastery. On way back visit the renowned Mountaineering institute.
Dinner and Overnight in the hotel.

Day 05: Darjeeling - Pemayangtse (By surface: approx 128 kms / 7 hrs)

After Breakfast Drive 128 Kms (7 hours) to Pemayangste through sumptuous subtropical mountain landscape, influenced form evergreen rain forest, rhododendron koniferen forests and orchids. On 2,000 m height exists one of the oldest monasteries Nyingmapa-Orden in Sikkim (8th century). Packed lunch enroute.
Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.

Day 06: Pemayangtse - Gangtok (by surface: approx 115 kms / 6 hrs)

After breakfast drive to Gangtok, 115 Kms (6 hours) capital of Sikkim. The former kingdom of Sikkim was integrated in April 1975 into the Indian confederation of states. As typical British hill station extends the capital along a burr with a beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga-massive.
Dinner and Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 07: Gangtok

After Breakfast visit the rumtek monastery, centre of the Kagyupa-order as the copy of the Tibetan original monastery after the occupation of tibet. In the Namgyal institute of Tibetology in Gangtok you can admire the biggest collection of tibetan manuscripts and Thangkas from all over asia. In the afternoon visit to Enchey monastery, important seat of the Nyingmapa sect.
Dinner and Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 08: Gangtok - Phuntsholing (By surface: approx 240 kms / 8 hrs)

After Breakfast Drive from Gangtok to the border city of Bhutan Phuntsholing 240 Kms (8 hrs) through a varied landscape with rice and tee plantations. Through a beautifully worked gate you enter Bhutan, packed lunch on the way. Dinner/ Night stay in Hotel
Dinner and Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 09: Phuntsholing – Thimpu (By surface: approx 6 hrs)

Drive 6hrs to Thimphu, 179 kms, the modern capital of Bhutan, lies at an elevation of 2300m in a valley traversed by the Wang chu (river). Arrive Thimphu and check-into the hotel. Thimphu earlier a small settlement was developed in to a town and became the new capital of Bhutan. The city sprawls across the western slopes of the Wang Chuu river valley, with several government offices located around Trashichoe dzong, the 17th Century fortress monastry is today the seat of Bhutanese government. The main thoroughfare is lined with shops, restaurants, retail arcades and public buildings.
Afternoon proceed for a city tour:
Visit King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect 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.
Also visit to Trashichhoe dzong, “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the centre of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot.
Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 10: Thimpu

Full day witness Thimphu Tshechu (festival). Tshechus are the main religious festivals of Bhutan celebrated to honour Saint Padmasambhava, also known as "Guru Rinpoche" in the mountain Kingdom. During Tshechus, the dances are performed by monks as well as laymen.
The festival dances are 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; the dancers who take on the aspects of wrathful and compassionate deities, heroes, demons, and animals to do this.
Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Pema Lingpa were main figures who composed many of the dances. It is believed that merit is gained by attending this Religious festival. The dances invoke the deities to wipe out misfortunes, increase luck and grant personal wishes. Onlookers rarely fail to notice the Atsaras or clowns who move through the crowds mimicking the dancers and performing comic routines in their mask with long red noses. A group of ladies perform traditional Bhutanese dances during the intervals between mask dances.
Evening visit Changangkha Lhakhang. It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley.
Later take a stroll around Thimphu main street and visit Craft Bazaar & Government Handicrafts Emporium.
Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 11: Thimpu / Punakha (75km, approx 3 hrs drive)

After breakfast witness Thimphu Tshechu (festival).
Afterwards drive to Punakha acrosss Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right):
Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m. Before entering Punakha town, en route a short excursion to Chimi Lhakhang. Situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, this temple is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behaviour to dramatise his teachings and due to this also known as ‘Divine Madman’. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility.
It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. It is about 30 minute walk across field from the road to the temple. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. It then follows a tiny stream downhill to Yoaka and across more fields before making a short climb to Chimi Lhakhang.
Later visit Punakha Dzong. Built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan’s history. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been now fully restored. Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

Day 12: Punakha / Bumthang (185 kms, approx 7/8 hrs drive)

After breakfast drive to Bumthang, it is the general name given to combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.
Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Bumthang

Day 13: Bumthang

After breakfast visit Kyichu Lhakhang, consisting of three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 on the rack face where Guru meditated in the 8th century. Second temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of Guru's body and is therefore considered the most holy. The third temple was built in 1990s by Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother. These three temples are surrounded by a 108 chorten wall.
Then proceed to Jambay Lhakhang. This monastery was built in the 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits n the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century. Jakar Dzong, founded by great grand-father of the first Shabdrung is next in sightseeing schedule. This Dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549. It was upgraded after the Shabdrung had firmly established his power in 1646. The Dzong is now used as administrative centre for Bumthang valley, and houses the regional monk body.
Afternoon drive across the River to Tamshing Lhakhang. Located across the river from Kurje Lhakhang, this temple was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the re-incarnation of Guru Padsambhava. The monastery has very ancient religious paintings like 1,000 Buddhas and 21 Taras (female form of Buddhistava). The temple was restored at the end of the 19th century.
Later visit to Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery. Located above the main town, about 3 km from Chamkhar town, the monastery was founded by Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche in 1984 who was recognized at a very young age by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and H.H. 16th Karmapa as the reincarnation of a Tibetan lama whose spiritual lineage dates back to the nearest disciples of the great 9th century master. Since then the monastery has developed considerably with increase in number of monks to almost four hundred. The monastey has become part of an extensive effort to preserve and revitalize Tibetan culture.
Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Bumthang.

Day 14: Bumthang / Trongsa / Wangduephodrang (185kms, approx 7 / 8 hours drive)

After breakfast drive to Wangduephodrang. It is the last town on the central highway before central Bhutan. The town is not more than an enlarged village with a few well-provided shops.
Located in the south of Punakha, the higher reaches of the Wangduephodrang valley provide rich pastureland for cattle. This district is also famous for its fine bamboo products, slate and stone carvings.
Enroute visit striking Trongsa Dzong, ancestral abode of Bhutan’s royal family. Built in 1648 as the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. All four kings were invested as Trongsa Penlop ('governer') prior to ascending the throne. The Dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built.
Also visit Ta Dzong, a cylindrical stone structure rising five storeys, was built in 1652 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, a task entrusted to him by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. After more than 350 years, it has been resurrected into a classy museum, that represents a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity.
Also visit to Chendbji Chorten which is also fall enroute, the stupa patterned on Swayambhunath in Kathmandu with eyes painted at four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.
Later continue drive to Wangduephodrang.
Today in the evening visit a traditional farm house and meet a village family where tea / coffee will also be served. It provides opportunity to mingle with local family particularly the farming community and understand their cultural. Later explore local market.
Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Wangduephodrang.

Day 15: Wangduephodrang / Paro (125km, approx 4 hours drive)

After breakfast we continue our fascinating journey towards Paro, en route visit Simtokha Dzong.
Simtokha Dzong was built in 1627 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it stands on a low ridge 8 km down the valley from Thimphu. The Institute for Language and Cultural Studies is located within the premises. The most noteworthy artistic feature of this dzong is the series of over 300 finely worked slate carvings behind the prayer wheels in the courtyard. Later continue the drive towards Paro.
Arrive in Paro and check in at your hotel.
This afternoon is dedicated to explore Paro and its surrounding.
Afternoon visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. After the visit walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Later drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. En route visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 16: Paro

After breakfast the morning is reserved to visit Taktsang Monastry, one of the fabulous locations in the known world. The Taktsang Monastery is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour.
Afternoon at leisure.
Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 17: Paro – Delhi (By flight)

After breakfast transfer to the airport for flight to Delhi.
Rest of the day is at leisure.
Dinner and Overnight in the hotel.

Day 18: Delhi - Fly Back

On time transfer to International airport to connect flight back home.

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