BHUTAN RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL TOUR
Many visitors come to Bhutan to enjoy the most popular festivals which are held in Paro in the spring and in Thimphu and Bumthang in the fall. Festivals are well worth attending because they give you a different sense of the Bhutanese culture plus they’re fun and entertaining. Due to the interest in the festivals, these are the busiest times of the year for tourism in Bhutan.
So, if you wish to attend a festival, we strongly suggest that you book your trip well in advance as seat availability on Druk Air is limited. Festival Tours in Bhutan is an ideal opportunity to witness “Tsechu” or religious festivals which are held annually at various parts of the kingdom at different times of the year. The most popular festivals are Paro Tsechu (March / April), ThimphuTsechu (September / October) and the Jambay Lhakhang Drupchen in Bumthang (October / November).
The Tsechu festival is celebrated at every Dzong. The major events are Mask dance known as Cham which takes place for 3-4 days in honor of Guru Rimpoche. Performed by both monks and laymen the Bhutanese people would have witnessed 12 episodes by the end of the festival. It is a must for every Bhutanese to see and understand every dance as these gains them merits and brings them luck. It is also a time when people from all over Bhutan leave all their farm work and get dressed in their best attires, jewelry and rejoice together.
BUMTHANG FESTIVAL (MID NOVEMBER)
You will walk at mid-night to Jambay Lhakhang to witness the dancers dance around the fire naked and it is believed to be the most sacred dance. The participants at the dance are masked and the local people sing folk songs and interact with each other.
Paro Tshechu (festival) is one of the biggest religious celebrations of the Bhutanese year and is one of the busiest festivals in Bhutan where dances are performed by trained monks and laymen wearing amazing costumes. You can also experience the buzzing active lifestyle while visiting many historical sites in Bhutan.
Our representative of Earthbound Expeditions will receive you at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu and he will be displaying an Earthbound Expeditions signboard. You will then be transferred to your hotel.
After breakfast, your tour commences with an excursion of the famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites situated in the Kathmandu valley. Hop in the comfy a/c bus, and we begin our trip. We head to the sites like Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Swoyambhunath and Patan Durbar Square.
There are flight options from Bangkok, Delhi, Dhaka, and Kathmandu. The aerial journey into Paro is filled with wonder and as soon as you step out of the plane, brace yourself for a blast of freshness as this heavily forested country is abundant in the fresh air and panoramic views. In clear weather, you can see the tranquil Paro valley and the crystal clear sky. Overnight at Paro.
The Paro Tshechu festival is one of the liveliest festivals in Bhutan which enthralls anyone participating in it. The festival comprises of dances performed by the trained monks along with non-specialists, and they wear amazing costumes and masks. The festival revolves around the display of the immaculate silk Thangka which is considered as the most sacred blessing in Bhutan. It is believed that this holy scroll provides liberation to anyone who sees it. You will spend the entire day at the Paro festival and stroll the insides of the RinpungDzong.
The scenic drive from Paro to Punakha takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes. The road follows the Paro Chu river till Chudzom and follows the Wang Chu upwards until we reach the small town of Simtokha. We turn right and climb up to the Dochula pass, where you can observe the mighty Himalayas. From Dochula, the road descends into Wangdi and Punakha valley. After the junction at Lobesa, the route takes north and passes the beautiful village and farmlands to Punakha.
Your hunger for adventure and thrill takes you towards the capital of Bhutan, Thimpu. The drive takes about an hour, and when you reach there, you’ll be amazed as it is the only capital in the world which does not contain traffic lights. This ancient capital is a place where culture and urbanization go hand in hand. Our journey takes us to the TrashiChhoDzong which provides the city with its charm and charisma. We make our way to the Buddhist temple of Changangkha Lhakhang, which was built in the 12th century and you can see many parents as they come here to name their children. If you’re lucky, you can even get to observe Thimphu’s Weekend market, which is filled with lots of accessories. After a hectic day, return to your hotel.
The Taktsang monastery, is considered to be one of the Himalaya’s crowned jewels, and it is dramatically perched on the side of a cliff which is 900 meters above the floor of the Paro valley. This is the landmark of Bhutan, and although it may take some effort to reach the top, the glorious view and the serene atmosphere is definitely worth the walk. This ancient monastery dates back to the 1600s and history dictates that Guru Padmasambhava, the mystic who was responsible for bringing Buddhism to Bhutan, arrived here on the back of a flying tiger and meditated here for three months. Explore the nook and cranny of this monastery and enjoy the awesome views from it.
Head back to Kathmandu and at night enjoy the evening dinner along with a Nepali cultural show.
Today is the day that your journey ends. Our representative will drop you at the international airport and bid you farewell.
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