PARO FESTIVAL TRIP OVERVIEW

Trip Seasons
24th April to 28th March 2021

Trip Type
Cultural and Festival Tour

Trip Length
12Days/11Nights

Places Covered
Paro,Thimphu,Punakha,Wangdi,Gangtey,Trongsa and Bumthang

Group Size
Available as small group/join-in or Independent.

Tour Cost USD 2515.00/person

Day Trip Outline Accommodation
Day 01-24th March 2021 Arrival Paro  Tashi Namgay Resort
Day 02-28th March 2021 Paro Festival  Tashi Namgay Resort
Day 03-29th March 2021 Paro to Thimphu  Peacefull Resort
Day 04-30th March Thimphu sightseeing  Peacefull Resort
Day 05-30th March Thimphu to Punakha (77km, 3hrs)  Hotel Meri Puensum
Day 06-31st March Punakha – Bumthang  Hotel Chummi Resort
Day 07-1st April Bumthang (Jakar) sightseeing  Hotel Chummi Resort
Day 08-2nd April Drive to Tang, Walk to burning lake – Ura – Evening drive back to Jakar  Hotel Chummi Resort
Day 09-3rd April Bumthang Jakar – Phobjikha  Hotel Dewachen
Day 10-4th April Phobjikha – Paro (180km, 7hrs)  Hotel Tashi Namgay
Day 11-5th April Paro – Hike to Taktsang (tiger nest), above 3000m from sea level  Hotel Tashi Namgay
Day 12-6th April Final Departure

Day 01: Arrival Paro:

The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below. ParoDzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport, after arrival & visa formalities and collection of baggage, who will be your tours guide during your entire trips in Bhutan.  Few sightseeing in Paro includes. The Paro Dzong is probably Bhutan’s best known and most iconic Dzong.

Ta Dzong (National Museum)

The National Museum of Bhutan is housed inside the six storied circular Ta Dzong. The Ta Dzong is a medieval watch tower situated above the RinpungDzong. The Ta Dzong was constructed in 1656 with a purpose to give advance warming to the ParoDzong in case of an approaching army, in fact the world Ta means “to see” in Dzongkha. In 1968 the Ta Dzong was converted into the National Museum of Bhutan. The museum houses a priceless collection of textile, costumes, painting, appliqué, wooden handicrafts, weapons, armor and jewellery. There is a small section dedicated to the natural history of Bhutan. There is a small chapel on the top of the building with icons representing Himalayan Buddhist traditions

Kyichu Lhakhang

The Jowo Temple of the Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in the Bhutan. The temple was built by the Tibetan King songstenGampo in the 7th century AD. The KyichuLhakhang was one of the 108 temples constructed by him to subdue a demon that was terrorizing the people of the Himalayas. The temple is believed to have been visited by the Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century during his visit to the Paro Valley. Other important personalities to have visited the temple in antiquity include Lam KhaNga and the PhajoDugomZhigpo. The Lhakhang underwent many extensions during the ages with last one being carried out in 1965 by the Queen Mother Ashi Kezang ChodenWangchuck.

She added another new structure to the temple called the Guru Lhakhang. As one of the oldest Lhakhang, it houses many important relics. One of the most important relics of the temple is a 7th century status of JowoSakyamuni which is believed to have cast at the same time as it famous counterpart in Lhasa Tibet.

There are 2 orange trees located in the courtyard of the temple; there is a belief amongst the locals that these orange trees bear fruit all year long. This site is one of the most sacred holy sites is all of Bhutan, and our companies travel consultants recommend every traveler to visit this sacred temple.

Day 02: Attend the most popular Paro Tshechu (Festival) tour.

Paro festival is most popular festival tour in Bhutan. The festival is held in the courtyard of Paro RinpungDzong. This is the main Secretariat Building, where the government offices and living quarters of the monk body and its Chief Abbot are housed. Witness the festival entire day

Most Festival Tour in Bhutan includes Dance of Black Hats (Shana / Ngachamp), Dance of the Noble man and Ladies (phole Mole), Dance of the drum beaters, from Dramitse (DramitseNgachamp), Dance of the Stag and the hounds (shawaShachi) Evening Thimphu Exploration, Visit memorial chorten, National Memorial chorten.

Day 03:Paro to Thimphu Tour:

After 50 minutes drive check into Hotel and after tea visit The National Memorial was built by Bhutan’s third kind, H.M.JigmeWangchuck who is also known as the ‘’Father of Modern Bhutan’’. He wanted to erect a monument carrying the message of world peace and prosperity. However, he was unable to give shape to his idea in his lifetime due to pressure of state and other regal responsibilities. After his untimely demise in 1972, the Royal Family and Cabinet resolved to fulfill his wishes and erect a memorial that would perpetuate his memory and also serve as a monument to eternal peace, harmony and tranquility. The National Memorial Chorten is located in the centre of the capital city, Thimphu and is designed like a Tibetan style Chorten. The chorten is patterned of the classical Stupa design with a pyramidal pillar crowned by a crescent moon and sun. One of the most distinct features of the Chorten is its outwards flaring rounded part that makes the Chorten look more like a vase rather than the classical dome. The interior of the Chorten has a large number of paintings of Tantric deities, in explicit sexual poses that sometime can be a little disconcerting to visitors.

Overnight hotel in Thimphu

Day 4: Thimphu sightseeing.

Early breakfast and visit the following:

TashichhoDzong:

The TashichhoDzong is a Buddhist monastery cum fortress at the northern edge of Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan. The Dzong was built on the western bank of the river Wangchuk, and has historically served at the seat of the Druk Desi or the Dharma Raja of Bhutan; government. After the king assumed power in 1907 this post was combined with that of the King and Thimphu severed as the summer capital of the kingdom before becoming the full time capital Thimphu.

The original Thimphu Dzong (the Doe-NgyeDzong) is said to have been constructed in 216 by Lama GyalawLhanangpa. And was later taken over by Lama PhajoDrrukgomShigpo before the Dzong was conquered by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who found the Dzong to be too small and expanded it to what is now Known as the TashichhoDzong is called the ‘’fortress of glorious religion’’. It was erected in 1641 and was subsequently rebuilt by King Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s.

The Dzong has been seat of the Royal government since 1952 and presently houses the Throne room and the Kings secretariat. The TashichhoDzong is also home to several ministries of the Bhutanese government and the Central Monk Body which is the apex organization of the country’s main spiritual order. The monument welcomes visitor during the Thimphu Tshechu festival which is held in autumn each year. The Dzongs mains structure is a two striped quadrangle with 3 storied tower on each of its four corners.

 Folk Heritage Museum:

The Folk heritage museum was open to the general public in 2001 upon completion. It treasures troves of culture and rich Bhutan heritage provide rich insights into the Bhutanese ethos. Try to schedule your visit during the morning hours since the museum is less crowded at that time and there is plenty of sunlight to go ground.

The folk heritage museum is housed in a replica traditional Bhutanese house learn first-hand about Bhutan’s rich culture traditions, its deeply rooted heritage which spans thousands of years and the Bhutanese way of life. The tour of this almost living museum will also give you a glimpse onto how many rural folk of the country live today following the ancient Bhutanese ways.

National textile museums:

The second important Museum that also opened its doors in 2001 is the National Textile Museum of Bhutan. During trips to this museum you will get an up close and personal experience of the living national art of weaving. The changing exhibitions at the museum will introduce you to the major weaving techniques that the weaves employ to make these beautiful fabrics. It also gives you a change to see the various styles of dressing of the men and women from different parts of Bhutan.

The museums exhibits follow 6 major themes:

  1. Wrap Pattern Weaves
  2. Weft Palttern Weaves
  3. Role of Textile in Bhutan
  4. Historical achievement in textile
  5. Textiles made from different indigenous fibers
  6. The royal textile collection.

Later in the evening you will visit National memorial chorten.

KuenselPhodrang

The KuenselPhodrang or the Buddha point is the World’s largest sitting Buddha statue, the statue is 167 feet high. The statue is situated on top of a hill overlooking the city of Thimphu, it can be accessed by road and is above 15 minutes away from the City’s center. The Word Kuensel means everything is clear and found this place you will sure enjoy a great view of the Thimphu Valley on both sides. The statue will house a temple inside it, the statue and its adjoining car park and recreational center are currently under construction and is expected to be ready by December 2012. The statue is constructed out of bronze and is studded with many semi-precious stones. Since they are no factories in country that can make such a large bronze cast structure statue is begin manufactured in China and the pieces are brought to Bhutan and are assembled here. On the driven to the statue the steep winding hill road offers an unparalleled view of the City of Thimphu and is an excellent place to capture a view of the City especially after dark. A journalist once described them as ‘’seeing an oasis of light in the desert of darkness’ ‘as the City light of Thimphu shin very bright in an otherwise dark Thimphu valley. After breakfast drive to Punakha with a short stop at Dochula pass (3,050m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan. Night halt at hotel Taj in Thimphu.

Day 05: Thimphu to Punakha   (77km, 3hrs).

Early breakfast and visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 A.D. Drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass at 3150mts. The drive would take about 3hours. On arrival, drive to Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” Built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’, Punakha Dzong is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers). It is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned. Overnight hotel in Punakha.

Day 6:Punakha – Bumthang

Early breakfast and then you can drive into the beautiful valley of Bumthang. Bumthang is the valley which is the religious heart land of Bhutan. It is also the first valley to receive the Buddhism in Bhutan. Many important and religious figures in Buddhism have visited this valley and blessed by them.First visit to Jakar Dzong built in 17th century, it had defended lots of enemies from outside and from within the country. The name Jakar originated from this place. It was said that the lama Nagi Wangchuk, great grandfather of Shabdrung came to this place and was looking for a place to build his hermitage. He saw a white bird flying from the place where the Dzong stands today. So he took it as a good omen and named the place Jakar means white bird. Houses the district headquarter and about 60 monks of Bumthang. Wangdichholing Dzong, Built in 1900 by the father of first king and was used as the summer residence of the first two kings.  Beautiful wood work and colorful paintings, currently houses about 30 monks. Last visit to Tamshing Lhakhang, Pema Lingpa was the only religious treasure discoverer born in Bhutan in 15th century. He was a great artist and architect. The temple was built by him. The paintings date back to same time and were painted by him. There is also an iron chain used by Pema Lingpa during the construction of temple. Nowadays people carry this chain around the temple three times to cleanse their sins. Night at hotel in Jakar.

Day 7: Bumthang sightseeing:

Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in the kingdom. It was founded by, Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan King in the 7th century AD.  The king was destined to build 108 temples known as Thadhul- Yangdhul (temples on and across the border) in a day to subdue the demoness that was residing in the Himalayas. The temple is one of the two of the 108 built in Bhutan. A second is located in Paro, the Kichu lhakhang also built on the same day.

The first king of Bhutan,  Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck constructed the Dus Kyi Khorlo (Kala Chakra- Wheel of Time) inside the temple, to commemorate his victory over his rivals Phuntsho Dorji of Punakha and Alu Dorji of Thimphu after the battle of Changlimithang in 1885.

The main relics include the future Buddha, Jowo Jampa (Maitreya) from whose name the present name of the temple is derived. The lhakhang also houses more than one hundred statues of the gods of Kalachakra built by the first king, in 1887.

Day 8:Drive to Tang, Walk to burning lake – URA – Evening drive back to Jakar. (65km, 1 and half hour)

In the late 15th century, terton incarnation disciple of Padmasambhava – Pema Lingpa had vision that there was hidden treasure to be found at the foot of tang valley. This treasure had been indelicate by Guru Rinpochhe many centuries before. Pema Lingpa found treasure-a sacred text which he translated and which indicated he should return to the place. Since the local governor was skeptical about it, he held a butter lamp in his hand, told the crowd that he would only return with the treasure if he was right, with the butter lamp still burning, and then he jumped in the water. He remained underwater for longtime, but when he resurfaced he was holding another sacred scroll, another treasure but also a still burning butter lamp. Hence the name burning lake. After lunch drive to URA valley, this valley is believed to be the earliest inhabited place in Bhutan. The road to Ura climbs to an amazingly open countryside. Sightseeing in ura valley, evening drive back to Jakar.

Day 9:Bumthang Jakar – Phobjikha (68km, 2hrs).

Drive to Phobjikha Valley, Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the periphery of the north western tip of the Black Mountain National Park at the altitude of 9,840 feet. We drive toward Phobjikha, the valley is a wide, beautiful alpine wetland valley and is a conservation area and lies on the northern boundary of the Jowo Durshing range. The hill side vegetation is mostly pine forest, interspersed with Rhododendron trees. Phobjikha valley is also one of the roosting grounds of the Black-necked cranes that migrate each year in winter from its northern habitats in Tibet and Siberia. These elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of the March.

Lunch at Trongsa. Sightseeing in Trongsa includes, visit to Trongsa Dzong, Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan.  Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. The Dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built. Visit Ta-Dzong or the watch tower, which was converted to museum in 2008. The museum houses about 244 items used over the years by Wangchuck dynasty. Night halt at Phobjikha.

Day 10: Phobjikha – Paro (180km, 7hrs)

After breakfast drive back to Paro. On a clear day, there is a breath-taking view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas from this spot. In the evening hot stone bath at a traditional Bhutanese house will be arranged for you. This hot stone bath is the traditionally way of taking bath for the Bhutanese, some they like to put the natural medicinal plants which are grown wild in the forest believing that cure any kinds of skin diseases. Also the believe is that, the mineral from the stones also help to cure the joint pains and other related body ache. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 11:Paro- Hike to Taktsang (tiger nest), Above 3000mfrom sea level.

Early breakfast, Today, we hike up to the famous cliff-hermitage called Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest.” This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly scenic! It takes about two hours to reach the cafeteria, which gives a breathtaking view of the Tiger’s Nest. From Cafeteria it takes 1 hour to reach the main temple. This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly scenic! This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.

After Lunch, visit drive to Drukgyel Dzong which is built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, the towering outer walls and central keep remain an imposing sight. On clear day you can see the splendid view of Mt. Jhomolhari (Alt.7321).

Day 12: -Final Departure.

Early morning breakfast, for departure to onward destination.

Please reconfirm all your services before you start the journey. Sometime the flight time may change due to sudden weather change in Bhutan.Check that your name in Visa and Tickets are same with your passport.

Emergency contacts

Being a responsible company, we are always available for 24 hours a day, in case if you need any emergency help. It is best to first call your designated travel coordinator or sales person (whose contact numbers are will be listed on your tour agreement), for any reason if you are not able to reach to him/her then please ring us on the below numbers:
Thimphu Head Office: (00975)-331423
Mobile number: (00975)-17140505(Available 24/7)
Note: office working time is 9am – 5pm from Monday to Friday.
Mr. Sagar Pradhan (Sales Manager) 00975 17343496 (Available for 24 hours a day)

Etiquette and Taboos

Cultural Considerations: Be aware that your cultural values may differ from those of locals. These may include different concepts of time, personal space, communication, etc., which are not wrong or inferior, just different. Making the extra effort to respect local customs and cultural differences will enhance your interactions with locals during your time in Bhutan and contribute to building mutual respect between locals and tourists.

Appropriate attire: Most Bhutanese are pretty conservative from our western perspective so it is always polite to wear long pants at all times (Man and Women). Women should wear long pants or skirts. Shirts should not be revealing and bras should be worn. Unfortunately, many tourists ignore these cultural norms and can be seen in towns and villages wearing shorts and revealing summer attire; while it may be comfortable, it is not appropriate, especially when visiting monasteries and Dzongs.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Generally we adhere to the original itinerary that we described but sometimes little alterations can be born due to the situations that are beyond our control. On the other hand, in order to make our trip for your personal experiences and flexible, we allowed our clients to make minor changes by discussing with us (office staff) and guide (field staff). The trip detail itinerary is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destination or activities is by no means of guarantee that they will be encountered or carried due to sudden change in time and the local circumstances and climate.

Keeping in touch with your beloved at home

If your family members or colleagues or friends want to talk to you during your Bhutan Tour or Trek, then you can either provide your guide mobile number to reach you during the trip or you can directly give the company phone number. We will make the arrangement to reach you with guide.

Meals

Meals are usually provided in buffet system and most of tourist food are blend and if you need to change the foods varieties we are very open to change and you need to discuss with guide. We have Indian, Chinese and authentic Bhutanese restaurant where you can have very spicy food.

Destination Guide

Bhutan is a unique travel destination with some special considerations. It is highly recommended that you undertake some background reading before travel to Bhutan. The more you learn about your destination, the more rewarding your travel experience will be. Check 2021 festival dates.

Coming Soon.