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The Thimphu Festival Tour also called the National Festival of Bhutan, is the largest and most popular celebration in the country. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayers to invoke the divine gods.
24th September to 26th September 2023
3 Star Hotel
Professional English Speaking Guide licensed by Department of Tourism
Embarking on a Thimphu Festival tour is an enchanting journey into Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage and spiritual traditions. Here’s what you can expect during this captivating experience. Many Bhutanese, both locals and attendees, don traditional attire during the festival. Wearing Bhutanese garments like the gho (for men) and kira (for women) can enhance your experience and help you feel more connected.
Upon your arrival at the airport, your guide from the Himalayan Excursion team will be there to greet you. They will escort you on a brief drive to your hotel, ensuring a seamless start to your journey.
Once you’ve settled in and enjoyed a cup of tea, prepare for an afternoon of exploration. A scenic drive will take you 16 kilometers up the valley to the fascinating ruins of Drukgyal Dzong. Originally constructed in 1647 under the visionary leadership of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal—a unifying figure in Bhutan’s history—this fortress stood as a testament to Bhutan’s medieval achievements. Sadly, a fire led to its destruction, leaving behind captivating ruins that stir the imagination and evoke the glory of its past victories.
Enchanting Views and Ancient History:
Roam the remnants of the dzong’s ramparts and, weather permitting, be treated to an awe-inspiring view of the magnificent Mt. Jhomolhari, soaring to a height of 7,314 meters. The grandeur of this mountain against the backdrop of the Bhutanese landscape is an experience that’s hard to forget.
On the return journey, a visit to Kichu Lhakhang awaits. This sacred temple was erected in the year 659 A.D. by Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. It stands as an embodiment of ancient history and cultural significance, a testament to the enduring spirituality that has graced the region for centuries.
As the day winds to a close, indulge in a delicious dinner and find reprieve in the comfort of your hotel room. The serene surroundings and the day’s memorable encounters will surely make for a restful night. Experience Bhutan’s heritage, nature’s splendor, and the warmth of its people as you embark on this remarkable journey.
Paro, Excursion to Taktsang Monastery: An Exceptional Day
Embark on a truly exceptional day as we journey to witness the awe-inspiring Taktsang Monastery, famously known as the Tiger’s Nest. Following a hearty breakfast, a brief drive transports us to Satsam Chorten. From this point, a two-hour horseback ride leads us to the monastery’s vantage point. The trail ascends through picturesque pine forests, where many trees are adorned with Spanish moss, and intermittent clusters of fluttering prayer flags grace the landscape.
After Lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in 1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the center of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. In the evening, drive to Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Thimphu Tshechu starts on the 10th day of the 8th lunar month. The three-day religious event plays an important role in the lives of the Bhutanese people as it is an opportunity for the Buddhist followers to immerse and cleanse themselves of the bad Karma and to remind them of what to make of their lives.
Commencing the day’s exploration is a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974), a venerable edifice constructed in memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Our journey proceeds to the Dupthop Lhakhang, a cherished nunnery and one of Bhutan’s surviving few. Subsequently, we venture to the National Library, home to a repository of ancient Buddhist manuscripts. Our sojourn continues to the Painting School, where the age-old art of crafting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls) endures through meticulous instruction.
Following a satisfying lunch, our route takes us to the Traditional Medicine Institute. Here, ancient practices guide the preparation of medicines. Our curiosity then leads us to Lungtenzampa, where we bear witness to the skilled endeavors of Royal silversmiths and the craftsmanship at the Bhutanese paper factory.
Your tour ends here today. Its 1 hour journey from Thimphu to Paro for the Journey towards Paro international airport. Our Guide and driver will see you off from the terminal. Tashi Delek.
Yes, tourists are welcome to attend the Thimphu Festival. It’s a wonderful opportunity to witness Bhutanese culture, traditions, and religious practices up close.
You can reach Thimphu by air, flying into Paro International Airport. From there, it’s a scenic drive to Thimphu. Remember that Bhutan has a “High Value, Low Impact” tourism policy, and you’ll need to book your tour through an authorized Bhutanese tour operator.
It’s recommended to dress modestly and respectfully. Traditional Bhutanese attire is often worn by locals and is a great way to immerse yourself in the experience. If not, wearing neat and conservative clothing is advisable.
Yes, all tourists must be accompanied by a licensed Bhutanese tour guide. This helps ensure a culturally enriching and respectful experience.
Photography and videography are generally allowed during the festival. However, it’s courteous to ask for permission before taking close-up shots of individuals, and it’s important to respect any restricted areas.
Absolutely! Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, offers a range of attractions including the Tashichho Dzong (fortress-monastery), the National Memorial Chorten, craft markets, and more. It’s a great opportunity to explore the city’s blend of tradition and modernity.