Date of Festival: 24th -27th October, 2018
Your tour starts from Paro valley and continues east through the beautiful valleys of Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue and then to the central regions of Trongsa and to Bumthang. You will also visit monasteries, farm house and experience Bhutanese way of living, villages and temples. You will have the opportunity to interact with the locals and learn about their daily life style, superstition and folklore.
The highlight of the festival
Our representative from Bhutan Corinthian Tours & Travels will be there to greet you at the airport and will drive you to Thimphu.
The first stop will view the beautiful private Tamcho Lhakhang. Further along you will reach Chuzom, the confluence of the Paro river and the Wangchu river. Opposite the confluence are three protecting stupas each built in a different style.
In the evening explore the Thimphu city – the capital in the world where there is no traffic light and mingle with the local people and visit shops. Overnight stay at hotel, Thimphu.
Today’s Exploration of Thimphu begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, built in the memory of the Third King of Bhutan. This is the place where the locals throng in to circumambulate around the temple. A popular place to meet the local and interact. You will then visit the National Institute of Zorig chusum where students undergo training in Bhutan’s thirteen traditional arts and crafts followed by a visit to Folk Heritage Museum where you get to see traditional Bhutanese farmhouse and Bhutan’s rural past through exhibits and documentation of rural life.
After lunch visit Changangkha Lhakhang,, the Takin Preserve to see the national animal of Bhutan. This animal is associated with the country’s religious history and mythology.
We then visit a nunnery temple followed by a visit to Tashichho Dzong or “the fortress of the glorious religion” which is Bhutan’s administration and religious centre and houses the throne room of His Majesty the King and other Government offices. It is also the summer residence of the Je Khenpo or the Chief Abbot. Overnight stay at hotel, Thimphu.
After breakfast, drive to Punakha (the old capital of Bhutan), passes through some of the kingdom’s fresh water river valleys and paddy lands.
Stopover at Dochu La pass (3100m) from where you can see the eastern Himalayan range on a clear day. En-route you will stop at Mitsina village and visit Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the temple of fertility built by divine madman, for his outrageous methods of teaching the dharma.
It is an easy 20- 25 minute walk through rice fields to the temple. Overnight stay at hotel, Punakha.
After an early (6AM) breakfast, drive to Trongsa passing over Pele La pass at 3450m.
After lunch, visit Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648 followed by a visit to Taa Dzong an ancient watchtower, which has now been restored from ground up and converted into a state of the art museum presenting the historical and religious heritage of the fortress. In the evening, drive to Bumthang over Yotong La pass, (3425 m). Here you will get the first glimpse of the Black mountains and Himalayan peaks such as 0Jumolhari. In the evening, drive to Bumthang. Overnight stay at hotel, Bumthang.
Explore Bumthang which is the spiritual heartland of Bhutan. Bumthang loosely means the valley of 100,000 spirits. The visit to sacred places and monuments will include Jambay Lhakhang, built in 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo followed by Kurjey Lhakhang, which consists of three temples surrounded by 108 chortens (stupa) symbolically representing the joints of the human body.
We will then visit Tamshing Lhakhang built in 1501 and known for its ancient religious paintings of One Thousand Buddhas and Twenty One Taras (female form of Bodhisattavas). After lunch visit Jakar Dzong, known as the ‘Castle of the White Bird’. Overnight stay at hotel, Bumthang.
The highlight of the Jampa Lhakhang Drup is a Mewang “fire dance” which takes place in the evening to bless the people who witness and participate.
The other distinct feature of this festival is the Ter Cham, “the naked dance”, performed at night. The dance was composed by Terton (Treasure Discoverer) Pema Lingpa in 15th century. Overnight stay at hotel, Bumthang.
After breakfast, drive to the glacier valley of Phobjikha – the roosting ground of rare Black-necked crane. Hundreds of black-necked cranes roost here in winter.
On the way we will stop at Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Katmandu’s Swayambhunath stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points.
After lunch we will continue drive to Phobjika valley. Time permitting, visit Gangtey Goenpa. Overnight stay at hotel, Gangtey.
Visit to the Crane Observation and Information Center before driving to Thimphu. Enroute hike to the nearby village of Rinchengang where the clustered settlement is made of mud and stone.
Continue driving to Thimphu, In the evening free to stroll Thimphu city and catch its sights and sounds. Overnight stay at hotel, Thimphu
After breakfast, drive back to Paro valley and hike to Taktsang or “Tiger’s Nest” one of the holiest Buddhists sites in the country. The monastery clings to a cliff 900 meters above the valley floor. It takes around 3 hours at a moderate pace. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tigress and meditated for three months.
On the way back, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo.
Overnight stay at hotel, Paro.
Early morning, drive to Airport and Farewell.