About Paro Festival Tour - 7 Nights 8 Days - 02 April – 6 April 2023

Bhutan is celebrating the Paro Tshechu / Festival in the spring. It is a wonderful time to visit Bhutan, experience its ancient culture, and get enthralled in the celebrations. Amid blossoming flowers and lush green landscape the Festival comes alive with vibrant colors, music, dances and other sacred rituals. Mask Dance and music plays an important role in the cultural life of Bhutanese people and are performed to convey religious messages and righteous ways of living to the people.
 
The Paro Tshechu is a Buddhist Festival and one of the major annual events of Bhutan. The Tshechu holds religious significance and is held to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, the patron saint of Bhutan who introduced Tantric Buddhism in Bhutan. Festivals are held mostly in the huge courtyards of the magnificent Dzongs/Fortresses and comprise of colorful masked dance and traditional folk songs and dances attended by even more colorfully dressed Bhutanese people. As per the Lunar calendar the Paro Festival falls during the Spring and is one of the most beautiful time to visit Bhutan. Weather-wise the days will be bright and sunny with clear view of the snow capped Himalayan Mountains and evenings and mornings will be pleasant but also a little cold.

Highlights

  • Paro Tshechu – attend and witness 8th century masked dances envisioned from the heavens and replicated in Bhutan
  • Paro Tshechu – an interesting and cultural experience of the celebration of life the Bhutanese way
  • Experience and visit the western regions of Thimphu, Paro, Punakha and Wangdue valleys
  • Tiger’s Nest/Taktsang Monastery - Hanging onto a precarious almost vertical mountain cliff, it’s a spectacular sight in terms of location, setting and history and is one of the holiest sites in the Buddhist arena.
  • Visit Dochula Pass at 3,150 meters and enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the Himalayas
  • Visit Tashi Chodzong or the Fortress of the Auspicious Religion – the office of the Dragon King of Bhutan

Day to Day Itinerary

Fly into Paro by DrukAir / Bhutan Airline After completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by our representative who will be your tour guide throughout your tour.

Then drive to Thimphu,On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after refreshment visit the following:

• Kuensel Phodrang and visit tallest Buddha statue and enjoy the full view of Thimphu Valley below.

• Craft Bazaar -A one stop place to witness Bhutanese culture and buy Bhutan made art and craft product. The Bazaar in its 80 stalls covers all aspects of the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. At this Bazaar craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts. And also visit other handicraft stores.

Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family. Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.

Overnight at Thimphu.

  • Meals: Dinner
  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Thimpu

After breakfast visit following place:

Weaving Center

Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre is a small cottage industry which offers a variety of traditionally hand woven Bhutanese clothing and other textile products.

Textile Museum

The Royal Textile Museum Bhutan or Royal Textile Academy is a national textiles museum. It is located very near to Taj Tashi Hotel and Authentic Handicraft shops. It was established in the year 2001. It has a huge collection of antique textile artifacts. Weaving in Bhutan is the culture and tradition. RTA the aim is to preserve and promote this living art of Bhutan to international and domestic markets.

Institute for Zorig Chusum

Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.

Weekend Market

Every Saturday and Sunday most of Thimphu's scant population and many valley dwellers congregate on the banks of the river where weekend market is held. It is an interesting place to visit and provides opportunity to mingle with the local people.

National Sport of Bhutan (Archery )

One of the best place to witness a game of traditional and modern archery. Which is a national sport of Bhutan? If you want to take some good picture of archery match then this is one of the best places to be. Almost all the time there is a tournament being played

Tashichhoe Dzong, a fortress of the glorious religion. It was built in

1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into present structure by the late King, His majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.

Overnight at Thimphu.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Thimphu.

After breakfast, travel to Punakha through Dochula Pass 3140 m). In the clear spring sky, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges. . Then pass by the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo

Wangchuck (Queen Mother of Bhutan) for the security and wellbeing of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan.

You will also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (monastery) which was built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck ( the Queen Mother of Bhutan) as a tribute to His Majesty the fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck and armed forces after His Majesty led a successful operation against Indian militants who had occupied certain areas of Bhutan. The gallery of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang has beautiful murals depicting some of the important events in the reigns of the Kings of Bhutan.

Then travel onto Punakha. Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in the Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture. Punakha had served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for a unified Bhutan.

On the way, stop for lunch at Metsina village and then visit the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing.

Then visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho - Chu (Male river) and the Mochu (female river). The dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. At the dzong, you can see the highest standards in woodwork.

In the evening visit Rinchengang & Lobesa villages where you will take a short walk through the village and have free interaction with the villagers.

Overnight at Punakha

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Punakha

After breakfast short hike and local sightseeing.

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten Hike

A beautiful hike takes one to the regal Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten, which was built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the changing world. The Chorten dominates the upper Punakha Valley with commanding views across the Mo Chhu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond.

After lunch visit following place:

Limbukha

Drive towards limbukha village later walk across the suspension bridge (about 200m long) through absolutely fresh breeze and fascinating view of Dzong. Follow the farm houses gradually climbing towards Dompala hills. The view of Dzong, Pho Chhu, Mo Chhu rivers and surrounding village is superb amidst chirpine forests. The climb is another two and a half hours to Limbukha. Limbukha farmers grow Bhutan's famous red rice which is supposed to have medicinal values. This particular rice needs clean mountain spring so that the taste is good and nutritional value maintained. Limbukha is also known for its love of peace and tranquility. Legends says that during medieval wars the "limpus" or the people of Limbukha always volunteered as peace negotiators. This is also depicted during yearly festival called 'Serda' when the men are found carrying peace flags instead of swords and fireworks .

Overnight at Punakha.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Punakha.

After breakfast travel to paro. On the way visit the following: Tamchog Lhakhang Bridge

Located on the other side of the river of the Thimphu - Paro highway, one needs to cross an iron chain suspension bridge to get to the Lhakhang.

About 30 minute drive from Paro towards Thimphu city, Tamchog Lhakhang sits across the Paro River. The Lhakhang is approached by an iron chain suspension bridge. The Lhakhang and the bridge were constructed by a 13th century Tibetan saint Thangthong Gyalpo. The

Buddhist saint was also a blacksmith and an architect. Of the many iron chain bridges built, there are only few left which are still used. Crossing this old bridge can be a thrilling experience for tourists. Some of the original iron chain links used to build this bridge can be found on display in the National Museum in Paro

Paro Airport Bird eye View

Paro international airport is the only international airport in Bhutan where you can teach Bhutan via air. It’s a small airport with singly runaway and no or very few international traffic. However, it’s considered as one of the dangerous airport for landing and also most beautiful airport in terms of landscape and architecture. Hotel Check in and later visit Paro dzong for the festival .

In the evening stroll through the Paro town and visit local handicraft stores.

Overnight at Paro.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Paro.

After breakfast, hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as

‘Tiger’s Nest’. The walk up to the viewpoint will take about 1 – 1 ½ hrs depending on your fitness and from View Point you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria. Then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former glory. After visiting the monastery, walk downhill back to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further downhill to the road point. Then drive to Drukgyel Dzong (fortress) that is situated on a ridge in the upper Paro valley which is 30-minute drive towards north from the Paro town. Drugyel Dzong also means “Fortress Of Victorious Drukpas” which was built in 1649 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The Dzong had been served as an important base for defense in the region until 1951 when it was destroyed by fire. The ruins of the Dzong was continued to be protected as an important monument linking people of Bhutan with the great events that contributed in maintaining sovereignty of the country. Drukgyel Dzong was served solely for defensive purpose without administrative and religious functions, especially against external threats from the border. The existing ruins of the Dzong are comparatively well preserved. One can without much difficulty understand or distinguish features of the complex. Although most of timber components of the Dzong such as roof truss, door and window frames, and floors and ceilings are almost totally absent, major portion of stone and rammed earth wall structures are still standing. They provide for visitors in understanding ideas and practices for defense in the olden times.The reconstruction of the fortress began in April, 2016 after the command of His Majesty the King, to celebrate the birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey, to commemorate the arrival of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1616 AD the birth year of Guru Rinpoche. The restoration work is estimated to be completed soon.

Farm House visits, Witness the real beauty of the Paro Valley by visiting the quaint farm houses. All the Bhutanese farm houses follow the same pattern and are really decorative and traditional in style. They are built using mud and stone without the usage of any nail. A visit to these houses will be a different experience altogether and will offer you a glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.

Over night at Paro

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Paro.

Haa valley

After breakfast Start the day early for drive to Haa via Chele-la pass.

4 Km away at Bondey village the road to Haa diverts towards the right hand side and ascends towards the chele-la pass starts. After driving through blue pine & rhododendron forest for 45 km, reach Chele-la pass ( 4200 meters). From this point one can have a superb views of Mt. Chomolhari & Jichu Drakey. This is a very good place to walk around for few minutes enjoying the view. Drive on to Haa, descending all the way for another 22 km (under an hours drive), finally reaching Haa. TheHaa Dzong is presently occupied by military, but the view from outside is stunning. After lunch visit to the famous Monastery of Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) followed by visit to

Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple).

The central shrine in Lhakhang Nagpo is said to have no difference with that of Lhasa JOWO in Tibet. The construction of the Lakhang Karpo is believed to have been assisted by the locality. As a result the place came to be locally known as "Hay" meaning" surprise" which later became "Haa" due to the differences in interpretations and pronunciations of different people over time.

The three giant hills looming over the fringes of Haa valley were called "Me Rig Puen Sum" especially after the incidence of the Lhakhang Karpo construction. Today the three hills are popularly known as "Rig Sum Goenpa" signifying three deities-Jambayang

Chana Dorji and Chenrizig.

Later, other Buddhist saints like Guru Rinpoche and "Machi Labdorn" came to the Jungney Drag in Haa and blessed the locality. The principal religion followed is Drukpa Kagyupa. After the arrival of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the chief guardian deity of Haa became, Ap Chundu.

Later in the evening drive to Paro same way back. The drive will be under 3 hours.

Overnight at Paro

  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Paro.

After breakfast we will drive to Paro airport for the departure.

  • Meals: Breakfast.

What's Included

  • Breakfast and dinner at respective hotels and lunch at local tourist standard restaurant
  • Accommodation (Twin Bed / Dbl Bed sharing basis) in 3 star hotel c. All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
  • Daily USD 200 per person / night Gov. Sustainable Development
  • Fee
  • Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments.
  • English Speaking Local guide. g. Sightseeing.
  • Visa fee USD 40
  • Single room supplement charges USD 25 per room per night
  • Insurance Premiums
  • Payments for service provided on a personal basis
  • Cost for any services not mentioned in the "Cost Include head"
  • Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
  • Personal expense in items such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera
  • Charges, Bottle water,
  • Incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services
  • Airfare

Useful Information

  • Throughout your holiday to Bhutan, escorted by one of the Bhutan Travel Gate expert tour guide- your ‘travelling concierge’, expert guide, consummate facilitator and friend in a foreign land who ensures your journey is as enjoyable as possible.
  • Baggage handling everywhere on your tour.
  • Free Wi-Fi and internet in most of the hotel rooms and lobbies.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Bhutan Travel Gate Luxury air conditioned SUV and coach with extended leg room.
  • Airport Transfers as per the scheduled flights.