19 - 26 Feb
Punakha Dromche Festival, first introduced by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel , is an annual extravaganza tantamount in religious significance. What makes this celebration unique is the recreation of the 17th century battle against Tibetan army showcasing the victory of Bhutanese. The local men put on the traditional battle gear with swords and dance in the courtyard of the Punakha Dzong thanking the local deities for their support. The festival also has a large number of ‘Cham’ (religious mask dances) and dances dedicated to two main protective deities of Bhutan—Yeshe Gompo (Mahakala) and Palden Lhamo. The religious dancers wear masks of animals, deities or skulls meant to purify and ward off evil spirits. The dancers as well as the audience are dolled up in their best outfit of silk and rich brocade paired with best ornaments. It is a time for people to take a break from their busy lives and come to witness the festival with their family. This festival is said to bless the onlookers, cleanse sins and elicit spiritual awakening.
Druk Airways flight to Bhutan provides during a clear weather the most fascinating view of Himalayan scenery. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be greeted by our representative and transfer to hotel. After lunch, visit Paro Dzong, which was built in 1646, and visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country and the National Museum. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Morning drive to Punakha, with a stop en route for tea at Dochu La Pass (3,100 meters). The passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag. The pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the Himalayas on a clear day. En route stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley popularly known as the Devine Madman. If you wish, you may receive a special fertility blessing from a wooden phallus. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
After breakfast, you will attend the Punakha Dromchoe festival. Enjoy an annual festival introduced by Zhabdrung to commemorate the victories over the Tibetans. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
Today you will drive back to Thimphu via Dochula pass. At Dochula, you can visit the new Druk Wanggyel Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their Today you will drive back to Thimphu via Dochula pass. At Dochula, you can visit the new Druk Wanggyel Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. After this continue drive to Thimphu. Check into hotel on arrival. In the afternoon, you can stroll in Thimphu City of your own and absorb the lifestyle of the people. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast, you will visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), nunnery temple, Folk heritage Museum, which depicts the life of a rural Bhutanese and the Textile museum which is a repository of archaic Bhutanese textiles. After a relaxing lunch, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichhodzong and the giant Buddha statue on a hill overlooking Thimphu which is reputed to be the largest Buddha Shakymuni in the world. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Morning will be spent hiking to Wangditse Monastery. The hike starts from Radio tower. It is a one hour walk on a levelled trial amidst pine forests with great view of north Thimphu valley. On the way, you will also have an opportunity to see Takins – unique national that is found only in the Himalayas. You will hike back till road head at Radio tower where your vehicle will be waiting to transfer you to Thimphu. After lunch, you will drive to Paro. In the evening, you can visit Paro town. Overnight hotel in Paro.
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Lunch will be served at Cafeteria restaurant located up on the mountain. After having explored the monastery, you will have back to Paro. Evening visit a traditional farm house which offers opportunity to mingle with local people and to get an idea on their lifestyle. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Today we will bid you farewell as you catch your flight from Paro to your next adventure.
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