Paro Festival

paro festival
Paro Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan. Featuring dances performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes, Tsechus (festivals) are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan. A Tsechu is a Buddhist festival in honour of Guru Rimpoche, the saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. A highlight of the Paro Tsechu is the unfurling of the silk Thangka – so large it covers the face of an entire building and is considered one of the most sacred blessings in the whole of Bhutan.

Paro Festival Itineraries:

Day 01: ARRIVAL PARO

  • Arrive Paro airport and you will be received by representatives.TLF Holidays
  • Transfer to the Hotel, check-in & rest a while
  • Transfer to Rimpong Dzong to witness the festival
  • After lunch, drive through the paddy field to visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, which was built in 1647 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father & unifier of medieval Bhutan. The Dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jumolhari (7,314 Mtrs.)
  • On the way back, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the holiest and oldest monasteries in Bhutan built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gyampo
  • Later visit a Traditional Bhutanese Farm House;
  • Dinner & overnight Hotel

Day 02: PARO FESTIVAL & DAY HIKE TO TAKSHANG MONASTERY  

  • Following early breakfast, transfer to Satsam Chorten for excursion to view & visit the spectacular Takshang Monastery. “Takshang” literally means Tiger’s Nest. The Monastery is believed to have been built in 1684 on the spot where Guru Rimpoche (founder of Buddhism in Bhutan) flew on the back of a Tigress and meditated to subdue the demons in Paro valley. The trail to the Monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. This incredible Monastery clings vertically to the edge of a granite rock cliff that plunges 900 meters above the valley floor.
  • Lunch at Takshang Cafeteria
  • Later transfer to Rimpong Dzong to witness Paro Festival optional visit to Taa Dzong, the national museum of Bhutan
  • Walk down through the cantilever bridge to visit Paro town
  • Dinner and overnight Hotel

Day 03: THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING

  • Early breakfast, and transfer to Thimphu & sightseeing
  • Visit the National Memorial Chorten, a huge Stupa built in memory of the third king of Bhutan HM Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972; the building of this landmark was envisaged by him as a monument to world peace and prosperity
  • Visit Zorig Chosum (commonly known as the Painting School), where students undertake a six year course on the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan
  • Visit National Library, which holds an extensive collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books, mainly of Himalayan culture
  • visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only) followed by visit to Zilukha Nunnery & Dupthop Lhakhang
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Continue sightseeing with a visit to the Bhutanese Hand Made Paper factory, Handicrafts Emporium, Crafts Bazaar, Buddha’s Point, Takkin Preservation Center & Tashichhodzong, the central secretariat building that houses the office and throne room of the king; evening at leisure in town
  • Dinner & overnight at Hotel

Day 04: PARO THONGDREL & PUNAKHA

  • Early hours, drive back to Paro to attend the Thongdrel ceremony, the closing of Paro festival. In the ceremony, a large and beautifully appliquéd ‘Thangka’ scroll known as a Thongdrel is exhibited for a few hours, at day break,  enabling  the people  to  obtain  its blessing, as this  holy scroll confers liberation by the mere sight of it (Thongdrel in Bhutanese); continue attending the closing programs of the festival
  • breakfast at a local restaurant
  • Later transfer to Punakha across the Dochula Pass (Alt.3050 M). If the weather is clear, you will have spectacular view of the snowcapped Himalayan mountain peaks from the pass. The colorful 108 Chortens on top of the pass is spectacular to look at.
  • Continue drive to Punakha; and check in at the hotel
  • After lunch visit Punakha Dzong, a historic Dzong that was once the central secretariat building of Bhutan until the time Punakha was the old capital of Bhutan. This Dzong looks like a floating ship between two rivers Pho Chu and Mo Chu
  • Later visit Khuruthang town and walk around the valley
  • Dinner & overnight Hotel

Day 05: PUNAKHA-TRONGSA

  • Following early breakfast, a short climb up hill to visit the Khamsum Yulley Monastery; it is a gentle climb up hill for app 45 minutes and the view of the valley is spectacular from the top of this monastery. Continue sightseeing with a visit to Chimmi Lhakhang; a temple popularly known as “The Temple of Fertility” that is regarded as a pilgrimage site for barren couple in Bhutan
  • Later transfer to Trongsa; Enroute visit Wangduephodrang Dzong
  • Evening a leisure time in town
  • Dinner & overnight Hotel

Day 06: TRONGSA-BUMTHANG

  • Following breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong and the Monarchy’s Museum, which has a huge collection of antiques; later transfer to Bumthang. Check-in at hotel and after lunch visit the Swiss farm & Cheese factory; later explore the valley on foot.
  • Dinner & overnight at Hotel

Day 07: BUMTHANG SIGHTSEEING

  • Full day sightseeing – visit Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjee Lhakhang, Thamsing Lhakhang, Kenchosum Lhakhang; afternoon visit Jakar Dzong, the administrative building of Bumthang valley and the Yatha Weaving Center; evening at leisure in town.
  • Dinner & overnight Hotel

Day 08: BUMTHANG-MONGAR

  • Following early breakfast, transfer to Mongar across the Thumsingla Pass, alt.3750 Mtrs. It takes about 7 hours to cover this 192 kms distance from Bumthang to Mongar. You will also cross through Ura valley which is 48 kms from Bumthang. Ura is an interesting village with about 40 packed houses at an altitude of 3100 Mtrs. Bhutan’s highest mountain Mt.Gangkharpinsum is also visible from the pass on a clear weather. You will also descend to a low altitude at 570 Mtrs. At Kuri Zampa; from here the road climbs up through cheer pine forest and cultivated field for about 25 kms to reach Mongar town;
  • Evening visit Mongar Dzong, built albeit quite recently, the Dzong still maintains the architectural traditions followed by a leisure time in town.
  • Dinner & overnight at Hotel

Day 09: MONGAR-TRASHIGANG

  • After breakfast, drive across Kori la pass (2450 Mtrs.), the place marked by a pretty Chorten and a stone wall. The first part of the journey is through leafy forest filled with ferns. Later road descends rapidly through corn fields and banana groves arriving the famous zigzags of Yadi, which is a recent settlement. About 40 kms onwards lies Trashigang at 1000 Mtrs. Trashigang is center of the biggest and most populated districts in the country.
  • Visit Trashigang Dzong, standing extreme end of the spur, overhanging the Gamri river; the Dzong is the administrative seat of the district.
  • Evening at leisure in town
  • Dinner & overnight Hotel

Day 10: TRASHIYANGTSE EXCURSION

  • Day excursion to Trashiyangtse, a district that borders to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Sightseeing includes visit to the temple of Gom Kora, set on a small alluvial plateau, overlooking the river, 24 km from Trashigang. You will continue on down the road to Doksum village, where you can see women busily weaving traditional Bhutanese fabric, and a chain-link swing bridge dating back to the 15th Trashiyangtse is now a rapidly growing town and is famous for its wooden containers and bowls, attractive and handy souvenirs of a visit to this remote region. Later visit Trashiyangtse Dzong, which overlooks the town; continue visit the dazzling white Stupa of Chorten Kora on the riverbank below the town, and the nearby Institute for Zorig Chosum, where students are trained in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts; evening drive back to Trashigang.
  • Picnic lunch on the way
  • Dinner & overnight Hotel

Day 11: TRASHIGANG-SAMDRUP JONGKHAR

  • Morning drive along the Sherubtse College, visit the Blind School and Weaving Center at Khaling and drive down to the eastern Gateway of the country, Samdrup Jongkhar. There is a change of vegetation from alpine to sub-tropical and the weather
  • Evening at leisure in town
  • Dinner & overnight at Hotel

Day 12:  SAMDRUP JONGKHAR – GAUWHATI (INDIA)

  • Following breakfast, transfer to the Indian city of Gauwhati, which is 110 kms. and is around 3 hours drive; your Indian Agent will take you through this route for your onward journey.

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