Bumthang Ura Festival

Tour Summary

Bumthang Ura Festival lasts for three days and is one of the most fascinating festival as it happens in the village of Ura, which is an hour drive from downtown Bumthang. Ura is a remote high altitude village where they grow grains and potatoes.

Bumthang Ura Festival an annual event that happens at the courtyard of Ura Monastery. Tshechu are always conducted or ending on the 10th Day of a Bhutanese Calendar month as the term Tshechu means the tenth, which is widely celebrated as Birth Anniversary of Guru Rimpoche, The Second Buddha.

Tshechu’s are organized in all 20 Districts of Bhutan and each district performs at different months from one another and its more like a New Year Celebrations and its both happy celebrations for the citizens as well as big day of offerings to the Guru Rimpoche and other local deities.

There will be both mask dances by the Buddhist Monks as well as songs and dance from the local villagers. It is an important event as all related folks from across the country comes together and discusses the important issue and prays together for a successful year. Come be part of the big annual celebrations at Ura Monastery.

You can catch Drukair, Royal Bhutan Airlines, National Flag Carrier flight from Bangkok, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Kolkata, Dhaka & Singapore.

Tour Facts

Festival Date: 7th May – 10 May 2017

Duration: 10 Night 11 Days

Specialty: Bumthang Ura Yakchoe Festival

Level: Easy - Leisure

Attractions:  Traveling from Western Bhutan to Central Bhutan crossing High Mountain Passes. Witnessing the Unique Ura Annual Festival

 Altitude: Western 1300 – 2200m  Central 2200m - 2500m

Mountain Pass: Dochula Pass 3150m - Pelela Pass 330m - Yotongla Pass 3350m

Outlined Itinerary
Day Trip Schedule
Day 1 Arrive Paro Transfer to Thimphu Hotel
Day 2 Thimphu Sightseeing Hotel
Day 3 Thimphu to Trongsa Hotel
Day 4 Trongsa to Bumthang Hotel
Day 5 Bumthang Ura Festival Hotel
Day 6 Bumthang Sightseeing Hotel
Day 7 Bumthang to Punakha Hotel
Day 8 Punakha Sightseeing Hotel
Day 9 Punakha to Paro Hotel
Day 10 Day Hike to Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest” Hotel
Day 11 Depart Bhutan

Travel during Off Season: Jan-Feb-Jun-Jul-Aug-Dec Single Traveller – Free Independent Traveller (FIT) : US$ 2240

Couple or Two Person Traveler – Free Independent Traveler (FIT) : US$ 2140 per person Group of 3 & More : US$ 1840

Travel during Peak Season: Mar-Apr-May-Sept-Oct-Nov Single Traveler – Free Independent Traveller (FIT) : US$ 2690 Couple or Two Person – Free Independent Traveller (FIT): US$ 2590 per person Group of 3 or More: US$ 2290

The Above Price includes following services;

  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits – Museum Fees
  • Standard Room in 3 Star Hotels – Upgrade to 4 & 5 Star can be arranged on Additional Cost.
  • Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner with Evening Tea
  • Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB)  Licensed Professional Driver
  • SUV for FIT & Toyota Van from 3 – 8 Pax & Toyota Coaster Coach from 8 – 20 Pax
  • Decade old TCB Licensed Tour Guide
  • All Sightseeing with Walks and Hikes
  • Bottled Mineral Water

Not included:

  • Round Trip Air Tickets
  • International Travel Insurance
  • Alcohol & Beverages
  • Entertainment Cost – Pub & Nightclubs
  • Tips for Tour Guide, Driver and Hotel Staffs
  • Donations to Monasteries and Temples
  • Payment Wiring Fee of USD 50

Day 01: Arrive Paro, Paro - Thimphu

The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some of world’s highest glacial peaks.  As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below.  Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight.  Our Bhutan Majestic Travel representative will meet you at Paro airport, and after completion of arrival formalities you will be transferred to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, an exciting blend of tradition and modernity but before that you will be visiting two of the most important places in Paro the Ta-Dzong or the National Museum of Bhutan and The Paro Rinpung Dzong – The District Administration of Paro. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 02: Thimphu

Today’s full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes visits to:

National Library, which holds a vast collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion;

Institute for Zorig Chusum – School of Thirteen Arts and Crafts (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan;

National Institute of Traditional Medicine where the medicinal herbs abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed, and traditional medical practitioners are trained;

National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity.  Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the father of modern Bhutan”) and a monument to world peace.  The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy;

Tashicho Dzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses the secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices.  It is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot and central monk body;

Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life.

Handicrafts Emporium: This government-run enterprise displays a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products.  It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 03: Thimphu - Trongsa

After early breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/10,130ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chortens, mani walls, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road.  If skies are clear, the high Himalayan peaks towards the north east will be revealed in all their glory.  On a clear day, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendegang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158m), Kangphugang (7,170m), Zongaphugang (7,060m) a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana, and finally, Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

Then continue onwards, reaching Wangdue Phodrang town in time for lunch.  From here, it is a long, winding descent into the Wangdue Phodrang valley, which is about 1,700m below the pass.  Take lunch at Wangdue Phodrang town, then continue on to Trongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830ft), the traditional boundary between east and west.  The pass is marked by a large white Chorten and prayer flags.  There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo.

Stop en route at Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points.  It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.  Arrive at Trongsa late afternoon and check in at the lodge for the night.

Day 04: Trongsa – Bumthang

After breakfast, walk by Trongsa Dzong (built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1647) and climb up a steep path to visit the Ta Dzong (watchtower), dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling.

Then drive to Bumthang, 68 km. from Trongsa, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yotong-la pass (3,400m/11,155ft).  The road winds steeply up to the pass, 28 km. from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open, cultivated valley known as the Chummey valley. Overnight hotel in Bumthang

Day 05: Full Day at Ura Festival

Drive to Ura Valley which will take close to hour where you will spend the whole day witnessing the Unique but Interesting Annual Ura Festival at the Ura Monastery with the villagers from the area. You can join with the locals with your picnic lunch. The Ura Yakchoe Festival is an annual event where the villagers, monks, laymen, nuns and folks who are originally from the village but now reside in cities comes together for the Festival and enjoy talking serious matters and family welfare and most important as being Buddhist Festival they all pray for good year, good harvest and good health. Evening drive to Bumthang for the night.

Day 06: Bumthang Sightseeing which includes visiting Kurjey Monastery, far north of the valley. The Monastery is built in 8th Century by Guru Rimpoche after he meditated at this place and left a body print on the rock which remains visible when you visit the oldest monastery followed by the next monastery built by First King of Bhutan Sir Ugyen Wangchuck and then the last built by Her Majesty The Royal Grand Mother. All the three monasteries have Guru Rimpoche as the main Centre figure.  After that visit the Bhutan’s oldest Monastery the Jambay Lhakhang built in 7th Century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gonpo in order to subdue a Orgress. He was told to build 108 Monasteries over the body f the ogres of which two are in Bhutan, Jambay and Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro. If you are not tired or hungry then you can drive up the valley to Bumthang Jakar Dzong – The District Administration of Bumthang and the longest Dzong in Bhutan. After lunch visit the Tamshing Monastery, House of Great Treasure Discoverer Pema Lingpa followed by Swiss Cheese Processing Unit, Red Panda Beer, Honey making at the Swiss Farm. Walk from here to the Chamkhar downtown for stall and shopping. Overnight in Bumthang

Day 07: Bumthang – Punakha

After breakfast proceed to Punakha, stopping along the way at Trongsa or Chendibji Chorten for lunch, which will be served in a local restaurant famous for its cuisine. The day is going to be full of driving but make sure to stop for photography and shorts walks to keep your legs and arms active. Overnight hotel in Punakha.

Day 08: Punakha Sightseeing After breakfast drive to Punakha Dzong with stop over at Lekithang School to see the magnificent Punakha Dzong built on the confluence of Pho (Male) and Mo (Female) Rivers. Best photo spot too. Further drive to the parking and walk through the wooden cantilever bridge which has got the best Bhutanese architecture built over the Mo Chu and another place to take side photo of the beautiful Dzong. Punakha Dzong is built in 1738 and is the third oldest Dzong after Simtokha Dzong in Thimphu and Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. Punakha Dzong is the most magnificent Dzong in Bhutan. Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers.  Punakha was Bhutan’s capital until 1955, and Punakha Dzong still serves as the winter residence of the central monk body.  Bhutan’s first king, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned here in 1907.  The fortress has withstood damage from fire, earthquake and flood over the centuries.  The latest flood, in October, 1994, caused great damage to the fortress but miraculously spared its most holy statue. After the visit walk for 15min to reach the Bhutan’s longest suspension bridge over the Male River on the way to Shegana Valley, where the best Red Rice comes from. Lunch in downtown Punakha. After that drive down to the Lobesa Village to do hike to one of the famous Monastery built by Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. The Chimi Lhakhang Monastery is best describe as New Life. The couples who are married for long time but doesn’t result to new born then they go to this monastery to pray and get blessings and the women gives birth in next nine months. The hike to the monastery goes by the village and rice fields and some handicraft shops. Overnight hotel in Punakha.

Day 09: Punakha– Paro

Drive to Paro with lunch stop over in Thimphu and last minute shopping. Evening drive to Punakha for the night.

Day 10: Paro

Drive for 15kms and reach the base of Famous Tiger’s Nest “TAKTSANG” Monastery and hike up which would take Two Hours up and approximately One Hour down. Stop at Taktsang Tea House “Cafeteria” for refreshment of Tea & Coffee and on your return back from monastery you will have your Lunch here.

Taktsang is at 2900mts. Hike for another half an hour and you reach the Great and Magnificent Taktsang where you will be greets by the monks who live there and Special Bhutanese Butter Tea will be served with Snacks.

Visit the most important monastery were the Guru Rimpoche was flying on a Flaming Tigress from Singye Dzong in Eastern Bhutan to here and meditated for Three Months and flourish of Buddhism in Paro started from 8th Century.

Walk down to the Tea House for Vegetarian Lunch.

After Lunch walk down hill and drive to the Ruined Fortress the Drukgyal Dzong meaning Bhutanese Victory Fortress built in 1649 by great fortress builder and also the man who unified Bhutan in 17th Century.

On the drive back to Paro visit the Bhutan’s oldest monastery the Kyichu Lhakhang, built in 659AD by Tibetan King Songtsen Goenpo in order to subdue the Orgress in Tiber, he built 108 Stupas in Twenty Hours of time of which two are here in Bhutan, the one built on Left Knee is the Kyichu Monastery and next built on Left Toe is in Bumthang and it is called Jambay Lhakhang. The main deity inside the Monastery is the Buddha Maiteria which is commonly known as Future Buddha or referred as Jow Jamba the same in Jokhang in Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Overnight: Hotel in Paro

Day 11: Depart Paro

After breakfast drive to the Paro International Airport to catch onward flight.