Paro Tshechu Festival is an annual event that happens inside the Paro Dzong for the first two days and remaining three days are held at Dingyakha Ground, just next to the Paro Dzong and the reason behind is because Paro Tshechu is so popular that many spectators across the country turns up with their families followed by Western Tourists.
Every year the popular Paro Tshechu falls under early spring where especially the farmers are free from agricultural farm works and just after the Bhutanese New Year so the Festive mood remains very strong for more enjoyment and fun. Paro Tshechu brings the highest number of Tourist in the country and one of the most popular Tshechu.
The last day of the five day Tshechu ends with the unfurling of the giant Thangka of Guru Rimpoche between 3-4am in the morning and stays up till the sun rise and the belief behind witnessing and receiving blessing is that ones sins get “Liberation By Sight” and it had been a tradition that His Majesty The Fifth King of Bhutan had been always present on this day for both offering prayers for the well being of the Nation and World at large and for Peace. Tshechu is 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.
Its an annual event and during Tshechu period all Govt and Private including schools and farmers remains holiday. 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 with the Punakha District!
You can catch Drukair, Royal Bhutan Airlines, National Flag Carrier flight from Bangkok, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Kolkata, Dhaka & Singapore.
Duration: 8 Night 9 Days Difficulty Level: Easy Attractions: Witnessing Annual Paro Tshechu Festival, Cultural Sightseeing with Hike to Famous Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Altitude: Western Bhutan 1300 – 2200m Mountain Pass: Dochula Pass & Lawola Pass Season: Spring – 7th April – 11th April 2017
|Day 1||Arrive Paro - Sightseeing||Hotel|
|Day 2||Taktsang – Tiger’s Nest Hike||Hotel|
|Day 3||Paro Tshechu||Hotel|
|Day 4||Paro - Thimphu||Hotel|
|Day 5||Thimphu Sightseeing||Hotel|
|Day 6||Thimphu to Punakha||Hotel|
|Day 7||Excursion to Valley of Cranes||Hotel|
|Day 8||Punakha to Paro||Hotel|
|Day 9||Depart Bhutan|
Day – 1 Arrive Paro
During the journey, one will experience from the left hand side of the plane breath taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks including the sacred Jhomolhari 7314m and Mount Jitchu Drake 6789m in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, representative from Bhutan Majestic Travel who will escort you to Hotel. After Lunch visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong) Dzong means fortress. This was actually built as the watch Tower for the Paro Rinpung Dzong during the Tibetan Invasion in 17th Century. It was later converted into the National Museum in 1968. This kind of a building is unique as its built in cylindrical shape for many reasons during wartime, and today we only have two of these shape and the other one is in Trongsa, which also served as Watch Tower. The Museum layout in six different storied and shows cases all the artifacts from as early as 8th Century when Guru Rimpoche visited Bhutan. They have wide range of Bhutanese Flora, Fauna, Buddhism, Unique Bhutanese Stamp collections, remains of the war artilleries, and many others. It’s a must visit Museum as it houses our National treasures of Bhutan and must visit when you are in Bhutan. It is also considered as best place to take photos of the Paro Valley. After the Museum either you can walk downhill to the massive fortress, The Paro Rinpung Dzong which is built just above the Pachu (River of Paro) and houses the District Administration office headed by District Governor and the Monk Body heading by the Local Abbot. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal builds the Dzong in 1646 AD. Paro Dzong has the unique architecture and no modern elements are used for building and the paintings are all done by Natural Colors. Dzong houses the Buddhist Monks and the Annual Paro Tshechu happens here for the first two days out of five. Overnight hotel in Paro. Altitude of Paro is 2260m
Day – 2 Taktsang “Tiger’s Nest” Hike
Drive up to Satsam Chorten (10 km from the hotel) and from there walk up to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest.” The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000ft. and overlooks the Paro River. Its built in 8th Century by Guru Rimpoche after he flew on a flaming tigress from Eastern Bhutan. The purpose of flying here and meditating for three months is to flourish Buddhism in the Western Bhutan and to subdue all evils. Later years many Buddhist masters and scholars visited the place and practice meditation. It is one of the holiest place in Bhutan and receives hundreds of local and international both pilgrims and visitors. The round trip hike takes about 4-5 hrs. Veggie lunch at Taktsang Cafeteria. After lunch walk down to the motor road end drive to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong (Bhutanese Victory Fortress) built in 1649 to celebrate Bhutanese Victory over the Tibetan Invasion. This Fortress is now in ruins but the present Government is taking the initiative to rebuild and work is under full swing. From this place you can see the clear view of Himalayan Goddess Mount Jhomolhari 7314m and it is also the start point of Jhomolhari Trek, Laya Gasa Trek and world famous the Snowman Trek – The Toughest Trek in the World. Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Day – 3 Full Day at Paro Tshechu
After breakfast get dressed as elegantly or as smartly as you wish and drive to Paro Dzong to join the locals to part in their Annual Tshechu Festival. Mix with the locals to hear their story about the Festival and don’t miss to take photos of the amazing Bhutanese peoples. Bhutanese like their photos taken and its polite to do so without asking permissions but its polite to ask when taking photos of the monks. Enjoy the Mask Dance by the Buddhist Monks and the Local Traditional Song and Dance by the Men and Women of Paro District also the dance by the students. Picnic lunch with be served by riverside. Full day at the Festival. Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Day – 4 Paro to Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu, Capital City of Bhutan and Summer Capital for the Central Monastic Body headed by the Je Khenpo, The Chief Abbot of Bhutan. The first hour of drive would be following the Pachu and then reach at the Chuzom, the confluence where the Paro river meets the Thimphu River and forms Wangchu. Turn left to head toward Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. After lunch visit the National Archery Range to witness a Friendly Archery Match both played in Traditional Bamboo Bows and Arrows as well as imported Carbon Fibre Bows and Arrows from United States of America. If time visit then visit the National Mini Zoo to see the Takin, National Animal with head of a Goat and Body of a Cow. Evening visit the Thimphu Tashicho Dzong, The Throne Room of His Majesty The King of Bhutan and The Residence of His Holiness The Je Khenpo. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Day – 5 Thimphu Sightseeing
Visit the National Memorial Stupa built in 1974 by Royal Great Queen Mother and dedicated the Late Third King of Bhutan, best known as Father of Modern Bhutan. It’s the most popular place for senior citizens to come socialize and circumambulate the Stupa and gain good karma. There are many prayer ceremonies held here by high Lamas and Rimpoches for accumulating good gains for later life. You can light up butter lambs for both present life and also for life after death and most importantly for someone very dear ones who left for heaven. It’s also a popular place for students offering their prayers and receiving blessings during their examination periods. After this drive to Kuensel Phodrang where the giant sitting Buddha Dordenma can be seen. Best place to take photo of Thimphu valley. The Buddha Dordenma is truly a epic one as its totally built with sponsorship and all part of the bronze structure is built in China and later shipped till Kolkata, the port city and then on lorries all the way till this place as we do not have access to sea. The very first World Peace Ceremony was held here in October of 2016 and presided over His Holiness The Je Khenpo, The 70th Chief Abbot of Bhutan and it will be annual event and if you wishes to join for the World Peace Ceremony then let us know in advance as its going to be most popular tour for the Western Visitors. After the visit drive to Zilukha and visit the Zilukha Nunnery, the only one nunnery in Thimphu. After lunch visit the weekend market which starts from early Friday and finishes off on Sunday. Visit the Handicraft Emporium and also the Bhutan Art and Craft Bazaar on the Norzin Lam where you can do all your Bhutanese souvenir shopping at very minimal cost as you are directly buying from the local or villagers. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Day – 6 Thimphu to Punakha
The drive will be via Dochula Pass 3150m. On a clear day you can see the Eastern Himalayas in a Panoramic view from this place and also its worth a stop for both toilet break as well as to stretch out your legs and body as it isn’t easy to be on Bhutan roads for long and more over it’s the best place to take photos of the Pass with 108 Bhutanese style Stupas. From this mountain pass you will be descending all the way to Punakha 1300m with stop over at Lobesa for traditional Bhutanese Farm House lunch at one of the local farmer’s house. After lunch do a short hike to the Devine Madman’s (Lama Drukpa Kuenley) temple of fertility, Chimi Lhakhang. The hike isn’t tough but very beautiful through the rice fields and villages but once you visit the Monastery, the history remains very fascinating as its one of the most well respected and auspicious place. All couples after their marriage comes to this monastery to receive blessings for new siblings and also for couples who wishes to have babies but wasn’t successful till date tend to visit and receive blessings from the Monastery and its confirmed that the couples would give birth in the following nine months. This practice had been done not just locally but by our foreign visitors as well. After the Monastery visit walk back to the motor road and drive to historic and most beautiful Punakha Dzong. The Dzong is second oldest Dzong 1637 in the history of Bhutan and built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The Dzong is built right at the confluence of two rivers known as Pho (Male) and Mo (Female) rivers. After the car park you will be walking over the most well built wooden cantilever bridge over the Mo Chu and then enter the magnificent Punakha Dzong. After the visit drive to Punakha downtown, it’s a small town but beautiful. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
Day – 7 Day Excursion to Phobjikha Valley
Drive to Phobjikha Valley with pack lunch. The round trip would take close to six hours. The highlight of the day would be visiting 15th Century Gangtey Monastery, Residence of His Eminence Gangtey Truelku Rimpoche and visiting the Black Necked Crane Information Center at the Phobjikha Valley to know facts about the endangered Black Necked Cranes who come here in Winter from China to spend close to three winter months. If the weather remains clear then you will really enjoy the Black Mountain Range and the change f vegetation from Sub-Tropical to Alpine. Altitude of Punakha is 1300m and the Mountain pass to get to Phobjikha, The Lawola Pass 2900m and Phobjikha Valley at 2500m. The Gangtey or Phobjikha valley is situated at higher altitude so they grow potatoes that we export to India and Bangladesh. If time permits you can do a short walk on your way back but I suspect you guys would be so thrilled and amazed with the visit to Phobjikha Valley! Overnight in Punakha Day – 8 Punakha – Paro
Drive to Paro with lunch stop over in Thimphu. If you guys love to hike them after early lunch drive to the North of Thimphu to the base of Tango Buddhist University to a hour long hike to the University and evening drive back to Paro for overnight.Day – 9 Depart Paro
Drive to Paro International Airport where your Guide and Driver would bid Farewell and wish you a very safe journey back home and Thank You for traveling to Bhutan with us and we look forward in welcoming you sooner then later again for another Bhutan Festival Trip.