Punakha Talo Tshechu is an annual three day event that happens at the Talo 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 as well as each Monasteries performing at different months from one another and its a special event of the year mainly to Offer Prayers and receive blessings from the Gods and Local Deities. It is also celebrated like a New Year and Family Reunion and its one time in a year where everyone leaves work and family members living far away come home to be part of the great Punakha Talo Tshechu Celebrations.
There will be both mask dances by the Buddhist Monks as well as songs and dance from the local villagers.
Even the Farmers take their hand out of their farms and wear their best dresses and come witness the Festival, making it one of the biggest event in the District. It is an important event for family reunion during this time that they all come together to discuss important issues and enjoy delicious meals and above all they all go to the Punakha Talo Tshechu to prays together for a successful year.
You can catch Drukair, Royal Bhutan Airlines, National Flag Carrier flight from Bangkok, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Kolkata, Dhaka & Singapore.
TOUR FACTS Festival Date: 4th – 6th April 2017 Duration: 6 Night 7 Days Specialty: Punakha Talo Tshechu Level: Easy - Leisure Attractions: Exploring Western Bhutan mixed with Punakha Talo Tshechu Altitude: Western 1300 – 2200m Mountain Pass: Dochula Pass 3150m
|Day 1||Arrive Paro Transfer to Thimphu||Hotel|
|Day 2||Thimphu Sightseeing||Hotel|
|Day 3||Thimphu to Punakha||Hotel|
|Day 4||Talo Tshechu||Hotel|
|Day 5||Punakha to Paro||Hotel|
|Day 6||Day Hike to Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest”||Hotel|
|Day 7||Depart Bhutan|
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 to Punakha
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. Descend down to Lobesa valley to hike to the Devine Madman’s Temple of Fertility or Chimi Lhakhang. The hike is through the rice fields and farm houses, one of the easy hike.
After lunch drive to visit Punakha Dzong but make sure to 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. Overnight Hotel
Day 04: Talo Tshechu
After breakfast drive to Talo Monastery where the annual three day Talo Tshechu in in full swing. Talo Tshechu is very important for all Bhutanese as the Talo Monastery is seat of the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel who unified Bhutan in 17th Century and defended Bhutan from all foreign invaders. Its during these three days of Talo Tshechu that local people get off from their daily farm works, wear their finest dress and come witness the Festival. It’s a very colorful celebrations. Overnight Hotel in Punakha.
Day 05: Punakha– Paro
Drive to Paro with lunch stop over in Thimphu and last minute shopping. Evening drive to Punakha for the night.
Day 06: 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 07: Depart Paro
After breakfast drive to the Paro International Airport to catch onward flight.