Trongsa Tshechu is an annual three day event that happens at the courtyard of Trongsa Choekor Rabtse Dzong. 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’s an annual event and during Tshechu period all Government Offices, Private Institutions and Schools remains closed for the entire Trongsa Tshechu period. 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 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: 26th December – 28th December 2017 Duration: 10 Night 11 Days Specialty: Trongsa Tshechu Festival Level: Easy - Leisure Attractions: Traveling from Western Bhutan to Central Bhutan crossing High Mountain Passes. Witnessing Trongsa Tshechu Festival Altitude: Western 1300 – 2200m Central 2200m - 2500m Mountain Pass: Dochula Pass 3150m - Pelela Pass 330m - Yotongla Pass 3350m
|Day 1||Arrive Paro Transfer to Thimphu||Hotel|
|Day 2||Thimphu Sightseeing||Hotel|
|Day 3||Thimphu to Trongsa||Hotel|
|Day 4||Trongsa Tshechu||Hotel|
|Day 5||Trongsa to Bumthang||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|
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 Tshechu
After breakfast dress up beautifully and drive to Trongsa Dzong to take part in annual Trongsa Tshechu Festival which is an annual event where the whole Districts shuts down for three days to celebrate the Festival. Trongsa is Centrally located so the festival gathers big crowd from Bumthang, Zhemgang, Wangdue and Punakha. Trongsa Choekor Rabtse Dzong is the fortress that ruled by Jigme Namgyel, The Father of Bhutan’s first hereditary monarch where we controlled whole Bhutan and later passed down to his son, Sir Ugyen Wangchuck. Today the tradition, Crown Prince needs to become Trongsa Penlop becomes he is enthroned as The King of Bhutan. Whole day at the Festival and evening back to hotel for the night.
Day 05: Trongsa – Bumthang
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.
On arrival in Bumthang, check in at your lodge. After lunch, visit Kurje Lhakhang (“where the saint’s body is imprinted on a rock”), Jambay Lhakhang (7th century), Tamshing Monastery (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan), and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and perhaps take refreshments at a local restaurant. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
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.