Bhutan Thimphu Tsechu Festival Tour 8 DAYS

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10th to 17th October 2017 2500 US $ with Discount Book Now

Overview

Thimphu Tsechu is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan. This festival is held in Thimphu for 3 days beginning on 10th day of the 8th month of lunar calendar. Thimphu Tsechu was initiated by the 4th Desi, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 and later some changes were introduced in Thimphu Tshechu in the 1950s by the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

 

This Thimphu festival is witnessed by thousands of people from all over Bhutan. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods.

 

To Bhutanese farmers, the Thimphu Tshechu is also seen as a break from farm life. It is an annual social gathering where people dress in their finest clothing and jewelries come to celebrate, receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.

 

It brings you a closer contact with the local people and gives you an insight into the Bhutanese lives, beliefs and more.

 

During Thimphu Tshechu which is held at Tendrel Thang ( Festival Ground in front of Tashichhoedzong), the mask dances known as cham and folk dances are performed to bless onlookers, to teach them the Buddhist dharma, to protect them from misfortune and to exorcise all evil. It is believed that merit is gained by attending these festivals. The dances invoke the deities to wipe out misfortunes, increase good luck and grant personal wishes.

 

The sacred Thongdrol of Guru Rinphoche is unfurled early in the morning on the last day of Thimphu Tshechu. It is believed that the Thongdroel is unveiled at dawn to bring blessings to all who view it.

Full Itinerary

  • Day 01

    Fly to Paro-Thimphu from Kathmandu

    Fly into Paro by Druk Air (Royal Bhutan Airlines).

    After completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by our representative who will be your tour guide throughout your tour. Then drive to Thimphu. On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after lunch visit the following:

     

    1. Bhutan Post Office Headquarters to get personalized Bhutanese postage stamps with your photo on them. You can bring along your favorite photo to put on the stamps and put these stamps on your postcard to send to your family and friends.

     

    2. Changzamtok Weaving Center to observe beautiful colorful silk and cotton textiles being woven into shawls, scarves and traditional Bhutanese dresses.

     

    3. Craft Bazaar where craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts. In the evening, free to relax or stroll around Thimphu town, do shopping, etc. Overnight at Zone suites.

    (Flight To Paro) (Lunch ) (Hotel )
  • Day 02

    Thimphu Tshechu (Festival)

    After breakfast you will go to witness the 1st Day of Thimphu Tshechu (Festival) which will be held at Tendrel Thang (the festival ground in front of Thimphu Tashichhodzong). Dressed in traditional finery, devotees flock to Tendrel Thang to proclaim their faith and receive blessings. You will take off sometime from the festival to visit Tashichhoe Dzong, a fortress of the glorious religion. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into present structure by the late King, His majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body. After the festival you will visit the following:

     

    1.  Watch Archery match : Bhutan’s national game

     

    2.  Kuenselphodrang where the Bhutan’s largest Buddha statue (167 feet tall) is perched on the hillock overlooking the entire Thimphu valley below and the view from there is magnificent.

     

    3.  National Memorial Chorten, chorten literally means ‘ seat of faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten. Overnight at Zone Suites

    (BLD) (Hotel )
  • Day 03

    Thimphu Tsechu 2nd Day, Thimphu sightseeing & Short Hike to Tango Monastery

    Go to Tendrel Thang to get a glimpse of the 2nd Day of Thimphu Festival and stay at the festival for about an hour or so.

     

    Changankha Lhakhang (temple): This temple situated atop a small hound overlooking the Thimphu valley was built in the 13th century by the illustrious Lam Phajo Dugom Zhigpo. The temple is considered the spiritual home of children born in the Chang valley. National Textile Museum which is a good place to see the art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colors and designs.You will also see people weaving with intricate designs.

     

    Simply Bhutan– A living museum of rural life which provides visitors and tourists with fascinating insights into the Bhutanese material culture and way of life. After lunch drive for about 30 minutes to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike up to the Monastery. The walk up to the Monastery is through the forest filled with Rhododendron flower trees which will be in full bloom during April month. Tango Monastery is the center for higher studies for monks. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtakingly beautiful. You will experience complete peace and serenity in this area. After visiting the monastery, walk back to the road and then drive back to Thimphu .Over night at Zone suites.

    (BLD) (Hotel )
  • Day 04

    Last Day of Thimphu Tshechu

    After breakfast go to Tendrel Thang (festival ground) to witness the most spectacular last day of Thimphu Tsechu with religious dance performances mixed with folk dances and dance of Bhutanese warriors. People from all walks of life gather at the festival in their finest dresses and ornaments. After the festival visit the following:

     

    1. Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory. The handmade paper making in Bhutan stemmed from the age old tradition originated in 8th century of Bhutanese history. The handmade paper constitutes as valuable National heritage of Bhutanese cultural identity and is preserved through all the ages. The Traditional paper is recognized and held high esteem both in home and outside world. Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.

     

    2. Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family. Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.

     

    3. Centenary Farmers’ Market (open from Thu-Sun only): Most of the Thimphu’s population and many valley dwellers converge on the bustling weekend market, held by the side of Wangchu River. A wide range of foodstuffs and local arts and crafts are sold at the market.A visit to the market provides great photo opportunities, as well as the chance to mingle with local people and perhaps buy souvenirs.Over night at the Zone suites.

    (BLD) (Hotel )
  • Day 05

    Thimphu-Punakha/Wangdue

    After breakfast, travel to Punakha & Wangdue through Dochula Pass 3140 m). In the clear spring sky, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges. . Then pass by the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (Queen Mother of Bhutan) for the security and well being of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan. You will also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (monastery) which was built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (the Queen Mother of Bhutan) as a tribute to His Majesty the fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck and armed forces after His Majesty led a successful operation against Indian militants who had occupied certain areas of Bhutan. The gallery of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang has beautiful murals depicting some of the important events in the reigns of the Kings of Bhutan. Then travel onto Punakha. Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in the Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture. Punakha had served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for a unified Bhutan. On the way, stop for lunch at Metsina village and then visit the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing. Then visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho – Chu (Male River) and the Mochu (Female River). The dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. At the dzong, you can see the highest standards in woodwork. In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Wangdi Hotel Punatsangchhu cottages.

    (BLD) (Hotel )
  • Day 06

    Punakha-Paro

    After breakfast, drive towards Punakha valley and hike through farmhouses to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Lhakhang (temple) built by Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck (the Queen Mother of Bhutan) for peace and stability in this ever-changing world. This temple is situated on the hilltop overlooking the valley below. The leisurely walk up to the temple would take about maximum an hour. Visit the temple and also enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful view from there. Then travel to Paro with lunch enroute.It is about three and half hours drive to Paro from Punakha. On arrival at Paro visit the following:
    1. Rinpung Dzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and school for monks. Then walk down to Rimpung Bridge (Traditional Bridge), oldest bridge in Bhutan.

     

    2. Farm houses in Paro Valley and a visit to a farm house offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer. Over night at a hotel in Paro. Raven Nest resort.

    (BLD) (Hotel )
  • Day 07

    A Day Hike to Taktsang Ghoempa (Tiger’s Nest Monastery) in Paro.

    After breakfast, hike to Taktsang Goempa (Tiger’s Nest Monastery). The hike upto the viewpoint will take about 2 hours one way and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. From the car stop till the base of the monastery you have to walk about 2000 meters. After an hour you will stop for refreshment at a cafetria and then hike further upto the monastery which should take another 1 hour. It was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup, a cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three months in the 8th century. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) flew to this location from Khenpajong, Tibet on the back of a tigress and subdued a demon. He then performed meditation in one of the caves here and emerged in eight incarnated forms (manifestations) and blessed the place. Subsequently, the place came to be known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. Guru Padmasambhava is known for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen caves in which he meditated. After visiting the monastery, walk back downhill Lunch in town. Then drive back to your hotel after visiting Kichu Lhakhang on the way. Kichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon. Over night at a hotel in Paro. Raven Nest resort.

    (BLD) (Hotel )
  • Day 08

    Departure from Paro to Kathmandu

Cost and Services

Cost Includes
1. Pick up from and drop off at the hotel and the airport on a tourist car / van /minibus.
2. Standard government-approved accommodation (in twin sharing rooms) for the duration of the tour.
3. Full-board meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea & snacks – for the duration of your stay.
4. Drinking water for the duration of the tour.
5. Country presentation and tour Briefing on the evening of Day 01 with welcome drinks.
6. Licensed English-speaking Bhutanese tour guides.
7. Private transportation and a designated driver within Bhutan. Toyota 4WD luggage vans and light trucks for group travel. Luggage will be hauled by horses, mules or yaks at higher elevations, if required.
8. Monument and museums entrance fees at all sightseeing locations detailed in the itinerary.
9. Cultural afternoon/evening sessions with traditional mask and folk dances (with beverages). Only for group tours.
10. Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.
11. Government royalty (35% of $200), which goes to the country’s health and education projects.
12. All route access and monument entry permits and fees.
13. All government taxes, official expenses and tourist service charges.
Cost Does not Include
1. International airfare and airport departure tax. (Please see the Druk Air flight info below)
2. Your travel insurance (mandatory for the trip, see the travel insurance page).
3. Expenses of personal nature, such as laundry.
4. Alcoholic and cold drinks.
5. Personal clothing and equipment.
6. Tips for tour guides, porters, driver, hotel lobby and in restaurants. (Tipping is expected)
8. Other expenses not mentioned in the Price Includes section.

Gear list

All you need to bring for this Tour is simply some comfortable clothes; there is no any requirement of special equipment on the tour. However for your ease, the following gives you the general idea about the personal items you need to manage for the trip. The personal items referred here are optional and depends upon your choice. The most important factor to be considered while choosing the equipments and your Bag-pack, is the time of the year you are travelling.

 

In a tour, the vehicle transfers all the heavy items and equipments. But the Personal belongings of the clients which is required at any moment like money, water bottle, camera, suns cream and toilet paper etc. should be carried by yourself. It is therefore advisable that you pack the personal belongings into your daypack.

 

If you are going bhutan from kathmandu, we will supply complimentary water and wind proof duffel bag, which you can use on the tour for your shopping purpose. The duffel bag is yours to keep.

 

List of Recommended Equipment for the Tour:

1. Duffel or Rucksack bag or suitcase (We will provide one complimentary Community Trek duffel bag for you to keep.) and Daypack
2. Warm wool or synthetic hat that cover your ears (only if you are travelling in the cold season i.e January, February and December)
3. Goggles or sunglasses for sunbeam, dust and wind.
4. A neck warmer is another piece of gear for extra warmth if you feel you will need it and is for cold season i.e January, February and December.(optional)
5. 1 pair warm gloves (This is required if your are travelling in cold season i.e January, February and December).
6. T-shirts (2).
7. Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket (preferable if you are travelling in rainy season from June to September.)
8. 1 pair cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis), 1 pair shorts.
9. 2 pairs lightweight long underwear/thermals (if you are traveling in winter January, February and December).
10. 2 pairs of liner socks, synthetic or capilene.
11. 1 pair light camping shoes or sneakers..
12. 1 pair sandals (Optional).
Medicines and First Aid Kits

(Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well)

1. Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude related headaches.
2. Ibuprofen for general aches and pains.
3. Immodium or Pepto bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea.
4. 1 small personal sized first-aid kit with blister treatments such as mole skin, band-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc. Your guides will have more extensive medical gear, but you should have the basics for general use.
Miscellaneous, but Important !

1. Passport and extra passport photos (4 copies).
2. Airline ticket (Please make a copy and leave on at our office in KTM just in case if you need to change the date of your).
3. Durable wallet / pouch for travel documents, money & passport.
4. Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. 5. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
6. Sunscreen.
7. Toiletry kit. Be sure to include hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer
8. 2 bandanas.
8. This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you.

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Trip Facts

  •  Trip Duration:  7 Night 8 Days
  •  Activities:  Tour
  •  Country:  Bhutan
  •  Grade:  A
  •  Group Size:  2-15
  •  Price:  2700 US $
  •  Trip Style:  Lodge
  •  Diffculty:  Easy
  •  Transport:  Private Vehicle

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