Thimphu Tshechu5
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Accessible ToursDiscoveryExplorerHistoricalIn-depth CulturalMuseumSolo TravelSpecial DaySee Itinerary

Duration
7 days

Max Group Size
30

Tour Code
BDA2023F1

Tour Type
Request as Regular

Departure Type

Age Requirement
20 - 70 Ages

Guiding Method
Fully guided

Operated In
English

Physical level

Tour route map

Bhutan

Pickup Time:

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Bhutan

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Tour Overview

Tshechu is a religious festival meaning "tenth day" held annually in various temples, monasteries and dzongs throughout the country. 


The Tshechu is a religious event celebrated on tenth day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). However the exact month of the Tshechu varies from place to place and temple to temple.


Tshechus are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. In addition to the mask dances, tshechus also include colorful Bhutanese dances and other forms of entertainment.


It is believed that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once to in order to receive blessings and wash away their sins. Every mask dance performed during a Tshechu has a special meaning or a story behind it and many are based on stories and incidents from as long ago as the 8th century, during the life of Guru Padmasambhava. In monasteries, the mask dances are performed by monks and in remote villages, they are performed jointly by monks and village men.


Highlights

  • Witness sacred dances and rituals performed by monks and laymen in elaborate, colourful costumes.
  • Join in with locals in a special occasion of celebration, blessings and socialising.
  • Discover some of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Himalaya.
  • Visit many cultural attractions including medieval fortresses (Dzongs), markets and museums.
  • Hike up to the famous Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff 900m above the valley floor.
  • Traverse beautiful landscapes from lush valleys to dense forests.
  • Marvel at the elaborate and ancient wall paintings and carvings in Dzongs and temples.

Itinerary

When you arrive in Paro by Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, your tour guide will pick you up at the airport. After clearing customs and visa formalities, Then you will be transferred to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, following the Pachu River. The drive takes about 1.5 hours in total, during when you can stop on the way to see the Tamchhog Lhakhang, a hereditary place of worship for the Bhutan’s iron bridge builders.

As the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu is devoid of stereotyped skyscrapers and huge traffic. Instead, surrounding by rolling mountains, Thimphu is known for its picturesque Bhutan dzong, fresh air and loveable local people. Upon your arrival, you will pay a visit to Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong), the most beautiful Bhutan dzong as well as the headquarters of Bhutan government. You will also explore the National Library and Folk Heritage Museum, a 300-year-old traditional house converted into a museum.

The whole day will be spent in attending the Thimphu Festival to enjoy various mask dances and folk dances, together with jokers actions in the crowd. The dances are performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes, and locals gather together in their finest Gho’s and Kira’s in festive mood with deep faith for their culture and tradition. It is a great chance for you to witness the ancient living culture of Bhutan.

The following day will continue with the interesting Thimphu Festival. Or, in the afternoon, we can head to visit other famous heritage sites in Thimphu, like Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple located in the valley built in 12th century. It not only offers a panoramic vista of Thimphu Valley, but also houses the mazing figurine of Chenresig in tis 11 headed thousand-armed manifestation form in the inner sanctum. You will also visit the Takin Preserve to see the national animal of Bhutan.

The new day begins with tasty Bhutanese breakfast. After that, we will travel northeast to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. On the way, we will stop at scenic Dochu La Pass (3,100m) and have a refreshment there. The perfect vintage point brings you the unobstructed vista of Great Himalayas.

After lunch at Wangduephodrang (1,350m), we keep driving to Punakha, which used to the capital of Bhutan. You will explore the world-renowned Punakha Dzong, widely believed to be the most beautiful Bhutanese Dzong, built at the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu Rivers. You will also visit Chimi Lhakhang, a popular Buddhist monastery built around 1499 by Ngawang Chogyal.

After the breakfast we will drive to Paro from Punakha. The road will ascend up to the great Dochula Pass. On the way back to Paro offers another chance to view the amazing Himalayan ranges. You can stop along the way to take photos wherever you find the best spot for the photography.

After lunch we will visit to Paro National Museum, which holds fascinating collections of art, relics, religious Thangka paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. And Later explore the Paro Rinpung Dzong. Located at the suburb of Paro City, Rinpung Dzong is a fortress built in the 17th Century to protect Paro valley, which offers you picturesque scenery and a sense of inner peace.

After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to the viewing point). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments.In the afternoon drive to the almost fully reconstructed Drukgyel Dzong. The original monument (destroyed by fire in 1951) was built by Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit other sights in Paro valley. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.

Trip includes

Included

Accommodation

A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide

Daily 3 meals (Breakfast Lunch and Dinner)

Full service & assistance before, during and after your Bhutan trip

Excluded

Flight into Bhutan (can be arranged with us)

Travel Insurance (can be arranged with us)

An experienced driver

A tour vehicle

Availability

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