Thimphu Tshechu (5th – 7th October 2022)
Thimphu Tshechu is one of the biggest festivals in the country which is held in the capital city for three days.The Tshechu is a religious festival and by attending it, it is believed one gains merits and because of that reason it is witnessed by thousands of people including both local and tourists. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods. It is also a yearly social gathering where the people gather to rejoice, dressed in finery. In order that Bhutan can rejoice in continued happiness, many learned lamas established the tradition of these dances.The mask dances also known as chams or folk dances like the Guru Tshengye (Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche), Shaw Shachi (Dance of the Stags) and many more are performed by both monks and common men to bless the onlookers, to protect them from misfortune and to exorcise all evil.Thimphu Tsechu holds spiritual significance to the people who crowd the streets of Thimphu during this time of the year and it is also an occasion to celebrate, receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.
Day 1: Paro (sightseeing)
Arrival in Paro international Airport. The representative from Bhutan Everest Tours & Treks will receive you at airport and drive to hotel at Paro. If time permits you can visit, Ta Dzong (National Museum) and Kyichu Lhakhang. Dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 2: Paro (sightseeing)
After breakfast drive to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, officially Taktshang Pelphung Monastery is regarded as one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan’s monasteries. It is located on the face of a sheer 800m cliff above the floor of Paro Valley. Today, we embark on a scenic hike to view this spectacular and unmissable sight. The monastery is only accessible by foot (you can ride a pony part of the way, but this must be arranged in advance by your guide). Once inside the Monastery, there are temples to see and the monks that reside. After exploring the monastery we retrace our steps and return to Paro. Dinner and overnight stay in the hotel
Day 3: Paro – Thimphu (sightseeing)
After breakfast drive to Thimphu (Capital of Bhutan). Thimphu is the political, social and spiritual heart of the nation and although this is Bhutan’s most modern city, it has retained the unique character of a Bhutanese town. After Lunch you can visit to the National Memorial Chorten, BBS Tower, Craft Bazaar where craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts and National Textile Museum. Dinner and overnight stay in the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 4: Thimphu Tshechu
After breakfast visit Thimphu Tashi chho Dzong to witness the Tshechu Festival of Thimphu is a 3 day religious event which marks the tenth day of the lunar calendar and honours the birthday Guru Rimpoche Padmasambhava, an Indian Saint who spread Buddhism in the country in 8th century. Tshechu are grand occasions where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialise. It is said that anyone who attends a Tshechu and witnesses the masked dances is profusely blessed. Every mask dance performed has a special meaning or a story behind it and many are based on stories of the life of the Guru. Today, we assemble in the town square standing alongside the residents of Thimphu, dressed in their best, to witness the unique spectacle that is the famed masked dances, and other colourful and exciting displays of traditional culture performed on this very special day. Dinner and overnight stay in the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 5: Thimphu -Punakha
After breakfast, drive to Punakha. On the way to Punakha, halt in Dochu-La Pass (3140 m) for photography. Visit Royal Botanical Park at LamPelri. Upon reaching Lobesa, visit Chimi Lhakhang – dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley also known as “Divine Madman”. Halt in Lobesa town for lunch. After lunch, visit to Punakha Dzong – Built in 1637, by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative center of the region. Dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 6: Punakha – Wangdue Phodrang -Thimphu
After Breakfast visit to Wangduephodrang dzong razed by fire and is under construction and drive back to Thimphu. After lunch rest in the hotel.
Day 7: Thimphu (sightseeing)
After breakfast enjoy a day of sightseeing, including a visit to Kuenselphodrang (Buddha point) – to see the world’s biggest Buddha Dordenma statue and Thimphu Valley, a Handmade paper factory where age old tradition of paper making is still followed. Lastly today we will get to witness an archery match, at the at the Changlimithang Stadium and Archery Ground. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and every Bhutanese male tests his ability at archery, which is both an individual endeavour and team sport that captures the Bhutanese spirit to succeed and enjoy. Dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 8: After breakfast drive to Paro airport for your onward flight.