Bhutan Festival Tour
Punakha Festival (25th Feb – 27th Feb. 2018)
Itineraries For 5 Nights/6 days
Day 01. 22nd Feb. Arrive at Paro (2280 meters): You will be received by the Representative from Isolated Bhutan Travels at the airport and drive you to the hotel.
Druk Air National Airlines
After lunch, visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, which was built in 1656 and renovated in 1968 and converted into a National Museum of Bhutan, then visit Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong presently houses administrative offices of Paro District and Monastery.
Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest Buddist temple which was built in 659 AD by a Tibetan king Tshongchen Gyampo. In the evening stroll around tiny town of Paro. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
Day 02. 23rd Feb. Paro Sightseeing – Thimphu: (2350 meters): After breakfast, an excursion to Tiger’s Nest Monastery: A short drive of around 25 minutes from main town of paro takes you to satsam chorten, the trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and have tea with cookies at Taktsang cafeteria and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Tiger’s Nest monastery. The history dates back from 8th century when guru Rinpochhe, a tantric master flew to this place on a back of a flying tiger, said to be his favorite Tibetan consort known as khandu Yeshey Chogyal and meditated in a cave nearby, but the temple was just built in 17th century by the penlop (governer) of paro Gyaltse Tenzin Rbgey; this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 600 meters into the valley below.
Tigers Nest Monastery.
After lunch, visit the Drukgyel Dzong, which was built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders but now it is just the ruins because the dzong was complectly burned down by the fire caused by butter lamp in 1951, the dzong name Drukgyel means indeed “ victorious Druk “. The Dzong was used as an administrative center until 1951. After that drive to Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel
Day 03. 24th Feb. Thimphu Sightseeing: After breakfast visit National Memorial Chorten, which was built in 1974 by the mother of our third king in the memory of third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The paintings and statues in the temple are dedicated to the third king, Then visit the tallest statue of Buddha (In the world) which is of 51 meters tall, Followed by Mini Zoo where you will get chance to see our National Animal Takin, Followed by Changangkha Monastery and Nunnery.
Tallest Statue of Buddha.
After lunch , visit the National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts followed by visit to Folk Heritage Museum and Painting School, famous for carving and free hand art. Then in the evening visit Tashichhoe Dzong after that stroll around Thimphu City for shopping. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Thimphu Tashichhoe Dzong
Day 04. 25th Feb. Thimphu – Punakha (1250 meters Punakha): After breakfast, drive to Punakha valley via Dochula Pass (3140 Meters) where 108 stupas are build together. We stop for a while at Dochula Pass to take photographs and if the weather is clear in far distance you will get chance to see the higher Himalayas from Dochula pass.
After that drive to Punakha valley and witness Punakha Festival in Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the capital of Bhutan. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche who visited this place in 8th century, who predicted that, a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like a sleeping elephant. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is sad that Zhabdrung when he visited this place he mate with a Bhutanese architecture called Zowe Palep, so ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Zhabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri (Paradise) and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang which means “Palace of Great Happiness”. The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Chief Abbot (Je-Khenpo) and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the First National Assembly here in 1952. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 05. 26th Feb. Punakha — Thimphu: After breakfast, witness Punakha Festivals till lunch time.
After Lunch, visit Chimi Lhakhang which is also known as the “Temple of Fertility” built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley who is popularly known as “The Devine Mad Man” in 15th century.
After that we will have a lunch at the restaurant nearby and drive back to Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 06. 27th Feb. Departure: Early morning, drive to the paro Airport and Farewell.