10 Nights 11 Days Trongsa Tshechu (festival) Tour.
The Tshechu(Festival) of Bhutan is held specifically to honour Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and to celebrates his deeds through the performance of sacred dances. The Trongsa Tshechu festival takes place in Trongsa Choekhor Rabten Dzong. Trongsa Tshechu takes place annually for five days between 8th and 12th of the eleven lunar months. You will see Bhutanese people from all district dressed in their authentic traditional dress (Gho&Kira) to witness this festival. In the first day, you will witness mask dances, religious music played by long trumps, cymbals and flutes. The mask dances include those performed by monks and ones performed by lay people.
Trongsa Dzong, the most spectacularly sited dzong in Bhutan, with a sheer drop to the south that often just disappear into cloud and mist. It was built by the Zhabdrung in 1644. The dzong is an architectural masterpiece
Festival Schedule: January 7-9, 2017
9 Night 10 Day Tour Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive Paro, Travel to Thimphu (2Hours – 55KM)
Your exciting journey into the peaceful land of Bhutan begins with a flight to Paro. You may enjoy the splendid view of the great Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchanjunga, Mt. Makalu and other pinnacles in Bhutan such as Mt. Chomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drakay, and Mt. Tsherimgang. After your placid flight touch down at Paro Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by the representative of Advent Bhutan Tours who will be your Bhutan tour guide throughout your entire travel in Bhutan.
Voyage to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is an hourly drive journey. The road runs down through the Paro valley, characterised by the narrow-gauged with high, rocky cliffs on the left. You can stop on the way to visit the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Then passage through Chuzom, is the entrance to the Thimphu valley, the Confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers. The road passes along the Simtokha Dzong, (Dzong means ‘castle-monastery’) – It is the oldest Dzong built in 1629 by Zhabdrug Ngawang Namgyal (who unified Bhutan). The Dzong functions as a monastic and as well as administrative centre. Today, it is one of the pre-eminent Dzongkha language (National Language) learning institutes.
On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after breif rest and refreshment visit the following:
The Tashichho Dzong – It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the glorious religion on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was rebuilt into the 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.
Then, stroll down the Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, aligned neatly below Norzin Lam, opposite to Nehru Wangchuk Cultural Centre, to witness Bhutanese fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, and other eye-catching items made from local materials.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02: Day long Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast visit the following:
The Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) – The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, facing towards the Southern approach to Thimphu. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, at 169 feet (52 m) and contains 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded bronze Buddhas.
The Bhutan Postal Museum (recently launched) -The Bhutan Postal Museum was launched on 7 November 2015 at the General Post Office building. The postal museum portrays the story of the evolution of communication, transportation and postal services in Bhutan’s history.
The National Textile Museum – Art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colours and designs. The National Textile Museum is located near the National Library of Bhutan. It was established in 2001 and operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. Ever since its establishment, the museum has gained national and international recognition and has generated a important collection of antique textile artefacts.
Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory– Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan.This small factory produces traditional Bhutanese paper handmade from the bark of the daphne bush. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.
The Folk Heritage Museum– The museum was launched on 28 July 2001 under the initiative of founder Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo. The outdoor museum give an insight into rural life.The museum exhibit diverse materials associated with the Bhutanese culture and way of life.The exhibition comprises of rural households’ artifacts, equipment, objects and tools.
After lunch visit the following:
The Institute of Traditional Medicine– The Institute of traditional medicine sprawled on a hilltop with the Traditional Arts Center and National Library just below, was established in 1978. This institute collect medicinal plants from far-flung areas of the Bhutanese Himalaya, such as Lingzhi, Laya and Lunana, conducts research on Bhutan’s medicinal plants to identify the ingredients to help develop new health product and then dispense pills, tablets, ointments and medicinal teas to regional health-care units around the country.
The School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts – The traditional arts is known as zorigchusum (zo = the ability to make; rig = science or craft; chusum = thirteen). These traditional crafts depict hundreds of years of knowledge and ability that has been passed down through generations.The students undergo a six-year course to consummate learning the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan
The Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal, Takin (The national animal of Bhutan). The reason for declaring Takin as the national animal is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation (goat’s head and cattle’s body) in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Drive further to Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Thimphu valley.
The Memorial Chorten– Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), who is regarded as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”. Buddhist call the monument “The mind of the Buddha”. It is an honoured landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells, widely known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”.
Then, stroll down the Thimphu town.Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03 Thimphu-Punakha-Wangdue (3Hours -76Km)
In the morning, travel to Punakha via the Dochula pass. The Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft) is a mountain pass, with the breathtaking view of 108 memorial stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens” built under the initiative of Royal Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk( the eldest Queen Mother), built in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
Journey to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. It is also known as Pungtang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss). It is the second oldest and largest dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Unifier of Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. Visit the Punakha Dzong, majestically sprawl between the Pho Chu (Male River) and the Mo chu (Female River).
After lunch, drive to Metshina Village and take 15 minutes walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where it is believed, one can receive special fertility blessings.
Afterwards, a drive to Wangdue (25 Minutes journey from Punakha). Visit Wangdue Dzong. It was founded by the Zhabdrung in 1638. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying Shar Chog Khorlo Tsebgay (the western, central and southern regions of the country). It is one of the largest dzongkhags (districts) in the country covering 4,308 sq km and ranges from 800-5800 m in altitude. In 24 June 2012, the dzong caught fire and was burnt down.The renovation is still ongoing and is expected to continue until 2021.
In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.
Day 04: Punakha-Trongsa(5 hours-129 km)
Drive to Trongsa. The exotic journey will take you through freshly dense green forests of oak trees and rhododendrons, passing through the village of Nobding and Pele la pass (11,000ft). During the course of your journey, you will be accompanied by the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, giving you a wonderful opportunity for photographing.
On arrival at Trongsa and after the refreshment visit the National Museum which is housed in the Ta Dzong (watch tower). A museum will give you an insight into the aspects of Bhutanese rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. You can watch the Documentary of Bhutanese history and evolution of monarchy. And also visit the Trongsa Dzong, the most spectacularly sited dzong in Bhutan, with a sheer drop to the south that often just disappear into cloud and mist. It was built by the Zhabdrung in 1644. The dzong is an architectural masterpiece. Trongsa in the Bhutanese Context means “the new village” which comprises temples and retreat of monks. It was founded by the Drukpa lama, Ngagi Wangchuk (Ancestor of Zhabdrung Namgyal), who came from Ralung in 1541, made a small meditation room in 1543.
In the evening visit Trongsa downtown.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Trongsa.
Day 05: Witness Trongsa Tsechu
After breakfast, you will go to Trongsa Dzong to witness the exhilarating Trongsa Tshechu Festival. The Tshechu(Festival) of Bhutan is held specifically to honour Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and to celebrates his deeds through the performance of sacred dances.The festival takes place in Trongsa Choekhor Rabtentse Dzong. Trongsa Tshechu takes place annually for five days between 8th and 12th of the eleven lunar months. You will see Bhutanese people from all district dressed in their authentic traditional dress (Gho&Kira) to witness this festival.In the first day, you will witness mask dances, religious music played by long trumps, cymbals and flutes. The mask dances include those performed by monks and ones performed by lay people.
After the festival, explore interior part of Trongsa Dzong.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Trongsa.
Day 06: Last Day of Trongsa Tsechu and Trongsa-Bumthang(3Hours-68Km)
Early morning go to the Trongsa Dzong to witness the last day of the Trongsa Tshechu. The huge banner (thangka), called Thongdrel (liberation and blessings at the sight), is unfurled for public reverence. It is believed that it brings blessings to all who view it.
Then return back to your hotel and after breakfast, catch a sight of the last day of Trongsa festival and after lunch, Drive to Bumthang(Jakar). Bumthang valley is composed of four mountain valleys namely, Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor. It is one of the most tourists visited place and a spectacular valley in Bhutan. It is popularly known as Switzerland of Bhutan- the heartland of Bhutan.
Bumthang, which means “beautiful field” – thang means meadow or levelled place, and bum is an acronym of either bumpa (a vessel for holy water, characterised by its shape and nature of the valley), or purely bum (“girl,” indicating the valley of beautiful girls)
It is the most historic dzongkhag where this holy place is encompassed with several numbers of ancient temples and sacred sites.
Visit Yatha Weaving Center, a cooperative of the National Women Association of Bhutan. Women in central Bhutan are well known for their weaving talents, where the women of the region sell their beautifully produced textiles and Yatha. To explore more on this culture of weaving, you can visit Dorjibi Weaving Centre, which is based about 12 km north of Chamkhar town.
Weaving centre in Bumthang came into existence by the initiatives taken by a group of 33 enterprising women from three local villages. Due to the scarce agricultural fields, and limited income opportunities, this ambitious woman, considerately came together and gave a start to weaving group with the financial support from Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP), which helped generate income and gain self-sufficiency.
In the evening stroll around Bumthang downtown and you may visit local handicraft stores.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.
Day 07: Bumthang Sightseeing
After breakfast, visit the following:
The Jambay Lhakhang, is said to be one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo in the 7th century, in his effort to propagate Buddhism. It is told that 180 temples were built in a single day, to pin down evil spirits to earth forever.
The Kujey Lhakhang (Kujey means, “Body imprint”), the sacred place is the final resting place of the cadaver of the first three kings of Bhutan. The temple to the right is the oldest and was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built in the vicinity of the cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated and left his body imprint. A large tree behind one of the temple buildings is believed to be a terma (hidden treasure) that was left there by Guru Rinpochoe.
The Tamshing Lhakhang, a blessed land circled with numerous temples and monasteries. Tamshing Monastery in Bumthang is well known for its splendid and majestic beauty.It is one of the most historically, spiritually and culturally significant monasteries in Bhutan founded by Pema Lingpa (1450 – 1521), a great saint and spiritual master in both the Bhutanese and Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist traditions.
The wall painting of the temple is viewed as one of the oldest in Bhutan. The temple houses the iron net made by Pema Lingpa when he was 8 years old, and also a great centre of Bhutanese sacred masked dance introduced by Pema Lingpa himself which has remained as a Vital part of the monastic dance. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.
In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.
Day 08: Bumthang – Wangdue Via Phobjikha valley (11Hours-313Km)
After early breakfast, drive to Gangtey Gompa which is about eleven hours journey (313km). Visit Gangtey Gompa, an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism is one of the main seats of the religious tradition based on Pema Lingpa’s revelations.It is the most tourists visited place during the winter season to see the magnificent black-necked cranes that migrate from far-flung remote parts of Tibet. The spectacular ambience surrounded by hills and mountains are home to wandering shepherds and yak-herders. The view is breathtaking. In the late afternoon drive back to Wangdue.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Wangdue/Punakha.
Day 09: Wangdue -Paro (3Hours21Minutes -127KM)
After breakfast, travel to Paro. After lunch visit the following Places:
The Rimpung Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress which houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. It was built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. From the Dzong, march further down to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge which lies below the sheer walls of Rinpung Dzong. Stroll through Rimpung Bridge ( The oldest bridge in Bhutan) .Then visit a farmhouse which gives good insight into the authentic lifestyle of a Bhutanese.
In the evening walk around Paro downtown and you may visit local handicraft stores.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro
Day 10: Paro Excursion to Taktsang (3hours 30 minutes Walk)
Drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to the Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest. Normally it takes about three and half hours to complete the hike but might take longer depending on your fitness. Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is an important Buddhist sacred site which clings to the rock face, 900 metres above the valley floor.To the rear of the Taktsang lies Senge Samdup cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Today, Paro Taktsang is popularly known for the thirteen Taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he meditated..it is believed that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to Taktshang from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong. This place was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.
Refreshment will be served at View Point Cafeteria en route.After visiting the monastery, descend back to viewpoint cafeteria for lunch and then further descend downhill to the base. Then drive back to the hotel.
On the way visit the Kichu temple– It is one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. To overcome a giant demon who prevented the spread of Buddhism, laid on the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas, King Songtsen Gampo build 108 temples placed on all the points of her body.
In the evening you may relax in the traditional hot stone bath.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Day 11: Paro – Departure
Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels (your local Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward destinations.
End of Tour Program
Bhutan Trip Cost for this 10 Nights 11 Days Tour Itinerary
3 pax & above
Low Season: December 2015
The above Bhutan tour package prices includes the following:
- Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
- FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
- Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
- All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
- English speaking tour guide service
- All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
- All entrance fees to museums and monuments
- All internal taxes and fees
- Mineral drinking water
The above tour prices do not include the following:
- Single room supplement of US$ 50/room/night (optional)
- Bhutan Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
- Airfares (optional)
- Travel insurance (recommended)
- 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals (optional)
- Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc
***Thank you & Tashi Delek***