A Brief Background on Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival
Jampa Lhakhang is located in Bumthang.Jampa Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in the kingdom. 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 other is the Kichu Lhakhang in Paro, believed to have been built on the same day.
According to the myth, Guru Rinpoche visited the site several times and regarded it exceptionally sacred. In the 8th century AD., Chakhar Gyab (the king of the Iron Castle of Bumthang) renovated the temple.
The Lhakhang stores the main relics of the future Buddha, Jowo Jampa (Maitreya), from whose the present name of the temple is derived. In 1887, more than one hundred statues of the gods of Kalachakra were built by the first king.
Jambay Lhakhang Drup festival is hosted for continues five days beginning from Nov 14-17, 2016.
Festival Schedule: Nov 3-6, 2017
10 Night 11 Day Jambay Lhakhang Festival Tour Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive Paro
Fly into Paro by Drukair flight. After immigration and customs formalities, you will be received by the representative of Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels and driven to your hotel.
After checking into your hotel and after lunch visit the following:
The Paro 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)
Make a visit to a farmhouse which gives an insight of authentic lifestyle of a Bhutanese farming family.
In the evening visit Paro town.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro
Day 02: Paro – Thimphu (2Hours-55Km)
After breakfast, travel to Thimphu. 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.
check into your hotel. Then visit the following as per your interest and time availability:
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 an important collection of antique textile artefacts.
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 gives 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.
The Centenary Farmers’ market – Thimphu weekend market is one of the largest domestic markets for Bhutanese farmers. Farmers sell their own produced vegetables, flour, rice, roasted rice, rice flakes, spices, fruits and livestock products (cheese and butter). And also sell wild ferns or bamboo shoots which are collected from forests. People from villages from different cities as well as from town come to this weekend market.
The Memorial Chorten– Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 to honour 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”.
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.
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 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.
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, thangka paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, and other eye-catching items made from local materials. 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. On 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/Wangdue-Trongsa(5Hours-129Km)
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.
Check into the hotel in Trongsa. 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 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. It was believed that One day while Ngagi Wangchuk was meditating nearby in a village called Yuling, he had witnessed a light (“from a body of lamps”) at the furthest point of the spur. He believed this to be an auspicious sign and erected a temple on the spot, on a mountain spur high above the gorges of the Mangde Chhu.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Trongsa.
Day 05: Trongsa-Bumthang (3Hours-68Km)
After breakfast, 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 leveled 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 Center, which is based about 12 km north of Chamkhar town.
Weaving center 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 women, 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.
Afternoon, Bumthang sightseeing includes visit to the following holy places:
Sightseeing includes visit to 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 centre of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.
In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley.
Overnight in Bumthang.
After dinner, witness the first day of Jambay Lhakhang festival.
It starts in the evening around 8:30 pm. Following are the events that you will witness on the first day of the festival :
The Black Hat Dance (Shana) and of the Gings (emanations of Guru Rinpoche). This dance is performed to purify the ground and to drive away evil influences. Dance of Offering (Tshogcham): The body of the evil spirits is offered to the deities. After it is done, the crowd goes outside to the temple where an arch of pine bushes has been set up.Fire Dance (Mecham): The arch of pine is put on fire. It is believed that the fire purifies the earth from the evil spirits. The crowd passes through the arch as it is believed that one who passes through to have cleansed their sins. A dancer chases away the evil spirits.
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.
Day 06: The Second Day-Long Bumthang Jambay Lhakhang Festival
After breakfast, you will go and witness the second day-long Jambay Lhakhang Drup (festival) in the courtyard of Jambay Lhakhang. Many ritual dances are performed subdivided into three categories.The main reason is to give moral instruction designed to drive away evil spirits and to celebrate the Buddhist faith in its many guises. Following are the events you will be witnessing:
Dance of Singje Yab Yum (Lord of death and his consort): The Lord of Death and his consort perform this dance to protect the four realms over which he has power.
Dance of Nyulema and Peling Ging Sum (Three kinds of Ging): The Nyulema is an evil spirit represented by a boy in a skeleton mask.
Dance of the Jachung Bochung (Two mythical birds): Dancers wearing masks representing the auspicious birds perform the dance.
You will see the local people with their family dressed in their finest clothes to attend the festival with packed lunches. You will come across local business running selling craftwork, jewellery, religious artefacts and thangkas.
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.
Day 07: The Third Day-Long Bumthang Jambay Lhakhang Festival
After breakfast, attend the third day-long of Jambay Lhakhang Drub. In the third day, you will witness the dance of the four stags (Shacham), the dance of Ging Tsoling, Dramitse Ngacham (Dance of the drums from Dramitse), Packham (Dance of the heroes) and Phole Mole(The nobleman and the lady).
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.
Day 08: Bumthang – Wangdue Via Phobjikha valley (11Hours-313Km)
After breakfast drive to Phobjikha valley via Gantey village where you see the Gangtey Monastery and visit the monastery. 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.
You will have refreshment and lunch at a resort/restaurant in this valley. Afternoon you can visit the Black Necked Crane Center and enjoy the fascinating sight of these birds in this beautiful scenic valley.In the late afternoon drive back to Punakha and overnight at a hotel in Punakha.
Day 09: Punakha-Paro (3Hours-71Km)
After breakfast, drive through upper Punakha valley and take a hike through farmhouses to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten(stupa),(also known as Nyizergang Chöten and Punakha Zangdopelri). It was built in 2004 by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. The establishment of the stupa is to bring peace and firmness in the world. Enjoy the amazing view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there.
Then travel to Paro with lunch en route. On arrival at Paro visit
In the evening, visit a farmhouse which gives good insight into the authentic lifestyle of a Bhutanese.
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 the Tour…
Bhutan Trip Cost for this 10 Nights 11 Days Tour Itinerary
|Travel Time||1 pax||2 pax||3 pax & above|
|High Season: November,2016||US$2900/person||US$2800/person||US$2500/person|
The above Bhutan tour package prices includes the following:
- Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 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