Punakha Festival

Duration: 10 Days, 9 Nights.
Locations: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangduephodrang valley. Trongsa, Phobjikha.
Type of Tour: Cultural tour/Adventure/Hiking/festival/Buddhism.

Highlight:
Visit to the Tashichho Dzong,Memorial stupa,Ta Dzong (National Museum), Punakha Dzong, Worlds tallest bronze Buddha statue, Tigers nest hike, 7th Century Jampa Lhakhang, Dochula mountain pass, Fertility temple,gangtey gompa monastery etc.

Description:

Located in western Bhutan, Punakha has been important since the 17th century during the days of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Known as the unifier of Bhutan as a nation state, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal gave Bhutan and its people the distinct cultural identity.

Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal led the Bhutanese to victory over the Tibetans, in the 17th century when Bhutan was invaded several times by the Tibetans, who sought to seize a precious relic, the Ranjung Kharsapani. He introduced the Punakha Drubchen (also known as Puna Drubchen), which has become the annual festival of Punakha Dzongkhag to commemorate this defeat.

With a dramatic re-creation of the 17th-century battle against the Tibetan army, the pazaps or local militia men, dress in traditional battle gear and re-enact the ancient battle scene, which goes back to the time when in the absence of a standing army, men from the eight Tshogchens (great village blocks) of Thimphu managed to expel the enemy.

Mask Dances are an integral aspect of Bhutanese culture and folklore and are prominent in every celebration.

Day 01: Arrival in Paro – Thimphu (1.2 Hrs) Altitude: 2300m

Upon arrival our guide will receive you and transfer to Thimphu after a visit 17 century Paro Dzong (Fortress) on foot and continue walking through the oldest wooden bridge still in use.

One can wander on your own to stroll Thimphu streets or relax in your hotel. Overnight: Thimphu.

Day 02: Thimphu sightseeing

Morning visit the weekend market (Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday), Handmade paper Mill, School of Arts and crafts where students learn 13 different arts used predominantly in Bhutan,

Lunch in town. Drive pass by Memorial Chorten (temple) built in memory of the late 3rd King. Visit Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the valley, Enclosure where national animal, Takin are kept and Zilukha Nunnery. Overnight: Thimphu

Day 03:  Thimphu – Punakha (2.5 Hrs), Altitude: 1350m

Drive through Dochula pass at 3010m. When the weather permits one can enjoy a spectacular view of the highest mountains of Bhutan at a site that stretches almost 180 degrees.

After a short tea break continue to sub tropical Punakha. Afternoon we will hike to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of fertility which is associated with religious arts of phallus. Overnight: Punakha

Day 04: Punakha Festival

We will spend whole day in the festival at Punakha Dzong which will accompany with various mask dances and folk dancers along with Atasaras actions in the crowd.
Overnight at Punakha

Day 05: Punakha Festival

Whole day in the interesting Punakha festival or in the afternoon we can proceed for other sightseeing like visiting Khamsum Yulay Temple or Wangdue excursion visit Rinchingang.
Overnight in Punakha

Day 06: Punakha – Phobjikha (3 Hrs), Altitude: 2900m

Check out of the hotel and visit Chimi Lhakhang on foot, the temple of fertility associated with religious art of phallus. En route visit Wangdi town and continue to Phobjikha over the second highest road pass on your trip at 3140m.

Visit Gangtey Gompa, the largest and the only monastery of the Nyingmapa sect in western Bhutan. Evening relax in your hotel or take a stroll.
Overnight: Phobjikha.

Day 07: Phobjikha halt

Morning go for walk and meet the School children close to your hotel, who all walk for hours to reach their nearest school. Phobjikha is a paradise for nature lovers and hikers. There are lots of great places for hikes around the valley.
Overnight: Phobjikha

Day 08:  Phobjikha – Paro (6 Hrs), Altitude: 2200m

Start early retracing the drive to Paro. In Paro visit the National Museum, the first of its kind which has a collection from natural history to religious paintings.
Evening stroll old Paro town and peep into some local handicrafts stores. One can also venture to try local restaurant for dinner.
Overnight: Paro.

Day 09: Paro Sightseeing

Visit Kichu Lhakhang, one from the 2 oldest temple in the country, historic Drukgyal Dzong (Fortress) and hike to Tiger’s Nest, the most revered temple in the country that literally hangs on a granite cliff overlooking the Paro Valley. Evening at leisure
Overnight: Paro

Day 10: Departure

Morning transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Our tour staff will bid you farewell at the airport.

Tour Cost including Bhutan Visa Fees (Not including Bhutan air fare)

High Season: March, April, May, September, October & November
Single traveler: US$ 2436 per person
2 person: US$ 2166 Per person
3 plus person: US$ 2076 per person

Low Season: January, February, June, July, August & December
Single traveler: US$ 1986 per person
2 person: US$ 1806 Per person
3 plus person: US$ 1716 per person

Tour Discounts:

  • No charge for children under 5 years. 50% discount for children in age group 6-12 years and accompanied by their guardians
  • 25% discount on daily rates to full time students below the age of 25 years with valid identity cards
  • 50% discount on daily rates to one person in a group of 11 to 15 people.
  • 100% discount to one member in a group exceeding 26 persons.

Please Note: The rate may go higher depending upon the nature of services desired beyond specified details above

Air Fare

  • Bangkok-Paro-Bangkok = US$ 660
  • Singapore-Paro-Singapore = USD$ 860
  • Delhi –Paro-Delhi = USD$700
  • Kolkata-Paro-Kolkata= USD$410
  • Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu = USD$410

(Note airfares are subjected to change as per the notice by Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines)

Airfare Discount
• Infant under the 2 years pay 10% of airfare plus relevant taxes.
• A child’s between 2-11 years inclusive of 67% of the quoted fare.
• Full time Students under the age of 25 years with identity cards may receive discount up to 25%.

Included

  • Deluxe rooms on twin sharing basis.
  • Meals (Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner, Tea/Coffee with snacks as and when required)
  • Accommodation in the best 3-4 star Resorts/hotels in Bhutan.
  • Brand new Bus, SUVs’ (not exceeding 4-5 years)
  • 1 complimentary Bhutan air ticket if group exceeds 17 Pax
  • Tea, coffee and snacks during the long drive and tour.
  • Complimentary 1 Hour cultural program and farewell dinner for 8 plus pax.
  • All Trekking Equipments (2 men sleeping tents, Kitchen Tents, Dining tents, Toilet Tents, Cooking Utensils etc.
  • Trekking Guide and trekking cook along with supporting staffs
  • Medical Facilities on free of cost (consulting doctors & medicine)
  • Mineral water on long trips both on trek and cultural tours
  • Museum fees and other special entry fees.
  • A sustainable tourism Royalty of $65. This Royalty goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.

Excluded

  • Airfare
  • Laundry/Drinks / Telephone calls and any personal expenses.
  • Travel Insurance (Recommended but not available in Bhutan)
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Single room supplement USD$40 per night.
  • Tips and Gratuities