Tamshing Festival

Duration: 11 Days, 10 Nights.
Locations: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangduephodrang valley. Trongsa, Phobjikha.
Type of Tour: Cultural tour/Adventure/Hiking/festival

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,Tamshing festival etc

Description:

In a land blessed with numerous temples and monasteries, Tamshing Lhundrup Choeling Monastery (popularly known as Tamshing monastery)in Bumthang is truly remarkable for its age, beauty, and direct connection to the Bhutanese saint, cultural hero, and spiritual treasure revealer (terton), Pema Lingpa. The temple was built by Pema Lingpa himself in 1501, when he was 51 years old. It is located in  Choekhor Gewog, about five kilometres from Chamkhar town.

The centrepiece/main wealth of the monastery is the statue of Gruru Rinmpoche, believed to have been built by khandroms (dakinis) and zung (inner relic in statues) of treasures revealed by Pema Lingpa from different places. The wall painting of the temple which is well preserved to date is regarded as one of the oldest in Bhutan. The temple also houses the iron net made by Pema Lingpa when he was 8 years old.  It was blessed with his prayers that whoever come in contact with it/carry it and circumambulate the temple will get rid of sins and defilements.

Tamshing is also the original home of sacred peling dances (mask dances) that are performed in annual Tsechus (festivals) throughout Bhutan. Annual festival known as Phalachoedpa is held at its courtyard for three days during the 8th month of the Bhutanese calendar

Day 01:  Arrive at Phuntsholing.

  • Altitude: 293 meters
  • Distance: 220 km
  • Estimated driving time: 7 hrs

Drive through the lush green as well as most beautiful Tea garden in the Dooars from Sikkim after crossing the mighty Toorsa River. The scenery is enchanting. Before you reach Bhutan you will see the mighty Himalayas from the plains.

On arrival at Phuentsholing Today you will be received by the Yelha Bhutan Tours and Travels representative, guide and driver from the border town of Phuntsholing at the Bhutan gate. Night halt at Phuntsholing..

Day 01: Drive to the capital city Thimphu

  • Altitude: 2,320 meters
  • Distance: 170km
  • Estimated driving time: 5 hours

After breakfast proceed for Thimphu. Before reaching our Thimphu hotel we will stop to visit the Buddha Point (Kuenselphrodrang) 169 feet Buddha statue then the Memorial stupa, continuously circumambulated by the faithful, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king,

Later we will check in at hotel & you will be take care by our hotel’s premium hospitality. After the rest you will be taken to town by foot by your guide and driver. Overnight stay in Thimphu.

Day 02: Thimphu Sightseeing

In the morning visit the School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts then visit Folk Heritage Museum, which is located in the same area, and then to the Mothithang rehabilitation and proceed to Centenary farmers markets where you will see the organic products of Bhutan.

In the afternoon, visit Tashichhodzong, “the fortress of the glorious religion”. Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

Day 03: Thimphu -Punakha -Wangduephodrang

  • Altitude: 1,300 meters
  • Distance: 71 km
  • Estimated driving time: 2 1/2 hrs

After breakfast, travel to Punakha through Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft). Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the security and well being of His Majesty the King of Bhutan.

Travel onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. Visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho – Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river. Overnight at a hotel in Wangdue/Punakha.

Day 04:  Wangduephodrang – Bumthang

  • Altitude: 2,650 meters
  • Distance: 198 km
  • Estimated driving time: 8 hrs

After breakfast, drives to Bumthang via Pelela pass at the altitude of 3,150 meters, a wonderful opportunity for photographs. En-route stops at Chummy village to visit yathra weaving central. Which Yathra are made into colorful scarves, bags, blankets and sweater. Continue drive to Bumthang. Mingle with the locals and overnight at the hotel.Jakar Village Lodge.

Day 05: Bumthang valley.

Whole day sightseeing. In the morning visit the Jakar Dzong, Kurjey Lhakhang (Kurjey means, “Body imprint”). The temple to the right was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rinpoche meditated and left his body imprint.

Tamshing Lhakhang. This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message). Optional: Visit to the Kharchu Dratshang,Bumthang Red Panda beer and the famous Swiss cheese factory. Later in the evening witness the festival. The first day of the festival begins in the late night. Night in the resort. Jakar Village Lodge.

Day 6 : Tamshing festival: After breakfast, attend the second Tamshing festival. You will watch number of different dances, subdivided into three categories: those that are intended to give moral instruction; those that are designed to drive away evil spirits and those that celebrate the Buddhist faith in its many guises. This is the occasion where the local people, dressed in their finest clothes, come to attend the festival with packed lunches.

After lunch drive to Tang valley to visit MebarTsho (Burning Lake), night will halt in the hotel.

Day 07: Bumthang – Phobjikha:

  • Altitude: 2,900 meters
  • Distance: 188 km
  • Estimated driving time: 7 hrs

After breakfast drive to Trongsa. And then Visit Trongsa Dzong – seat of the district administration, built in the 1648. And visit Tower of Trongsa -­­­converted into the museum from watchtower that once guarded Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands in Bhutan’s history.

Then drive to Phobjikha after lunch. Phobjikha- is a bowl-shape valley on the western slopes of Black Mountain. Optional: Overnight will be at hotel.

Day 08: Phobjikha-Thimphu

  • Altitude:2900 meters
  • Distance: 135 km
  • Estimated driving time: 6 hrs

After breakfast, travel back to Thimphu. we will have breakfast at Punakha or at Dochula.We will be staying overnight at Thimphu and go around the town and visit any places you desire.

Day 09: Paro

  • Altitude: 2,280 meters
  • Distance: 65 km
  • Estimated driving time: 1 hrs

Today after well rest we will drive to Paro. Visit to the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here an intriguing collection of artifacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom.Visit the Kyichu Lhakhang one of the oldest temple of Bhutan built in the 7th century.Later stroll through the town and rest in Resort.

Day 10: A Day Hike to Paro Taktsang Monastery.

Tshog offering, private Prayers and meditation at Taktsang.

After breakfast, drive up to the base camp of Taktsang and then hike up to the most famous Monastery in the entire kingdom of Bhutan perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to the viewpoint will take about an hour and it will take 2 hours to the monastery. Lunch at the viewpoint or at Paro town. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 11: Departure from Paro

In the morning, your tour guide from Yelha Bhutan Tours & Travels (local Bhutan travel agent) will escort you to Paro International Airport for your departure.

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

High Season: March, April, May, September, October & November
Single traveler: US$ 2672 per person
2 person: US$ 2372 Per person
3 plus person: US$ 2272 per person

Low Season: January, February, June, July, August & December
Single traveler: US$ 2172 per person
2 person: US$ 1972 Per person
3 plus person: US$ 1872 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