Thimphu Festival (Tshechu)

Duration: 7 Days, 6 Nights.
Locations: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangduephodrang valley.
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. festival in Thimphu,fair,cultural program.

Description: This festival is held in the capital city for three days beginning on 10th day of the 8th month of lunar calendar. The month depends on the place. Tshechus are religious festivals of the Drukpa Lineage of the the month depends on the place. Tshechus are religious festivals of the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Tshechus are large social gatherings, which perform the function of social bonding among people of remote and spread-out villages. Large markets also congregate at the fair locations, leading to brisk commerce. The Thimphu tshechu and tha Paro tshechu are among the biggest of the tshechus in terms of participation and audience.

Besides the annual three day Thimphu Tshechu, Thimphu also celebrates a one day festival known as the Thimphu Dromchoe. The day long festival dates back to the 17th century. It was first introduced by Kuenga Gyeltshen in 1710 who was recognized as the reincarnation of Jampel Dorji, son of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel. The dromchoe is celebrated 3 days prior to the Thimphu Tshechu.

The Dromchoe showcases the sacred dances dedicated to the chief protective deity of Bhutan, Palden Lhamo. Legend has it, that the deity Pelden Lhamo appeared before Kuenga Gyeltshen and performed the dances while he was in meditation. Based on these dances, Kuenga Gyaltshen initiated the Dromchoe

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 -Arrival in Bhutan
You will be received by your tour guide from Yelha Bhutan Tours and Travels from the Paro International Airport.  Drive to Thimphu valley.

Thimphu will take about 1 hour.  After few minutes rest in the hotel you will then visit the National Memorial Chorten which was built in 1974 in Memory of the third king; visit the Buddha Dordenma sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang.
Overnight: Thimphu Resort.

Day 2 – Thimphu – Punakha
Today in Thimphu there will be guided sightseeing tour of Thimphu till noon visiting the National Memorial Chorten, Painting school, Bhutanese art and craft center and Takin Reserve at Motithang.

Then after lunch we will drive to Punakha Valley– It’s a 3 hours drive through picturesque valleys and mountain slopes dotted with typical Bhutanese villages. At around 1 hour drive from Thimphu we will reach Dochula Druk wangyel temple situated at 3150 meters above sea level. We will continue drive down into the Punakha valley.
Overnight: Punakha

Day 3 – Punakha – Thimphu.
In the morning, visit the Punakaha Dzong which is the old capital of Bhutan and is the winter home of the Je Kenpo and the national body of monks. The hike to Chhime Lhakhang , an ancient monastery near Punakha, dedicated to fertility and founded by Lam Drukpa Kuenley.
Overnight: Thimphu.

Day 4 – Thimphu
Early morning visit festival for the viewing the Thondrol – the great Buddhist Thanka scroll dedicated to Guru Padmashambava. Spend the rest of the morning at the festival viewing masked dances and ritual activities. Truly a great climax to the most revered yearly festival of Bhutan.
Overnight: Thimphu.
Day 5 – Thimphu Tshechu (Festival) and drive to Paro.
After breakfast drive from Thimphu to Paro stopping at the Simthoka Dzong which is the oldest of the many Dzongs (forts) in Bhutan. Today it houses the National Bhutanese School where Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan, is taught. Continue drive to Paro valley.

In the afternoon visit Paro town and the walk through the town.
Day 6 – Hike to Tiger Nest Monastery
Today Hike to the Bhutan’s most revered and certainly the most famous site, Taktsang Monastery or the ‘Tiger’s Nest”. Hike or ride a surefooted pony through a forested pathway ascending steeply toward the towering vertical cliffs two-thousand feet above the valley floor.

Coffee break at the Taksang View Cafeteria which is half way to the temple. Then hike back to the temple. Lunch will be served in the cafeteria after coming back from the temple.

Later visit Kichu lhakhang and in the evening we will visit a local Farm house and enjoy the local food with Bhutanese wine. Fare well dinner.

Day 7 – Departure
After breakfast, drive to the airport in time to catch up your onward flight. Fare well greeting and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.

Tour Program Ends

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

High Season: March, April, May, September, October & November
Single traveler: US$ 1660 per person
2 person: US$ 1480 Per person
3 plus person: US$ 1420 per person

Low Season: January, February, June, July, August & December
Single traveler: US$ 1360 per person
2 person: US$ 1240 Per person
3 plus person: US$ 1180 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