Trongsa Festival – 10 Days Tour

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

Highlight:
Trongsa festival, cultural program, mask dance, 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:

The Tshechu of Bhutan specifically honors Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and celebrates his deeds through the performance of sacred dances. Since Guru Rinpoche was a fully enlightened being, he is extremely important in Bhutan and it is through his teachings that Bhutanese devotees are shown the true and fast path to enlightenment. These dances assist in cultivating faith and understanding of the Guru’s deeds, and as such both honor and educate the attendees.

Trongsa, the sacred and temporal heart of the country is a two day journey from Thimphu. Situated in central Bhutan, it was once the seat of power over central and eastern regions. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat and it is customary for the crown prince to serve as the Trongsa Penlop (“governor”).

Trongsa Tshechu is held annually for five days between 8th and 12th of the eleven lunar months in the northern courtyard of the temple during December or January.

The first day is rehearsal of mask dances, religious music played by long trumps, dungchen (dung chen) and oboes, jaling (rgya gling). The mask dances include those performed by monks and ones performed by lay people.

On the second day there are series of dances for the entertainment of the public, to drive away bad spirits and to bless the people and the location. The dances of the second day include:

On the last day of the Trongsa Tshechu, the fifth day, the festival concludes with dances and the display of a thangka.

Day 1: Arrive Paro

In clear weather, magnificent
views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. First gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step
out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will meet our guide,

Afternoon in Paro visit Ta Dzong, once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968.

Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong. Built in 1646.

  • Later Drive to Thimphu.
  • Distance: 54 km/estimated driving time: 1 hr. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 2: Thimphu Sightseeing.

  • Altitude: 2,320 meters

After breakfast travel to Thimphu and check into your hotel. The full day Thimphu tour includes visit to the following:

  • The National Library..
  • The Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School)
  • The National Folk Heritage Museum to get an insight into the typical Bhutanese way of life.
  • Centenary Farmers’ Market (open from Thursday to Sunday
  • Takin Preserve which houses the national animal- takin which is found only in Bhutan.
  • Visit Buddha Point and offer your prayers to the largest Buddha statue in the country and walk around to enjoy the great view of Thimphu valley below. Resorts/Hotels: 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.

Evening, walk through the Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang. Overnight at a hotel in Wangdue/Punakha. Resorts/Hotels: Resort at Punakha.

Day 04:  Wangduephodrang – Trongsa

  • Estimated driving time: 5 hrs

After breakfast, drives to Trongsa via Pelela pass at the altitude of 3,150 meters, a wonderful opportunity for photographs. Visit the Ta Dzong. Resorts/Hotels: Trongsa

Day 05: Trongsa – Bumthang valley.

Today we will witness the Trongsa festival. Trongsa is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s Royal Family. Both the First and Second King ruled the Kingdom from this ancient seat. All the Kings of Bhutan has to become Trongsa Penlop (Honorary post of Governor) prior to being crowned as the Druk Gyalpo (King of Bhutan).

Trongsa Dzong (fort), one of the largest in the country was first built is 1648 and later enlarged many times. Because of being situated on a highly commanding position on the only connecting route between the eastern and western sectors (where trail actually runs through the Dzong), the Trongsa Penlop was able to control the whole of eastern region very effectively for many centuries. Visit the ancient watch tower (Ta Dzong), which is situated just above the town.

After lunch, drive to Bumthang. The drive to Bumthang takes 2-3 hrs. Night at Bumthang at Resort.

Day 06: Bumthang

Different from all the other valleys in Bhutan, Bumthang is very spacious and open ranging in altitude from 2,600m to 4,000m

Visit the important cultural and historic sites in the special valley. Over night at Bumthang.

Day 07: Bumthang-Phobjikha.

  • Estimated driving time: 6 hrs

Today after a well rest we will drive to Phobjikha. We will do some sightseeing on way and also stop at Chendib Ji.later drive to Phobjikha and visit the famous Gangtey Gompa Temple. Resorts/Hotels: Night at Punakha..

Day 8: Punakha-Paro

Punakha was the winter capital for over 300 years until the time of second King. Punakha Dzong, which dominates the whole area, was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, and established the central monastic body with 600 monks.

Today, after the morning breakfast we will drive to Paro valley.Overnight at Hotel in Paro..

Day 9 : 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. Night at a hotel in Paro. Resorts/Hotels: Night at Paro valley.

Day 10: 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 Program Ends 

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

High Season: March, April, May, September, October & November
Single traveler: US$ 3,670 for a single person
2 person: US$ 3,190 per person
3 plus person: US$ 3,070 per person

Low Season: January, February, June, July, August & December
Single traveler: US$ 2,635 per person
2 person: US$ 1,990 per person
3 plus person: US$ 2,590 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