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Duration

7 Days

Activities

  • Religious and Spiritual Tours
  • Cultural and Historical Tours

Accomodation

  • Twin Sharing

Meals

  • Three meals per day

Price special offer

from 2800 USD

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Overview

Trip highlights

Between 1616 AD and 1651 AD, Zhabdrung had to wage around five major against the major wars against the invading forces of Desi Tsangpa Phuntsho Namgyel and his successors. The Bhutanese militia under the guidance of Zhabdrung himself was able to defeat the invaders. During those wars, Lam Zhabdrung also sought the support of the guardian Deities, particularly Palden Lhamo and Pal Yeshey Goenbo.
Punakha Drubchen, therefore, celebrates two important events:

a)    Worship of the guardian deities and presentation of the deities to the public through mask dances performed by the monks.
b) Enactment of ancient military scenes by Pazaps.

Totally different than other Festivals in the Kingdom, the Domchey depicts the events of the 17thn century - specifically, how the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel came to Bhutan from Tibet. When he came to Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel brought valuable treasure from Tibet with him.

The Tibetan Army came to Punakha Dzong to retrieve the treasure and fought a battle with the Bhutanese defenders. In this festival, four different villages participate, each representing a different army that fought in this historic battle.

Activities:

Itinerary

During the flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga (if flying from Kathmandu or Delhi) and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Chomolhari and Mount Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, meet our representative and escorted to Hotel. After lunch visit Rinpung Dzong, the massive fortress is located on a small hill just above the Paro river (Pachu). The Dzong houses the district administration office and the District Monk body. It was built in 1645 A.D. After then proceed towards Kyichu Lhakhang (Monastery). One of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan was built in 659 A.D by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet as one of the 108 such monasteries he built in across the Himalayas to spread Buddhism. Back to hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

In the morning hike to Taktsang Monastery. Taktsang meaning “Tiger’s Nest”, is built around a cave in which Guru Rimpoche (also known as Guru Padmasambhava) meditated. The eighth century' monastery is perched on a rock overlooking a sheer drop and clings seemingly impossible to a cliff of rock at 2,950 m above the sea level.

After lunch drive towards Thimphu and visit to Tashichho Dzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government's office and King's Throne room it is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Then, visit the National Memorial Chorten (a huge Stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972., it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Evening is free. Overnight at hotel

After breakfast, visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts are displayed and can be purchased. Visit the School of Traditional Paintings - Known as ‘Zorig Chusum’ where 13 traditional arts of Bhutan be trained. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit Paper Factory, Changzamtok textile,  Nunnery,  Takin reserve. Visit Simtokha Dzong (6 km from Thimphu) the oldest Dzong in Bhutan built in 1629 AD. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

After breakfast drive to Punakha, leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Stop at the pass to visit Druk Wangyal Chortens, 108 stupas built by the eldest Queen. Once cross the pass, road wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads to Punakha. Before reach to Phunakha visit Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, built in 1638. It is believed to be built on the back of the giant Elephants back and is considered one of the most important Dzongs of the 17th century as it controlled west - East and to the South. After then drive to Punakha and visit Punakha dzong, the winter residence of the Je khempo (chief abbot).   Punakha Dzong is the most Magnificent and Largest Dzong in Bhutan located beautifully in between the two largest rivers Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River), it is an outstanding structure with intense artwork. Overnight at hotel in Punakha.

After breakfast, attend the festival in Punakha. Enjoy the celebration of the mask dances by local people and by the monks. Overnight at hotel in Punakha.

After breakfast attend half day festival. After lunch drive back to Paro. On the way visit Chhimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple, where you may receive a special fertility blessing if you wish. Continue the drive to Paro. Evening is free for leisure. Overnight at hotel in paro.

After breakfast, free till the departure time. Transfer to the airport for onward journey.

Inclusion

    Price Includes:

    • Necessary airport, hotel and airport transfers
    • Bhutan Visa Fee
    • Government approved A and B category hotels on twin sharing basis
    • Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan.
    • Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu airfare
    • Airport tax
    • Entrance fees and permit
    • Overland transport in comfortable private vehicle
    • Sightseeing as per itinerary
    • Experienced English speaking  guide
    • Government royalty, tax and Fees
    • Service Charge

    Price Excludes:

    • Travel Insurance
    • Beverages
    • Expenses of a personal nature
    • Tips to guides and drivers
    • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc

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Trip reviews

Annapurna round trek was well organized by Raj from BDEx. Gide Amrit Pandey is very skilled and intelligent. Weather on the trek was rather different so we were about ready to turn back from Pissang. Nevertheless next day was clean and we immediately decided to continue. Finally we did Thorang La 5416 m. On the way we saw many people coming back because of deep snow. I am happy that we were lucky to pass Thorang La on second day after it was opened. Many thanks for the trip to BDEx and my guide!!!

Mikhail Grevtsev

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