Duration: 7 Days, 6 Nights.
Locations: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha and Wangduephodrang valley.
Highlight: This Festival is held on 13th December every year.
The Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival straddles the well-known pass at the heart of the Royal Botanical Park,. The pass marks the cut-off point between the districts of Thimphu on the western side and Punakha on the eastern side.
Description: Dochula Festival is a good opportunity for everyone to see the Royal family also. Since its the Festival of the Soldiers and the Royals.
The venue is related to important national landmarks while the date commemorates the commencement of the military expedition of 2003. The Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival’s scene features two of very inspiring modern Bhutanese monuments. Including the works on the influential wall painting,
The temple was built under the personal supervision of Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wanghuck, a year after she built the 108 Druk Wangyel Chortens. Following Bhutanese tradition, the Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival is named after its location. The Dochula pass is one of the most spectacular passes in Bhutan and is 22km from the capital city, Thimphu.
Day 01: December 8th – Paro
Arrive Bhutan Fly into Paro by Druk Air, Bhutan’s National Airline.
The great snow-capped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens can be seen during clear weather.
As the plane approaches Bhutan, if you look down farmhouses as dots on the hillsides can be seen.
As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, you will see Paro Dzong on the hillside overlooking the Paro Chu (river), with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it.
You will be received by the representative of Yelha Bhutan Tours & Travels (Bhutan tour operator) who will be your Bhutan travel guide throughout your tour.
Check into your hotel in Paro and after refreshments, visit the following:
- Ta Dzong built in the 17th century as a watchtower for the Paro Dzong. This dzong was converted into the National museum in 1967 and is filled with antique thankha paintings, textiles, weapons and armor.
- Rinpung Dzong built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and school for monks.
- Visit Kichu temple, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo.
- The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon
- Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 02: December 9th – Thimphu
- Paro & A Day Hike to Taktsang Ghoempa (Tiger’s Nest Monastery)
- Today after breakfast, we will drive to base of Taktsang and hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The climb up to the viewpoint will take around 1 ½ hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff.
- Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former glory.
- After visiting the monastery, walk back down to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further down to the road point.
- Then drive back to Thimphu.
- Drive to Thimphu. Distance: 54 km o Estimated driving time: 1 hr
Day 03: December 10th – Thimphu Sightseeing
- After breakfast travel the full day Thimphu tour includes visit to the following:
- Drive to Kuensel Phodrang and take a short leisure hike to the Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park and enjoy the full view of Thimphu Valley below.
- National Memorial Chorten, chorten literally means ‘ seat of faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten.
- The National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts.
- The Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts
- Visit Changankha Lhakhang. (Changankha Lhakhang is one of the spiritual and most important temples in Thimphu. Takin Preserve which houses the national animal- takin which is found only in Bhutan. Takin is an extremely rare member of goat family.
- Craft Bazaar where artisans and craftsmen from across the country come to sell their products.
- Centenary Farmers’ Market (open from Thursday to Sunday) where farmers sell their farm produces (vegetables, fruits, cereals, spices, wild vegetable collections, livestock products, etc) and free interaction with local people who come shopping to this market, especially on weekends.
- After 5PM we will visit the Tashichhodzong, “the fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of the monarch’s throne room and seat of the Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in the 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plan Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 07: . December 14th – Departure
- Departure from Paro In the morning tour guide from Yelha Bhutan Tours will escort you to the Paro airport for your flight to your onward destinations.