Bhutan Cultural Tours
Tshechu is religous event that is celebrated on the 10th day of the lunar calender,that is the auspiscious day when Guru Rimpoche, the famous himalayan guru who is pioneer to promote Buddhism from Indian Plain to Himalayan regions; Bhutan & Tibet. This Paro Tshechu is one of the most colorful events in Paro Dzong. This is attended by Bhutanese throughout the country. Tourists are allowed to see the Tshechu at the courtyard. Bhutan Cultural Tours is the 11 Days Package where you can enjoy the three day festival is a sequence of the mask dances.
The first day of festival starts with Shinje Yab Yum, the dance of god of Death & his female escort. The dancers put buffalo mask & long brocade on. The second day has “Chipdrel” a monastic reception; all the audience would be welcome with special ceremony. On third & final day Early in the morning the monks display a gigantic thangkha (embroidered painting), the Guru Throngdel, inside the dzong. Thongdrols are especially impressive examples of Buddhist art and ever amaze viewers. Seeing Throngdel it is believed the sin of the viewers are cleansed.
After having visited the most colorful lifetime festival you will also visit other destinations like Paro: The first thing you will notice as you disembark is the transparent purity of air and the absence of noise. The Paro valley has kept its bucolic nature inspite of the airport and the existence of development projects. Visit Paro Museum housed at the graceful Ta Dzong, once a watch tower situated strategically overlooking the Paro valley,Thimpu , & Punakha. You will also hike the Tiger Nest, symbolized as image of the Bhutan. This tour combines the very best the Kingdom of Bhutan has to offer in the west & central regions. In this tour visit SemtokhaDzong. This is the oldest fortress in Bhutan, built in 1629 A.D. by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
In Kathmandu you will be fascinated to see the architecture of 17th century, the lifestyle of medieval times & the old bazaars of Kathmandu. Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Swoyambhunath, durbar squares, the old palace complex.
|6 March 2016 Day 01:||Arrive Kathmandu , Nepal|
|17 March 2016 Day 02:||Fly Paro Drive Thimpu|
|18 March 2016 Day 03:||Thimpu Sightseeing|
|19 March 2016 Day 04:||Thimphu Punakha Wangdue Phodrang|
|20 March 2016 Day 05:||Paro Festival|
|21 March 2016 Day 06:||Paro Festival|
|22 March 2016 Day 07:||Paro Paro (Excursion to Taktsang Monastery)|
|23 March 2016 Day 08:||Paro Kathmandu|
|24 March 2016 Day 09:||Kathmandu Sightseeing|
|25 March 2016 Day 10:||Kathmandu Sightseeing|
|26 March 2016 Day 11:||Departure from Kathmandu|
Day 01 :Arrive Kathmandu
Meet & greet at the Kathmandu Airport . Transfer to Hotel
Day02: Kathmandu Paro Thimpu
After breakfast transfer to the Kathmandu airport to connect flight to Paro, Bhutan The first thing you will notice as you disembark is the transparent purity of air and the absence of noise. The Paro valley has kept its bucolic nature inspite of the airport and the existence of development projects. Fields, brown or green depending on the season, cover most of the valley floor, while hamlets and isolated farms dot the countryside. The houses of Paro valley are considered to be among the most beautiful in the country. Paro is believed to be one of the first valleys to have received the imprint of Buddhism.
Visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). Once the watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory. Visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guardhouses, to the Dzong. Today, the Dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the nation. The Dzong was built in 1645 A.D. Afternoon drive to Thimphu Town Overnight: Thimphu Day 03: Thimphu Sightseeing
Thimphu lies in a wooded valley, sprawling up a hillside on the West Bank of the Thimphu Chhu [Chhu means River]. Thimphu is unlike any otherworld capital. Small and secluded the city is quiet and there are never the traffic jams familiar in other Asian Capitals. It is often said that Thimphu is the only world capital without traffic lights. Thimphu’s main shopping street is a delight not so much for what you can buy there, but for the picturesqueness of the architecture and national costume. Beautiful weaves in wool, silk and cotton, basketwork, silver jewellery, thangkas and other traditional crafts of the Kingdom are available in various Handicraft Emporiums. Visit the Memorial Chorten, a huge stupa built in memory of the third King who reigned from 1952-1972.Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit the Painting School where traditional art is still preserved. Artists are taught to paint Thankas here (sacred Buddhist scroll). Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where one can buy Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts.Visit the Weekend market where vendors from throughout the region arrive on Friday afternoon and remain till Sunday. Here you will find indigenous goods, handicrafts, locally produced goods, etc.
Afternoon Visit Semtokha Dzong. This is the oldest fortress in Bhutan, built in 1629 A.D. by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It also houses the largest monastic schools in the country.Visit Tashichho Dzong – the main secretariat building. It is from here that the King and other prominent civil servants run the country. The Head Abbot and the central monastic body also reside here during the summer. Visit Pangri Zampa Monastery, situated just beyond Dechencholing Palace (5 km. from Thimphu). This temple was the first residence of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal when he arrived in Bhutan in 1616 A.D. Ngawang Chogyel, the great ancestor of the Shabdrung, built it during the first quarter of the 16th century. Shopping (optional) Evening: Dinner Reception. Overnight: Thimphu
Day 04:Thimphu -Punakha – Wangdue Phodrang
After breakfast transfer to Punakha-Wangdue. En-route stop at Dochula Pass (3150 m), 30 km from Thimphu, for tea and biscuits and enjoy a view of the Eastern Himalayan Mountains. From Dochula to Wangdue, its another two hours drive. Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of 02 rivers. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view over both the north-south and east-west roads. The main road climbs the length of the spur and on the left, across the river, comes the first glimpse of the picturesque village of Rinchengang whose inhabitants are celebrated stonemasons.
After lunch in Lobesa, visit the Punakha Dzong. This is the winter residence of Bhutans spiritual leader, the Head Abbot, and the Central Monastic Body. The Dzong is built between two rivers known as Phochu (Male River) and Mochu (Female River).Evening Drive back to Thimpu Overnight: Thimpu
Day 05: Thimpu -ParoThimphu – Paro (Paro Festival). Distance: 55 km. Driving 1.5 hours (Thimphu Altitude 7,478 ft/2280 m).
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 Bhutanse School where Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan, is taught. Continue drive to Paro valley. On arrival check-in at hotel followed by lunch. After lunch visit the Paro Dzong where the Masked dance-dramas of this typical Buddhist festival are going on. Be amongst throngs of Bhutanese from the Paro valley and from outlying villages of Bhutan all dressed in their traditional finery. Witness the age-old, wonderfully colourful and esoteric Religious masked dance-dramas performed by specially trained groups of Buddhist monks. Overnight at hotel base in Paro.
Day 06: Paro Visit Festival Paro Tshechu (Festival).
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. In the afternoon visit Paro Museum housed at the graceful Ta Dzong, once a watch tower situated strategically overlooking the Paro valley. The Museum houses a rare collection of Bhutans historical, religious, cultural and artistic heritage, all beautifully preserved and displayed in a unique setting a museum lovers heaven. Overnight at same hotel.
Day 07: Paro-Takstang Hike
Transfer to Takstang Monastery base for 03 hrs hike to the Taktsang Monastery. Taktsang is the most famous of all Bhutanese monasteries. It is perched on the side of a cliff 900 m above the floor of the Paro valley, where the only sounds are the murmurs of the wind, and water and the chanting of the monks. The name Taktsang means Tigers Nest; the Guru is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to the site of the monastery where he meditated in a cave for three months. The monastery itself is closed to tourists except by special permit. However the one-hour walk to the viewpoint, where there is a small wooden teahouse provides a close-up view of the monastery. Its also a good warm-up hike if you are going trekking.Overnight: Paro
Day 08: Paro-Kathmandu . Trasfer to Paro Airport. Arrival Transfer in Kathmandu airport . rest of the day at leisure
Day 09: Visit Kathmandu City
Arrival Transfer from Kathmandu Airport to Kathmandu Hotel. After refreshment , you will visit the places of the interest in Kathmandu Visit Kathmandu city and Swayambhunath Kathmandus Durbar Square is one of three durbar (royal palace) squares in the Kathmandu Valley. It is the site of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex, which was the royal Nepalese residence until the 19th century and where important ceremonies, such as the coronation of the Nepalese monarch, still take place today. The two-hectare (five-acre) palace complex is divided into two main chowks, or courtyards, and was initially constructed in the 16th century, although subsequent additions were made in the Shah (Gurkha) dynasty in the 18th century and by the Rana rulers in the 19th century. The palace is decorated with elaborately-carved wooden windows and panels and houses the King Tribhuwan Memorial Museum, dedicated to the monarch who opened up Nepal to the outside world, and the Mahendra Museum, dedicated to his son, King Mahendra. It is also possible to visit the State Rooms inside the palace. At the southern end of Durbar Square is one of the most curious attractions in Nepal, the Kumari Chowk. This gilded cage contains the Raj Kumari, a young girl chosen through an ancient and mystical selection process to become the human incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess, Durba. She is worshipped during religious festivals and makes public appearances at other times for a fee paid to her guards.
Swayambhunath the golden spire of the 5th-century Swayambhu stupa is adorned with a colourful fluttering of prayer flags; it crowns a hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley and offers fantastic views over the city of Kathmandu. Swayambhunath is one of the most recognisable symbols in Nepal and the painted eyes of Buddha watch all who ascend the worn stone steps. It is a World Heritage Site and one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal, and is at the source of the Valleys mythical beginning. Legend has it that the history of the Valley began with the draining of an ancient lake by an Enlightened Being to reveal the Valley and a lotus flower was transformed into the hill and the shining light became the stupa itself. Swarms of pilgrims and red-clad monks circle the complex, spinning the prayer wheels, while the scores of monkeys that give the temple its nickname, Monkey Temple, prance about in irreverent groups. Interestingly the temple complex is scattered with shrines and statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities and the assortment of pilgrims from both faiths characterises the countrys unique religious harmony. Visit Patan City. Patan is 15 minutes drive from Kathmandu. Lalitpur, the city of beauty is separated from Kathmandu only by the Bagmati River and is the second largest town in the valley. Lalitpur is fragmented from other cities due to its substantive architectural ancient masterpieces. Patan’s central Durbar Square is absolutely packed with temples: Its an architectural center point with a far greater concentration of temples per sq. meter than in Kathamandu or Bhaktapur.
Krishna Mandir which is one of the grandeur of the square was built in 1637 by the king Siddhinarsingh Malla. The entire temple is constructed from the stone. Golden Temple which is the unique Buddhist Monastery was founded in the 12th century which is a large rectangular building has three roofs and a copper gilded facade with the images of Buddha and Avalokitesvara where there are Buddha images and illustrations on the walls. The square has been unrestrainedly adorned by the Bhimsen Temple, Manga Hiti, Vishwanath Temple, Jagannarayan Temple, Golden Temple and numerous. Take the pleasure of discovering this Patan Durbar Square which has been entitled in the World Heritage Site.
Day 10: Kathmandu Sightseeing
After breakfast set out for sightseeing .
Visit Pashupatinath and Bouddhanath. Not only is Pashupatinath the most important Hindu temple in Nepal, its one of the most important Shiva temples on the subcontinent and draws numerous devotees from all over India each year. Pashupati is considered to have a special concern for the kingdom of Nepal. Pashupatinath, an ancient plinth, by the banks of the holy Bagmati River, stands the 16th century of Pashupatinath – Shiva, as Lord of all Creatures. The old buildings on the site were destroyed by Moslem invaders in the 14th century, its stone linga smashed to dust, but it rose again behind their retreating backs. Succeeding monarchs reinstated the temple and the images. The flowing Bagmati is a holy river and the ghats (crematorium) at its bank are the earnest Hindus truest cremation center. Bouddhanath is among the largest stupas in South Asia, and it has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The white mound looms thirty-six meters overhead. The stupa is located on the ancient trade route to Tibet, and Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many of them decided to live around Bouddhanath. They established many gompas, and the “Little Tibet” of Nepal was born. This “Little Tibet” is still the best place in the Valley to observe Tibetan lifestyle. Monks walk about in maroon robes. Tibetans walk with prayer wheels in their hands, and the rituals of prostration are presented to the Buddha as worshippers circumambulate the stupa on their hands and knees, bowing down to their lord. Â PM: Visit Bhaktapur City. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a conglomeration of pagoda and shikhara style temples grouped around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights the ancient arts of Nepal. The golden effigies of kings perched on the top of stone monoliths, the guardian deities looking out from their sanctuaries, the wood carvings in every place-struts, lintels, uprights, tympanums, gateways and windows, all seem to form a well orchestrated symphony. The main items of interest in the Durbar Square are:
The Golden Gate: The Golden Gate is said to be the most beautiful and richly moulded specimen of its kind in the entire world. The door is surmounted by a figure of the goddess Kali and Garuda (the mythical man bird) and attended by two heavenly nymphs. It is also embellished with mythical creatures of marvellous intricacy, In the words of Percy Brown, an eminent English art critic and historian, the Golden Gate is the most lovely piece of art in the whole Kingdom: It is placed like a jewel, flashing innumerable facets in the handsome setting of its surroundings. The gate was erected by King Ranjit Malla and is the entrance of the main courtyard of the Palace of Fifty five Windows. The Palace of Fifty five Windows: This magnificent palace was built during the reign of King Yakshya Malla in A.D. 1427 and was subsequently remodelled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the seventeenth century. Among the brick walls with their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony with Fifty five Windows, considered to be a unique masterpiece of woodcarving.
Day 11: Departure
Free till departure. Departure Transfer to airport to connect onward flight.
- 4 Nights superior hotels in Kathmandu on bed & breakfast .
- Standard Room at A Grade hotels/resorts/guest houses/lodges (twin share basis)
- All meals (incl. evening tea/snacks) in Bhutan
- All Hotel Tax & Service Charges
- Visa Processing
- All inland travel permits
- Govt Royalty & Taxes
- Transportation & Transfers
- Local Sightseeing with entrance fees where applicable
- Services of an English speaking local guide
- Complimentary bottled water in car
- Bhutan Visa fee
- Druk Air flights ( Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu )
Does not include
- Travel and medical insurance coverage
- Table drink/beverage
- Communication charges, laundry, tips
- Other expenses of personal nature
- In Paro: Janka Resort, Hotel Gangtey Palace, Hotel Olathang, Khangkhu Resort, Tigers Nest Resort, Tenzinling Resort, Tandiling Resort.
- In Thimphu: Hotel Kisa, Hotel Jumolhari, Hotel Phuntshopelri, Bhutan Suites, Hotel Riverview, Wangchuk Resort, Hotel Dragon Roots.
- Kathmandu : Hotel Shanker or Shambala or Similar