Jambay Lhakhang Festival
Day 1: Arrive Paro – Thimphu
As the aircraft decent and land at Paro International airport you will be greeted by our guide and driver. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the capital Thimphu. En route pass by Tamchog Lhakhang iron bridge. After hotel check-in, head for gigantic Buddha Dordenma Statue. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 2: Thimphu
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to the National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature with some works dating back several hundred years: Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School): Traditional Medicine Institute, the rich herbal medicines abundant in Kingdom is prepared here: Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, the fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions: Trashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government’s office and King’s Throne room. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha
On your way to Punakha, stop at Dochula Pass to have a coffee break and admire the grand 108 stupas. If in good weather, take in the enchanting views of Mt. Himalaya. Proceed to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the Devine Madman and a sacred place where people pray for children. Next embrace the highlight – Punakha Dzong, a very beautiful Bhutanese architecture armed by the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, with rich Buddhist collections. You will also visit Suspension Bridge nearby (the longest bridge in Bhutan). Overnight at hotel in Punakha.
Day 4: Punakha – Trongsa – Bumtang
Drive from Punakha to Bumthang via Trongsa (8 hrs) over the Pele La pass (3,420m) on the Black Mountain range. Enroute visit beautiful Chendebji Chorten, erected in the 18th century. The imposing Trongsa Dzong can be viewed across a deep canyon to signal your approach to the town around a curving road. Trongsa is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s ruling dynasty. After lunch, visit Trongsa Dzong, the largest Dzong in Bhutan. The view from the Dzong is spectacular and one can see across the landscape for many miles. Also visit the Ta Dzong museum housing an incredible collection of historical artefacts of the Royal Family.
Continue driving to Bumthang, home to some of Bhutan’s oldest Palaces and temples. Try to stay awake until midnight to witness the opening proceedings of the Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival, including an unusual naked dance performed to sanctify the region. Overnight at your lodge in Bumthang.
Day 5: Bumtang (Jambay Lhakhang Festival)
After breakfast, you will attend the full second day of the Jambay Lhakhang Drup (festival). This occasion gives an opportunity to the local businesses- there will be a number of stalls selling craftwork, jewellery, religious artifacts and thangkas. Overnight hotel in Jakar.
Day 6: Bumthang (Jambay Lhakhang Festival)
After breakfast, attend the full 3rd day of Jambay Lhakhang Drub.
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.
Day 7: Bumtang – Punakha
In the morning visit visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom where Bhutan’s patron saint Guru Rimpoche meditated. Afterwards drive to Punakha, stopping for lunch along the way. Overnight at your hotel in Punakha.
Day 8: Punakha – Paro
Drive back to Thimphu where you will enjoy lunch and have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. Afterwards proceed to Paro, visiting Semtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Day 9: Paro
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to the viewing point). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments.
In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Day 10: Paro Depart
Breakfast in the hotel, and then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
Jambay Lhakhang drub or Tshechu lasts for five days. The festival is held for two reasons, one to commemorate an establishment of Jambay Lhakhang (temple) in 7th century and another to depict and honor the deeds of Guru Rimpoche. The highlight of the festival is the ‘Mewang” – the fire ritual and and the “Tercham” – a religious dance. A fire dance is held in the evening to bless infertile women so that they may bear children. The festival dances were composed mostly by Terton Pema Lingpa, the great treasure discoverer of the 15th century.
Total cost includes:
- Standard Hotel (3 star hotel) twin sharing accommodations
- Full Board – All meals at local restaurants/ standard hotels – Buffet System
- All internal Transport/ Transfers in luxury vehicle
- Airport Transfers
- Services of Licensed English Speaking Guide
- Entrances fees to museums, monuments and cultural sites
- Evening tea/ coffee with snacks
- Mineral water in car while traveling as complementary
- All internal taxes and charges
- Government royalty (US$65 per night per person)
- FIT Surcharge of US$ 40 per night per person for single person and US$ 30 per night per person for 2 pax
- Bhutan Visa fee: US$ 40 per person (one time only)
- Tourism Development Fee: US$ 10 per person (one time only)
- Bank Transfer Charge
But Total cost does not include:
- Travel Insurance
- Laundry bill, phone bill, bar bill and other bills of personal nature
- Air Fare for both Drukair and International flight [Please note that the cost of any domestic airfare for the guide must be paid by the clients/agents]
- Single room supplement (If number of pax in odd number): For, peak season = US$ 30/ per single room per night and for, other season = US$25/ per single room per night
- Luxury star hotels and resorts available at an additional cost
- Specialized guides (Foreign Language, Photography, Bird Watching, Buddhism, Flora and Fauna) available at an additional cost
- Extra expenses due to the unavoidable circumstance beyond our control.
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