Nimalung and Kurjey Festivals
Day 1: Arrive Paro – Thimphu
Arrive at Paro International Airport, it’s a beautiful airport directly connected to very select destinations across the world. You will be received by your guide and driver. After the greetings, drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. In the evening we will visit the Royal Garden that is located behind the Tashichoe Dzong. The Royal Garden was made to pay tribute to the 4th King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck. On our way back to hotel we can visit Tashi Chhoe Dzong, the seat of government of Bhutan. Overnight hotel in Thimphu
Day 2: Thimphu
Today’s full day of Thimphu sightseeing includes visit to Kuenselphordang, where you will see the 169 ft sitting Buddha statue; School of Holy Arts, from there we will head over to experience Bhutanese arts and crafts being taught at Zorig Chusum; Zoo to meet Takin, National animal of Bhutan. And after lunch we will visit Simply Bhutan, Simply Bhutan is a unique project that observes conservation of our culture and tradition while generating employment opportunities for young job seekers. The infrastructure portrays ancient Bhutanese architecture which is being lost to modernization. Then we will drive to Sangaygang view point of whole Thimphu. Later drive to Memorial Chorten, a stupa built in memory of the third King of Bhutan. Evening for your own leisure, overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3: Thimphu – Gangtey
Depart for Gangtey/Phobjikha. The road takes us over Dochu-La pass (3,100m) where we can circumambulate the 108 stupas and, if the weather is clear, enjoy an incredible view of Himalayan peaks. On our descent after crossing Dochu-La pass, we can choose to walk down ancient paths and visit Royal Botanical Garden in Lamperi.
We cross the Punatsangchhu river and climb past the ruins of Wangduephodrang Dzong. Phobjikha valley is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys and the chosen home of the endangered bird species – black necked crane or grus nigricollis (Nov to Mar) migrating from the Tibetan plateau. Overnight at your hotel in Phobjikha.
Day 4: Gangtey/Phobjeykha – Bumtang (Chumey)
Following breakfast, visit Gangtey Gompa (monastery), which dates back to 16th Century. Enjoy a last view of this beautiful valley before departing over the Pele la pass (3,420m) on the Black Mountain range towards Trongsa. Enroute, we pass the charming villages and hamlets and visit the beautiful Chendebji chorten. Trongsa is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s ruling dynasty. Visit Trongsa Dzong, a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Trongsa is the largest Dzong in Bhutan and the location of where the institution of monarchy in Bhutan began. The foundations of Trongsa Dzong were laid in the 16th Century and there are now 22 temples in the complex. The view from the Dzong is spectacular and one can see across the impressive landscape for many miles. Also visit the Ta Dzong museum housing an incredible collection of historical artefacts of the Royal Family and a range of traditional armour.
Continue our drive to Bumthang, the spiritual heart of the country. Bumthang is home to some of Bhutan’s oldest palaces, Buddhist temples and monasteries. We halt for today at Chumey, the first valley of Bumthang. Overnight at resort in Chumey.
Day 5: Chumey – Nimalung (Nimalung Festival)
Morning attend nimalung festival. During the festival, a series of mask dances are performed.
After lunch drive to Membar Tsho, also known as “Burning Lake”, a site at which the famous treasure revealer Pema Lingpa revealed important sacred treasures in the 15th century. Then visit Tamshing Lhakhang ,it is a private monastery that was established in 1501 by treasure revealer Pema Lingpa. Inside, some of the probably oldest paintings in the entire country can be seen, painted by Pema Lingpa himself. Also you will find the famous iron chain, made by Pema Lingpa who was a blacksmith until he started discovering the sacred Buddhist treasures, hidden by Guru Rinpoche and his disciples many centuries ago. Evening for your own leisure. Dinner at hotel.
Day 6: Bumtang (Kurjey Festival)
Drive upstream of the Chamkhar Chhu river to enjoy the festival at Kurjey Lhakhang. Historically, Guru Rinpoche was invited here to subdue evil spirits plaguing the land.
Later, visit Jambay Lhakhang, erected by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. It dates back to the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan and is one of the Kingdoms oldest temples. Other places of interest are Jakar Dzong (Dzong of the white Bird). Overnight at hotel/lodge in Bumthang.
Day 7: Bumtang – Punakha
Today you drive back towards the west and return to the National Highway and drive 190 km back to Punakha. Evening for your own leisure. Overnight at hotel in Punkha.
Day 8: Punakha
Visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’ as predicted by the great Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here on 17th December 1907, Bhutan’s first king was crowned.
After lunch, enjoy a short walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing. Overnight at your hotel in Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.
Day 9: Punakha – Paro
Today after breakfast we drive back to Paro. In reaching Paro, visit Drugyal Dzong (a ruin of a Dzong) which is situated at the end of Paro valley about 16 kilometers outside town. This Fortress is of great historical importance as it was here that the Bhutanese defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the snowcovered peaks of Mount Jhomolhari (7329m) can be seen on a clear day. After that visit one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the Kyichu Lhakhang. Built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, Kyichu is considered to be one of 108 temples that were built to defeat an ogress (demon) that was lying over the entire Himalayas. Overnight at hotel in Paro
Day 10: Paro
Begin this day with an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, the spot where Guru Rinpoche arrived on the back of a tigress and meditated. The temple is perched on a sheer rock face. The excursion to monastery’s view point takes about 5 hours for round trip. Then visit traditional Bhutanese Farm House which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people. In the evening visit local market and overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 11: Paro Depart
Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
- Kurjey Festival
Kurjey festival is one of the sacred and important festival in Bhutan. Many tourists and Bhutanese come together to witness the colorful festival for blessing and appreciation of the different mask dances. One will not only get the blessings by witnessing the age old mask dances but also enjoy this unique culture and traditional Bhutanese dances.
- Nimalung Festival
Nimalung Lhakhang celebrates Tshechu every year in the 5th month of the Bhutanese calendar. During the Tshechu, nine meters high and twelve meters wide Guru Rinpoche Thongdrol (large Scroll Painting) is also displayed to the people. During the festival, a series of mask dances are performed.
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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