Paro Tshechu is one of the busiest and most colourful festivals in Bhutan. Paro festival is a good time to visit Bhutan because of the exuberant atmosphere and dazzling spectacle of Bhutanese dressed up in their finest attire. The exotic mask dances performed during the festival gives a glimpse into the lives of people, rooted in ancient Buddhist values and mystical symbolism.
You will arrive at the Paro International Airport where we will greet you in a typical Bhutanese style. In the afternoon, we will visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong (‘the fortress of the heap of jewels’) and the National Museum (Ta Dzong). We will also visit the Kichu Lhakhang and Drukgyel Dzong (in ruins). Overnight in Paro.
This morning, we visit Paro Festival. You will see locals dressed in their finest clothes who have walked for miles to attend the festivities. They come to watch masked dances, to pray, and to feast. While the underlying purpose of the festival is spiritual, dances are more often like plays, telling stories where good triumphs over evil, or depicting significant historical events, especially surrounding the life of Bhutan’s patron saint, Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche). There is inevitably a great deal of socialising as well. The occasion provides an opportunity for people to relax and forget the daily routine, and to dress in their finest clothes and jewelry, but it is also an occasion for prayer and blessings. Overnight in Paro.
Early in the morning, we visit the festival again to see the excitement of the thongdrel ceremony, where a large religious painting made of cloth is unfurled on the side of the Dzong. This event takes place on the last day of the annual festival. After the festival, You will be driven to the capital town of Thimphu, which is a short one-hour drive. On the way, we will stop at the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. There will be sightseeing in Thimphu town for those who are not too tired from the journey. Overnight in Thimphu.
A day of sightseeing in Thimphu, where we will visit the Tashichhodzong (fortress), National Memorial Chorten, National Textile Museum and the breathtaking Buddha Point. Other places that you can choose to visit are the Thimphu Zoo to see the magnificent takin, the Folk Heritage Museum and the National Library. We may also be able to visit the weekly vegetable market. Overnight in Thimphu.
We will drive to Punakha in the morning. On the way, we will stop at the Dochula Pass, which offers one of the most beautiful views of Bhutanese landscape. In Punakha, we will visit the Punakha Dzong (fortress), Bhutanese architecture at its finest, and Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility), built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Mad Man’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). Overnight in Punakha.
We will drive back to Paro. The evening can be spent visiting handicraft shops for souvenirs of your trip. Overnight in Paro.
We will hike up to the ‘Tiger’s Nest’, the sacred Taktshang monastery and have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria overlooking the beautiful Paro valley. On the way back, we can visit the Dumtse Lhakhang, a temple built by Thangthong Gyalpo, the iron bridge builder. Overnight in Paro.
We will say good-bye to you at the Paro International Airport. Tashi Delek!
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