Paro Tsechu Festival Tour

Attractions

Day 1 : Arrival by Druk-Air – Paro
During this journey, one will experience breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchen Junga and other Himalayan Peaks including sacred Jhomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan on a clear day. On arrival at Paro International Airport the representative of  Jeroma Tours & Travels will receive you. After that drive a short distance to the lodge for a brief check in. Then you start your visit by exploring the beautiful fertile valley of Paro. Your first Bhutanese meal will be served at the local restaurant in town. After lunch drive to the end of paved road you will come to Drukgyel Dzong. In fine weather, the towing peak of Mount Jhomolhari, (7,314 M) high, appears as a back drop. On the way back visit Kichu Lhakhang the ancient temple which dates back to 7th century 638 AD. Later in the eveining stroll in town.  Over night stay at Rinchen Ling Lodge.

Day 2 : Paro Tsechu
The Paro festival starts today inside the Dzong. Visitors will not be allowed to take photo in the Dzong. Cameras are not allowed inside the Dzong. The festival program will be handed to all the visitors. Lunch will be served at the local restaurant in town. Tsechu program continues after lunch. Towards the evening you may be lucky to witness,
The Dance of the Black Hats  (Shanag) A spectacular dance in which dancers representing Tantrists with supernatural powers take possession of the dancing area and drive out evil spirits purifying the grounds with their footsteps. This also tells the story of the assassination of the anti- Buddhist Tibetan king, Langdharma, in the year 842 AD by a monk, Pelkyi Dorje, who had hidden his bow and arrows in the voluminous sleeves of his garment. Beating as they dance, the Black Hat dancers proclaim victory over the evil spirits.
Over night stay at Rinchen Ling Lodge.

Day 3 :  Paro Tsechu
The prosession ceremony leads from the Dzong to Deyankha outside the Dzong. Festival continues for the whole day at the Deyankha, courtyard with all the different religious mask dance and folk dance.The first program for the day starts with Atsaras are clowns : Whose expressive mask and postures are an indispensable element in the religious festivals. They confront the monks, toss out salacious jokes, and distract the crowd with their antics when the religious dances begin to grow tedious. Believed to represent the acaryas, religious masters of India.

A picnic lunch will be served at the festival to save time. Photography is permitted today. Over night stay at Rinchen Ling Lodge.

Day  4 : Paro Excursion to Tiger Nest Monastery
Start your day early to the most famous monument in Bhutan, the Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. Paro Valley is wide and fertile and one of the most beautiful in all Bhutan, producing rice, millet, wheat and potatoes as the main crop. In the morning you drive along this valley, next to the Paro Chhu (River) to the start of a trekking trail which leads to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The trek is steady up-hill and will take about 2 – 3 hours to reach the monastery. There is a teahouse half way up which offers refreshments and, on the way down, a well-earned lunch at base Yak Harder Restaurant with Bhutanese style.

The monastery is perched at 3,140M, looking, for all intents and purposes, like it is growing out from the granite. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, in 7th century AD, flew on the back of a Tiger to the monastery’s current location, hence the name ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Rinpoche subdued the evil sprits in the region then meditated in a cave for 3 months, as did Milarepa and Shabdrung Ngawang. It has been recognized as a holy area for many centuries.

The trek to Tiger’s Nest is a real highlight. After lunch make a visit to the Ta- Dzong, the National Museum later in the afternoon witness the festival. Over night stay at Rinchen Ling Lodge.

Day 5 : Paro to Punakha
After breakfast, drive to Punakha over Dochu La pass on the clear day a spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayan ranges can be seen. En-route visit  Chimi Lhakhang the temple of Divine Madman, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century. He is the favorite Yogi who has subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility” the unfertile women take the blessing from that temple so that they may bear children.

Lunch will serve at Kuruthang in a local restaurant  to taste the Bhutanese food. After lunch you drive the short distance to Punakha, for a tour around the famous Punakha Dzong, which is built on the confluence of the Mo Chhu (Mother) and Pho Chhu (Father) Rivers. The Punakha Dzong was the second built in Bhutan and was previously the seat of Government. Legend has it that the building of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rinpoche, who predicted that a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant and build. True to the prediction Ngawang Namgyal (the Shabdrung) arrived in the 16th century and built the Dzong at the tip of the elephant trunk, which is right on the confluence of the two rivers. The Punakha Dzong was the scene of some fine victories the Bhutanese had ever the invading Tibetan forces. The mixture of administrative, religious and defensive function has been used as the model for later day Dzongs to be based upon. Drive back to Olakha for the over night stay at Meri Pinsum Resort.

Day 6 : Punakha – Thimphu
Start the journey towards Thimphu en- route visit Wangdiphodrang Dzong onthe spur of the hill. Built after the unification of our country by theunifier Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal in 1638. It is obvious that the site was selected for its commanding view of the valleys below. Legend relates another reason for choosing this spot: As people searched for a site for the Dzong, four ravens were seen flying in four directions. This was considered an auspicious sign, representing the spreading of religion to the four points of the compass. A full and healthy lunch at the Dochula pass (3200m) where, on a clear day, you have good views of the northern Himalayas. Following lunch it is about half an hour drive to Thimphu, the capital of present-day Bhutan. Then check in Yeedzin Guest House for your overnight stay. Start to explore Thimphu inhabitants live on both sides of a pleasant valley with the Thimphu-Chhu flowing in the middle. The facades of buildings are by law to be built in the Bhutanese style.

Day 7 : Thimphu – Sightseeing
After breakfast take a view Tashichodzong (the Fortress of the Glorious Religion), the administrative and religious centre of Bhutan, built on the right bank of Thimphu Chu. The original building dates back to 1216, whilst the present Dzong was built by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal, in 1641. The visit of the Dzong can be done after the office hours and can visit on the weekend and Govt. holidays. We then drive to the Memorial Chorten, built in 1974 in memory of King Jigmi Dorjee Wangchuk. Other sights in the capital include the Painting School, an institution where children receive formal education in the art of traditional painting, sculpture and woodcarving. We may also visit Drubthob Gompa Nunnery, which houses about forty nuns, and also provides shelter for aging women and orphan girls.
Thimphu has an excellent range of handicrafts, most notably woven cloth, wooden masks, thangkas, silverware, jewellry and bamboo craft, collected from all parts of Bhutan. Over night stay at Yeedzin Guest House.

Day 8 : Thimphu – Paro Airport
After early breakfast drive to Paro to catch the Druk-air flight for departure.