Punakha Festival | Festival Tours to Bhutan

Punakha Dromchoe and Tshechu

On this trip, you will witness the unique Punakha Festival, watch the rare species, the famous black-necked cranes dance in the first rays of sunlight and lastly hike to the most amazing and high light of the whole trip, the tigers nest, famously known as Taktsang Monastery.

Punakha Festival depicts how Bhutan in the past defended its sovereignty through ways of skillful mediation and war and other means of defense. This Festival is a unique Festival commemorating the Bhutanese Victory over the Tibetan Invaders in 17th Century and the Last Three Days of the Festival is known as Tshechu, celebrating the Birth Anniversary of Guru Padmasambava. Villagers from all parts of remote village around western valley would come to witness Punakha festival in their best traditional dress. Some locals would walk for several days to come and witness the festival. Local people, monks and you would experience the excitement and celebration of a festival in Punakha.So don’t miss it.

Day 1 :

After a spectacular flight over the Himalayan Mountains, representatives of ZoPa Adventure Travels will receive you on arrival at Paro International Airport. After lunch, visit the National museum known as Ta-Dzong. It is located on the top of a hill above the Paro Dzong overlooking Paro valley and the river. Visit Rinpung Dzong built in 1645 AD. This massive fortress is located in the Paro valley. Today, the Dzong houses the Administrative seat of the district of Paro and the monastic body. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong is one of the fine examples of Bhutanese architect. Night halt at Paro at Tenzinling Resort.

Day 2 : Paro- Thimphu

Paro–Thimphu, Distance 65Kms. The drive to Thimphu (Capital) through the winding road along Pachu (River) takes about 2 hrs. Check in hotel Druk.

Afternoon, Visit National Library, the Painting and Woodcraft school where children are taught the traditional art of woodcraft and painting. Located in the same vicinity, you will then visit Folk Heritage Museum and further down to Textile Museum. Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building that houses part of the Government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room and the office and the living quarters of the Monk Body and its Chief Abbot will be next before you go back to your hotel for the nights rest. Night halt at Druk Hotel, Thimphu.

Day 3 : Thimphu Sightseeing

In the morning, visit the Memorial Chorten built in memory of the third King of Bhutan, ruler of the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Afterwards, drive towards the base camp of Tango Monastery and prepare to hike to monastery built by the "Divine Madman" himself in the 15th century. Today, the Tango Monastery is the center of advanced Buddhist studies for monks. The hike up will take approximately 45minutes, and will provide a birds-eye view of Thimphu’s majestic landscape. In the evening, relax or shop in town. Dinner at local restaurant will provide delicious Bhutanese cuisine. Overnight at Druk Hotel, Thimphu.

Day 4 : Thimphu- Wangdi

In the morning you will drive to Wangduephodrang across Dochu La pass at 3,100 meters affording the views of the greater Himalayas ranges. Refreshment at the cafeteria of Dochu La Pass. It is about 2 and half hours drive before you reach Wangdi where you will be checked in Dragon Nest Hotel at Wangdi. Visit Drupthop Nagi Rinchen’s famous shrine. A Picnic lunch will be served by the riverside. Evening, walk across the Metshina Village and visit Chhimi Lhakhang (monastery), famously known as the fertility shrine. Night halt at Wangdiphodrang.

Day 5 : Punakha Festival

Drive towards Punakha and watch the festival with the local people and the Monastic body. After lunch, towards late afternoon, hike up to Khasum Yulley Chorten. Night halt at Wangdi, Dragon Nest.

Day 6 : Wangduephodrang – Gantey.

In the morning, drive towards Gantey through beautiful forests and flowers where you will visit Gantey Gompa. There, one can see the picture-perfect Black Mountain ranges and Phobjika valley. Black-necked cranes inhabit the valley in the winter. In the evening, you will explore the beautiful Phojikha valley with one-hour valley hike, known as the cultural hike of Phojikha. Night halt at Phobjikha.

Day 7 : Gangtey- Trongsa

After breakfast, view the Black necked cranes dancing in the first rays of sunlight. From there you'll head to Trongsa, the ancestral home of the royal family. The route to Trongsa is spectacular passing 3,300 meters high Pele La and one will yaks along this way. After reaching Trongsa, check in the hotel and visit Trongsa Dzong, the giant fortress. Trongsa Dzong used to be the main administration center during the second king’s reign. Night halt at Trongsa at Yangkhil Resort.

Day 8 : Trongsa - Bumthang

Bumthang is considered to be one of the most beautiful valleys located in central Bhutan. Night halt at Jakar at River Lodge.

Day 9 : Bumthang Sightseeing

Morning explore picturesque sightseeing at Bumthang. Today’s sightseeing includes visit to Jambay Lakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang. Afternoon visit to Jakar Dzong (the giant Fortress), Karchu Dratsang and the Flaming Lake known as Membertsho. More of Bumthang in the evening. Night at River Lodge.

Day 10 : Bumthang- Wangduephodrang

Morning, drive towards Wangduephodrang, Lunch at Chendebji Chorten. Evening shop and explore Wangdi town. Overnight at Wangduephodrang at Kyichu Resort.

Day 11 : Wangduephodrang - Paro

After breakfast, drive towards Paro via Thimphu. After Lunch, visit the one of the oldest Monastery, Kyichu Lhakhang. Evening walk in Paro town. Overnight at Tenzinling Resort at Paro.

Day 12 : Hike To Tiger's Nest

Take hike to Taktsang (monastery) which means Tiger's nest. The hike to the viewpoint is for one hour and to the monastery is for 2 hours. If you wish, you can take short meditation section in the monastery. Lunch at the viewpoint. Night halt at Paro at Tenzinling Resort.

Day 13 : Departure from Paro