Paro Festival - 7 Days

  • Paro Tshechu (festival) is one of the most popular festivals in the country.
  • It offers the best opportunity to witness the Bhutanese’s rich culture, history and religion that distinguish the people and country distinctly from rest of the countries.
  • Bring you a closer contact with the people and give you an insight into the Bhutanese lives, beliefs and more.
  • See Mask Dance /Traditional Dances/Folk Songs
  • During Tshechu the dances are performed by monks as well as by laymen.
  • The Tshechu is a religious festival and by attending it, it is believed one gains merits.
  • It is also a yearly social gathering where the people come together to rejoice dressed in all their finery.
  • Visit one of the most remote country in the world
  • Hike to Taktsang Goemba ‘Tiger’s Nest’ and thrilling cliffs
  • Very special is a visit to the Cordyceps Tasting House, where you can learn more about the so-called ‘caterpillar mushroom’’, a traditional medicine valued more than gold
  • Visit Golden Buddha Dordenma at Kuenselphodrang
  • Visit 108 miniature chortens or stupa at Dochula pass
  • See and Experience century old fortresses called Dzongs and temples
  • Visit to Local Home stay to test local cuisines  
  • Experience the traditional Hot Stone Bath

The Tshechu is a religious festival in honour of Guru Padmasambhave “One who was born from the lotus”, popularly known as “Guru Rinpochu”, the Precious Teacher”. This Indian saint contributed enormously to the diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan etc around 800 A.D. The biography of Guru Rinpoche is highlighted by the 12 episodes on the model of the Buddha Shakyamuni’s life. Each episode is commemorated around the year in the 10th day of the month by “Tsechu”. The dates and the duration of the Tsechu vary from one Dzongkhag (District) to another but they always take place on or around the 10th day of the month according to Bhutanese calendar.

Kuzuzangpola-Welcome to Bhutan!

Day 01 Arrive Paro. The flight into Bhutan takes you the great Himalayas, offering you the most scintillating scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will see the silvery Pa-chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley with lush green paddy fields, pristine forest, incredulous fortress-like monasteries known as Dzongs and majestically flowing rivers. On arrival at the Paro International Airport, Away Smile Travels representative will welcome you.

Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom up to Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley. Accentuating the natural beauty are the elegant, traditional-style houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills. One of the distinctive features of Paro town is that it is situated in a flat valley bottom and follows a grid-like pattern.

Visit Kyichu Lhakhang. Built in the 7th century by the famous Buddhist Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. As the name suggests, the temple is a reservoir of peace, where you will really feel at peace. Overnight Hotel in Paro.

Day 02 Attend Paro Festival.

After breakfast drive to Paro Festival ground to attend Paro Tshechu (festival).

The Paro Tshechu is one of the biggest festivals in the country which take for five days.  People come from neighboring districts to participate in the festivity and moreover, it is also a yearly social gathering where the Bhutanese people dressed in all their finery, come to gather to rejoice, taking a break from their everyday lives.   During Tshechu, the dances are performed by monks as well as laymen wearing ornate costumes and masks, each aspect dances gains merit by attending any of the festival.

Tentative Programs. Dances such as the Dance of the lord of the Death and his consort ( Shinje Yab Yum), the Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Grounds( Durdag), The Black Hat Dance( Shanag), the Dance of the Drum from Dramitse ( Dramitse Ngacham), and the Dance of the Eight kinds of Spirits( Degye) Dance of the Three Kinds of Ging with sticks (Jug-Ging),Dance of the Lords of Cremation Grounds (Durdag), Dance of the Three kings of Ging with Sword (Dri-Ging) Dance of the Three kinds of Ging with Drums (Nga-Ging) and more are performed. Overnight Hotel in Paro.

Day 03 Paro Attend Paro Festival-Thimphu (Drive 1 hour)

After breakfast attend festival and drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. 

Tentative Programs.  Dance of the Lords of Cremation Grounds (Durdag), Dance of the Terrifying Deities (Tungam), Dance of the Heroes with Six kinds of Ornaments (Guan Drug Pawo),Kyecham (Accompaniment Dance),Dance of the Noblemen and the Ladies (Phole Mole), Dance of the Stag and the Hounds (Shawa Shachi) 2nd Part and more are performed at the Paro tshechu. 

Later afternoon drive to Thimphu. (Drive 1 hour). Thimphu situated at an altitude of 2200 M.  The Kingdom’s capital city is home to approximately 130,000 inhabitants including the Royal family. Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan. This bustling little city is the main center of commerce, religion and government in the country. The juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity make Thimphu the ideal location for visitors to break away from their tour itinerary to immerse themselves in the contemporary Bhutanese lifestyle. 

Buddha Point: Drive up to Buddha Point. It has the largest statue of Buddha in the whole kingdom. You can get a very good view of Thimphu valley from here.

Visit Cordyceps Tasting House.  Unique to the world, the Cordyceps Tasting Room offer a cozy room to taste a range of Cordyceps-infused tea.  Our hostess will also perform a Cordyceps Tea Ceremoney. Cordyceps Sinensis is a unique and exoctic mushroom that grows in the mountains of Bhutan at an elevation between 14,500 feet to 17,000 feet below the snow line.

Visit Tashichhodzong. Tashichhodzong means ‘the fortress of the glorious religion.’ It is a majestic fortress in all its grandeur and serves as the seat of Bhutan’s government. The Dzong houses the secretariat, the throne room, the offices of His Majesty the King and the ministries of home affairs and finance. The fortress was initially erected in 1641 and later rebuilt in the 1960s by the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Overnight Hotel in Thimphu.

 Day 04 Thimphu-Punakha (Drive 3 hours)

After breakfast transfer to Punakha Valley. Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. Enroute stop at the Dochula Pass. Dochu La is a beautiful mountain pass (alt 3,140 m) fluttering prayer flags and a spectacular set of 108 miniature chortens (stupas). On a clear day, you will get awe-inspiring glimpses of the towering Himalayan peaks around.

Punakha situated at an altitude of 1200 M.  Punakha Dzongkhag has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1950s. Punakha Dzong is not only the second oldest and second largest dzong, but it also has one of the most majestic structures in the country. Punakha Dzong was built at the confluence of two major rivers in Bhutan, the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, which converge in this valley. It is an especially beautiful sight on sunny days with sunlight reflecting off the water onto its white-washed walls.

Visit Chhimi Lhakhang. This fertility temple is dedicated to the famous teacher, Drukpa Kinley (also known as the ‘Divine Madman’) with whom the phallic symbol is associated. The Divine Madman sits there though a statue this time. Do not miss the master’s deeds painted on the walls.  Couples usually visit this temple to be blessed with children. Parents also take their babies here to get them named. Babies named here usually have ‘Kinley’ as their first name.

Visit Punakha Dzong: Placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck was enthroned. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.  At the Dzong, enrich your trip with the opportunity to see the highest standards in woodwork. Overnight Hotel in Punakha.

Day 05 Punakha-Paro (Drive 4 hours) 

After breakfast drive to Tserigang and hike to Khamsum Yule Namgyel Chorten. (45 mins one-way hike). This fascinating temple was built by the Queen Mother of the 5th King to bring universal peace in this world. The best of the spiritual art works are painted on the inner walls. There are also paintings of Buddhist teachers and tutelary deities of the country. This is a great temple to study the symbolic meanings from frescoes and sculptures.

Explore Paro Town. Overnight Hotel in Paro.

Day 06 Paro Sightseeing (Taktshang Goemba).  

After breakfast drive to Ramthangka base and hike to Tiger Nest. Taktshang Goemba. Taktshang meaning the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ is one of Bhutan’s most venerated pilgrimage sites and a very popular site for all tourists visiting Bhutan. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche miraculously flew here on the back of a tigress, meditated in a cave here for three months and converted the whole of Paro valley to Buddhism. Resting at an altitude of 900 meters above the valley, Taktshang is an architectural wonder and the spectacular four-hour walk will be your most overwhelming experience ever. (Round trip hike 5 hrs)

After hike, you can experience the traditional Hot Stone Bath.  Stones are handpicked from the river which is heated up in the open fire until they turn blood red. The traditional wooden tub is filled with cold water and then the red-hot stones are dipped in until the water warms up. It is a very natural experience that includes the elements of water, fire and earth. (Local Home Stay)

Traditional hot stone bath is a complimentary service arranged by Away Smile Travels. Overnight Hotel in Paro.

Day 07 Departure: After breakfast drive to the Paro International Airport where our representatives will bid you goodbye!

Thank you (Kardrienchhey) for visiting Bhutan with Away Smile Travels “Smiles for Miles “

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