Paro Festival

Day 1
Arrive in Paropsrotshe2
We will welcome you at the Paro international airport in a traditional Bhutanese way. The only gateway to Bhutan via flight, Paro presents the best introduction to Bhutan. Except for a few concrete and traditional buildings, Paro is dominated by paddy fields.
We will immediately drive you to the capital city, Thimphu. En route Thimphu, we will make several stopovers. We will briefly visit the 15th century Tamchog Lhakhang. Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo, a Tibetan spiritual adept, who is said to have spent 60 years in his mother’s womb, built the monastery. He is popular in Bhutan for building iron chain bridges. One such bridge is the approach bridge to the temple.
If we reach Thimphu early, we will walk around the capital city, the only capital city in the world without traffic lights.
Day 2
Halt in Thimphu
Today, we undertake a sightseeing tour around Thimphu. We will visit the popular Memorial Choeten in the heart of the city built in the memory of the third King of Bhutan, the traditional weaving centre, the heritage museum, the Bhutanese paper factory, the National Library, and the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts.
In the afternoon, we can either take a stroll around Thimphu city or visit historically significant Semtokha Dzong. Built in 1629 by the founder of Bhutanese state, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it is the oldest dzong in Bhutan.
Alternatively, we can drive to Sangaygang, a hilltop that commands a panoramic view of the capital city. On the way, we can visit Bhutan’s only takin reserve. Takin is the national animal of Bhutan.
Day 3
Thimphu to Punakha
Today, we start our journey early in the morning. The road to Punakha passes across Dochula Pass which is 3,150 m above sea level. We will stop on the pass for a while and enjoy the spectacular view of Jigme Singye Wangchuck mountain ranges as we sip our coffee. The 108 stupas built on the crest add beauty to the already magnificent mountain pass.
From Dochula, we descend to Lobesa where we will have our lunch. After lunch, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, which is 25 minutes hike from the road point. Also known as the fertility monastery, this temple built by Tibetan Lama Ngawang Chogyal is today associated with his cousin, Lama Drukpa Kinley, popularly known as Divine Madman. This temple is believed to bless childless couples with fertility.
After the temple visit we will drive to Punakha, Bhutan’s medieval capital.
Day 4
Punakha to Gangtey
Get ready for a great day. As we drive from Wangdiphodrang to Gangtey at 3,500 metres, you will come across different vegetations, landscape, and people. After reaching Gangtey, we will drive to Phobjikha valley, which is popular for endangered black-necked cranes. It is one of the two main winter roosting grounds for the cranes.
As we take Wangdi-Trongsa highway towards the east, we will climb Pelele Pass, one of the major, historic passes in Bhutan. Before we hit the crest of the popular pass, we turn right and follow the road leading to Gangtey. At Gangtey, we visit Gangtey Gompa, one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and the seat of an important lineage of Pema Lingpa, the 15th century Bhutanese treasure discoverer.

We will spend the night in a village in Gangtey. We will experience traditional Bhutanese rural life. Our guide will relate their experience of rural Bhutanese life.

Day 5
Gangtey to Thimphu
Today, we take the same route back to Thimphu via Wangdi. On the way in Wangdi, we will pass by the ruins of historic Wangdi Dzong. The dzong that was burnt down in a fire accident in 2012 was an important administrative centre in medieval Bhutan. The dzong is being rebuilt. Our guide will brief you on the historical and political significance of the dzong.
Day 6
Halt in Thimphu
We start our day with a visit to the local handicraft shops, walking leisurely across the main town. A large number of souvenirs are available for sale.
After lunch, we drive to Paro. In Paro, we will drive north of the town to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong (fortress of Drukpa victory), built to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders in 1644 and destroyed by fire in 1951.
While coming back to the hotel, we will visit Kyichu Monastery built in the 7th century. This historic temple was built as part of construction of 108 temples by a Tibetan dharma king to subdue a demoness. Two such temples were constructed in Bhutan. The other one is Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang. Jampa Lhakhang is believed to have been built on the demoness’ left knee and Kyichu on its left foot. The temple is small but very historic. Our guide will explain to you the historical and religious significance of the temple.
After the temple visit we drive to Paro town for night halt.
Day 7
Paro Festivalparotshe
Today, we start the day early. We will go straight to the Paro Tshechu ground where a chain of events will unfold throughout the day. We will witness diverse facet of Bhutanese culture and religion on the tshechu ground. At the tshechu, various mask dances, folk dances, and dance dramas are performed. We will also witness a large crowd of spectators from all parts of Bhutan dressed in their finest clothes. Our guide will explain to you the significance of the performances and performers.
Day 8
Paro Festival
Today, we need to be at the festival ground before dawn. This is the last day of the festival when a huge scroll painting called thongdrel is unfurled. There will be a long queue of people seeking blessing from the sacred relic.
It is said that a mere sight of the sacred thongdrel will liberate one from the cycle of rebirth. It is because of this belief that hundreds of people from within and outside the district come here to get blessed.
In the afternoon, we visit the National Museum known as Taa Dzong or the Watch Tower, Rinpung Dzong, built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, and some other places of historical importance.
Taa Dzong, the circular building on the ridge overlooking Rinpung Dzong and part of Paro valley, is a piece of Bhutanese heritage.
Rinpung Dzong is today the civil and religious administrative centre of the Paro District. Historically important, this dzong was first built by Hungral Drung Drung, a descendant of Phajo Drugom Zhigpo. In 1640s, the descendants of Hungral Drung Drung offered the dzong to Zhabdrung Rinpoche who built a new dzong on the same spot in 1646.
Day 9
Hike to Taktshang
Today, we hike to Taktshang Monastery clinging on the face of a cliff 900 metre above Paro valley. Taktshang, also known to the outsiders as the Tiger’s Nest, is one of the most sacred places in Bhutan. This place is said to have been blessed by a large number of enlightened Buddhist masters, among them Guru Padmasambhava (popularly known as Guru Rinpoche in Bhutan). Guru Rinpoche is believed to have flown to this place riding a tigress.
We will have lunch at Taktshang cafeteria from where we will enjoy a great view of the monastery.
Day 10
Our guide will drive you to the airport on time to catch your flight back home. We will bid you farewell in a traditional Bhutanese way by offering you a white silk scarf.