Thimphu Dromchoe3 Nights 4 Days
Thimphu festival has two parts: the rst is the Lhamo Dromchoe, and the second the Gongdue Tshechu. The dances at the Lhamo Dromchoe or the ‘Great Achieving Prayer of the Female Deities’ was introduced by Gyalse Kunga Gyaltshen (1689-1713) in 1710. During a retreat at Chagri monastery, he experienced visions of Palden Lhamo, a powerful protective deity.Based on these experiences, Gyalse Kunga Gyaltshen introduced this sacred dance. During Lhamo Dromchoe, 21 female protective deities - Palden Lhamo and her retinue – are invoked for the entire two-week prayer. In reality, Palden Lhamo is the wisdom mother who gives birth to all the Buddhas and manifests primarily through three forms: outer, inner, and secret. The ritual focuses on the liberation of sentient beings from their su ering and cultivating non-violence. Over 300 monks assemble inside a large shrine dedicated to Palden Lhamo whose blessings are believed to usher in peace, prosperity and stability for Bhutan. The monks gather daily at 3 a.m. to pray while the Black Hat Dance is also performed each morning inside the main chapel.
- ParoZoom into a cluster of quaint farmhouses that embroiders the beauty of Paro Valley. Visit National Museum, 1400-year-old Kichu temple, Rinpung Fotress, The best in Paro is hike to Taktsang Monsatry, the most renowned Buddhist structure in the entire Himalaya, built on sheer cliff wall 900m above the valley. Only the sounds are murmurs of winds, waterfall, birds and the chanting of monks.
- ThimphuCapture the unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient tradition in Thimphu. Visit academy of Art & Craft, World Biggest Buddha Statue, Takin Enclaves, Memorial Stupa, Textile Factory, Indigenous paper factory, Tashi Cho Dzong “ The Glorious Fort of Happiness” & weekend market to mix with locals and get a closer view of their traditions.
- Punakha & WangdueStop over at Dochula for the breath taking view of Eastern Himalaya. Visit Dochu-la Temple and 108 Stupas. Drive through a beautiful dense forest of spruce, pine, rhododendron and larch. Stopover at Chimi Lhakhang the “ Temple of Fertility”. The best for the day is the visit to the magnificent Punakha Fortress considered the best specimen of Bhutanese architecture and epitome of beauty and ancient political power. Also sock in the beauty at Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel another an impressive fine Bhutanese Art & Architecture and capture the beautiful landscape of Punakha valley with farms, rice fields and the part of Jigme Dorji National Park.
- 1 Arrival at Paro –ThimphuAs the plane banks over the mountain slopes, the Paro Valley greet you with luminous paddies rippling in the breeze and tiny houses sprinkled on the bank of the meandering river. The air is crystal clear, light translucent and on horizon, snow capped mountains frame the idyllic like painting. It does not matter how many times you land in Paro, the bucolic valley unfolds like a dream. If you are lucky, you will have a glorious view of the Snow capped Himalayas. After visa formalities and collection of baggage, you will meet our representative from Journey to Discover Bhutan. Afternoon. Visit the Paro National Museum, which will shed further light to some of things that you will be seeing on your trip and visit Paro Dzong built in 1646 which houses the administrative center of the Paro district and religious institute for monks. The Paro Dzong may be familiar to people who watched Bertolucci’s film “The Little Buddha” walk down to the coach crossing over the traditional wooden covered bridge called “Nymezampa” which spans over the Paro River. There after drive to Thimphu, It will take a 1½ - hour leisurely drive towards the Capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. Passing through hills and some astounding countryside. Thimphu is situated in a large valley traversed by the Wangchuk River and overshadowed by high peaks. Enroute you will view Tachogang monastery, “the temple of excellent horse” built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Iron chain builder in Bhutan) before reaching to Chunzom (confluence of Paro – Thimphu River). At the confluence you will see three forms of Chortens in different styles i.e. Nepalese, Tibetan and Bhutanese. We drive following the Thimphu River upwards passing through several villages Evening Leisure at Hotel.
- 2 Thimphu Drubchen (Festival)In the morning drive to Tashicho dzong to witness the festival “Dromche” held in honor of Yeshi Gompo (Mahakala) or Pledon Lhamo (Mahakali) the two main protective deities of the nation. Monk performs the entire dances in Dromche and it is performed inside the courtyard of the Dzong. Evening Visit Following Place of Interest:
- The Memorial Chorten: With its golden spines shining in the sun, its tinkling bells built in honour of third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The inside paintings and statues provide a very rare insights into Buddhist Philosophy in all its complexity of tantric Buddhism. This Chorten is centrally located and you will see an endless procession of elderly people circling around it.
- The Handicraft Emporium, and other local handicraft shops to experience the beauty of Bhutanese textiles
- Kuengzang Phordang : To see world Biggest stauue of Lord Buddha & for bird view of Thimphu Valley
- 3 Thimphu - Paro Taktsang ExcursionWith early breakfast we drive to Paro valley to Ramthangkha, from where we start our hike to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest). Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche flew from Eastern Bhutan on a tigress, bringing Buddhist teachings and meditated here in this cliff. This is one of the most venerated and sacred of all Buddhist sights around the world. Lunch will be served at Taktsang cafeteria. Afternoon: Walk downhill to the base and drive to visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century. Dinner and Overnight at Hotel Tashi Namgyel
- 4 DepartureDrive to Paro Airport for your onward flight thank you for your visit and we wish you a wonderful flight back home.
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Our ten day trip through Bhutan was a truly amazing experience. Bhutan is a beautiful kingdom and thanks to our excellent guide Tsheten, we could explore it thoroughly.
Tine Raeymaekers & Cis Verbeeck
I visited Bhutan in January/February 2007 for 11 days, and it was an incredible experience. Tsheten took very good care of me and introduced me at easy pace to Bhutan culture, customs, history and people.
It was clear that Bhutan had captured everyone's attention when my fellow taking photos the minute they stepped off the plane - and we hadn't even entered the airport yet! I was met at the airport by Tsheten himself, and from start to finish, he was organized, charming and attentive.