THIMPHU TSHECHU

FESTIVAL TOUR - 8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS

TOUR SUMMARY
TOUR NAME
Thimphu Tshechu
TOUR CATEGORY
FESTIVAL
PUBLIC
Group & Individual
DURATION
8D/ 7N
MAIN STEPS
Paro-Thimphu-Punakha-Paro
TOUR DATES
10-17 OCTOBER 2016

One of the biggest festivals in the country is the Thimphu Tshechu. This festival is held in the capital city for three days beginning on 10th day of the 8th month of lunar calendar. This Tshechu is witnessed by thousands of people many of which travel from neighboring Dzongkhags (districts) to attend the festivities. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods.
When it was initiated by the 4th Desi, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 the Tshechu consisted of only a few dances being performed strictly by monks. These were the Zhana chham and the Zhana Nga chham (Dances of the 21 Black Hats), Durdag (Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Ground), and the Tungam chham (Dance of the Terrifying Deities).
The Thimphu Tshechu underwent a change in the 1950s, when the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, introduced numerous Boed chhams (mask dances performed by lay monks). These additions added colour and variation to the festival without compromising its spiritual significance. Mask dances like the Guru Tshengye (Eight Manifestations of Guru), Shaw Shachi (Dance of the Stags) are enjoyed because they are similar to stage-theater.
Equally important are the Atsaras, who are more than just mere clowns. The Atsaras are the dupthobs (acharyas), who provide protection. The dances and the jesting of the Atsaras are believed to entrance evil forces and prevent them from causing harm during Tshechus. Modern Atsaras also perform short skits to disseminate health and social awareness messages.
To farmers, the Tshechu is also seen as a break from farm life. It’s an occasion to celebrate, receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.

On arrival in Paro international airport you will be received by our representative and drive to Thimphu by private car/bus. Check into your hotel. After lunch visit the School of Arts and crafts where students learn 13 different arts used predominantly in Bhutan, Folk Heritage Museum and the National Library. Overnight in hotel in Thimphu.
We will spend day in the festival which will accompany with various mask dances and folk dancers along with jokers actions in the crowd. Afternoon we proceed to visit memorial chorten, stupa build in the memory of our late 3rd king. Further we will proceed to Buddha viewpoint, from where we can see entire Thimphu city. Overnight at Thimphu.
Whole day in the interesting Thimphu festival or in the afternoon we can proceed for other sightseeing like visiting Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the valley. Visit takin’s preservation center. Evening, we will visit textile museum and government handicraft emporium. Overnight in hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast visit last day of festival. After lunch hike to Tango Monastery or Chari Monastery. Overnight in hotel.

Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.
After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing.
Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’. It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned. Overnight at your hotel in Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.

After breakfast drive to Paro via Thimphu. After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Overnight in hotel in Paro.

Early in the morning after breakfast drive to Paro. Then take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutanese monasteries. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence it is called “Tiger’s Nest”. The excursion to monastery takes about 5 hours for round trip. While return to Paro town visit en route Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Culture show and dinner at farm house in paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

After breakfast drive to the airport for flight towards destination.

FARE RULES

MARCH – APRIL – MAI / SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER – NOVEMBER

2070 $ : Single traveller

2000 $ : 2 Pax

1790 $ : 3 Pax & Above

Consult us : Group > 6 Pax

JUNE – JULY – AUGUST / DECEMBER – JANUARY – FEBRUARY

1720 $ : Single traveller

1650 $ : 2 Pax

1440 $ : 3 Pax & Above

Consult us : Group > 6 Pax

The itinerary is subject to change in case of extreme weather conditions or in anticipation of assumed risks, see unpredictable can put visitors at risk (roads, crowd movements, political instability. In an emergency it is left exclusively to assessing your Accompanist who knows the terrain otherwise we will refer to suggest the best option. We reserve the right to modify if necessary the choice of hotel or local hosting a replacement in its very category or, alternatively, higher.
It is compulsory to be in possession of a visa to enter Bhutanese territory.
Attention depending on the selected day of departure and the route chosen some sites may be closed, festivals or events may be out of step with the progress of the circuit. Thank you properly tell us if you have requirements wishes before departure.
As part of a tailor-made program, it is possible to modify the duration of the trip to us upon request.

FIXED DAILY RATES

The daily tariff for tourists is US$250per person and per day in the high season and the rate drop to US$200 per day in low season.

SURCHAGES

Individual travel will pay an additional surcharge of US$40

Two pax : 30US$ per pax

DISCOUNTS

Children up to 5 years old travel free

Children aged from 6 to 12 using parents room are exempted from US$65 government royalties and pay approximatively 50% of daily tariff resting (US$90)

Full-time students aged under 25, with valid identity cards get a 25% discount

Long stay : 50% discount on royalties from the 9th night / 100% discount on royalties after the 15th night

Royalty-free night at the borders points : please consult us

INCLUDED AND NOT

  • ACCOMODATION : Twin beddded room 3 stars YES
  • PRIVATE TRANSPORT by bus or car YES
  • ALL MEALS in standard restaurants or picnics YES
  • TOUR ACTIVITIES including all entrances fees YES
  • ALL TAXES & GOVERNMENT ROYALTIES YES
  • TOUR GUIDE : english speaking* and licensed YES
  • VISA FEE : 40US$ / Pax YES
  • FIT SURCHAGES for 2 pax only YES
  • TREKKING & CAMPING EQUIPMENTS YES
  • MINERAL WATER : illimited YES
  • TRANSFERTS : in land Bhutan from/to airports or border YES
  • AIR TICKETS : international and domestic NO
  • MANDATORY TRAVEL INSURANCES : Full services included NO
  • PERSONNAL ITEMS : laudry, drinks, telephone NO
  • Tips to guide & driver at your appreciation NO
  • TRANSIT VISA FEE : for india or Nepal NO
  • Wire Banking fees NO
  • EXTRAS : Single Room and/or 4 or 5 stars hotel OPTIONAL

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