Thimphu Tshechu Schedule: Oct 8-10, 2019
Join our Thimphu Tshechu Festival tour, one of the popular Festival Tours in Bhutan. This Festival tour is going to be held from 8th October to 10th October, 2019. Enjoy this popular 3-Day Festival in Thimphu and explore Bhutan including its beautiful cities of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Wangdipodrang.
Paro Arrival Date: 7th October, 2019
Paro Departs Date: 14th October, 2019
*Plan early for Thimphu Tshechu Festival Tour for the year 2020. The Thimphu Tshechu festival starts from 26 Sep to 28 September, 2020. Check out other Bhutan festivals with tentative dates.
Thimphu Tshechu is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan. This festival is held in Thimphu for 3 days beginning on the 10th day of the 8th month of lunar calendar. Thimphu Tshechu was initiated by theya 4th Desi Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 and later some change were introduced in Thimpu Tshechu in the 1950s by the third king of Bhutan Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
This Thimphu Tshechu festival is witnessed by thousands of people from all over Bhutan. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods.
To Bhutanese farmers, the Thimphu Tshechu is also seeing as a break from farm life. It is an annual social gathering where people dress in their finest clothing and jewelries come to celebrate, receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.
It brings you a closer contact with the local people and gives you an insight into the Bhutanese lives, beliefs and more.
During Thimphu Tshechu which is head at Tendrel thang (Festival Ground in front of Tashichhoedzong ), the mask dances known as cham and folk dance are perform to bless onlookers , to teach them the Buddhist Dharma to protect them misfortune and to exercise all evil. It is believed that the merit is gained by attending these festivals. The dances invoke the deities to wipe out misfortunes, increase good luck and grant personal wishes.
The sacred Thongdrol of Guru Rinphoche is unfurled early in the morning on the last day of Thimphu Tshechu. It is believed that the thangdroel in unveiled at dawn to bring blessing to all who view it.
Fly into Paro, after completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by our representative who will be your tour guide throughout your tour. Then drive to Thimphu. On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after lunch visit the following.
Bhutan Postal Museum (recently established): The museum tells the story of Bhutan’s progress and development through the evolution of communications and postal system in country. And also you can get personalized Bhutanese postage stamps with your photo on them. You can bring along your favorite photo to put on the stamps and put these stamps on your postcard to your family and friends.
Changzamtok Weaving center: It is to observe beautiful colorful silk and cotton textiles being woven into shawls, scarves and tradition Bhutanese dresses.
Craft Bazaar where craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and see their handicrafts.
In the evening, free to relax or stroll around Thimphu town, do shopping, etc.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu
After breakfast you will go to witness the First day of Thimphu Tshechu (Festival) which will be held at Tendrel Thang (the festival ground in front of Thimphu Tashichhodzong). Dressed in traditional finery, devotees frock to Tendrel Thang to proclaim their faith and receive blessings.
You will take off sometime from the festival to visit Tashichhoe Dzong, a fortress of the glorious. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyle and was reconstructed into present structure by the late king, His majesty Jigme Dorji wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.
After the festival you will visit the following:
Watch Archery match– Bhutan’s national game
Kuenselphodrang where the Bhutan’s largest Buddha statue (167 feet tall) is perched on the hillock overlooking the entire Thimphu valley below and the view from there is magnificent.
National Memorial Chorten , Chorten literally means seat of and Buddhists often claim such monuments the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu
After breakfast visit the following:
Centenary farmers market (open from the –sun only): most of the Thimphu’s population and many valley dwellers converge on the busting weekend market, held by the side of Wangchu River. A wide range of foodstuffs and local arts and crafts are sold at the market, which runs from Friday afternoon till Sunday evening. A visit to the market provides great photo opportunities as well as the chance to mingle with local people and perhaps buy souvenirs.
Go to Tendrel Thang to get a glimpse of the 2nd Day of Thimphu Festival and stay at the festival for about an hour or so.
National Textile Museum which is a good place to see the art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colors and designs . You will also see people weaving with intricate designs.
Simply Bhutan- A living museum of rural of life which provides and tourists with fascinating insights into the Bhutanese material culture and way of life.
After lunch drive for about 30 minutes to the base camp of Tango monastery and hike up to the monastery . The walk up to the Monastery is through the forest filled with Rhododendron flower trees which will be full boom during April month. Tango monastery is the center for higher studies for monks. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtakingly beautiful. You will experience complete peace and serenity in this area. After visiting the monastery, walk back to the road and then drive back to Thimphu.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast go to Tendreal Thang (festival ground ) to witness the most spectacular last day of Thimphu Tsechu with religious dance performances mixed with folk dance and dance of Bhutanese warriors. People from all walks of life gather at the festival in their finest dresses and ornaments.
After the festival visit the following:
Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory: the handmade paper making in Bhutan stemmed from the age old tradition originated in 8th century of Bhutanese history . The handmade paper constitutes as valuable National heritage of Bhutanese cultural identity and preserved through all the ages. The tradition paper is recognized and help held high esteem both in home and outside world. Jungshi paper factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The unit now boasts as a major and dealer in handmade paper and its products.
Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family. Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13, 125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.
Changankha Lhakhang (temple): This temple is situated at top of a small hound overlooking the Thimphu valley was built in the 13th century by the illustrious Lam Phajo Duaom Zhimpo. The temple is considered the spiritual home of children born in the Chang Valley.
Overnight at the hotel in the Thimphu.
After breakfast, travel to Punakha and Wangdue through Dochula Pass 3140m. In the clear spring sky, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges. Then pass by the beautiful 108 Chortens built on the hill by her MajestyAshi dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (Queen Mother of Bhutan) for the security and well being of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan.
You will also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (monastery) which was built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (the Queen Month of Bhutan) as a tribute to His Majesty the fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck and armed forces after His Majesty led a successful operation against Indian militants who had occupied certain areas of Bhutan. The galley of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang has beautiful murals depicting some of the important events in the reigns of the Kings of Bhutan.
Then travel into Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in the Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture. Punakha had served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 190. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for the unified Bhutan.
On the way, stop by Devine Madman’s Monastery – Chhimi Lhakhang, popularly known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive as special fertility blessing.
Overnight at the hotel
After breakfast, visit is Punakha Dzong, Built tactically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region and travel through upper Punakha valley and take a hike through farmhouses to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Lhakhang (temple) built by Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck (the Queen Mother of Bhutan) for peace and stability in the ever-changing world. This temple is situated on the hilltop overlooking the valley below. The leisurely walk up to the temple would take about an hour. Visit the temple and also enjoy the breathtaking beautiful view from there.
On the way to Paro visit the following places:
Rinpung Dzong: Rinpung Dzong is built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetatn invaders. The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and school for monks. The walk down to Rinpung Bridge (traditional Bridge), the oldest bridge in Bhutan.
Visit Farm house in Paro valley and a visit to a farm house offers a good glimpse into the lifestyles of farmers.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro
After Breakfast, hike to Tiger’s nest (Taktsang Monastery). The hike up to the viewpoint will take about two hours and from there you will enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. You will stop here for refreshment and then hike further up to the monastery which should take you another one and half hour. The total hike to reach to the Tiger’s nest would take about three and half hour.
It was first built in 1692, around the Taktang Senge Samdup, a cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three months in the 8th century. It is believed that Guru Ringpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) flew to this location from Khenpajong, Tibet on the back of the tigress and subdued a demon. He then performed meditation in one of the caves here and emerged in eight incarnated forms (manifestations) and blessed the place. Subsequently, the place came to be known as the Tiger’s Nest. Guru Padmasambhava is known for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best know of the thirteen caves in which he meditated.
After visiting the monastery, walk back downhill to the road with lunch at the view point cafeteria. Then drive back to your hotel after visiting Kichu Lhakhang on the way back. Kichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year 638AD the temple of Jokhanng in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon.
In the evening relax in the traditional hot stone bath after tiring day.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, your tour guide from Himalayan Windows Tours will drive you to the Paro International airport and bid your farewell.
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