• Private Tour Private Tour
7 Days

Punakha Tshechu Festival in Bhutan 2024

USD $ 2,120
per person

Activities in this trip includes

Trip Code

TMG-PT001

Trip Grade

Easy

Our "Easy" trips are perfect for beginners and those looking for a relaxed and culturally enriching experience. These journeys typically involve shorter hikes on well-marked trails or city tours with minimal physical exertion. They are designed to focus on cultural immersion and are accessible to most travelers.

Max. Elevation

3000mm

Group Size

1-12 person

Accommodation
& Meal Info

Comfort

Comfort (3-star): Mid-range accommodations with extra comforts. Ideal for trekkers at lodges/teahouses. Includes daily breakfast in Kathmandu. (AP= Accommodation with all three meals at trekking destination).

Highlights

  • Witness the Most Spectacular Punakha Festival: Experience the grandeur and cultural richness of the Punakha Tshechu Festival, a vibrant celebration of Bhutanese traditions.
  • Meet Local People Including the “Layaps”: Engage with the warm and welcoming local community, offering you an authentic glimpse into the Bhutanese way of life.
  • Explore Ancient Temples, Monasteries, and Dzongs (Forts): Delve into Bhutan’s deep spiritual heritage through visits to historic and sacred sites that have shaped the nation’s identity.
  • Visit Pristine Villages and Beautiful Farmhouses: Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of Bhutan’s villages and farm life, providing a glimpse into the country’s pastoral charm.
  • Witness Archery Matches: Experience the thrill and precision of Bhutan’s national sport, archery, and witness the skill of local archers in action.
  • Explore the Most Scenic Landscapes: Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Bhutan’s pristine landscapes, from lush valleys to towering mountains, creating a backdrop of unparalleled natural splendor.

Trip overview

Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, is renowned for its cultural richness and profound spirituality. The Punakha Tshechu Festival of 2024, set against the backdrop of the majestic Punakha Dzong, exemplifies this heritage. A grand celebration spanning three days, from the 19th to the 21st of February, this festival is a homage to Guru Rinpoche, one of the most revered figures in Bhutanese history.

The Punakha Tshechu Festival, one of the three largest festivals in western Bhutan, stands alongside the equally spectacular festivals in Paro and Thimphu. For Bhutanese people and visitors alike, it is an occasion to gather, celebrate, and seek blessings. Pilgrims journey from all corners, drawn by the allure of a spiritual and culturally rich experience.

As the festival unfolds, the local participants, dressed in colorful and traditional attire, come together to sing and dance. Their performances add vibrant splashes of culture and tradition to the proceedings, enchanting all who are fortunate enough to witness the spectacle. The festival is not just a time for celebration; it’s a moment of spiritual connection and reflection.

The grand finale of the Punakha Tshechu Festival is the throngdroel ceremony. This sacred and awe-inspiring event adds a profound layer of significance to the festivities. It’s a moment where spirituality and culture intertwine, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those in attendance.

The Punakha Tshechu Festival in Bhutan is not just a cultural extravaganza; it’s a reflection of the deep-rooted spirituality and cultural tapestry of the Bhutanese people. Against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Punakha Dzong, a magnificent structure that holds both historical significance and spiritual sanctity, this festival represents a harmonious fusion of tradition and reverence.

Immerse yourself in the profound cultural and spiritual heritage of Bhutan by attending the Punakha Tshechu Festival in 2024. It’s a unique opportunity to witness the living traditions and age-old customs of a nation that treasures its identity and spirituality.

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Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Paro – Thimphu sightseeing | 54 km | Drive: 1 hour | Altitude: 2334 m.
Day 2. Thimphu Sightseeing | Altitude: 2334 m.
Day 3. Thimphu – Gangtey sightseeing | 128 km | Drive: 4 hours | Altitude: 3000 m.
Day 4. Gangtey – Punakha tshechu festival in Bhutan 2024 | 75 km | Drive: 2 hours | Altitude: 1242 m.
Day 5. Punakha – Paro sightseeing | 132 km | Drive: 3 hours | Altitude: 2200 m).
Day 6. Paro Sightseeing – Hike to the Tiger’s Nest | Walk: 2 hours | Altitude: 2200 m.
Day 7. Paro – Departure (End of Punakha Tshechu Festival 2024 Tour).

01

DAY

Arrive Paro – Thimphu Sightseeing (54km, 1 hour)

Your journey begins as you touch down at Paro Airport, where you’ll be warmly greeted. A short, scenic drive takes you to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to pause and admire Tamchog Monastery, a 15th-century marvel built by Thang Tong Gyalpo, known as “The Iron Bridge builder.” His legacy includes constructing 108 bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, with 8 of them right here in Bhutan.

In the afternoon, your exploration continues with a visit to the Memorial Chorten, a sacred monument built in honor of the third King, the late His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Your day will also include a visit to the world’s tallest sitting Buddha statue at Kuensel Phodrang (standing at 51.5 meters), and a stop at the Craft Bazaar, where you can discover Bhutanese handicrafts and art.

Finally, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Tashichho Dzong, a significant landmark as it serves as both the seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body. Your evening will be spent in the comfort of your hotel in Thimphu.

02

DAY

Thimphu Sightseeing

The day begins with a visit to Changangkha Lhakhang, Thimphu’s oldest temple, dating back to the 12th century and founded by Phajo Drugom Shigpo. You’ll then head to the Takin Preserve Center, home to Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin, a unique creature often humorously described as a mix of goat and cow.

A trip to Sangay Gang viewpoint and Dupthop Lhakhang, one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan, offers you panoramic views of the valley and a glimpse into Bhutan’s spiritual culture. Lunch is served at Simply Bhutan, where you can savor typical Bhutanese dishes, including Ara, a local spirit. You’ll also have the chance to witness traditional Bhutanese folk dances.

In the afternoon, your exploration continues with a visit to the Postal Museum, where you can even create your personalized Bhutanese stamps, and a visit to the School of 13 Arts and Crafts (Painting School). The evening is free for you to enjoy a leisurely stroll in the town, whether for shopping or photography. Dinner and overnight accommodations are provided in your hotel in Thimphu.

03

DAY

Thimphu - Gangtey (128km, 4 hours)

The morning of your journey to Gangtey starts with a drive through the scenic landscapes of Bhutan. Along the way, you’ll make a stop at Dochu La Pass, standing at 3,140 meters. Here, you’ll find 108 chortens and breathtaking views of the Himalayas, a sight that will remain etched in your memory.

Continuing your journey, you’ll arrive at Wangdue Phodrang, where you’ll get to see the Dzong, a magnificent structure dating back to 1638, constructed by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong, a symbol of Bhutan’s rich history, was restored after a fire in 2012 and stands as a testament to the country’s heritage.

Upon reaching Gangtey, you’ll visit the Gangtey Gompa Monastery, founded in 1613 by Gyaltse Pema Thinley. This tranquil setting offers a glimpse into Bhutan’s spiritual essence. Your visit continues to the Black-necked Crane Information Center, a vital conservation effort. In the evening, you’ll explore the stunning Phobjikha valley, a winter roosting ground for the rare Black-necked Cranes. Dinner and overnight accommodation are provided in Gangtey.

04

DAY

Gangtey - Punakha Festival (75km, 2 hours)

The morning takes you to Punakha, where you’ll witness the vibrant Punakha Tshechu Festival of 2024, a vibrant cultural celebration that honors Bhutan’s rich traditions.

Your visit continues with Punakha Dzong, an architectural marvel dating back to 1637, and serving as the winter residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of Bhutan. It’s also a reminder of Punakha’s role as an ancient capital of Bhutan before the reign of the Second King.

In the evening, you’ll have a thrilling experience walking across the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, a 160-meter marvel that spans the Pho Chu River, offering awe-inspiring views of the river, valley, temple, and a surge of adrenaline.

Dinner and overnight accommodation are provided in Punakha.

05

DAY

Punakha - Paro (128km, 3 hours)

After a scenic morning drive to Paro, you’ll visit Chimi Lhakhang, the Temple of Fertility, built in 1499 by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, fondly known as “The Divine Madman.” His unconventional teachings, including salvation through humor and songs, have left a unique mark on Bhutanese culture. After a delightful exploration, you’ll continue to Paro.

In the afternoon, your journey takes you to Ta Dzong, built in 1649, which now houses the national museum of Bhutan, offering a treasure trove of the country’s cultural heritage. Your visit continues with Rinpung Dzong, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, serving as the administrative center of Paro district.

In the evening, you’re free to explore the town, whether for shopping or photography. Dinner and overnight accommodations are provided in Paro.

06

DAY

Tiger’s Nest Hike

The day begins with a drive to Satsam Chorten and a two-hour hike to the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Paro Taktsang. This sacred site, constructed in 1684 by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, has a legendary origin that includes Guru Padma Sambhava’s flight on the back of a flying tigress, marking the introduction of Buddhism to Bhutan.

The hiking trail is not only a spiritual journey but also an awe-inspiring experience that showcases Bhutan’s stunning landscapes. In the afternoon, your visit continues to Drugyal Dzong, built in 1647 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, serving as a defense post against the Tibetan forces in ancient times. The day concludes with a visit to Kichu Lhakhang, a temple built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan King Srongtsen Gampo. His legend includes constructing 108 temples in a single day, with Bhutan’s Jambay Lhakhang and Paro’s Kichu Lhakhang among them.

In the evening, you’re free to explore the town for shopping and photography. Dinner and overnight accommodations are provided in Paro.

07

DAY

Departure

As your incredible journey through Bhutan comes to a close, you’ll enjoy breakfast before departing for Paro Airport. This marks the end of your Punakha Festival Tour of Bhutan, leaving you with cherished memories and a profound connection to this beautiful and culturally rich nation.

Trip Includes

Includes

  • All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner and Evening Tea].
  • Accommodation [twin / double sharing basis]. Single room supplement is extra.
  • All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
  • Sustainable Development Fund (SDF).
  • Bhutan Visa Fee (US $ 40).
  • English speaking Local guide.
  • Sightseeing.
  • Bottled water.

Excludes

  • Drukair / Bhutan Airlines fares.
  • Entry fees for monuments and festival visits.
  • Travel Insurance Premiums.
  • Payments for service provided on a personal basis.
  • Cost for any services not mentioned in the “Cost Include head”.
  • Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera charges, Incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services.

Making a difference

Leading the way in responsible tourism. We protect the environment, support local communities, and ensure a sustainable Himalayan future.

Planet

Travel Max Guide prioritizes environmental protection through eco-conscious practices to ensure the preservation of the Himalayas for future generations, drawing inspiration from the environmental commitment demonstrated by Western travelers during your trips.

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People

Travel Max Guide combines trekking and community support in the Himalayas. Join our mission, including orphan sponsorships and homestay/volunteer treks, and consider our CHILD SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM for underprivileged children.

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