Chezhi Goenpa Temple Festival
7 Days/ 6 Nights
Package Price: USD 1,550 Per Person
Fixed Departure Dates: 4 Nov – 10 Nov 2019
DAY 01 (4 Nov): ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU
DAY 02 (5 Nov): THIMPHU
DAY 03 (6 Nov): THIMPHU – Attend Chezhi Festival
DAY 04 (7 Nov): THIMPHU – PUNAKHA
DAY 05 (8 Nov): PUNAKHA – THIMPHU – PARO
DAY 06 (9 Nov): PARO
DAY 07 (10 Nov): PARO – DEPART PARO
This unique festival takes place in Gynekha Village at Chezhi Goenpa (temple), built in 15th Century by Ven. Drogon Thinley Rabyang, a student of Kuenga Zangpo, from the Sakya lineage. He came from Tibet and resided rotationally in Chizhi goenpa, Chapcha Shelmar goenpa and Shenga Nepa Goenpa for many years practicing Dharma. He is renowned for his teaching in the area and served as the head lama. He has a vision in which he saw the mountain was in form of Tara, the goddess of long life and wealth. Thus it is said he established a three-storied monastery in the heart of Tara.
More intimate than the popular Thimphu Tsechu, this festival is an annual ritual, which begins with an appraisal to the local deity followed by masked dances and traditional forms of Bhutanese dance and entertainment. A huge Tara Thongdrel (giant thangkha/scroll) is unfurled during the tshechu. It is believed that everyone must attend a Tsechu and witness the mask dances at least once in order to receive blessings and purify ones sins. Every mask dance performed during a Tsechu has a special meaning, teaching, a story behind act. They are performed by monks from Tashichoe dzong and laymen from Gynekha Village.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CHEZHI TOUR
- Witness the celebration of traditional village festival highlighting the Bhutanese culture and faith.
- This village festival is more intimate and less crowded and gives the rush, hustle and bustle of the larger festivals.
- This Bhutan tour also explores all of the highlights of Bhutan’s western valleys, including the famous Taktsang Monastery at Paro, Punakha Dzong, and the many sites of Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu.
- Join in with locals in a special occasion of celebration, blessings and socializing.
- Discover some of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Himalaya.
- Visit many cultural attractions including medieval fortresses (Dzongs), markets and museums.
- Hike up to the famous Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff 900m above the valley floor.
- Marvel at the elaborate and ancient wall paintings and carvings in Dzongs and temples.
- Traverse beautiful landscapes from lush valleys to dense forests.
CHEZHI FESTIVAL TOUR DETAILED ITINERARY
04th Nov: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our Bhutan Travel Bureau representative will meet you at Paro Airport exit doors following customs formalities.
After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and crafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpung Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of mediation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in his life time. Dzongs are large monasteries and district administrative centers, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5hours) following the Pachu river. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by our guide.
Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
05th Nov: THIMPHU
Once a rustic village sitting in a broad, fertile river valley, Thimphu is today the nation’s bustling capital.
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. This temple was first initiated by the Third King for protection from the negative elements of modernization, and as a monument for world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the Third king who passed away in 1972.
Continue on the 12th century Changangkha temple and the Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha nunnery. Other sites to visit include: the school for arts and crafts where students are taught the 13th types of Bhutanese art, the National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, the Traditional Paper Factory displaying the Bhutanese’s Paper making process, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farm house at the Folk Heritage Museum. If there is time, you may visit the Nursing Pen for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, and Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’. Initially erected in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was rebuilt in the 1960’s during the reign of Bhutan’s third king in the traditional style, without any plans or nails. Tashichhodzong houses some of the ministries, his majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.
Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
06th NOV: THIMPHU (Chezhi Goenpa Temple Festival)
Morning drive to Gynekha village which is about 45 minutes from Thimphu. Chezhi goenpa is located in Gynekha Village and will spent while day at Chezhi goenpa temple festival. Enjoy the festival and also interact with young monks and local people from the nearby villages. This is also the time for locals to socialize, meet their friends and relatives and share picnic lunch and local alcohol. Will arrange picnic lunch at monastery’s guest house. After lunch will visit the monastery and drive back to Thimphu. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
07th Nov: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA
Leave Thimphu early after Breakfast up to Dochula Pass (3,100meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into Punakha valley (about 3 hrs. total driving time). The drive through the country side affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan Kingdoms. Punakha was once the ancient capital of Bhutan. Upon arrival, visit to Punakha Dzong, the “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. The three-storied main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breath-taking 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.
After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Devine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner experience and it was 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.
Overnight at your hotel in Punakha.
08th Nov: PUNAKHA – THIMPHU – PARO
Begin the day with an early morning drive to Yabesa village and hike through the rice fields and hike up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa traditions.
Drive back to Thimphu and visit weekend vegetable market located nearby river. This is one of the largest and popular vegetable market and is open from Thursday afternoon till Sunday.
You can also walk through the market to see the variety food of Bhutan, including basket upon baskets of fiery chillis, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. Afterwards drive to Paro and stay overnight at your hotel in Paro.
09th Nov: Paro
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometer above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to the viewing point). The view point of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900meters above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Bhutanese. TAccording to legend, the great Guru Rimpoche and his consort are said to have meditated in a cave here for three months when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. After meditation, they manifested themselves in the forms of Guru Dorji Drolo and a tigress to subdue demons in the valley below. The cave, where the monastery was later built is said to be the origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. Refreshments and lunch will be arranged in the tent specifically pitched on the path to Taktsang Monastery.
On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Evening at leisure in Paro town and free time for shopping.
Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
10th Nov: DEPART PARO
Breakfast in the hotel, and then drive to the airport for fight to your onward destination.
Special Terms & Conditions
You can register for our fixed departure tours individually, as a couple or together with friends. There will be no surcharges for the solo traveler. Our standard deadline for registration is one month before the tour start date for low season and three months prior to tour start date for high season. Please NOTE that the tours dates are set and not changeable in order to ensure the concessions of group travel for our clients.
Our groups size will be anywhere from 3- 16 people and will be put together by language preference. All groups are provided with an English speaking guides, however we will try our best to accommodate translators subject to availability.
Please read in detail what is included and excluded from the tour package along with our cancellation policy for fixed departure on our website. It will also be shared with you during the registration and confirmation process.
For those who wish for a tailor designed tour, oor consultants are experts in creating the most unique Bhutan tour just for you.
BHUTAN TOUR DATES
The Fixed Departure tours were especially designed keeping in mind cost saving for our clients without compromising on the quality of the experience. Our tour is perfect for the client who is adventurous, friendly and willing to share their adventure with other travelers. The itinerary dates and times are set to facilitate the timely completion of the tours for all our clients that select the set departure tour packages.
Please NOTE that the tours dates are fixed and not changeable in order to ensure the concessions of group travel for our clients. We set minimum of three clients and maximum of 16 in a group.
*Private guided tour
*Visas for Bhutan Guaranteed
*Transportation with professional driver for entire tour in Bhutan.
*Daily 3 meals (B/L/D) at designated restaurants or hotels
*Accommodation at 3-star hotel
*A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide
*Monument Entry fees
*Mineral bottled water
*Flight into Bhutan via Drukair/Bhutanair (can be arranged with us)
*Extra baggage charges
*Soft Drinks and alcoholic Beverages
*Accommodation and meals in luxury hotels
*Tips for the guide and driver