DRUK WANGYAL FESTIVAL

8 days /Package Prices: USD 1,310.00/- per person

Fixed Departure Dates: 11 Dec – 18 Dec 2019

ITINERARY OVERVIEW

DAY 01 (11 Dec): ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU
DAY 02 (12 Dec): THIMPHU
DAY 03 (13 Dec): THIMPHU – PUNAKHA (Attend Festival at Dochula)
DAY 04 (14 Dec): PUNAKHA
DAY 05 (15 Dec): PUNAKHA – PARO
DAY 06 (16 Dec): PARO
DAY 07 (17 Dec): PARO – THIMPHU – PARO
DAY 08 (18 Dec): DEPART PARO

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

The Druk Wangyal Festival/Tshechu was established in 2011 in commemoration of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and the Armed Forces’ victory over Indian insurgent forces residing in southern Bhutan in 2003. It takes place every December 13th at the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang Festival Ground located at Dochula Pass around 22km from the capital city Thimphu. It differs from the other festivals in that it is performed by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than monks or lay people. It is a tribute to the wise leadership of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan. It also celebrates the continuous efforts of the Royal Bhutan Army in protecting the sovereignty and the stability of the country.

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck is the founder and patron of the Druk Wangyal Festival. Druk Wangyal Lhakhang, the venue for the festival, and the 108 Khangzang Chortens at the Dochula Pass were also built by Her Majesty. Dochula Pass is located at an altitude of 3,116m, and is one of the most scenic locations in the entire kingdom, offering a stunning panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. The close proximity of this festival to Paro and Thimphu makes it ideal for those with limited time looking to experience a Bhutanese festival as well as the unique cultural experiences that Bhutan has to offer.

Highlights of the Tour

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DRUK WANGYEL TSECHU TOUR

Druk Wangyel Festival takes place every year December 13, at Druk Wangyel Festival ground located at Dochula pass (3150m), which is about 45mins drive from Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.

Witness the celebration of traditional Bhutanese culture and faith and Druk Wangyal Festival (Tsechu), held in the grounds of the at the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang Festival Ground located at Dochula Pass. Dochula pass is adorned with prayer flags, 108 stupas and offers a stunning panoramic view of Eastern Himalayan Mountain ranges including highest Mountain in Bhutan, Gangkar Puensum.

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.

Witness unique dances and rituals performed by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than monks or lay people.

Join in with locals in a special occasion of celebration, blessings and socialising.

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.

Incorporate a Value-Added Option such as a cooking lesson or meditation session with a monk.

Detailed Itinerary

DRUK WANGYEL TSHECHU DETAILED ITINERARY

 

DAY 01 (11 Dec): ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU

DAY 02 (12 Dec): THIMPHU

DAY 03 (13 Dec): THIMPHU – PUNAKHA (Attend Festival at Dochula)

DAY 04 (14 Dec): PUNAKHA

DAY 05 (15 Dec): PUNAKHA – PARO

DAY 06 (16 Dec): PARO

DAY 07 (17 Dec): PARO – THIMPHU – PARO

DAY 08 (18 Dec): DEPART PARO

DAY 01: 11th Dec-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 handicrafts 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 meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 02: 12th Dec-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 stunning Buddha Dordenma Statue, made of bronze and gilded in gold, and the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernization, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972.  Continue on to 12th century Changgangkha Temple, The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century and TashiChoedzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.

If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of food of Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. (This market is open only from Thursday until mid-Sunday). Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 03: 13th Dec-THIMPHU – PUNAKHA

Leave Thimphu early after Breakfast up to Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters) to attend the spectacular Druk Wangyel Festival (45 Minutes’ drive, 22 km). Set amidst this breathtaking backdrop of Himalayan mountains, the Druk Wangyel Tshechu is an experience unlike any other and truly exemplifies Bhutanese cultural traditions. The Druk Wangyel Lhakhang was built over a period of four years (2004-2008) under the vision and patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo. The Lhakhang honors the courageous service of the Fourth King, who personally led the troops against the insurgents, as well as the regular Armed Forces of the country. The Druk Wangyel Tshechu is a unique festival performed by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than monks or lay people. It is a tribute to the wise leadership of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the Fourth King of Bhutan. It also celebrates the continuous efforts of the Royal Bhutan Army in protecting the sovereignty and the stability of the country.

Continue on to Punakha where you will have the remainder of the day at leisure. Stroll around Punakha town in the evening. Overnight at hotel in Punakha.

DAY 04: 14th Dec-PUNAKHA

Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. Visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness”. Built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’, Punakha Dzong is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers). It 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.

Later drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions.

DAY 05: 15th Dec-PUNAKHA – PARO

Today after breakfast enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenley 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.

Afternoon drive to Paro, visiting Semtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

DAY 06: 16th Dec-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 of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 meters above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists.According 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. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments.

On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

DAY 07: 17th Dec-PARO – THIMPHU – PARO (National day celebration)

Today we drive back to Thimphu after an early breakfast to witness National Day celebrations in Thimphu at Chang Limithang ground with the locals.

Bhutan celebrates 17th of December as its National Day.  The day came to be celebrated as the National Day after Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk was enthroned as the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan on 17 December 1907.

After many interesting cultural and sporting activities, the day will end with a Tashi Lebay praying for many more such days in the future. In fact, we all pray for even happier and more glorious days for Bhutan and the Bhutanese.

Drive back to Paro and Overnight at your hotel in Paro

DAY 08: 18th Dec-DEPART PARO

Special Terms & Conditions

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.

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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.

To know more about the festival visit: Druk Wangyal Tour Highlights

WHAT’S INCLUDED

*Private guided tour

*Visas for Bhutan Guaranteed

*Airport transfers

*Daily 3 meals (B/L/D) at designated restaurants or hotels

*Accommodation at 3-star hotel

*A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide

*An experienced driver and Vehicle

*Monument Entry fees & road permits

*Government fee, royalty, taxes & surcharges

*Mineral bottled water

WHAT’S EXCLUDED

*Flight into Bhutan via Drukair (can be arranged with us)

*Travel Insurance

*Extra baggage charges

*Telephone calls

*Personal expenses

*Soft Drinks and alcoholic Beverages

*Accommodation and meals in luxury hotels

*Tips for the guide and driver