Overview The Black-necked Crane Festival Tour is a captivating and culturally rich event celebrated annually in Bhutan. This festival provides a unique opportunity to witness the graceful and endangered Black-necked cranes, as well as immerse yourself in Bhutanese traditions and customs.This unique festival pays homage to the endangered Black-necked Crane, a magnificent bird that migrates to Bhutan during the winter months. The festival takes place in the beautiful Phobjikha Valley, nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Himalayas. The valley is a significant winter habitat for the majestic Black-necked cranes, which migrate from Tibet. The festival serves as a tribute…
The Black-necked Crane Festival Tour is a captivating and culturally rich event celebrated annually in Bhutan. This festival provides a unique opportunity to witness the graceful and endangered Black-necked cranes, as well as immerse yourself in Bhutanese traditions and customs.This unique festival pays homage to the endangered Black-necked Crane, a magnificent bird that migrates to Bhutan during the winter months.
The festival takes place in the beautiful Phobjikha Valley, nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Himalayas. The valley is a significant winter habitat for the majestic Black-necked cranes, which migrate from Tibet. The festival serves as a tribute to these revered birds and aims to raise awareness about their conservation.
During the festival, locals and visitors gather to enjoy a series of vibrant and colorful performances. Traditional Bhutanese dances and songs are showcased, depicting the rich cultural heritage of the country. The performers don’t vibrant costumes and elaborate masks, adding to the enchanting ambiance of the event.
Visitors can also indulge in local cuisine, sampling delicious Bhutanese dishes and delicacies. The festival offers a wonderful opportunity to savor traditional flavors and experience the warmth of Bhutanese hospitality.
Aside from the festival itself, the Phobjikha Valley offers breathtaking natural beauty. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush greenery, it is an ideal location for nature lovers and photographers. Visitors can also embark on scenic hikes, explore the valley’s picturesque trails, and encounter diverse flora and fauna.
Furthermore, you can visit the Gangtey Monastery, an ancient Buddhist monastery located in the valley. This serene and spiritually significant site provides insights into Bhutanese religious practices and offers a peaceful atmosphere for meditation and contemplation.
Overall, the Black-necked Crane Festival tour promises an immersive cultural experience, stunning natural landscapes, and a chance to witness the fascinating Black-necked cranes. It is an unforgettable journey that combines conservation, tradition, and the unparalleled beauty of Bhutan.
Arrive Paro by the Bhutanese National Carrier (Druk Air) flying over the world’s highest mountains and finally landing at the lush green Paro valley. A cool and clean fresh air greets the visitor as stepping down from the plane, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing customs and visa formalities, meet the representatives and the Bhutanese guide, and a short tour brief by the guide then transfer to Paro town for lunch.Then drive towards Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan) for about 1 half hours drive. En-route Thimphu, one can do a short hike to Tamchog Monastery, a private temple owned by the descendents of famous Tibetan bridge – builder Thangthong Gaylpo. Later on continue the drive to Thimphu.
In Thimphu, visit Buddha point for a stunning view of Thimphu city and Takin Compound- on the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin. Then continue to Tashi Choe Dzong- the fortress of the glorious religion was initially constructed in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in the 1960s, Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum, Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar. Overnight at Hotel.(Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, drive towards Gangtey via Wangdue. The road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges in a clear day. After stopping for a tea, descend long a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Wangdue. Short visit to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. Then a gradual climb goes into the valley of Gangtey (Phobjikha). There is an old monastery of Gangtey Gompa dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the Gompa on the valley floor are the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle sloping hillsides of Phobjikha are described as “the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas”. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, join with the locals in their Crane Festival at the Gangtey Monastery; the monastery dates back to 17 th century. The valley of Phobjikha is well known as the winter home of the Black necked crane (Grus Nigricollis). Bhutan is home to around six hundred black necked cranes with Phobjikha being one of the popular places that the birds migrate to in the winter months from the Tibetan plateau. The elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of March. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Today drive from Gangtey to Punakha which is about 3 & half hours drive. En-route take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a
favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. And Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, trace the route back to Paro which is about 4 and half hours drive. After lunch visit Ta Dzong. Ta Dzong, once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17 th
century. It was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968. Afterwards visit Rinpung Dzong Rinpung Dzong built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of
Bhutan; the Dzong continues its age-old function as the seat of the district administration, district court and the monastic body. The southern approach to the Dzong has a traditional roofed cantilever bridge called Nemi Zam.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Early in the morning, drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’. It’s about two hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. Afterwards, hike back to the road point and drive towards Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort. This fort once defeated this valley from the Tibetan invasions during the 17 th century. Also visit the local farm house at Drukgyal to witness daily life of the Bhutanese people. Later on, drive to Kyichu Lhakhang one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. PM: Stroll around the main shopping district in Paro. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappearing again behind its guardian mountains.(Breakfast only included)
Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
• 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
• Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
• Route Permit
• Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
• All land transportation by private vehicle
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Monuments entrance fees where applicable
• Drinking water
• All internal taxes and charges
• A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
Airfare & Travel Insurance
• Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
• Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Black Necked Crane Festival is combination of sightseeing and attending the festival at Gangtey. The black-necked crane festival organized annually is to generate awareness on the importance of conserving these endangered cranes. The festival is celebrated with cultural programs with folk songs and dances (some with black-necked crane themes), mask dances performed by the locals, crane dances etc. It was first initiated in 1998 and has become part of the local culture in Phobjikha Valley. Besides, the tour also visits the colorful city of Paro, the tiny capital – Thimphu and the old capital – Punakha. Another great feature is the hike to the Taktsang Monastery perched in a hillside.