Overview The Punakha Tshechu Festival Tour is a vibrant and culturally significant event held annually in the Punakha district of Bhutan. This lively festival also showcases the country's rich cultural heritage and is a must-visit for anyone seeking an immersive experience of Bhutanese traditions. The festival also takes place in the magnificent Punakha Dzong, a majestic fortress that serves as both a religious and administrative center. It also usually held in late winter or early spring, and the dates determined by the lunar calendar. The duration of the festival is typically five days, filled with colorful masked dances, traditional music,…
The Punakha Tshechu Festival Tour is a vibrant and culturally significant event held annually in the Punakha district of Bhutan. This lively festival also showcases the country’s rich cultural heritage and is a must-visit for anyone seeking an immersive experience of Bhutanese traditions.
The festival also takes place in the magnificent Punakha Dzong, a majestic fortress that serves as both a religious and administrative center. It also usually held in late winter or early spring, and the dates determined by the lunar calendar. The duration of the festival is typically five days, filled with colorful masked dances, traditional music, and religious rituals.
During the Punakha Tshechu, locals and visitors come together dressed in their finest traditional attire. The highlight of the festival is the mesmerizing mask dances performed by trained monks. These dances also depict various religious stories, legends, and spiritual teachings, and believed to bring blessings and good fortune to those who witness them.
In addition to the enchanting dances, the festival also features the unveiling of the sacred Thongdrol (large religious scroll painting). The unveiling of the Thongdrol also considered a highly auspicious moment, and people gather in large numbers to receive blessings by simply gazing at the sacred painting.
The Punakha Tshechu is not just a religious event; it is also a social gathering where people reconnect with friends and family, share delicious traditional food, and engage in merry-making. The festive atmosphere is contagious, and the air is filled with joy, laughter, and a sense of deep spiritual devotion.
Beyond the festival, the Punakha valley offers stunning natural beauty, including the picturesque Punakha Dzong, located at the confluence of two rivers. Visitors can explore the surrounding countryside, visit nearby temples and monasteries, and take leisurely walks along the scenic trails.
Overall, the Punakha Tshechu Festival Tour is an extraordinary cultural extravaganza that immerses visitors in the vibrant traditions and spiritual essence of Bhutan. It is a unique opportunity to witness the living heritage of this Himalayan kingdom, and an experience that will leave a lasting impression on all who attend.
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)
Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha (1310m)
After breakfast, drive for about 3 hours to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La Pass at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, descend through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. In Punakha, visit 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)
We will spend whole day in the festival which will accompany with various mask dances and folk dancers along with jokers actions in the crowd. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Whole day in the interesting Punakha festival or in the afternoon we can proceed for other sightseeing like visiting Khamsum Yulay Temple or Wangdue excursion visit Rinchingang. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Drive to visit a stunning hill-top nunnery – Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Chholing. Have a chat with the nuns and enjoy the charm of the surrounds! The main temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva of compassion (Avaloketeshvara) and next to the temple is a beautiful Stupa and there are slate carvings of religious figures. Re-crossing Dochula and stopping at Thimphu for lunch. Arrive Paro in the afternoon and check hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
This morning, make an excursion to Taktsang Monastery – this has to be the monastery with the most outstanding setting in Bhutan. Set on a vertical cliff face at 2950m above sea level, it defies all engineering logic. For the energetic, hike 2 hours up to get a more dramatic view of the monastery. (The hike demands a certain level of fitness and a pony ride to the monastery can be arranged at additional cost). Just on the outskirts of Paro town, visit Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and have the opportunity to meet the local villages in a local farm house. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, drive to the Paro airport in time to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears 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,
The main feature of Punakha Tshechu Festival Tour is to experience the spectacular Punakha Tshechu ‘festival’ celebrated at the grounds of the towering Punakha Dzong. It’s said that Guru Rimpoche, a saint, brought Buddhism to Bhutan and the tshechu ‘festival’ is to honor Guru Rimpoche. The festival consists of typical masked dances which are very colorful and interesting with the events and enactments being different each day. Locals gather in spirit of festivity, celebration and with deep faith to witness the festival. One of the best ways to witness the ancient living culture of the Dragon Kingdom is attending the tshechus. Initially, the tour begins with spectacular flight over the Himalayas towards the lush green Paro Valley then drive to Thimphu for a bit of sightseeing around. Afterwards, head towards Punakha way across the Dochula pass (3,116m) to attend the festival. The tour closes with hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ perched in a vertical cliff and spending another night to eventually fly back home.