Bhutan Mystery Tours

Our holidays span every corner of Bhutan. Without compromising on the quality of our trips, we have tirelessly catered to travellers over a decade. Bhutan tours and treks are invariably unique experiences. While Bhutan is an exclusive destination, it is how you travel that sets your holidays apart.

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Punakha Festival Tour

7 Nights / 8 Days

Punakha Festival Tour

per person

Punakha is located in the western part of Bhutan and it is the winter home of Chief Abbot of Bhutan, the Je Khenpo. Punakha played great importance in the history of Bhutan during the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 17th century. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is known as the unifier of Bhutan as a nation state and he was the one who gave Bhutan and its people the cultural identity that identified Bhutan from the rest of the world.

In 17th century Bhutan was invaded several times by the Tibetan force to seize a very precious relic, the Ranjung Kharsapani during which Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal defeated the Tibetan army and to commemorate the victory he introduced the Punakha Drubchen. Since then Punakha Drubchen also known as Puna Drubchen became the annual festival of Punakha district. In addition to Punakha Drubchen in 2005 another festival known as Punakha Tshechu was introduced by the 70th Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Choedra and the then Home Minister His Excellency Lyonpo Jigme Yoedzer Thinley on the request made by Punakha District Administration and people for upholding the Buddhist teachings and keeping alive the noble deeds of Zhabdrung Rimpochhe.

Punakha Drubchen is a unique festival due to a dramatic recreation of the scene from the 17th century battle with Tibetan army. The ‘pazaps’ or local militia men, dressed in battle gear showcase a battle scene of this distant past recalling the days when in the absence of a standing army, men from the eight Tshogchens or great village blocks of Thimpu came forward and managed to expel the Tibetan forces out of the country ushering in a new-found internal peace and stability.

Punakha Drubchen and Tshechu not only play an important role in preserving Bhutan’s rich cultural and tradition but it also is also an event where devout Buddhists has a place and time for prayer and pilgrimage. These festivals also reflect the richness of everything that is Bhutanese and are very special in the eyes and hearts of tourists who visit Bhutan.

8 Days
2+ Age
  • Destination
  • Departure
    Paro / Paro
  • Dress Code
    Casual, comfortable athletic clothing, hiking shoes, hat and light jacket.
  • Included
    Punakha Festival Tour
    3 Star Hotel Accommodation
    One time visa fees US$40
    Basic Trekking Equipments
    All Ground Transportation
    All taxes and fees
    Entrance fees to all the monument and museum
    Royalty US$ 65/person/night(Child under 12 year is exempt from Royalty US$65)
    5 Star Accommodation
    All Meal While Trek
  • Not Included
    Tips
    International Telephone Calls
    Laundry Bills
    Bar Bills
    Travel Insurance
    International Flights
    Mineral drinking water
    Personal Guide
1
Day 1: Arrival Paro
Your Bhutanese guide from Bhutan Mystery Tours will be there to receive you at Paro National airport and accompany you to your hotel. After, visit, Ta Dzong, built during 17th century as a watch tower. It is located on a ridge, overlooking the Rimpong Dzong. Since 1967 the Ta Dzong was re-established as the national museum and holds a fascinating collection of art, relic, religious Thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. Than, visit Paro Rimpong Dzong (fortress) known as the “fortress of the heap of jewels”. It was built during the time of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646.
The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered cantilever bridge. A walk through the bridge to Dzong, over stone inlaid path offers a good view of the Architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. After lunch drive to the end of Paro valley. Enjoy the beautiful mountain and forest scenery as we drive along the quiet valley roads towards the ruined fortress, Drukgyel Dzong, built to commemorate victory over the Tibetan invaders. On a clear day you should get a view of mount Jomolhari (7300m) from here. Drive back towards Paro town; stop to visit Kitchu monastery (7century), and oldest temple in Bhutan.
Dinner and Overnight in hotel in Paro.
2
Day 2: Drive from Paro - Thimphu (Elevation2320m).65km/2hrs
After breakfast, drive towards the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. Passing through hills and some astounding countryside. Thimphu is situated in a large valley traversed by the Wangchuk River and overshadowed by high peaks.En-route you will view Tachogang monastery built by Tibetan saint Thangthong Gyalpo in 14th century (iron chain builder in Bhutan).and visit the iron bridge, most visible ancient craft work in Middle Ages. Drive towards Thimphu, stop at Chuzom (confluence).
At the confluence of Paro-Thimphu river, you will see three forms of stupa in different styles: Nepalese, Tibetan, and Bhutanese. You will drive following the Thimphu River upwards passing through several villages. Upon reaching Thimphu, check –in hotel and lunch will be serve. After lunch, sightseeing in Thimphu are: mini zoo to see national animal of Bhutan, Changangkha monastery, kuenselphodrang to get the bird eye view of Thimphu valley, Bhutanese paper factory, Traditional medicine school, Traditional painting school, memorial chorten built in honor of third king of Bhutan and visit fortress of thimphu, Tashichodzong built during 17th century. In the evening leisure time in town.
Overnight in Thimphu.
3
Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha.Elevation:1300m (77km/3hrs)
Drive to Punakha. On the way stop at Dochula pass (3150m) to enjoy the view of the Himalayas ranges, if weather permits and the 108 chorten that are situated right at the top of the pass. Then descend to 1300m and visit Chimi lhakhang, the temple of 15th century lam Drukpa kuenley, and the “Divine madman”. Your guide will tell you more about his in conventional teaching. Take a lovely stroll through rice fields and villages in this semi-tropical region. your lunch will be served at local restaurant.
Continue towards Punakha Dzong(fortress),which was the old capital of Bhutan untill1951 and the place where, in 2008,our present king received a special empowerment blessing before going on to be crowned in Thimphu. The Dzong sits at the point where two rivers meet. These rivers are named the “Po chu”and “mo chu”(male and female rivers).The impressive cantilever bridge that gives access to the Dzong is a very recent reconstruction of the original. The Dzong is the setting for the Punakha Dromche festival in February, in which locals and monks re-enact the battles between the Bhutanese and Tibetan invaders who came in pursuit of the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and the precious relic that he had in his possession.
Overnight in Punakha.
4
Day 4: Punakha
After breakfast, attend full day at Festival. This festival will be the highlight of your trip to Bhutan. The programs of the festival will be sent to you later.
5
Day 5: Punakha
After breakfast, attend full day at festival.
6
Day 6: Punakha – Paro via Thimphu
After breakfast drive to Paro via Thimphu, on the way you can stop on pass know as Dochu La Pass. View the Himalayan rages from the passes. Have a lunch in Thimphu city, if the time permit you can explore Thimphu city and do some shopping (wish) before we drive to back to Paro for overnight staying there.
7
Day 7: Paro (Paro valley sightseeing and Tiger’s Nest Excursion.)
After breakfast, we take short drive, 20minuts to the north of Paro valley to Ramthangkha,from where we start our hike to Taktsang monastery(Tiger’s nest).it takes around 3-4 hours at an average walking speed.Taktshang monastery is 3,000feet(900meters)above the valley. The trails climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of trees festooned with Spanish moss and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. Built amazingly on a cliff, it brings pride to the Bhutanese about the work of their ancestors.
It is said that Guru Rinpoche (, precious master) arrived here on the back of a Tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘tiger’s Nest. This site has been recognized as most sacred and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all the Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. This monastery built in 1692 caught fire on 19 April 1998 that damaged the main structure of the building and some religious contents. On the way to Taktsang there is a cafeteria where you can have lunch.
Overnight in Paro.
8
Day 8: Departure
This morning we will have our last Bhutanese breakfast and then we’ll be transported to the Paro National Airport for our departure flights home. Bhutan is a place that we will never, ever forget. Magical memories will be ours to recall forever. Just close your eyes …
Thank you and Tashi Delek!

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Our holidays span every corner of Bhutan. Without compromising on the quality of our trips, we have tirelessly catered to travellers over a decade. Bhutan tours and treks are invariably unique experiences.
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