Punakha Festival Itinerary
Duration: 5 Nights, 6 Days
Location: Paro, Thimphu, Punakha
Day 1. Arrival at Paro
The flight to Paro offers one of the most spectacular views of all mountain flight. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, and the peaks in Bhutan such as Jhomolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsherim Gang. The first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the airplane. You will be received by our representative and transfer you to Hotel in Paro. After lunch visit Ta Dzong former Watch Tower which now houses the National Museum and then visit Rinpung Dzong which houses the monastic school and the office of the civil administration and walk down passing close by crossing the Bhutanese typical wooden roofed bridge to Paro town, overnight at hotel.
Day 2. Paro-Excursion to Taktsang
After early breakfast drive up to the Ramthangka (base camp) of Taktsang and then hike up to the most famous monastery Taktsang, the Tiger’s nest. This magical monastery clings to the vertical granite cliff of 3,000 above the valley floor. It is believed that Guru meditated here in the 8th century. The disciples of Guru built the temple, which was later enlarged by Zhabdrung in the 17th century. After lunch walk back down. Further drive towards the north to visit ruins of Drukgyel Dzong built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. From there one can see Mt. Jumolhari (mountain of goddesses) overnight at hotel.
Day 3. Paro-Punakha
After breakfast, drive to Punakha – approximately 4-hour drive through picturesque valleys and mountain slopes dotted with typical Bhutanese villages. From the Dochula pass, at over 10,000ft, vast panoramic views of the high snowcapped peaks of the Bhutanese Himalaya can be enjoyed on a clear day. Continue drive down into the Punakha valley. On the way visit ChhimiLhakhang – This was founded in 15 century by Lama Dukpa Kinley also known as divine mad man. It is half hour walk across a local village and rice field. Everyone in this kingdom believes that the Lam’s blessings will help a woman conceive. After lunch will be leisure.
Day 4. Punakha Festival
After breakfast visit Punakha Dzong and witness the festival (Tshechu) introduced in 2005 in keeping with Dzong and monastic tradition of Bhutan, which is held at the courtyard of the Punakha Dzong. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5. Punakha-Thimphu
After breakfast drive to Thimphu. Later visit following places
Buddha Point/ Kuensel Phodang – Is the largest Buddha statue in the country, from there you can get a good view of the Thimphu valley.
– Changangkha Lhakhang – it is right above Thimphu Valley, this temple and a monastic school was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo.
– Motithang Takin Preserve – houses the rare national animal of Bhutan. Takin is listed by international conservation agencies as a vulnerable species and it is a rare animal found only in Bhutan, Nepal and Burma.
– Traditional Medicine Institute – In Bhutan, equal emphasis is given to both allopathic and traditional medicines. The rich herbal medicines made up from medicinal plants are prepared and dispensed here.
– National Institute for Zorig Chusum – or the school of Arts and crafts is an institute where student undertake a six year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
– Folk Heritage Museum – the house replicates a traditional farmhouse and is furnished as it would have been about a century ago.
– Weaving center, Changzamtog
– Bhutanese Paper factory and Overnight at hotel
Day 6. Departure
After breakfast, drive to Paro international airport for your onward flight. Our representative will see you off and bid farewell.