Sacred Festivals in Bhutan were first established in the country by Great Buddhist master “Padmasambhava”. Towards the end of 7th century, Padmasambhava converted his opponents of Buddhism by performing rites, reciting mantras and ultimately performing a dance of Subjugation to conquer local spirits and gods. Thus, the first ever “Tsechu” or sacred religious dance was introduced in Bumthang. Some were composed by Guru Rinpoche while others were created by Terton Pema Lingpa, Zhabdrung and many other great saints. During the mask dances, the deities of the tantric teachings are invoked and through their power and blessing, misfortunes are removed. All evil spirits and demons that are preventing the spread of “The Doctrine” are suppressed, so that the doctrine of Lord Buddha can flourish and bring joy and happiness to all the sentient beings.
(Acknowledgement: Festivals and Cultural tours)
Thimphu Tshechu and Dromchhoe-5Days / 4Nights
The annual Lhamoi drupchen is a rite performed to appease the Supreme protective deity Peldhen Lhamo(mahakali) is held from september 12-16. Pelden Lhamo is the only female dharma protector common to all the four schools of Buddhism and one of the three main deities of Bhutan.
Tour Route: Paro and Thimphu
Day 1: Arrive at Paro and Drive one hour to the Capital (2300m). Tour Thimphu valley by visiting the 13 arts and craft shcool, folk heritage museum, National Library, Hand-made paper factory, Gaint statue of Buddha Doderma (55m), Weekend market.
Overnight at Peaceful Resort.
Punakha Tshechu-9Days / 8Nights
The annual festival in Punakha was first introduced by Zhabdrung to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. One of the main event during the festival will be the ‘Pazaps’ or the local hero’s, geared up in battle out-fits ans showcasing a battle scene of this distant past recalling the days. These religious dances are performed by the mask dancers wearing spectacular costumes made from yellow silk or rich brocade, often decorated with ornaments of carved bones.
(Activities Include: Festivals (First priority), Cultural tour and Walking Trails)
Tour Route: Paro, Thimphu, Punakha/Wangdue and Phojikha valley
Day 1: Paro – Punakha(4hrs) If you may, you can always take a short 30min walk up-to Chimi Lhakang. Or else visit Khuruthang temple.
Overnight at Damchen Resort
Jambay Lhakang Drub(festival)-12Days / 11Nights
Highlights of the festival: Jinsi (the burning of sacred-fire), mewing (fire ceremony), tercham (treasure dance)
The Festival is held for dual reasons; to commemorate the establishment of the Jambay lhakang in the 7th century and to honor Guru Rinpochhe, a saint who introduced a Tantric form of Buddhism in the Dragon Kingdom.
Day 1: Arrive at Paro Air-port. Re-group with guide and driver, drive for an hour to the capital. En-route stopover and walk five minutes down the bridge to see the 15th century handmade iron-chains. Drive one hour west, to the Capital city. Evening witness the flag removal ceremony at Trashi-chhoedzong.
Overnight at Jumolhari, peaceful Resort
Chorten-Kora in Trashiyangtse
Far to the east in the valleys still very isolated and away from the modern Era lies Chorten kora. The stupa’s itself is believed to be so blessed enough to help you accumulate loads of merit, only if you promise to walk around the Chorten(Stupa) as many as you can. During the annual Festivals held in Feb. and March there is a ‘kora'(circumambulation) here, whereby people gain merit by walking around the chorten.