Rhododendron festival is held every year from April 18 to April 20 to promote rural tourism and as an awareness drive to conserve the natural habitat. This is one great festival for nature lovers. This festival is held in a botanical garden about 29 km away from the capital of Bhutan. In Lampelri, the botanical garden, you will be able to see about 29 species of rhododendron from the 49 recorded rhododendron species in Bhutan.
This is one full day program. You have the choice to camp nearby or drive early morning from your hotel to the festival celebration area. Lampelri is a few hundred acres protected area designated as a botanical garden to showcases some of the rhododendron species and other highland species of mixed trees. One another common species in blossom this time of the year is the Daphne plant and the wild magnolia. Daphne is used in making local Bhutanese traditional paper.
You will be able to see different exhibition, cultural program, arts and craft festival and play traditional games. Apart from the usual fun you can even taste some fine Bhutanese cuisine and learn to make one yourself. The fun doesn’t end here, a festival such as this is one good place to interact with the locals and take pictures.
For people who are interested we have guided walk along the ancient trails. There are some lovely day hike in this area. The hike can be done downhill from dochula to Lampelri or from Lampelri further down to a village below. You even have the option to hike around the area or hike up from Lampelri to Dochula. The hike will be through thick broad leaved forest of oak and other deciduous trees.
Rhododendron festival takes place in spring, a good time for bird watching in this area. If you are lucky you will see will animal like deer and wild boar on the day hike.
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