Punakha Festival

Punakha Festival is one of the most popular festivals held in west Bhutan. This is a very colorful festival thronged by people from the surrounding districts in Bhutan. Punakha Festival is renowned for its traditional soldiers called the pazaps. Today they are the ceremonial soldiers who come to participate in this festival and compete in the race held during the course of this festival. Punakha Dzong is one of the most beautiful dzongs (forts) in Bhutan and Punakha is one beautiful valley.

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Punakha Festival

Day 1: March 05, 2017 : Arrive Paro

Highlights:
Paro Dzong, built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions.
National Museum, formerly the watchtower for the dzong.

Day 2: March 06, 2017. Paro – Thimphu (1 hours 30 minutes drive)

Highlights:
Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972.
National Library, which houses ancient manuscripts.
National Institute of Traditional Medicine
Traditional paper factory

The majestic Tashichodzong
Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress in the kingdom.

Day 3: March 07: Thimphu – Wangduephodrang, with afternoon excursion to Punakha (3 hours drive)

Highlights:
Punakha Dzong, which is noteworthy both for being one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan.
Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple.

Day 4: March 08: Punakha Festival

Highlights:
Witnessing the festival.

Day 5: March 09 Wangdue – Gangtey – Wangdue.

Day 6: March 10 Wangduephodrang – Paro

Day 7: Mach 11 : Paro – Haa – Paro

Highlights:
Haa, one of Bhutan’s most unspoiled areas.
Lhakhang Karo, see some insight into the valley’s history.

Day 8: March 12 : Paro

Highlights:
Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery.

Day 09: March 13: Fly out

Day 1: March 05, 2017 : Arrive Paro

The flight to Paro crosses the Himalaya Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. If you arrive via Kathmandu, which offers the most breathtaking view of the range, it’s possible to see Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjunga as well. Upon arrival in Paro, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel.

In the afternoon you can visit the Paro Dzong. It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the dzongs (forts) currently. You’ll cross a traditional wooden bridge on the way to the dzong. You can then tour the National Museum, formerly the watchtower for the dzong. It now houses a collection of fine arts, paintings, thankas, statues, and antiques. Afterward you will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. In the evening you can stroll through the Paro market and town. Overnight in Paro.

Day 2: March 06, 2017. Paro – Thimphu (1 hours 30 minutes drive)

After breakfast drive to Thimphu. In Thimphu you will visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the takin. From there you will visit the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts), and the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After a relaxing lunch, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichodzong, and Simtokha Dzong (the oldest fortress in the kingdom). Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 3: March 07: Thimphu – Wangduephodrang, with afternoon excursion to Punakha (3 hours drive)

After breakfast you will drive to Wangduephodrang, with a stop en route for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. After lunch you will drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, and visit Punakha Dzong, which is noteworthy both for being one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan and also for having been built by the first Shabdrung in 1637. On the way back from Punakha, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lakhang, which is a fertility temple, where you may receive a special fertility blessing if you wish. Overnight in Wangduephodrang.

Day 4: March 08: Punakha Festival

Today whole day witnessing the festival.

Day 5. March 09 Wangdue – Gangtey – Wangdue.

After breakfast you will drive to Gangtey visit Gangtey Goemba. Later you will drive to the crane centre. Rest of the day walk around the Phobjikha valley. Overnight Gangtey.

Day 6: March 10 Wangduephodrang – Paro

Set out for Paro with a stop in Thimphu for lunch and a visit to the Folk Heritage Museum. In the afternoon, you will continue the drive to Paro. In the evening you can visit a traditional farmhouse and, if you wish, enjoy a hot-stone bath and a typical Bhutanese dinner. Overnight in Paro.

Day 7: Mach 11 : Paro – Haa – Paro

You will set out for Haa, one of Bhutan’s most unspoiled areas. It was just recently opened to visitors and is unmarked by tourism. Haa is a pristine valley where the farmers grow wheat, barley, millet, and potatoes. On the way to Haa, you will pass through old-fashioned villages and thick conifer forests. You will visit Lhakhang Karo and gain some insight into the valley’s history. You will also visit the Wangchulo Dzong. A few minutes’ drive from the dzong is the main town of Haa. You can take a walk to Katso Village from the main town and explore the area.

After lunch you will drive to Paro over the Cheli La pass at 3,900m. If the time permits you can visit a traditional farmhouse in the evening and, if you wish, enjoy a typical Bhutanese dinner. Overnight in Paro.

Day 08: March 12 : Paro

After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion.

After lunch, drive to Thimphu. In the evening you can explore Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, and absorb the lifestyle of the people. You can also visit some interesting handicraft shops. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 09: March 13: Fly out

Tashi Delek!

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