Punakha Drupchen

Introduced by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to celebrate the win over Tibetan invaders and for the unification of the country as one nation, Punakha Drubchen, a grand celebration to honor the event was held. Later on, it went to become an annual festival of the valley. The battle scenes performed by the Pazaps adorned in the ancient battle gear, the whole festival is choreographed to enact the battle between Tibetan invading forces and Pazaps of Bhutan.

Tour Type: Festival Tour

Tour Duration: 6 nights and 7 days

Highest Elevation: 1280m

Day 1: Arrive at Paro

Fly into Paro valley.

The fight into Bhutan over the Himalayas is one of the most spectacular experiences. Particularly the flights from Delhi (India) and Katmandu (Nepal) fly past the majestic Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga and the entire Himalayan range, visible on the left side of the plane as it glides towards Bhutan. On landing at Paro, you will be received by our representative. After customs and Immigration formalities, you will be escorted to Thimphu, the capital city.

Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 2: Thimphu sightseeing

Breakfast

Visit the National Memorial Chorten (Stupa), built in memory of the 3rd King of Bhutan. Visit the Art School and Changangkha Lhakhang (a temple built in 12th century by a Tibetan saint).

Visit the National Takin Reserve Center to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan and Trashichhodzong (fortress of glorious religion). Trashichhodzong in its current form was completed in 1968 and it houses the throne room of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. It is also a center of monastic body and houses main secretariat building. The majestic Dzong located along the Wangchu (Thimphu River) has a Tendrel Thang which is the venue for Thimphu Dromchoe and Thimphu Tsechu, the annual Thimphu Festival where thousands of people fill the courtyard to witness the mask dances, traditional dances, and many more.

Visit Buddha Dordenma, the largest standing Buddha Statue in the world. Buddha Dordenma is 54 meters tall, one of the largest Buddha Shakyamuni statue in the world, fulfilling a prophecy that mentioned a large statue of either Guru Padmasambhava, Buddha or of a (Vajrakilaya) Phurba would be built in the region to bestow blessings, peace, and happiness on the world, the statue erection was started in 2006 and completed in 2015. The statue is mentioned in the ancient Terma of Guru Padmasambhava himself dated from approximately the sixth century, the prophesized Terma was recovered some 672 years ago by Terton Dorje Lingpa (1346) and 104 years and after 568 years ago by Terton Pema Lingpa.

Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha

Stop at Dochula pass (3100m) on route to Punakha from Thimphu. Dochula pass is one of the famous landmarks in Bhutan from which one can sight the Himalayan Range of Bhutan on clear winter days. The place is adorned with Druk Wangyel Chorten, 108 stupas built to honor the 4th king of Bhutan and bring peace to the region. The stupas were built under the patronage of Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck.

Descend to Punakha Valley (1280m).

Punakha valley served as the capital of Bhutan till 1955 until it was shifted to Thimphu. The Punakha Dzong is still the winter seat of Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) of the monastic body as the place has a temperate climate with Phochu and Mochu Rivers flowing through the fertile fields of the valley.

In the afternoon hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten through fields of vegetables, rice paddies, and tiny hamlets. The Chorten holds very special significance as it was consecrated in 1999 and dedicated for the wellbeing of the former Crown Prince – today’s current King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Day 4: Punakha Drupchen Festival

Visit Punakha Dzong for attending the festival.

Punakha Drupchen is one of the most illustrious celebrations in Bhutan. As to honor Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal for the victory over Tibetan invasion in the 17th century the celebration is mere portraying of the reenactment of the epic battle by the Pazaps (local militia) in Punakha. The festival is held annually in the Punakha Dzong.

Overnight at Punakha.

Day 5: Punakha – Paro.

Early breakfast

Drive back to Paro with a stop to visit Chimmi Lhakhang the famous Lama Drukpa Kuenley’s (Devine Mad Man) temple. Stop for lunch at Dochula or Thimphu depending upon driving time and conveniences.

Overnight at Paro.

Day 6: Paro sightseeing.

Early breakfast

Hike for about 4 hours to Paro Taktsang, the famous Tigers Nest monastery which is perched on a cliff at about 900m above the Paro valley.

In the afternoon visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in Paro. Originally built in 7th century by Tibetan Emperor, it’s one of the 108 temples he built in the region. The temple is believed to have spiritual treasures concealed by Guru Padmasambhava and the two orange trees in the courtyard defy the natural way of orange trees usually growing in lower altitude and it’s believed to bear fruit throughout the year.

Day 7: Departure

Peak Seasons

Months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.

daily tariff:USD 250 Per person per night

surcharges:

Solo Traveller: USD 40 per night

Dual Traveller: USD 30 per person per night

Three travellers and above: surcharges not applicable

Visa fees: One time payment of USD 40 per person.


Lean Season

Months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.

daily tariff:USD 200 Per person per night

surcharges:

Solo Traveller: USD 40 per night

Dual Traveller: USD 30 per person per night

Three travellers and above: surcharges not applicable

Visa fees: One time payment of USD 40 per person.

A minimum of 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star may require an additional premium).

All meals

A licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay

All internal transport (excluding internal flights)

Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours