Jampa Lhakhang Drub (10 days)

Jampa Lhakhang Drub (10 days)

Your tour starts from Paro valley and continues east across the beautiful valleys of Thimphu, Punakha, and Wangdi and towards the central region of Trongsa and to Bumthang. You will also visit monasteries and farmhouses and experience the Bhutanese way of living. You will have the opportunity to interact with the locals and learn about their daily life, superstitions and folklore.

The highlight of the festival

  • Attend the unique festival which is unlike any other in Bhutan. It is known for its Mewang (fire empowerment ceremony) and Tercham (Dance of Treasures).
  • The Dance of Treasures is performed naked at night around a bonfire. Bhutanese believe that the Tercham can bless infertile women.
  • You can also try hot stone bath which is therapeutic.
  • Hike to Tiger’s Nest that clings to a cliff face 900 m above the valley floor.

Itinerary

  1. Arrive in Paro, move to Thimphu

The representatives from BCD-Bhutan Tours & Travels will greet you at the airport and drive you to Thimphu. The first stop will at the beautiful Tamchog Lhakhang. Halfway to Thimphu, you will reach Chuzom, the confluence of the Paro River and Wangchu river. Opposite the confluence are three protector stupas each built in a different style. In the evening, explore the Thimphu city, the only capital without traffic lights, and mingle with local people.

Overnight stay in a hotel

  1. Thimphu sightseeing

Today, we visit National Institute of Zorig Chusum (13 traditional arts and crafts) where we can meet the students undergoing training followed by Folk Heritage Museum which provides a glimpse into the traditional Bhutanese farmhouse, Textile Museum, and Takin Preserve (takin is Bhutan’s national animal).

After lunch, visit the Centenary Farmers’ Market (open from Friday to Sunday) where locals come from far and wide to sell a variety of vegetables and dairy products. Watch an archery match at Changlingmithang. We then visit Thangtong Dewachen Nunnery before visiting Tashichho Dzong, the seat of the central government and the Central Monastic Body.

  1. Thimphu to Punakha

After breakfast, drive to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan. Stopover at Dochula Pass (3,100 m) from where you can see the eastern Himalayan range on a clear day. Enroute to Punakha, we will stop at Mitsina village and visit Chime Lhakhang, also known as the Temple of Fertility associated with Lam Drukpa Kunley, the Divine Madman. It is an easy 20-25 minutes of walk across paddy fields.

Overnight stay in a hotel in Punakha

  1. Punakha to Trongsa to Bumthang

After an early (6 am) breakfast, drive to Trongsa over Pelela Pass at 3,450 m. After lunch, visit Trongsa Dzong built in 1648 followed by a visit to Taa Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which has now been restored and converted into an art museum. In the evening, drive to Bumthang over Yotongla Pass (3,425 m). From there, you will get the first glimpse of the Black Mountains and Himalayan peaks such as Jomolhari. In the evening, drive to Bumthang.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Bumthang

  1. Bumthang sightseeing

Explore Bumthang which is the spiritual heartland of Bhutan. Bumthang loosely means the valley of 100,000 spirits. The visit to sacred places and monuments will include Jampa Lhakhang built in the 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo followed by a visit to Kurjey Lhakhang, which consists of three temples surrounded by 108 choetens (stupa) symbolically representing the joints of the human body. We will then visit Tamzhing Lhakhang built in 1501 and known for its ancient religious paintings of One Thousand Buddhas and Twenty One Taras (female form of Bodhisattvas). After lunch, visit Jakar Dzong, known as the ‘Castle of the White Bird’.

Overnight stay in a hotel

  1. Jampa Lhakhang Drub

The highlight of the Jampa Lhakhang Drub is mewang (fire empowerment ceremony) which takes place in the evening to bless the people who witness it and participate in it. The other distinct feature of the festival is Tercham (naked dance) performed at night. The dance was composed by Terton (Treasure Discoverer) Pema Lingpa in the 15th century.

Overnight stay in a hotel

  1. Bumthang to Phobjikha

After breakfast, drive to the glacial valley of Phobjikha, the winter roosting ground of the rare black-necked crane. Along the way, we will stop at Chendebji Choeten modeled on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath stupa with eyes painted on the four sides. After lunch, we will continue to Phobjikha valley. Time permitting, we will visit Gangtey Gonpa.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Gangtey

  1. Phobjikha to Thimphu

Visit the Crane Observation and Information Centre before driving to Thimphu. Enroute to Thimphu, hike to the village of Rinchengang where houses are built with mud and stone.

Continue driving to Thimphu. In the evening, take a stroll around Thimphu city and catch its sights and sounds.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Thimphu

  1. Thimphu to Paro

After breakfast, drive back to Paro valley and hike to Taktshang or Tiger’s Nest, one of the holiest Buddhist sites in the Himalayan region. The monastery clings to a cliff face 900 m above the valley floor. It takes around three hours at a moderate pace. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tigress and meditated for three months.

On the way back, visit Kyichu Lhakhang built in 659 AD by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.

Overnight stay in a hotel

  1. Departure

Drive to the airport and bid farewell.