Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival
The Druk Wangyel Tshechu is a unique festival performed by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than monks or lay people. It is a tribute to the wise leadership of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the Fourth King of Bhutan
Mask dance performed at Dochula
Women singing and dancing to a traditional song
The Druk Wangyel Tshechu is a unique festival performed by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than monks or lay people. It is a tribute to the wise leadership of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan. It also celebrates the continuous efforts of the Royal Bhutan Army in protecting the sovereignty and the stability of the country. This one of a kind tshechu is performed against the backdrop of the magnificent Jigme Singye Wangchuck mountain range.
Arrival in Paro. You may avail Druk Air, national airline or Bhutan Airline which is privately owned to come to Bhutan. The tour guide will receive you at the airport and escort you to your dwelling inn in Thimphu. Start the tour in Thimphu by visiting Tashichhodzong. Tashichhodzong is sacred in the sense that it houses the King’s Throne room with several important government offices. It is also the seat or summer residence for the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot and central monastic body. After that, visit Zorig Chusum, the embodiment of 13 unique traditional arts and crafts where you will be able to explore unique paintings and other crafts. Then, visit the Memorial Chorten built in loving memory of the Third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Drive to Punakha via Dochula pass which is 3,100 m above sea level where you will certainly enjoy the view of 108 stupas locally known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens. The festival of Druk Wangyal is annually attended by the members of the Royal Family, important government officials and the general public. Therefore, it gives you the opportunity to interact with the local people. Then, in the evening, proceed on to Punakha.
Punakha (Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, Punakha Dzong, Wangdue Dzong)- Thimphu
Begin the day by hiking up to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten which is about 45 minutes walk. The stupa is located on a hill ridge overlooking Punakha valley with the patronage from the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. You will definitely relish the scenic beauty from there. After that, the next destination will be Punakha Dzong, the winter residence of the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot and the central monastic body. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan earlier. This majestic fortress is where important national events such as royal weddings take place. It is the same fortress where Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel also entered into his lifetime retreat. Wangdue Phodrang Dzong will then be the next destination after lunch. The Dzong was destroyed by fire in 2012, however, about fifty percent of the reconstruction works are almost completed. Then drive back to Thimphu.
Thimphu ( Tango Monastery, Semtokha Dzong)- Paro (Drugyal Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang)
The fourth day tour will begin by visiting Tango monastery The monastery was founded by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo and the great founder of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, was known to have meditated in its cave. It is about an hour from Dodeyna base. After lunch, visit Simtokha Dzong, the first Dzong built in Bhutan. This visit will surely get your ears filled with history and legendary narrations that you have never heard before. Then drive to Paro. The tour in Paro can be started by visiting Drugyel Dzong. Drugyel Dzong is approximately about 16 kms away from the main town of Paro. It is a must visit place in Paro which hold so much of historic importance. The name can directly be translated as “The Fortress of Victory” since it was built back in 1644 by the Great Master, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to mark glory over the Tibetans who waged invasive war against the Bhutanese centuries ago. The fortress was ruined by fire 1951. However, re-construction of the fortress started in 2016 coinciding with the birth of Crown Prince, Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck. Then, drive towards Kyichu Lhakhang. It is believed that Kyichu Lhakhang was one of the 108 holy shrines built in one day by a great Tibetan saint back in the 8th century.
Taktshang Monastery and Ta Dzong
Taktshang is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Bhutan. It is a monastery built on a mountain about 2600 meters and is known worldwide for historic significance and extraordinary legendary events associated with it. Taktshang is literally translated as “Tiger’s lair” where the great saint Guru Rinpoche is believed to have flown on a flying tigress to meditate there for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. After lunch, the next destination will be the National Museum locally known as Ta Dzong that served as Watch tower in the times of our forefathers.
Departure from Paro International Airport