The Paro is one of the major festivals held every spring in Bhutan. This festival is observed with great festivity and joy. Buddhist monks and local people perform masked dances and dramas in the festival. Masked dancers are dressed in elaborate silk brocade costumes, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. The sounds of trumpets, cymbals and flutes resounds the air. Devotees dressed in traditional costume flock to the Paro Dzong to seek divine blessing during these auspicious days. The festival is observed in three specific parts- the pre-festival rituals on the first day, ceremonies are undertaken on the second day inside the Paro Dzong and the main festivities on the festival ground on the remaining three days.
Arrive at the Tribhuwan International Airport where you will be welcomed by Trek Himalayan representative and transferred to your Pre-booked hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free until evening when you’ll enjoy a welcome drinks with your guide and introduce to each other. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning to begin your city tour of Kathmandu. You will visit the Boudhanath temple, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath, a Hindu pilgrimage site, and possibly view cremation ceremonies along the banks of the Bagmati River and continue drive to Patan Durbar Square to take in ancient Nepalese architecture and end your tour after a lunch. Then, you will visit the Patan museum. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast you will be transferred to Tribhuvan International Airport for the flight to Paro. After completing the visa formalities at the Paro airport you will be received by our Bhutan ‘s representative and transferred to the hotel . While driving through the picturesque Paro valley with its quaint clusters of hamlets amid terraced paddy fields you will see by the sight of white-domed peak of the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari that looms overhead. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the town of Paro and its markets. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
After breakfast we will drive to Drugyel dzong, the ruined Fort (destroyed by fire in 1950.). From here we enjoy the view of sacred Mt. Chomolhari on a clear day. After lunch we drive to Ta Dzong, former Watch Tower which now houses the National Museum and then walk down passing close by the Paro Dzong, crossing the Bhutanese typical wooden roofed bridge to Paro. After a short stroll in town we drive back to hotel for overnight dinner and stay.
After breakfast, we will visit Paro Ringpung Dzong to witness the first day of the festival held inside the Dzong’s courtyard. Lots of people from Paro valley will come to see the festival. This day the festival lasts till 3 PM. In the late afternoon, we will visit the 7th century Kychu temple built by Songtsen Gambo, the first Tibetan Buddhist king to spread Buddhism across the Himalayas. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Soon after breakfast we will attend Paro Tsechu and watch how monks and laymen perform rituals and colorful dances, with elaborate head gears or masks, colorful costumes, depicting animals or fearsome looking deities. Then, we will hike to the famous Taktshang Monastery, popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest built on a steep cliff. This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 2,000 feet above the Paro valley. After visiting Taktshang monastery we return to our hotel and relax. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Wake-up before dawn, and attend the ceremonies and see the sacred unveiling of a giant thangka, one of the largest works, portraying Buddhist figures including Guru Rinpoche). Then, after lunch we drive through the winding road beside the Paro Chu (Chu means river or water) downstream to its confluence with the Wang-Chu then up the valley to Thimphu capital (2hrs). Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast we visit to the National Memorial Chorten built in honour of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk . We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel.
It is around 6 hours drive from Thimphu. The drive through the remote countryside areas of the Himalayan kingdom is mind-blowing. In late April/early May you will see the mountains being covered with Rhododendrons and on the route you will also have a glimpse of everyday life of the rural people. Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys, and considered winter home of black necked cranes migrating from the Tibetan plateau. The valley is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan. Overnight at hotel in Phobjikha.
Today you will spend the day exploring the Phobjikha Valley, including a visit to the Phobjikha Sanctuary with an opportunity to view the majestic black necked cranes (Nov-Mar only) and Gangtey Gompa (Monastery), dating back to the 16th century and the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. In the afternoon enjoy one of the many walks available traversing the stunning surrounds of this spacious valley. Overnight at hotel in Phobjikha.
Today we return to Paro via Wangdue. En route you will visit Vangdi Dzong, built by the Shabdrung in 1636. After lunch we will continue our journey and again we stop on the way and visit Tamchoe Monastery built in 15th century by Thangtong Gyalpo (Iron chain builders). This afternoon you may be interested to visit the handcraft for some souvenirs of your trip.
After the spectacular flight back to Kathmandu the rest of the day you are free to relax in Kathmandu or to go shopping.
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