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  • Jambay Lhakhang Drup

    Discover the rich pageantry and festive atmosphere of the Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival set in the Bumthang Valley, Bhutan’s spiritual heartland. Tsechus (festivals) are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan. A Tsechu is a Buddhist festival in honour of Guru Rimpoche, the saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. Local villagers gather in a spirit of festivity, celebration and deep faith to witness unique masked dances and celebrations. Also visit sacred sites in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang.


    HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUDE

    The "Jambay Lhakhang Drup" festival tour travels to Bhutan’s spiritual heartland to experience the rich pageantry and festive atmosphere of this unique festival.This Bhutan tour also explores the cultural western and historical central valleys of Bhutan.

    • View sacred dances and rituals performed by monks and laymen in colourful costumes.
    • Join in with locals in a special occasion of celebration, blessings and socialising.
    • Explore Bhutan’s central valleys, rich with ancient historical and sacred Buddhist sites.
    • Discover some of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Himalaya.
    • Experience Bhutan’s unique culture up-close with farmhouse visits and village excursions.
    • Drive over high mountain passes affording sensational views of the Himalayan peaks.
    • Visit many cultural attractions including medieval fortresses (Dzongs), markets and museums.
    • Hike up to the famous Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff 900m above the valley floor.
    • Marvel at the elaborate and ancient wall paintings and carvings in Dzongs and temples.
    • Traverse beautiful landscapes from lush valleys to dense forests.
    • Incorporate a Value-Added Option such as a cooking lesson or meditation session with a monk.

    DETAILED PROGRAM

    Day 1

    The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our Bhutan Senses Travel representative will meet you at Paro airport. After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rinpung Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

     Punakha Ta Dzong Museum, Rinpung Dzong

    Recommended Thimphu Hotels:

    - Kisa Thimphu Hotel
    - Gyelsa Boutique Inn


    Day 2
    Thimphu

    Once a rustic village sitting in a broad, fertile river valley, Thimphu is today the nation’s bustling capital. Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, completed by the Royal Queen Mother as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972. Continue on to 12th century Changangkha Temple and the Zilukha Nunnery.

    If there is time, you may visit the nursing pen for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, and Tashichho Dzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’ housing some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

     National Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong, Takin - Bhutan National animal


    Day 3

    Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.

    Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’. It is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned.

    Afterwards enjoy a short walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing. Overnight at your hotel in Punakha/ Wangduephodrang

     Punakha Dzong, Punakha swing bridge, Chimi Lhakhang

    Recommended Hotels in Punakha:

    - Meri Puensum Resort
    - Vara Hotel Punakha


    Day 4

    Drive from Punakha to Bumthang via Trongsa (8 hrs) over the Dochu-La pass (3,100m) and Pele La pass (3,420m) on the Black Mountain range. Enroute visit beautiful Chendebji Chorten, erected in the 18th century. The imposing Trongsa Dzong can be viewed across a deep canyon to signal your approach to the town around a curving road. Trongsa is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s ruling dynasty. After lunch, visit Trongsa Dzong, the largest Dzong in Bhutan. The view from the Dzong is spectacular and one can see across the landscape for many miles. Also visit the Ta Dzong museum housing an incredible collection of historical artefacts of the Royal Family.

    Continue driving to Bumthang, home to some of Bhutan’s oldest Palaces and temples. The valley’s barley fields, apple groves and meadows lay below huge hills which climb up towards the Himalayan mountain wall separating Bhutan from Tibet. Overnight at your lodge in Bumthang.

     Chendebji Chorten, Trongsa Dzong...

    Recommended Hotels in Bumthang:

    - Jakar Village Lodge
    - River Lodge Bumthang


    Day 5

    In the morning visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom where Bhutan’s patron saint Guru Rimpoche meditated and 7th century Jambay Lhakhang. It dates back to the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan and is one of the Kingdoms oldest temples. After lunch, visit Jakar Dzong and Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pemalingpa and containing interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Afterwards enjoy exploring the village of Jakar, Bumthang’s main township. Overnight at your lodge in Jakar, Bumthang.

     Kurjey Lhakhang, Jambay Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang...


    Day 6

    Return to experience more of the festivities at Jambay Lhakhang, or enjoy an excursion to Tang Valley, the most remote valley in the Bumthang district. Activities may include a 45 minute walk uphill to Ugyen Chholing Palace, built in the 16th century by the Trongsa Penlop Tshokey Dorji. The main building in the complex now features a fascinating museum offering a real insight into the lifestyle of a Bhutanese noble family. Highlights include a book of divination, a dakini dance costume made of bone. You may also visit 14th century Tang Rimochen Lhakhang where Guru Rinpoche meditated and Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake), where some of Guru Rinpoche’s treasures were found in the 15th century by the famous treasure discover Pema Lingpa. It’s a good location to meditate. Overnight at your lodge in Bumthang.

     Ygyen Chholing Palace, Rimochen Lhakhang, Jambay Lhakhang festival


    Day 7

    In the morning visit visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom where Bhutan’s patron saint Guru Rimpoche meditated. Afterwards drive to Punakha, stopping for lunch along the way. Overnight at your hotel in Punakha.

     Kurjey Lhakhang


    Day 8

    Drive back to Thimphu where you will enjoy lunch and have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. Afterwards proceed to Paro, visiting Simtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at your hotel  in Paro.

     Simtokha Dzong

    Recommended Hotels in Paro:

    - Bhutan Mandala Resort
    Metta Resort & Spa


    Day 9

    After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to the viewing point). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments.

    In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.

    Alternatively, day 9 could be spent on a day trip to the Haa Valley, one of the most picturesque districts in Bhutan. Reached via the beautiful Chelila Pass, Haa Valley is characterised by its surrounding rugged and mountainous terrain. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

     Taktsang Monastery, Drukgyel Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang


    Day 10

    Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.

     

     

    WHEN TO GO?

       MORE TOURS HERE


    Notes:

    • Prices are in USD, per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. At Bhutan Senses Travel, we carefully select all hotels to ensure that your accommodations match our standards of trip and service excellence.
    • Prices include the following:
      . All hotel accommodation including all taxes and breakfast
      . Internal economy flights as stated with airport taxes
      . All transfers & sightseeing transportation in private vehicle
      . Private services of local guides
      . All special events & private tours, guest experts
      . All entrance fees into historical sights & museums
      . Drinking water and refreshing towels for touring
      . 24/7 support from the Bhutan Senses Travel Team

     

    Location
    Accommodation

    THIMPHU
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    Kisa Thimphu Hotel

    • Kisa- “where peace prevails”. Located in the heart of Thimphu, Kisa Hotel has 34 well appointed guest rooms overlooking the national stadium – changlimithang.
    • Hotel staff are well trained to provide guests a most welcoming stay. Besides being socially and environmentally responsible, cleanliness is an important feature in the hotels.
    • Hotel will bring you it own unique experience but the same sense of comfort and friendly service.

    Gyelsa Boutique Inn

    • Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Gyelsa boutique offers accommodation in Thimphu. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Free private parking is available on site.
    • Rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Certain units include a seating area where you can relax. You will find a kettle in the room. Each room has a private bathroom fitted with a shower.
    • There is a 24-hour front desk at the property.
    • The nearest airport is Paro Airport, 23 km from Gyelsa boutique.

    PUNAKHA
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    Meri Puensum Resort

    • Lying approximately 5 kms from Punakha village and with good views of the valley area.
    • The 20 rooms are spacious and there are lovely views down across the river and the valley.
    • There is a large dining area and bar where you can relax after a day exploring the Puankha valley.

    Vara Hotel Punakha

    • Located in the valley of Lobesa overlooking the blossoming and verdant valley with panoramic elongate between Punakha and Wangdue. This three star hotel started operation in early 2014 and is one of the best three star hotel in Punakha and Wangdue area.
    • Vara Hotel allows travelers to explore the wonders of valleys and offers the spectacular view of mountains landscape and oasis of tranquility and peacefulness. Enjoy your stay in one of its lovely big rooms, cozy restaurant and an upstairs bar.
    • The hotel offers 18 Deluxe Rooms and 1 Suite. Free WiFi (public areas).

    BUMTHANG
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    Jakar Village Lodge

    • Jakar Village Lodge (JVL) is a 4 star lodge and it is located just below the Jakar Dzong, commanding the most majestic view of the Chokor Valley of Bumthang.
    • The lodge is just one kilometer away from the Chamkhar Town,and five minutes walk from the Dzong.
    • Jakar Village Lodge has been slotted at rank #21 among the "Best Bed & Breakfast" establishment in Asia 2009 and ranked # 4 in Bhutan by Trivago Top Hotel, largest European travel community.

     

    River Lodge Bumthang

    • Set in an idyllic and strategic spot at the entrance of Bumthang’s Chamkhar town, River Lodge is justifiably the mythical district’s hospitality master.
    • Established in 1997, it has served guests from all corners of the globe. Renowned for its multi-facet services, including spa and sauna, River Lodge Bumthang is a synonym for Excellence, a haven for peace and bliss and an ideal holiday resort.
    • It is a perfect blend of the traditional and modern, with the Lodge’s stunning Bhutanese architecture moulded with the latest modern amenities.

    WANGDUE PHODRANG
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    Wangdue Eco Lodge

    • Set in Wangdiphodrang, Wangdue Eco Lodge features a garden and shared lounge. Featuring a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. Guests can dine in the restaurant or a drink at the bar and free WiFi is available throughout the property.
    • At the resort the rooms have a balcony with a mountain view. With a private bathroom fitted with a shower and free toiletries, certain rooms at Wangdue Ecolodge also boast a river view.

    Puna Tsangchhu Cottage

    • The resort is in Bajo town just 5 km away from Wangdue town. It has 22 rooms surrounded by 18 acres of grassland across the river, which are converting to garden.
    • All 22 rooms are well furnished with attached bath/shower.

     PARO
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    Bhutan Mandala Resort

    • Offering a hot tub and sauna, Bhutan Mandala Resort is located in Paro. Free WiFi is available and free private parking is available on site.
    • Rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV. You will find a kettle in the room. Rooms include a private bathroom fitted with a bath.
    • Paro Airport is 3 km from the property.