Festival schedule: 24th – 27th October 2018
Bumthang is a place of religious importance and it has many monasteries. Jambay Lhakhang is one of it and it is situated on the way to the Kurjie Lhakhang. It is a ten minutes drive to the temple from the Chamkhar town. Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in the kingdom. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche visited the site several times and deemed it exceptionally sacred.
The main relics include the future Buddha, Jowo Jampa (Maitreya) from whose name the present name of the temple is derived. One of the most spectacular festivals in the country, called Jambay Lhakhang Drup is hosted here. The festival lasts for five days (check with your tour operator to confirm these dates). The highlight of the festival is the fire ritual that is held in the evening where crowds gather to witness the ritualistic naked dance.
DAY 01: Arrive Paro, Paro – Thimphu (54 km, 1 hour)
Your exciting vacation in this land of happiness begins. After completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by Pinehill Bhutan Travels representative who will be your tour guide throughout your tour. Then drive to Thimphu and visit Centenary Farmers’ Market (open from Thu-Sun only). You will then witness an interesting long range Archery Match (National Game of Bhutan) at Changlimithang National Stadium. Thereafter, proceed to Kuenselphodrang (Buddha Point) where the largest Buddha statue in the country is perched on the hillock overlooking the Thimphu Valley. You may take a nature hike through Kuenselphodran Nature Park for about 20-30 minutes. Thereafter, visit Tashichhoe Dzong (fortress of the glorious religion), The National Memorial Chorten (stupa) and Craft Bazaar.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu. Hotel Migmar or similar. (Altitude 2,320 m).
DAY 02: Thimphu sightseeing
Visit School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts, Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory, National Textile Museum, Bhutan Post Office Headquarters (to get personalized Bhutanese postage stamps with your photo on them).
Post lunch; visit Takin Preserve (houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan), Changangkha Lhakhang (temple) and Dechenphodrang (Palace of great bliss). In the evening stroll through Thimphu downtown. Overnight in Thimphu.
DAY 03: Thimphu short hike to Tango and Cheri monasteries
Travel to the base camp of Tango Monastery which lies north of Thimphu city with packed picnic lunch. From the base camp which is the end of motor road you hike up to the Monastery is through the forest filled with oak and pine trees as well as Rhododendron flower trees. After visiting the monastery, walk back to the road and drive to the base of Cheri Monastery where you will eat your packed picnic lunch by the side of the river.
Post lunch; hike to Cheri Monastery that will take approximately 50 minutes. Then walk back to the base where your car will wait for you and then travel back to Thimphu.
DAY 04: Thimphu – Punakha – Wangduephodrang (71 km, 3 ½ hours)
Travel to Punakha & Wangdue via Dochula Pass (3140 m). In the clear sky you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges. Pass by the beautiful 108 chortens and visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple). On the way, stop at Metsina village and take a 20 minute walk through the paddy fields to visit the Divine Madman’s Monastery- Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine.
Upon arrival in Punakha, visit the Dzong (fortress). In the evening, visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Nunnery and enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there. Overnight in Punakha. (Altitude 1300 m).
DAY 05: Wangduephodrang- Trongsa (129 km, 5 hours)
Drive to Trongsa via Wangduephodrang and lunch will be served en route. On arrival at Trongsa, visit the National Museum which is housed in the Ta Dzong (watch tower). You will also visit Trongsa Dzong, which is the most impressive dzong in Bhutan. In the evening, visit Trongsa town. Overnight in Trongsa.
DAY 06: Trongsa- Bumthang (68 km, 2 hours)
Proceed to Bumthang. On the way, visit the “Yathra” Weaving Centre at Zugney which is colorful, hand-woven woolen. Then drive onto Bumthang and visit Kujey Lhakhang (Kujey means body imprint), Jakar Dzong (castle of the white bird) and Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake) where some of Guru Rimpoche’s treasures were discovered in the 15th century by the famous treasure discoverer- Pema Lingpa. It is a serene place to meditate.
In the evening visit one of the farmhouses in Bumthang valley to get an insight into the village life. You may enjoy typical Bhutanese dinner at the farmhouse. Overnight in Bumthang.
DAY 07: Bumthang festival
Drive to Jambay lhakhang for the festival. Jambay Lhakhang was built in the 7th century by the King Songtsen Goempo of Tibet. Overnight in Bumthang.
DAY 08: Bumthang – Gangtey-Punakha (197 km, 7 hours)
Proceed to Wangdue/ Punakha via Phobjikha valley. Visit the Gangtey Monastery on the way. Phobjikha valley is home to a flock of 300 rare and endangered black-necked cranes. After lunch at Gangtey and explore Phobjikha valley and also visit the Black Necked Crane Center. Then travel on to Wangdue phodrang. Overnight in Punakha.
DAY 09: Punakha sightseeing and Punakha Thimphu (71 KM, 2 ½ hours)
Drive through upper Punakha valley passing through farm houses and take a leisure walk through farmhouses to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Lhakhang (temple). The leisurely walk up to the temple would take about an hour.
Post lunch, you will visit Rinchengang village in Wangduephodrang where you will take a short walk through the village and have free interaction with the villagers. Round trip hike will take about 1 hr. In the late afternoon drive to Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu.
DAY 10: Thimphu – Paro & Paro sightseeing
Proceed to Paro in the morning. Some interesting places to visit are Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress). From the Dzong you will walk down to Rimpung Bridge (Traditonal Cantilever Bridge), oldest bridge in Bhutan. Then take a short walk to Dzongdrakha temple (often called the mini- Taktsang,).
Thereafter visit Farm houses in Paro Valley, Dungtse Lhakhang (temple) and Kichu temple. Towards evening, drive up the valley to view the ruins of Drukgyel. Upon return, visit local shops. Overnight in Paro.
DAY 11: A day hike to Taksang monastery (Tiger’s nest monastery)
Today is another hallmark of the tour. You will drive to base of Takshang Monastry which takes about 1 hr and then hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The round trip will take about 5 hours hike with rest and lunch. You will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff.
In the evening relax after the tiring day in the traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath. Overnight in Paro.
DAY 12: Departure from Paro
Drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. We hope to serve you again with our other exciting tour packages in the future.