One of the biggest festivals in the Bhutan is the Thimphu Tshechu. This festival is held in the capital city for three days beginning on 10th day of the 8th month of lunar calendar. The Thimphu Tsechu was established by the 4th Temporal Ruler, Tenzing Rabgye (1638-1696) in 1670 on the 8th month of Bhutanese calendar to commemorate the birth of Guru Rinpoche. It is held on the courtyard of the Tashichhodzong and is considered one of the most beautiful Tshechus in western Bhutan. This Tshechu is witnessed by thousands of people many of which travel from neighboring Dzongkhags (districts) to attend the festivities. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods. The Tsechu is a religious festival and by attending it, it is believed one gains merits. It is also a yearly social gathering where the people gather to rejoice, dressed in finery. In order that Bhutan can rejoice in continued happiness, many learned lamas established the tradition of these dances. The deities of the Tantric teaching are invoked during these dances. Through their power and benediction, all misfortunes are annihilated, and peace and happiness reign. When it was initiated by the 4th Desi, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 the Tshechu consisted of only a few dances being performed strictly by monks. These were the Zhana chham and the Zhana Nga chham (Dances of the 21 Black Hats), Durdag (Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Ground), and the Tungam chham (Dance of the Terrifying Deities). The Thimphu Tshechu underwent a change in the 1950s, when the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, introduced numerous Boed chhams (mask dances performed by lay monks). These additions added colour and variation to the festival without compromising its spiritual significance. Mask dances like the Guru Tshengye (Eight Manifestations of Guru), Shaw Shachi (Dance of the Stags) are enjoyed because they are similar to stage-theater. Equally important are the Atsaras, who are more than just mere clowns. The Atsaras are the dupthobs (acharyas), who provide protection. The dances and the jesting of the Atsaras are believed to entrance evil forces and prevent them from causing harm during Tshechus. Modern Atsaras also perform short skits to disseminate health and social awareness messages. To farmers, the Tshechu is also seen as a break from farm life. It’s an occasion to celebrate, receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.
What is included in the tour
- Private guided tour
- Visas for Bhutan
- Airport transfers
- Daily 3 meals (B/L/D) at designated restaurants or hotels
- Accommodation at 3 star hotel
- A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide
- An experienced driver
- A tour vehicle
- Entry fees & road permits
- Government fee, royalty, taxes & surcharges
- Mineral bottled water
- Set of traditional costume (to be return at the end of your stay)
- Full service & assistance before, during and after your Bhutan trip
- Free Local Sim
- Excited Trip Gift exclusively from Arisedev Tours and Treks
What is NOT included in the tour
- Flight into Bhutan via Drukair (can be arranged with us)
- Flight on other airline to catch Drukair Flight
- Meals at 4-5 stars restaurants
- Hotel stay outside of Bhutan
- Expenditure of personal nature
- Travel Insurance (can be arranged with us)
- Tips for the guide and driver
- Alcoholic drink
- Guaranteed Visa approval. We have yet to disappoint a single of our travellers in term of Visa issuance.
- Your choice of hotels will be confirmed for your inspection before your arrival. We only book you on hotels which we love and would love again.
- We will be happy to change your guide, driver or vehicle on the first two days of arrival in Thimphu if you are not satisfied with our selection. Drop us a note and our hospitality team be on the spot to assist you.
- We’re here to help. Our world-class member services team is available by phone or email — there's no automated system or call center; you'll communicate with a real person.
Day 1: Arrival in Paro; Transfer to Thimphu
When you arrive in Paro by Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, your tour guide will pick you up at the airport. After clearing customs and visa formalities, your guide will transfer you to Paro town for lunch.
Then you will be transferred to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, following the Pachu River. The drive takes about 1.5 hours in total, during when you can stop on the way to see the Tamchhog Lhakhang, a hereditary place of worship for the Bhutan’s iron bridge builders.
As the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu is devoid of stereotyped skyscrapers and huge traffic. Instead, surrounding by rolling mountains, Thimphu is known for its picturesque Bhutan dzong, fresh air and loveable local people. Upon your arrival, you will pay a visit to Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong), the most beautiful Bhutan dzong as well as the headquarters of Bhutan government. You will also explore the National Library and Folk Heritage Museum, a 300-year-old traditional house converted into a museum.Stay overnight in Thimphu
Day 2: Thimphu - Attend the Thimphu Festival
The whole day will be spent in attending the Thimphu Festival to enjoy various mask dances and folk dances, together with jokers actions in the crowd. The dances are performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes, and locals gather together in their finest Gho’s and Kira’s in festive mood with deep faith for their culture and tradition. It is a great chance for you to witness the ancient living culture of Bhutan. Stay overnight in Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu - Attend the Thimphu Festival
The following day will continue with the interesting Thimphu Festival. Or, in the afternoon, we can head to visit other famous heritage sites in Thimphu, like Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple located in the valley built in 12th century. It not only offers a panoramic vista of Thimphu Valley, but also houses the mazing figurine of Chenresig in tis 11 headed thousand-armed manifestation form in the inner sanctum. You will also visit the Takin Preserve to see the national animal of Bhutan. Stay overnight in Thimphu
Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha
The new day begins with tasty Bhutanese breakfast. After that, we will travel northeast to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. On the way, we will stop at scenic Dochu La Pass (3,100m) and have a refreshment there. The perfect vintage point brings you the unobstructed vista of Great Himalayas.
After lunch at Wangduephodrang (1,350m), we keep driving to Punakha, which used to the capital of Bhutan. You will explore the world-renowned Punakha Dzong, widely believed to be the most beautiful Bhutanese Dzong, built at the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu Rivers. You will also visit Chimi Lhakhang, a popular Buddhist monastery built around 1499 by Ngawang Chogyal.Stay overnight in Punakha.
Day 5: Punakha to Paro
After the breakfast we will drive to Paro from Punakha. The road will ascend up to the great Dochula Pass. On the way back to Paro offers another chance to view the amazing Himalayan ranges. You can stop along the way to take photos wherever you find the best spot for the photography.
After lunch we will visit to Paro National Museum, which holds fascinating collections of art, relics, religious Thangka paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. And Later explore the Paro Rinpung Dzong. Located at the suburb of Paro City, Rinpung Dzong is a fortress built in the 17th Century to protect Paro valley, which offers you picturesque scenery and a sense of inner peace.Stay overnight in Punakha.
Day 6: Trek to Taksang Lhakhang (Tiger’s Nest)
Getting up in the fresh morning, we’ll start today’s trek to Taktshang Goemba (also known as Tiger's Nest). Standing on the cliff of Paro Valley, Taktshang Goemba (3120 meters) is the landmark of Paro as well as the holiest temple in Bhutan. It’s said that Guru Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) had flied here on the back of a tigress and meditated in the caves on the cliffside for three months. From here, you can catch a panoramic view of Paro Valley.
After lunch, you may opt for a stone bath or enjoy free exploration nearby.Stay overnight in Paro.
Day 7: Departure from Paro
Today, our tour guide will transfer you to Paro International Airport for your next destination. Tour service end.