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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Punakha Tshechu Festival 2017

Entry point: KTM / BKK / DEL / KOL to PBH
Exit point: PBH to KTM / BKK / DEL / KOL
Period: 8 days Iinerary
Departures: March 5-12,2017

Punakha is located in the western part of Bhutan is the winter home of the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of Bhutan. Punakha has been of critical importance since the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 17th century. Known as the unifier of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was the one who gave Bhutan and its people the distinct cultural identity that identified Bhutan from the rest of the world.
During 17th century Bhutan was invaded several times by Tibetan forces seeking to seize a very precious relic, the Ranjung Kharsapani. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal led the Bhutanese to victory over the Tibetans and to commemorate the triumph he introduced the Punakha Drubchen. Since then Punakha Drubchen (also known as Puna Drubchen) became the annual festival of Punakha Dzongkhag.

The Punakha Drubchen is a unique festival because it hosts a dramatic recreation of the scene from the 17th century battle with Tibetan army. The ‘pazaps’ or local militia men, dress in traditional battle gear and reenact the ancient battle scene. This reenactment harkens back to the time when in the absence of a standing army, men from the eight Tshogchens or great village blocks of Thimphu came forward and managed to expel the invading forces from the country. Their victory ushered in a period of new-found internal peace and stability.

In 2005 another festival known as Punakha Tshechu was introduced by the 70th Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Choedra and the then Home Minister His Excellency Lyonpo Jigme Yoedzer Thinley. The Tshechu was introduced in response to the requests made by Punakha District Administration and local people to host a Tshechu in order to better preserve Buddhist teachings and keep alive the noble deeds of Zhabdrung Rimpoche.

These two festivals not only play an important role in preserving Bhutan’s rich culture and traditions but also provide devout Buddhists with an opportunity for prayer and pilgrimage. They reflect the richness of the Bhutanese cultural heritage and are very special in the eyes and hearts of both Bhutanese and tourists who visit Bhutan.

Day/Date

Programme

Hotel Category

Mar. 5

Arrive in Paro and continue by road to Thimphu

Meal: X/L/D Accommodation: Thimphu

3-star: Jambayang Resort

4-star: Namgay Heritage

5-star: Hotel La Meridian

Mar.6

Morning sightseeing. Drive to Punakha in the evening

Meal: B/L/D Accommodation: Punakha

3-star: Zangto Pelri

4-star: RKPO

5-star: Uma Resort

Mar. 7-8

Attend to Day 1 & 2 festival dances

Meal: B/L/D Accommodation: Punakha

3-star: Zangto Pelri

4-star: RKPO

5-star: Uma Resort

Mar. 9

Go on a full day sightseeing.

Meal: B/L/D Accommodation: Punakha

-star: Zangto Pelri

4-star: RKPO

5-star: Uma Resort

Mar.10

Return to Paro for sightseeing

Meal: B/L/D Accommodation: Paro

3-star: Hotel Olathang

4-star: Hotel Naksel

5-star: Hotel La Meridian

Mar. 11

Take an excursion to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest monastery), our national icon.

Meal: B/L/D Accommodation: Paro

3-star: Hotel Olathang

4-star: Hotel Naksel

5-star: Hotel La Meridian

Mar. 12

Departure from Paro for onward flights.

Meal: B/X/X

End of the trip!


Tariffs: Cost per pax per trip in USD

Hotel Category

Group size

 

1-5 pax

6-10 pax

11 pax +

3-star hotel

US$ 1575

US$ 1540

US$ 1505

4-star hotel

US$ 1925

US$ 1890

US$ 1820

5-star hotel(Luxury)

US$3759

US$ 3710

US$ 3640

Note: Singles are required to pay US$40 surcharge per night while an individual in a 2-pax group pay US$30 each.

Your tariff covers:

  1. 3 full meals and 2 light refreshments of tea/coffee with snacks a day
  2. Lodge on twin sharing basis.
  3. A resourceful licensed English-speaking guide
  4. Local transport in imported coaches.
  5. Royalty, visa, taxes and all other entry fees related to the trip.


What is NOT covered:

  1. Any air tickets
  2. Any expenses incurred on medical emergencies and evacuations
  3. Any liabilities due to cancellation of flights, roadblock, etc.
  4. Any kind of personal expenses.
  5. Other than an English-speaking guide if required, cost an additional US$100 per
  6. group per day.
  7. Any tips and gratitude to tour staff.