Tentative dates for Thimphu Festival in 2014: 3rd October to 8th October 

One of the biggest festivals in the country 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. 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.

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. 

 

 

 


TRIP OVERVIEW

Day 01: Arrival at Paro 

Day 02 : Paro Halt

Day 03:   Hotel to Airport

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: 3rd October, 2014: Arrival to Paro and transferred to Thimphu 

Distance: 55 km

Estimated travel time: 1 1/2 hrs 

During this festive season fly into Paro by Druk Air, Bhutan’s National Airline will have  great snow-capped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens can be seen during clear weather. As the plane approaches Bhutan, if you look down farmhouses as dots on the hillsides can be seen. 

As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, you will see Paro Dzong on the hill side overlooking the Paro Chu river, with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it.

You will be received by the representative of 7 Brothers Tours and Travels.Bhutan Tour Operator who will be your Bhutan travel guide throughout your tour.

Drive to Thimphu which will take at least 2 hours including sightseeing.

En-route stop to see Tachogkhang temple built by Tibetan Buddhist master. Thangthong Gyelpo popular known as Iron bridge builder which one can see iron bridge in the same place below the temple. One can believe that if you cross that iron bridge it will help you to achieve your goal or blessed.

After few minutes stop at Chuzom which means the confluence of two rivers, the Thimphu River and Paro River. This is also a point where two highways meet, the Thimphu-Phuntsholing highway and Thimphu-Paro highway. 

After reaching Thimphu one can visit Tashichhodzong, the seat of central government, central monastic body and also king’s throne, to have external view.  You can have view of 5th King’s palace below this fortress.

After that check into the hotel and dinner at the hotel. If you are interested be prepare to have photo of Fortress.Tashi Dzong in the night.

Day 02: 4th October, 2014: Attend Thimphu Festival 

Some of the Details of Thimphu Festival 

Dance of the 21Black hats (Zhana)

  • Costume: Large black hats felts boots long colorful brocade gown no mask.

Religious origin and explanation: This ground purification rite is also perfume on the occasion of construction of dzong, temples and stupas to conciliate the malevolent beings of the ground and take possession of the site of them.

  • The black hat dancers assume the appearance of yogis who show great and passionate anger extremely but actually have accomplished and peaceful minds. They possess the power of killing and recreating life. They subdue and liberate beings that cannot be led by peace. The five poisonous enemies, which are the sins, disappear in the sphere of emptiness.
  • This dance is also referred to as “Gar”dance. It is derived from the different traditions of the Tantras text of northern Buddhism.It is said that with help of the Gods who have mediated deeply upon the mantras sacred formulae the “Gar” which are the gestures of the dancers hands transform into mudras sacred mystic geometric figure the.The black hat dancer performing the ritual build a Mandela and cut the demons in to pieces. They thus safeguard the earth and dance the step of the thunderbolt to impress their power on it.

Dance of the 21 black hats with drums Zhanangacham

  • Religious origin and explanation: The Black hats beats the drums, the sounds of  which resounds throughout the Three worlds in honor of the victory of religious over  their enemies and the destruction of malevolent spirites.The drum sounds represents the dharma itself, which cannot be represent in any way because it has no visible form.

The Accompaniement Dance Kyecham

  • Costume: Knee-length yellow skirts,bare-feet,animalsmasks,swords in right hand.

Religious origin and explanation: When King  Norzang of a north Indian land called Naden left to subdue enemies further north, the protectors and guardians of the doctrine and  the assembly  of the king’s tutelary deities were his armed companions. This is the classical explanation of this dance, hence its name.

  • One other explanation is related to another dance, the Phole Mole.This version talks of once compatible couple whose marriage, when shaken by the trials of a love triangle, ends with the husband cutting off his wife nose. The story reinforces the universal law that says there is no real substance in wordily components. Many people behave similarly and bring upon themselves suffering in their current lives and the lives to come. Faith in the Buddhist creed, on the other hand, allows one to realize happiness from knowing that the three jewel (Buddha,Religion,and Community of Believers) are refuges that never fail.
  • Dance of the Nobleman and the  ladies (Phole Mole)and the Accompaniment Dance(Kyecham)
  • Religious origin and explanation: like the one that precedes it, this dance draws from the biography of king Norzang of naden of the north of India and continues the themes of fidelity tested by physical distance and mutilation. King  Norzang’s Northern crusade separated him from Yidrogma, his favorites queens he married His eventual return, though, sees an ending reminiscent of the odysseus-penelope reunion. 
  • What really happen to dance is closer to a comical play than a dance. Two princes go to war, leaving behind two princesses in the care of an old couple. As soon as they depart, a team of clowns try to frolic with the princesses and corrupt the old women who behave immorally as well. Upon returning from war the princes are scandalized by the behavior of the princesses and the old women and cutoff their noses as punishment. A doctor is called to put the nose back but the old women stinks so much that the doctor has to use a stick to do the job. Finally the princes marry the princesses and everybody is reconciled.

Dance of the 16 Drum Beaters from Drametshe Ngacham.

  • Costume: Knee-length yellow animal’s masks, Drums
  • Religious origin and meaning: the learned Lam Kuenga Gyeltshen had likeTerton Pemalingpa before him, a vision of Guru Rinpoche and his Paradise. He saw the attended of Ugyen Rinpoche transform them into a hundred peaceful and terrifying deities. They danced with big drums in their left hands drumsticks in their right hands. LamKuenga Gyeltshen depicted this vision in this dance which he composed in the Eastern Bhutanese Monastery of Dremetshe. 

Dance of the stags and the Hounds ShawaShachi

  • Religious origin and explanation: generally performed like a play in two parts this dance represents the conversion to Buddhism of an animal’s hunter, GomboDorji, by the great saints JetsunMilarepa(1040-1123). Once, while in meditation Milarepa heard a men shouting and dog barking. Upon coming out of his cave he saw a red-haired stag sweating and trembling with fear.Milarepa sing religious song that caused the stag to forget fear and lie down on right. Chasing the stag a red dog evident fiery withwrath, appeared. It succumbed to the pacifying effect of Milarapas song just as easily and lay down as well. Then came the frighteningly fierce hunter GonpoDorji, carrying bow and arrows enraged at the sight of Milarapa and two animals at peace, he shot a poisonous arrow at the saints.Gompo Dorji  bow broke into pieces ,the sting of the bow  was cot and arrow turned back towards him.Milarapa then sang another song that filled GompoDorji with violent regret for all wrongful action he had committed before. Then hunter took an oath not to sin again embraced and eventually attained full realization.
  • The parts of dance are somewhat comical. The hunter’s servant appeared and jokes with clowns. Then come to hunter crownedwith leaves and carrying bow and arrows. He is accompanied by two dogs. The servant jokes with clowns and even disrespectful with his master who performed pre hunting rituals in way contrary to the Buddhist tradition.
  • The second parts has a more serious and religious tone.Milarapa appeared wearing along white dress, white hat and holds a pilgrim’s staff.He sings with soft voice and has his right hand near his ear. The stag, the two dogs and the hunter, one after the other, arrive in Milarepa’s present and he converts them with song. The conversion is symbolized by rope that the hounds and the hunter have to jump over. 

Dinner and overnight stay Thimphu

Day 03: 5th October, 2014: Thimphu- Punakha

Distance: 77 km km

Estimated travel time: 3 hrs 

Today drive to Punakha. The road to Punakha and WangduePhodrang, branches of a short distance before Simtokhadzong.

The road, which loops back as Fly-over Bridge, is the east-west highway, which was constructed in 1984. About a Kilometer past the turn-off there is a magnificent view of Simtokhadzong, the first fortress of Kingdom. The road then climbs past the forestry research center at Yusipang, then through apple orchards and forests of blue pine. Within few minutes’ drive from here you will reach Dochula La Pass at 3050m. It is a 45 minutes’ drive from Thimphu. This pass is marked by a chorten with an array of colorful prayer flags.

Dochula cafeteria of Queen mother, located quite near to Dochula stupas which are of 108 stupas to commemorate victory over Indian insurgents .

Dochula Pass offers a breathtaking, panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day.

Such days are rare. The best chance of view is in the early morning between mid-October and mid- February.

The pointed peaks standing opposite Dochula are:

  • Kang Bum-6526m
  • Gangchhenta- 6840m
  • Masang Gang-7158m- This mountain dominates the region of Laya
  • Tshenda Gang- 7100m
  • Teri Gang- 7170m
  • Jejekangphu gang-7158m
  • Zongphu Gang- a Table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana is 7060m
  • And GangkarPuensum -7497m is the highest peak in Bhutan

Gasadzong almost 50 kms to the northcan also can be seen from the Dochula cafeteria.

Drive to toPunakha from this place changes the vegetation dramatically to Oak, maple and blue pine to a moist mountain forest of rhododendron, alder, cypress, hemlock and fir.

And lead to Chime Lhakhang.  It is believed that a demon who has been terrorizing the valley had transformed herself into a black do to escape the wrath of DrukpaKuenley. But he had caught the dog on the WangduePhodrang route and buried it under a pile of earth shaped like a woman’s breast. He had been built a chorten( stupa) on top of this mount and prophesized that a temple would one day be consecrated over it. True to the prophecy, his brother Lam NgawangChogyel built Chime temple in 1456. Chimi comes from” Chimi” meaning “ dog” and “med” meaning “ no”, which in all means’” no dog” meaning this black dog will never come back from underground. After few drive from this place then reaching to PunakhaKuruthang which is settle light town. Punakha is located at 1250m. The central School was consecrated and the village expanded in the mid-1980s. 

PunakhaDzong

Punakha Dzong which is also known as PungthangDewachenpoePhodrang is located between  Mochu Female and Phochu River  Male were once lovers, flowing in the same bed. PunakhaDzong fortress is the second largest Dzong of Bhutan built by Unified father of Bhutan  ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyel in 1637 which was blessed by Guru Rinpoche in 8th century and prophesized that name called Namgyel will come and build a fortress in this place.

Thus, true Guru Rinpoche’s prophecy ZhabdungNgawang Namgyel built a remarkable dzong which is now having the important relics of RangjungKharsapani, which is statue of Avalokistesvara which appeared marvelously from the vertebrate of TshangpaGyare, the founder of Drukpa School in Tibet.

Above 10 minutes’ walk from this Dzong you will find longest suspension bridge in Bhutan 200m to enjoy beautiful valleys. 

Dinner and overnight at hotel. 

Day 04: 6th October, 2014: Punakha- Paro

Distance: 132 km

Estimated travel time: 4 ½ hrs 

After your breakfast you can then proceed to Wangdiphodrang. On your way you will see a different kind of village called Richengang village. Here you will see the houses are built very close together.

After this visit move back to Thimphu and en-route dochula pass for stop and above the pass. The highest point on the road is marked by a large Bhutanese chorten and prayer flags fluttering on the hill. visit Druk Wanggyal Lhakhang built by the eldest Queen mother; the past and future appear to merge in the details of the Lhakhang that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distant future. 

You can visit National Museum  in 1967.

Inside the museum you will find many antique thankas, different kinds of textiles, a small temple of life, different statues, etc. After this you can drive to Rimpung Dzong or Paro dzong which was built in the 17th century. This dzong is now the administration center and school for the monks of Paro district. Then you will have tea and snacks in one of the hotel in Paro.

Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 05: 7th October, 2014: Hike to Tiger’s Nest 

Breakfast

Lunch and Dinner 

After having healthy breakfast at the hotel you can straight away  at the hotel you can straight away start your sightseeing programme. 

You can drive 10 Kms upstream of river from Paro town to view the Takshang monastery The tiger’s nest from the road. Our guide will briefly narrate the history behind this monastery. As believed by the Bhutanese, Guru Padmasambhava who brought Buddhism into Bhutan flew here on a tiger’s back in the 8th century and meditated for three months. Later in 1684 this monastery was built. You can ask your guide to give you a detailed explanation. 

As per we believe making up to Tiger’s nest in this life would be the best opportunity to rebirth in the peaceful land even attend enlightenment and  this is the most important sacred place on the planet. You may also pray for your successful life.

You can walk back till road point. 

We arrange horse while riding up to the tiger’s nest. But impossible to ride on the horse while moving down.

Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel. 

 Day 06: 8th October, 2014:  Departure 

Breakfast

We wish you safe and pleasant journey

 

TOUR PRICE

Peak Season: March/March/April/May/Sept/Oct and November 

Group Size

       Quotation

Hotel

4 and 5 star hotels  need an additional charge

Above 10pax it is subject to discussion about rate

1 pax

US$1450/person

3 Star

2 pax

US$1275/person

3 Star

Above 3pax

US$1125/person

3 Star

 The above Bhutan tour package prices include the following:

  • Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
  • FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
  • Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
  • All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
  • English speaking tour guide service
  • All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
  • All entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • All internal taxes and fees
  • Mineral drinking water while sightseeing

The above tour prices do not include the following:

  • Single room supplement of  US$ 50/room/night during high season optional
  • Visa  fee of US$40/person must be paid in advance with tour cost
  • Airfares optional
  • Travel issuance recommended
  • 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals optional
  • Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc 

 

Contact Us:

3rd Floor, Above BOB City Bank

Kelwang Building below main traffic

Thimphu, Bhutan

Tele: + 975 2 329873

Mobile: 975-17891134

P.O Box: 1015

Email-    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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You can directly contact through the web: Contact Us

Our Services

The company’s main aim is to bring fewer tourists with high quality service where we can provide each and every attention to customer. We begin with the slogan” Service is Key to your Happiness” 7 Brothers Tours and Travels is set to make your journey to Bhutan a dream experience for you. We are here to provide you service and take care of everything from the moment you step on the enthralling” Land of Gross National Happiness”. We offer best hotels for your accommodation, which has all services to compose you “Your Home Away from Home”. Our multi-cuisine restaurant serves lovely Bhutan’s very own fragility as well as other cuisines to give you the best of cooking contentment and we offer cooking style as per your choice for Ala Carte system. Verities of refreshment will be served at the various points during your journey. Picnic lunch will be served where ever possible to insert to the experience.

We provide you luxury cars to ensure you a very comfortable and realizable mode of transportation on the back roads. Our professional tour guides will escort you to the wonderlands of Bhutan. You can access to our entire tour packages. 

 

Objective and Mission

Our objective is to customers make Bhutan their home away from home. Our mission is to persuade every customer to come back Bhutan. We have always kept the motto “Our customer satisfaction is the most priority”.

Overseas Agent

7 Brothers Tours and Travels is dedicated to English speaking countries, however our customers are almost from all over the world. We have professional experienced tour guides fluently speaking English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese and planning to employ permanent Thai guide in our company. Among our valued foreign partners, we have close partnership with big travel agents and wholesales in Thailand Taiwan, China, Russia, Singapore, Australia, Canada, USA, Spain, Italy, Brazil and Belgium. And we also strive to get direct clients from Trip Advisor and word of mouth. 

Transportations

We provide following Transportation within Bhutan


Toyota Coaster Bus Luxury: 14 sitters/ 22 sitters 

Japanese Hiace Bus/ High Roof : 8 sitters

H1 Bus Korean made : 4 sitters

 Sante Fee

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