They are also designed to explore the farthest reaches of Bhutan at the best season to see nature’s glory and vibrant culture in the most profound sense. You can also witness the famed Cham traditional dances which are spontaneous as well as expertly choreographed and graceful. For the average Bhutanese, this is an unfolding of an amazing miracle, a moment when mythos, folklore and reality traverse in one common road to meet man’s longing for spirituality. The people, the land, and the animals of Bhutan all find blessings the entire year at these festivals. On these special tours, we visit many beautiful places in Bhutan like Paro, Thimphu, Wangdue and Bumthang. These are all places that provide you with a true experience of Bhutan’s cultural richness with terrific sceneries mixed with a breathtaking insight into the country’s rich history and its beautiful cheerful people.
Bhutanaese religious and spiritual festivals are known as Tshechus. The word “Tsechu” means "tenth day", owing to the celebration on the tenth day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Saint Padmasambhava). However the exact month of the Tshechu varies from place to place and temple to temple. These festivals are held annually in various temples, monasteries and dzongs (fortresses) throughout the country. Tshechus are grand events where entire communities assemble to witness religious mask dances; to receive blessings and socialize. . In addition to the mask dances Tshechus also include diverse Bhutanese dances and other forms of entertainment.
1. Bhutan Paro Festival Tour – 10 Days
Paro, Thimphu, Haa, Punakha, and Wangdue are quintessential Himalayan paradises: an endless stream of visual delights. Relentless waters against fertile rice valleys, colossal fortresses perched over stretches of green grass and decorative homes of the people are a few introductions to the valley of Paro. Join us on this incredible journey that explores not only the rich traditions of Bhutan’s celebrated resilient cities of Paro and Punakha, with their grand forts and beautiful landscapes, but also the region’s holy places, where the sumptuous palaces of the Gods, their empires, and their blessings have been transformed into atmospheric junctions of prayers and rejoicing. From the painted Rinpung fortress and the ruins of Drugyel to the traditional villages of Haa and the romance of Thimphu, Bhutan’s glorious culture comes alive also through glorious traditional festivals where the arts and tribal music can be experienced. The highlight of our adventure is the Paro festival, where you can mingle with the locals in a wildly exuberant event heralding victories and blessings of the guardian deities, complete with singing, rejoicing, and the enthusiastic graceful dancing of the holy monks.
2. Bhutan Punakha Drubchen Festival – 10 Days
There always has been timeless Bhutan: the deities, dragons and decorative dancers, the valley of wars, the protective fortresses, forests and fables. This quintessential Bhutan holiday leaves no cultural, natural or historical stone unturned on its 9 day journey across the country. The main attraction of this tour is the Punakha Drubchen Festival. Originally celebrated as a war victory centuries ago, today this event is a revelation of the enduring marvels and out-of-the-way gem of Bhutan. This is grassroots wandering at its heights; where you can really get mixed with the communities and local people you meet along the way. To witness this festival, we head out to the valley of Punakha which is like an exquisite open-air museum of history and culture. And amidst the natural scenic beauty of the rest of Bhutan, you’ll explore a hidden paradise full of cheerful villagers, red-robed monks, colorful markets, and enjoy the view of sublime fortresses, monasteries that continue to reign over forested hills and valleys.
3. Jambay Lhakhang Festival (Bumthang Drup) – 12 Days
In the 7th century, when the Tibetan king Songsten Gampo accepted Buddhism as his state religion, he built 108 monasteries around the Himalayan region to commemorate the religious philosophy of Buddhism. Jambay Lhakhang, where the festival is held, is situated in Bumthang’s Chokhor Valley and is one out of the 108 monasteries. Our epic journey starts from the dramatic Paro region, which is a land of fascinating ancient history, deep religious roots, and incredible people with a rich cultural tradition. From there it is to Thimphu and then to Punakha, to kick off our adventure by savoring Bhutan’s untainted atmosphere, craggy mountain scenery, and utter lack of outside visitors. After exploring its mountainous landscapes, we’ll cross into Bumthang. Here, we visit the charming Jakar Dzong (fortress), evidently the largest in Bhutan, explore the rugged but beautiful green foothills and visit the famed Flaming Lake. The festival is an event that marks Bhutan’s innate beauty and fascinating cultural legacy. When we conclude this grand journey in Bhutan whose rich human heritage dates back hundreds of years and whose landscape is dotted with carved, decorated monasteries and frescoed Stupas set in dramatic locations, they all form one happy memory that all travelers seek but only a few ever find.
Offering incredible opportunities for cultural interactions, the Thimphu Drupchen Festival is an intriguing ancient festival seen by only a few foreign eyes. Himalayan Dreams has crafted a trip that weaves together visits to this compelling cultural event, to excursions through forests, mountain passes and stream-laced valleys of rugged austere beauty. Crossing into once-forbidden parts of this Himalayan country, our trails lead you through timeless villages lying on the shadow of the sacred Mount Jhomolhari. Along the way we sample savory regional cuisine, with its Himalayan influences, and enjoy wonderful cultural encounters. This journey will let you discover the magic of the most far-flung destinations of Bhutan as it has been for many centuries as we enter the fabled realm of the Tashichho Dzong for a festival dedicated to the deity of death and time, Yeshe Gonpo. We begin in Paro and also explore dazzling destinations in Bhutan, famous for their spectacular sights and the warm hospitality of its residents. We ask you to take this trip as a cultural crash course where you can also feast your eyes on phenomenal scenery, visit ancient sites that few travelers ever see, and meet the cultural and spiritual Bhutanese, whose rich cultures are deeply tied to the mountain realm and whose life’s philosophy beckons of love and compassion.
5. Wangdue Festival – 10 Days
The storied Himalayan country of Bhutan has always charmed travelers, and it is full of treasures, from mountainous slopes where wild Takins roam, to centuries -year-old intact royal cities. On this grand adventure, you’ll explore the glorious legacy of an early Buddhist civilization, visit with young Buddhist monks, take nature walks, and view the stark austere beauty of Bhutan’s unruffled landscape. Colorful festivals are a wonderful part of Bhutan’s heritage, and you’ll witness the vibrant Wangdue festival, which will bring you into closer contact with the people and give you an insight into the Bhutan's rich culture, traditions, beliefs, religion, history and much more. This journey brings you an insider’s view of the rich culture and ancient heritage of Bhutan, with visits to dazzling Wangdue where the surreal fairytale landscape offers a spiritual experience unparalleled by anything anywhere else in the Himalayas. Heading along to Thimphu, Haa and Punakha, you can explore glorious fortresses, the best preserved medieval history, and to the lovely off-the-beaten-path sites such as exquisite ways to the Lakhangs (temples) at Haa, the remote sanctuaries dedicated to the guiding deities of Bhutan. Incorporated into your this holiday are also walks on ancient trails through beautiful countryside of terraced farmlands, delightful pastures, visits to serene rural villages with opportunities to mingle with the locals.
6. Bhutan Nomad Festival - 12 Days Nomad Festival Tour
Some of the most spectacular experiences in Bhutan comprise particularly of witnessing grand festivals. This one in particular reveals the very best of this grand-scale paradise, where Nomadic tribes and herdsmen of Bhutan pour down from the highlands (northeast and northwest) for a festival that is made up of very unique traditions. This remarkable trip through Bhutan leads us across high mountain passes and along tranquil forests for extraordinary vistas of Mt. Jhomolhari and historical forts that are a treat for the eyes. From the beautiful fertile valley of Paro to the ancient rustic culture of the nomads, and the unbelievable masked Chams (Dance), there’s no shortage of authentic Bhutanese sights on this jaunt. Journeying through Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue and Trongsa, there will be many opportunities to really appreciate the stunning landscapes and diverse scenery of this part of the world. Nature lovers will be thrilled at the chance to be in the forests and the hills, while chill-seekers can have leisure time in the evenings. This comprehensive 12-day adventure showcases what Bhutan offers, in an unrivalled way to experience a healthy slice of a Bhutanese life.