9 Day Punakha Dromche

4.5 / 5.0 6 Reviews ( Read Reviews )
  • Punakha Dromche

    Punakha Dromche
    Dancer in traditional costume

  • Punakha Dromche

    Punakha Dromche
    Dancer in traditional costume

  • Punakha Dromche

    Punakha Dromche
    Dancer in traditional costume

  • Punakha Dromche

    Punakha Dromche
    Zhana Nga Chham

  • Punakha Dromche

    Punakha Dromche
    Dancer in traditional costume

Punakha Dromche festival is unique for being the only festival with a procession that re-enact the war against Tibetan in the 17th century.

Dromche generally include dances and this festival is dedicated to Yeshe Gompo (Mahakala) or Palden Lhamo, the two main protective deities of Drukpas (Drukpas = means people of Druk land or Bhutanese). Punakha Dromche take place in the first month of the lunar year and ends with ’Serda’, a magnificent procession which re-enacts an episode of the war against the Tibetan in the 17th century.

The religious dances performed during festival are called ’Cham’ and there are a large number of them. Dancers wear spectacular costumes made of yellow silk or rich brocade, often decorated with ornaments of carved bone. For certain dances, they wear masks which may represent animals, fearsome deities, skulls or just simple human beings. These dances can be grouped in three categories; (I) Instructive or Didactic Dances, (II) Dances that purify and protect a place from demonic spirits, (III) Dances that proclaim the victory of Buddhism.

Day 1

     Arrival in Paro, Bhutan

Elevation 2,320 m     Weather in Thimphu

Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatise to the altitude. Drive to Thimphu, check in to the hotel and let’s have your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine and some light sightseeing in Thimphu if possible.

National Memorial Chorten - Which was built in honor of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.
Buddha Point at Kuensel Phodrang, will be open to tourists once it is completed in 2012. The 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma , Vajra Throne Buddha symbolising indestructibility will be completed soon. The Buddha statue itself is competed awaiting paintings, but visitors can drive up to the Buddha point and view the tallest statue of Lord Buddha. The view of Thimphu valley from the Buddha point is spectacular and beautiful, especially at night.

Thimphu Dzong - The largest Dzong, is also the seat of the office of the King of Bhutan.

Hotels:

Day 2

     Tour of Thimphu

Elevation 2,320 m     Weather in Thimphu

Heritage Museum- Dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past though exhibition of artefacts used in rural households.
Textile Museum - Witnesses the art of traditional weaving.
Papermaking Factory - Witnesses the art of papermaking.
Simtokha Dzong - Five miles from Thimphu, on a lofty ridge, stands Semtokha Dzong the oldest fortress in the Kingdom.

Day Trek to Tango Goemba and picnic/lunch by river In the afternoon. The Tango Goemba site has had religious significance since the 12th century when it was the home of the Lama who brought the Drukpa Kagyupa school of Buddhism to Bhutan. The monastery was built there in the 15th century by Drukpa Kunley ("The Divine Madman"). Tango is the highest center of Buddhist learning in the country; almost every Je Khenpo (religious head of Bhutan) completed the 9-year program there. After completing that program, monks traditionally spend 3 years, 3 months and 3 days in mediation at the nearby Cheri Goemba retreat, built in 1619 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder or first unifier of Bhutan. It is currently the home of an 11-year-old boy believed to be the seventh reincarnation of the fourth desi, or ruler, of Bhutan.

Centenary Farmers’ Market - Every Saturday and Sunday most of the Thimphu population congregate on the banks of the river where the weekend market is held. Here villagers from the valley and other nearby places come to sell their agriculture products.
 

Hotels:

Day 3

     Punakha

Elevation 1,300 m     Weather in Punakha
Punakha Dzong was built in 1637, the dzong continues to be the winter home for the clergy, headed by the Chief Abbott, the Je Khenpo. It is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at the fork of two rivers, portraying the image of a medieval city from a distance. The Dzong was destroyed by fire and glacial floods over the years but has been restored and is, today, a fine example of Bhutanese craftsmanship.
 
Punakha Drubchen include dances, and this festival was dedicated to Yeshe Gompo (Mahakala) or Palden Lhamo, the two main protective deities of Drukpas (Drukpas = means people of Druk land or Bhutanese). Punakha Dromche takes place in the first month of the lunar year and ends with ’Serda’, a magnificent procession that re-enacts an episode of the war against the Tibetan in the 17th century.
 
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten was built by the third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck this Chorten is a splendid example of the Bhutanese architecture and art and is the only one of its kind in the world. It has been built over eight and a half years, and its details have been drawn from religious scripture.
 

Hotels:

Day 4

     Punakha to Bumthang

Elevation 2,600 m - 4,000 m     Weather in Bumthang

In the morning, we would start our drive to Central Bhutan. Before we start we will pay a visit to Chhimi Lhakhang  (left) - A 20 minutes walk across terraced fields through the village of Sopsokha from the roadside to the small temple located on a hillock in the centre of the valley below Metshina. Ngawang Chogyel built the temple in 15th century after the ’Divine Madman’ Drukpa Kuenlay built a small chorten there. It is a pilgrim site for barren women.

Passing Wangdue (left), one of the major towns and district capital of Western Bhutan. Located south of Punakha, Wangdue is the last town before central Bhutan. The district is famous for its fine bamboo work and its slate and stone carving.

We will pause to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. Built in 1638, Wangdue Dzong is dramatically perched on the spur of a hill and overlooks the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers.
 

Hotels:

Day 5

     Bumthang

Elevation 2,600 m - 4,000 m     Weather in Bumthang

This is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism in Bhutan. It is an area with a wide variety of fauna and flora. The Guru Rinpoche and his lineage of Tertons (treasure finders) making Bumthang his home have led to more than 40 temples being built in this peaceful valley.

In the morning, we will hike to the Tamshing Goemba, built in 1501 by the Buddhist saint Pema Lingpa. We will also visit Kurjey Lhakhang (left-bottom), one of the most sacred monasteries in Bhutan. Built by the Guru Rinpoche in 1652, it houses a rock with his body imprint. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche manifested as a Garuda to defeat the demon Shelging Karpo who had taken the form of a white lion.

We will also visit Jambay Lhakhang, built in 659 by Tibetan King Sontsen Gampo to pin down a demoness who was obstructing the spread of Buddhism. Come October, the Jambay Lhakhang Drup is one of the most colourful festivals in Bhutan.

Jakar Dzong - pitched on a high ground overlooking the town junction, it was built as monastery in 1549 by the great grandfather of the Zhabdrung. It is now used as the administrative center for Bumthang district

In the afternoon, we will hike up toThangbi Valley, crossing a suspension bridge to visit theThangbi Lhakhang built in the 14th century via an unpaved road.
 

Hotels:

Day 6

     Bumthang to Gangtey

Elevation 3,000 m     Weather in Gangtey

On route to Gangtey is Trongsa, the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty.

Trongsa, literally "New Town" in the Dzongkha language, is where the current monarchy had its origin in Bhutan. Each King in the line of succession has held the post of Trongsa Penlop or Governor before donning the Raven Crown.

Trongsa Dzong - The foundations of Trongsa Dzong were laid in the 16th century by by Pema Lingpa. The Dzong flourished during the 17th century under Shabdrung Ngwang Namgyal. With its massive structure, its wall looming high above the winding Mangde Chu Valley, the Dzong commands the east-west road.

Taa Dzong - Built as a watchtower the Taa Dzong has since been turned into a Heritage Museum. A book on this prominent Dzong is written by Christian Schicklgruber entitled The Tower of Trongsa, Religion and Power in Bhutan.
 

Hotels:

Day 7

     Gangtey to Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

Paro Valley - The beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Paro.

Paro Dzong also known as Rinpung Dzong, this 15th century massive fortress/monastery, is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag.

Ta Dzong - Built as a watchtower the Ta Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum boasts antique Thangka, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

Drukgyal Dzong - Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan. The Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and relive the memories of a glorious past.
 

 

Hotels:

Day 8

     Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

Drukgyal Dzong - A morning drive, north of Paro valley brings us to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate.Explore the ramparts and relive the memories of a glorious past.

Taktsang Monastery - A one hour hike to the cafeteria is also a vantage view whereby you can enjoy the stunning view of the monastery. Prayer flags adorn the cliffs and this is also where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century.

Kyichu Lhakhang - After a sumptuous local lunch, we will retrace our steps to visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.
 

Hotels:

Day 9

     Depart Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

Today we will bid fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take an early flight back to Singapore. We hope by now you would have made some friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this beautiful land of endless Enchantments! Tashi Delek!

What's Included

Suitable Months
  • Festival Date: 2nd-6th March 2017
Prices
  • For Travel during Punakha Dromche
  • USD 1,969 for 1 person traveler
  • USD 1,889 per person for 2 person travelers
  • USD 1,649 per person for group of 3 and above
What's Excluded

Our Guarantee

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.

From USD 1,899
  

Recent Customer Reviews 4.5 / 5.0 ( Read Reviews )


90.0 % of Our Travellers Recommend This Travel Plan

Sort by: Newest / Oldest

 
Giorgio Gratta
Giorgio Gratta
United States, Feb 2015

Hello Eve,

The trip was great, thanks.

We (my wife actually) finally got around posting some of the photos from our great trip in Bhutan. You can see them at the link below. Feel free to use any of them! Also I wanted to send the link to Chunjur but I can’t find his card anymore, can you send me his email address or forward this to him

Best
Giorgio

+Read Full Review


Linda Tay
Linda Tay
Singapore, Feb 2015

Halo Sonam,

Happy New Year

I and our friends would like to thank you for recommended us to beautiful place Bhutan, and our guide Tashi Tobgay and the driver, they are wonderful. We are discussing we may go next year, please recommend and any promotion let us know we can do arrangement. To see you again.

+Read Full Review


Anna Testa
Anna Testa
Philippines, Feb 2015

Kuzu, Sangay! Here’s my written feedback -

Ya lama kheno, Bhutan was spectacular!
I came back from the trip…richer in knowledge and friendships, wiser about life (thanks to all the discussions on Buddhism with my guide), and happier what with all my experiences in Bhutan. My guide, Kezang Wangchuk was just brilliant! Professional, knowledgeable, witty, friendly, patient. And my driver, Tshering Wangchuk was really impressive! Fantastic driving skills, I never felt safer. I was also happy with the itinerary, the sights, the hotels, the flight, the road trips, the vehicle. I think Druk Asia did a great job. Other Druk Asia customers that I met during my 7 days, had nothing but praises for their guide and driver. Thank you! And my online contact for Druk Asia based in Singapore, Sangay Dorj.

+Read Full Review


Read More Testimonial »