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Paro Tsechu Bhutan

Tsechus are very popular in Bhutan. It marks the birthday of the most revered saint, Guru Padmasambhava or the lotus born. All the dzongs in the twenty districts have a few days in their calendar, dedicated for the celebration, of this auspicious occasion.
Paro Tsechu commences from 31st March- 4th April in 2015.

Ten days Paro Tsechu experience:

24th March:
Arrive at Paro air port from Bangkok or Delhi. A warm reception by the Changshe team, who will then lead you to Metta resort. After lunch visit the national museum, one of the best natural history museums in south-east Asia.

25th March:
Drive to Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan and check in to hotel Phuntsho Pelri. The rest of the day will be spent on exploring all the interesting sites in Thimphu such as the Changangkha Lhakang seated on a hillock presenting a strategic view of Thimphu town, the folk heritage museum, a typical farm house from medieval Bhutan, the handicrafts emporium which has an assortment of authentic Bhutanese souvenirs, the famous Trashicho Dzong which is the house for the temporal and the secular state, the Textile Museum which has a collection of the finest historical textiles of Bhutan and the takin preserve, a bullpen for the national animal of Bhutan.

26th March:
Drive over to Punakha the winter capital of the monk body of Bhutan. The beautiful drive will take us over the Dochula pass, one of the most popular landmarks of Bhutan. On a clear day we can get a glimpse of the spectacular eastern Himalayan range. As we descend into the Punakha valley one can observe the change in vegetation from alpine to subtropical. Once we reach Punakha we can visit the Punakha Dzong which presents the finest architecture of Bhutan. If time permits we can visit the temple of fertility a monastery built in honor of the divine madman. Overnight in Lobesa at Hotel YT.

27th March:
We head towards Bumthang (central Bhutan), another beautiful drive set within the pristine forests which will take us across two passes, the Pele la pass and yotang la pass. Picnic lunch will be served on the way. We drive into the beautiful valley of meadows, Bumthang and check into the Jakar village lodge a place guaranteed for gastronomic delights.

28th March:
We can discover the sacredness of valley of Bumthang by visiting the Kurjey lhakang monastery, a mecca for the vajrayana form of Buddhism introduced by Guru Rinpoche in 8th century and the Jambay lhakang one of the 108 monastery built by the Tibetan king songtsen Gonpo of Tibet in the 7th century which is dedicated to the future Buddha Amatayus. The Tamshing monastery is yet another sacred site which was built by Terton Pema lingpa one of the 108 treasure discoverers and embodiment of Guru Rinpoche in the 15th century. If time permits we can visit a couple of other interesting sites. All meals will be served at the lodge or the best restaurants in town.

29th March:
We retrace our way back to Trongsa and drive beyond Trongsa to visit the winter palace of the 2nd king of Bhutan king Jigme Wangchuck. A picnic lunch will be served in the premises of the palace. Depending on your mood we can visit the kuenga Rapten nunnery which is a mild ascent of twenty minutes or so. We can then drive back to Trongsa and visit the Trongsa Dzong the strong hold of the first king’s father Jigme Namgyel. Later in the evening we check into Puenzhi Guest house, a lodge with a commanding view of the Trongsa Dzong.

30th March:
With an early start back to Thimphu we can explore the city at leisure for souvenirs and items of personal interest.

31st March:
The Tsechu waits for you in Paro. After lunch we back track to Paro and check into Udumwara resort for an easy afternoon or witness the afternoon program of the Tsechu.

1st April:
A full day at the Tsechu where you get to witness and experience the various mask dances and folk dances in the courtyard.

2nd April:
We leave in the wee hours of the morning to witness the unfurling of the Thongdrel a very huge Thankha of Guru Rinpoche. This marks the final day of the Tsechu. The word Thongdrel itself means liberation at sight. We spend the afternoon hiking upto the Tiger’s nest or Taktsang monastery perched on a cliff, supposedly built on the hairs of the dakinis (fairies).

3rd April:
Tashi Delek! For your journey back home. Lok jeiga la.