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Sacred Rhythms: The Thimphu Tshechu

Fall’s grand festival brings us to Bhutan at a vibrant, energetic, time of year ~17 to 19 days
The grand festival of the year in the nation’s capital is a much anticipated event. People of all ages and various walks of life come together to receive blessings and partake in the timeless rituals and dances honoring Guru Padmasambhava, patron saint of the Himalayas. Our Sacred Rhythms programs celebrate the religious festivals of the Bhutanese year. The color and pageantry of lush silks and brocades, the dances and theater whose themes have remained unchanged since the eighth century, these are all a vivid backdrop for a sacred time in a Bhutanese person’s life. Western writers have described the unique atmosphere as similar to a “convivial medieval fair”. To be certain, festivity plays a part, but it is also much more. It is a time for the Bhutanese people to reflect and receive blessings and remember important saints and teachers and, lest things become too somber—for there is always a joyous and practical side to Bhutanese life—an opportunity to wear the season’s best, to flirt and cement relations, to see and be seen, and to share the best delicacies of the year with loved ones.

In spring, we attend the Punakha Procession, known locally as theSerdra, or the Grand Paro festival. Fall brings us to the Thimphu or Wangdue festivals. In late fall and cusp of winter, we attend the Bumthang Festivals. Closing the year with a splash of winter color is the Trongsa Tshechu. Join festive Bhutanese villagers at these fun-filled and exuberant celebrations of our living culture and myths.

thimphu_left_alignITINERARY IN BRIEF
Day 1: Arrive at Paro, visit the National Museum.

Days 2 & 3: Transfer to Thimphu and explore the capital’s markets, museums and monuments.

Day 4: Transfer to Wangdue Valley, with stop at 10,000-foot Dochula pass.

Days 5 & 6: Transfer to Bumthang and sighseeing around Jakar.

Days 7 and 8: Visit the Chumey Weaving center and and Kurjey Monastery.

Day 9: Hike to the “Burning Lake and Pemacholing Nunnery”.

Day 10: Visit the Trongsa fortress and transfer to Wangdue.

Day 11: Hike to Khamsum Temple and visit the “Hall of 100 Pillars.”

Day 12: transfer to Thimphu and free afternoon to wander downtown or relax at the hotel.

Day 13: Attend the Thimphu Tshechu.

Day 14: Second day at Thimphu festivities.

Days 15 & 16: Hike to Tango Buddhist college and transfer to Paro.

Day 17: Day excursion to the newly opened valley of Haa.

Day 18: Hike to Taktshang Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

Day 19: Return flight to Bangkok or another gateway city.