Architecture of Bhutanse House

Throngdrel of Guru Rinpochhe during Thimphu Tshechhu

Scheduled on: September 28th -5th October, 2014

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 district 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. 

Thimphu Dromchoe

Besides the annual three day Tshechu, Thimphu also celebrates a one day festival known as the Thimphu Dromchoe. The day long festival dates back to the 17th century. It was first introduced by Kuenga Gyeltshen in 1710, who was recognized as the reincarnation of Jampel Dorji, son of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel. The dromchoe is celebrated 3 days prior to the Thimphu Tshechu.

The Dromchoe showcases the sacred dances dedicated to the chief protective deity of Bhutan, Palden Lhamo. Legend has it, that the deity Pelden Lhamo appeared before Kuenga Gyeltshen and performed the dances while he was in meditation. Based on these dances, Kuenga Gyaltshen initiated the Dromchoe.

Tour Duration: 10 Days / 9 Nights

Season: September 28th -5th October, 2014

Group Size: Any

Thimphu Tsechu Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Paro International Airport

On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by our team from Bhutan musk travels and they will take you to Thimphu which is 54 km from Paro Airport and about 45 minutes drive. The drive to Thimphu takes you along the Paro Chu (Chu means water or river)

Overnight: Hotels in Thimphu

Day 2: Attend Thimphu Festival

After an early breakfast attend Festival, which is held outside the courtyard of Tashichhodzong. This is the main Secretariat Building, where the government ministries, the office of His Majesty the King, the Throne Room, the offices and living quarters of the monk body and its Chief Abbot are housed. Lunch at the hotel and watch Thimphu Tshechu. Evening: relax at the hotel or stroll through Thimphu Town.

Over Night: Hotels in Thimphu

Day 3: Attend Thimphu Festival

Attend full day festival.

Over Night: Hotels in Thimphu

Day 4: Thimphu

After breakfast, you will visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan (the takin), the nunnery temple and the traditional paper factory. After a relaxing lunch, you will visit the popular Weekend Market where you can see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. This is perhaps good opportunity for photography and to mingle with locals who come from the nearby villages to sell their farm products.

Over Night: Hotels in Thimphu

Day 5: Thimphu – Punakha

After breakfast you will drive to Punakha, with a stop en route for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. After lunch you will drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, and visit Punakha Dzong, which is noteworthy both for being one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan and also for having been built by the first Shabdrung in 1637.

Over Night: Hotels in Punakha

Day 6: Punakha-Thimphu with excursion to Wangdiphodrang

After breakfast drive to Wangdiphodrang. On the way, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lakhang, which is a fertility temple, where you may receive a special fertility blessing if you wish. Continue driving to Wangdiphodrang, and visit Wangdi Dzong, which is located on the spur overlooking the river below. After lunch drive to Thimphu across Dochula Pass. Check into hotel on arrival.

Over Night: Hotels in Thimphu

Day 7: Thimphu – Paro

After breakfast, you will hike to Tango Monastery, which was built by the “Divine Madman” in the 15th century. It’s a center of study for monks, and it affords a great view of the Thimphu Valley. On the grounds of the monastery is a “sin-testing” tunnel–it is said that if you have sinned, you will get stuck in the tunnel, and if you are without sin, you will go through with ease! After your picnic lunch, you can hike back to Thimphu. In the evening, you will drive to Paro.

Over Night: Hotels in Paro

Day 8: Paro sightseeing

In Paro, visit the following places of interest: The National Museum (Ta-Dzong). This was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro Rinpung Dzong. It was converted to the National Museum in l968. Visit the Rinpung Dzong, massive fortress which is located on a hilltop above the Pachu (Paro River) in the Paro Valley. It houses the District Administration Office and the District Monk Body. After lunch, visit the Drukgyal Dzong which is located 16 Km away from the Paro Town. The name Drukgyal means “Victorious”. Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Jumolhari “Mountain of the Goddess” can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7329m/24,029ft.). Evening: Take a stroll through Paro town.

Over Night: Hotels in Paro

Day 9: Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

After breakfast, hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is the most famous monastery in Bhutan. Guru Rinpoche, an Indian saint is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion. Hike back to Paro. In the evening you can explore Paro town.

Over Night: Hotels in Paro

Day 10: Depart Paro

Drive to the airport for departure. Our guide will bid you farewell.

Contact details

Ar-ring Tours and Treks

Olakha Thimphu,   

Bhutan 

Contact # : 00975 17612201

tdorjiinsb@gmail.com