Bumthang Nimalung Festival Group Tour

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  • Trip Duration: 6 Days 5 Nights
  • Trip Type: Cultural Tours
  • Places: Paro, Thimphu, & Punakha
  • Seasons: Throughout the year
  • Elevation: 1200m (4074ft) to 3150m(10334ft)

Detail

The Bumthang district is home to several cultural festivals that bring locals together once and twice a year. During the festival events, people from all over the district dress in their best traditional attire to celebrate occasions like the Birth Anniversary of Guru Rinpoche, promote prosperity in the community, or to receive blessings. Monks and locals alike engage in various mask dances that teach religious lessons.

Overview:
Day 01: 13th June: Arrive at Paro sightseeing
Day 02: 14th June: Paro – Punakha with a hike to Chimi Lhakhang (142 km/4 hrs)
Day 03: 15th June: Punakha – Bumthang (6 hrs/ 213 km) – Attend Nimalung Festival
Day 04: 16th June: Bumthang sightseeing
Day 05: 17th June: Bumthang – Gangtey/Phobjikha (130 km/4 hrs)
Day 06: 18th June: Phobjikha – Thimphu (3.5 hrs/130 km)
Day 07: 19th June: Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 08: 20th June: Thimphu – Paro: Hike to Tiger’s-nest Monastery (65 km/1.5 hrs)
Day 09: 21st June: Departure

Total cost for the entire trip: USD 2690 USD 2170 per person

(Please note that we are providing you with a 28% Discount as our promotional offer for the June Group Tour and this is our best rate.)

Visa:
All tourists (other than Indian nationality) must obtain a Bhutan visa clearance
before traveling to Bhutan. Do not worry, we will assist you in getting the visa process done.

We will assist you in getting the flight tickets done. Since we have only 2 airlines in Bhutan and
have limited flights, early booking of tickets is recommended. We have flights operating from the following cities to/from Bhutan and you will need to connect your flight to any of the below destinations:

● Bangkok in Thailand (Druk Air & Bhutan Airlines)
● Delhi, Kolkata (Druk Air & Bhutan Airlines) and Guwahati (Druk Air) in India and
● Kathmandu in Nepal (Druk Air & Bhutan Airlines)

Price Includes

  • Government Fees, Royalty & Taxes.
  • Bhutan Visa Fee
  • Tours as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • 3 Star hotel room (Double & Twin Sharing room)
  • All meals (Breakfast/Lunch & Dinner) at a local restaurant or hotel.
  • Transport/Vehicle with a driver throughout your stay.
  • An Experienced tour guide (English Speaking).
  • All Sights & entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Complimentary Bottled water
  • Bank Transfer Fee

Price Excludes

  • Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Costs for extra activities
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal drinks & beverages
  • Additional hotel facilities like laundry, personal calls, hot stone bath, etc.
  • Tips for the Guide and Driver.

Itinerary

Day 01: 13th June: Arrive Paro sightseeing

Elevation: 2250m / 7382ft

On your arrival in Bhutan, you will immediately experience the quaint uniqueness of your surroundings: the green mountains, fresh air, and peaceful stillness will encompass you giving you a feeling that you have abandoned the world’s hustle and bustle for a place far away and captured in a time capsule.

After completing check-in formalities at Paro airport, you will be warmly welcomed by your guide and driver in a traditional way.

Visit the following places in Paro:

National Museum/ Ta Dzong: Visit the Museum which was the former watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong (Dzong meaning ‘Fort’). It was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro Valley.

Paro/ Rinpung Dzong: Built in 1645 A.D. is now the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the nation.

In the evening, we will take a walk along the streets of Paro for leisure.

Overnight in Paro

Day 02: 14th June: Paro - Punakha with a hike to Chimi Lhakhang

Driving Duration: 142 km/ 4 hrs

Elevation: 1310m / 4300 ft

After early breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la Pass (3,088m/10,130ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the Chortens, Mani walls, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road.   

After crossing the Dochula pass, we will reach Lobeysa village, where we will hike to the nearby Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the “Divine Madman”, an eccentric monk from the 16th century famous for many his many amusing, Rabelaisian folklore stories.

From there on we will visit Punakha Dzong: One of the most beautiful Dzongs in the country built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637. It is located between two rivers Phochu (Male River) and Mochu (Female River). It is the winter residence for the central monk body and

administration center for the district. Then, we will take a walk to visit Bhutan’s longest suspension bridge located behind the majestic Punakha dzong.  

Overnight in Punakha

Day 03: 15th June: Punakha - Bumthang - Attend Nimalung Festival

Driving Duration: 6 hrs/ 213 km

Elevation: 2800m / 9185ft

Today we start early and drive on towards the valley of Bumthang. This lovely valley is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Tales of Guru Padmasambhava and the tertons (“religious treasure-discoverers”) still linger in this sacred region. The drive continues across Pele la Pass (3,300m), the traditional boundary between east and west.

After reaching Bumthang, drive to Chumey to attend the Nimalung Festival. Nimalung Festival takes place in Nimalung Lhakhang, located in Chumey, Bumthang. The Tshechu is celebrated annually and features a series of colorful and spectacular mask dances.

Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 04: 16th June: Bumthang sightseeing

Elevation: 2800m / 9185ft

Today we will spend the day with visits and hikes to some of the most important Buddhist sites of the Kingdom. Our journey will take us to the: Jambay Lhakhang: This monastery was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of 108 monasteries that he built to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century.

A short walk from thereon will take us to the Kurje Lhakhang: Located further along the valley, Kurje Lhakhang comprises three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 against the rock face where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century. The middle temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of the Guru’s body, therefore considered to be the most holy. The temple on the left was built in the 1990s by H.M. Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother. These three temples are surrounded by a 108 chorten wall.

We then move on towards the Tamshing Lhakhang: Located across the river from Kurje Lhakhang, this temple was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, a reincarnation of Guru Padmasambhava. There are very old religious paintings around the inner walls of the temple, which were restored at the end of the 19th century.

After lunch, we will drive on to the Jakar Dzong, constructed in 1549 by the great-grandfather of the first Zhabdrung, the dzong was initially built as a monastery. Jakar Dzong is now used as the administrative center for Bumthang Valley and houses the regional monk body.

Overnight in Bumthang

Day 05: 17th June: Bumthang - Gangtey/Phobjikha

Driving Duration: 130 km/4 hrs
Elevation: 2900m / 9510ft

Route back via Pelela Pass (alt. 3,300 m). We will also stop to visit the Trongsa Dzong, the largest in Bhutan built in 1647 that houses the local administration and the Monastic body. Along the route, if time permits, we will also stop at Chume Weaving Centre, from where you can get typical woolen products from Bumthang Valley.

Then drive to Gangtey/Phobjikha, one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan and the chosen home of black-necked cranes, which migrate from the central Asiatic Plateau to escape its harsh winters.

Explore around by visiting the Gangtey Nature Trail: The most beautiful and perpetual nature trail in Bhutan. The trail hike starts from the mani (like Chhorten) stone wall to the north of the Ganagtey Gompa and ends in Khewa Lhakhang. The hike takes about 1 hr 30 minutes through the pine forest and small bamboo plants. So, the pristine environment provides the best hiking places for Nature lovers.

In the evening, explore Phobjikha Valley.

Overnight in Phobjikha

Day 06: 18th June: Phobjikha - Thimphu

Driving Duration: 3.5 hrs/130 km
Elevation: 2350m / 7710ft

Before continuing the journey to Thimphu, we will spend some time exploring Phobjikha Valley by visiting the following sites:

Black Necked Crane’s Information Center: Situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha Valley, the black-necked Crane Information Centre has an observation room equipped with a high-power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes.

Gangtey Monastery, the only Nyingmapa Monastery in Bhutan. The Gangtey monastery overlooks the large green expanse of Phobjikha Valley. The extensive complex consists of the monastery, the monks’ quarters, meditation centers, and schools.

Then drive to Thimphu via Dochula Pass and upon reaching Thimphu, explore Thimphu town.

Overnight in Thimphu

Day 07: 19th June: Thimphu Sightseeing

Elevation: 2350m / 7710ft

We will begin our day’s sights with a visit to the following sites:
Buddha Point: The Buddha Dordenma is located atop a hill in Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park and overlooks the Southern entrance to Thimphu Valley.

Takin Preservation Center: Legend has it that a Tibetan saint by the name of Drukpa Kunley, popularly called The Divine Madman created the Takin through his supernatural Tantric powers. Since then, this animal has been a common sight in the hills of Bhutan. Due to this reason, the Takin was adopted as the National Animal of Bhutan and the Bhutanese government looks after them by keeping them in the Takin Preserve, located at Motithang (upper Thimphu).

Zilukha Nunnery: Get a glimpse of the tender yet strong, feminine side of Buddhism in Bhutan as you visit Zilukha Nunnery, which is a 2 Km drive from the Tashichho dzong.

Centenary Farmers’ Market: Take a walk through this market and shop/interact with the
local farmers. Thimphu’s new weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for farmers in Bhutan. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market. With its wide assortment of fresh, organic produce, the Farmer’s Market has become a favorite spot for tourists and a recreational place for people from all walks of life.

Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Street: A series of traditional bamboo huts presenting various types of handicraft products that will give you a glimpse into traditional Bhutanese Arts and crafts.

Overnight in Thimphu

Day 08: 20th June: Thimphu – Paro: Hike to Tiger's-nest Monastery

Driving Duration: 65 km/1.5 hrs
Elevation: 3120m / 10236ft

The morning after breakfast, we will take a straight drive to the north end of Paro Valley and hike to Tiger Nest temple (Taktsang), Taktsang is the most revered temple to the Buddhists. This magical temple clings to a vertical granite cliff 900 meters above the valley. Legend has it that in the 8th century, Guru Rinpoche, a tantric master flew here on the back of a tigress and meditated in a cave around which the temple is built.

Traditional Bhutanese Farmhouse: In the evening, visit a traditional farmhouse for an opportunity to interact with a local family and learn something about their lifestyle. End the day with a traditional hot stone bath at a farmhouse as per your interest with an additional charge.

Overnight in Paro

Day 09: 21st June: Departure

After an early breakfast in the hotel, we will then drive to the airport for the flight to your onward destination.

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