The Paro tsechu in spring is a major attraction in Paro district. People come from neighbouring districts to participate in the festivity. On the final day, the best time to go is early in the morning as the monks of the Paro Dzong prepare to display a giant appliqué thangkha, the Guru Throngdel, inside the dzong.
This festival usually takes place in March or April each year, depending upon the Bhutanese lunar calendar. It is considered one of the most colorful and wonderful of Bhutan’s many festivals and is very popular with visitors.
Day 1:ARRIVE in BHUTAN:
Arrive Paro, Bhutan, by Druk Air. After completing your Disembarkation formalities, you will be greeted by your Bhutanese guide. Start drive to Thimphu – a pleasant 2 hours drive through picturesque river valleys and mountain slopes dotted with typical Bhutanese villages. On arrival check-in at the hotel. Rest of the evening free to relax or take a short walk through the streets of Thimphu. Dinner and overnight Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 2:THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING:
Full day of guided sightseeing tour of Thimphu visiting the National Memorial Stupa, Zelukha Nunnery, Bhutanese Paper Factory, Handicrafts Emporium, Tashicho Dzong, Thimphu town, etc. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3:PUNAKHA DAYTRIP:
Today after breakfast start drive from Thimphu to Punakha – a 5-hour drive through picturesque valleys and mountain slopes dotted with typical Bhutanese villages. From the Dochu La pass, at over 10-thousand feet, a vast panoramic views of the high snowcapped peaks of the Bhutanese Himalaya can be enjoyed on a clear day. Continue drive down into the Punakha valley to Wangdu Phodrang town. Visit the Punakaha Dzong which is the old capital of Bhutan and is the winter home of the Je Kenpo and the national body of monks. Return to Thimphu for dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 4:PARO FESTIVAL:
After breakfast drive from Thimphu to Paro stopping at the Simthoka Dzong which is the oldest of the many Dzongs (forts) in Bhutan. Today it houses the National Bhutanse School where Dzongka, the national language of Bhutan, is taught. Continue drive to Paro valley. On arrival check-in at hotel followed by lunch.
After lunch visit the Paro Dzong where the Masked dance-dramas of this typical Buddhist festival are going on. Be amongst throngs of Bhutanese from the Paro valley and from outlying villages of Bhutan all dressed in their traditional finery. Witness the age-old, wonderfully colourful and esoteric Religious masked dance-dramas performed by specially trained groups of Buddhist monks. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 5:PARO FESTIVAL:
Early morning visit festival for the viewing the Thondrol – the great Buddhist Thanka scroll dedicated to Guru Padmashambava. Spend the rest of the morning at the festival viewing masked dances and ritual activities. Truly a great climax to a the most revered yearly festival of Bhutan.
In the afternoon visit Paro Museum housed at the graceful Ta Dzong, once a watch tower, situated strategically overlooking the Paro valley. The Museum houses a rare collection of Bhutan’s historical, religious, cultural and artistic heritage, all beautifully preserved and displayed in a unique setting – a museum lover’s heaven! Dinner and overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 6:EXCURSION TO TIGER’S NEST MONASTERY:
Today there will be a chance to go on an excursion to the Bhutan’s most revered and certainly the most famous site, Taktsang Monastery or the ‘Tiger’s Next”. Hike or ride a surefooted pony through a forested pathway ascending steeply toward the towering vertical cliffs two-thousand feet above the valley floor. On this cliff face, overlooking a dizzying precipice, is the historic cave where the Buddhist teacher Padmasambava or Guru Rimpoche meditated, who, it is believed, rode on the back of a flying Tiger. Hence the this holy place is also called the Tiger’s Nest.
Foreigners are not allowed inside the monastery but can enjoy the view from the cafeteria. The more intrepid hiker can continue further up the trail to get a closer and dramatic spot directly opposite the temple. Sadly, a few years ago, the main temple was destroyed by fire and is being rebuilt at the moment but this does not subtract from the rewards of the days excursion. Lunch at the Taksang View Cafeteria or at hotel. In the afternoon, time permitting, visit a Bhutanese Family home. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 7:FLY BACK TO KATHMANDU
After breakfast transfer to Paro airport and depart.