Paro Festival With Drukpath Trek

Paro Festival With Drukpath Trek

Start Point

Paro

End Point

Paro

Duration

13D/14N

Grade

Easy

Max Altitude

4400 meter

Meals

B+L+D

Accomodation

Hotel/Resort

No. of Person

Min. 02 Pax

Highlights

  1. Religious Ceremonies: The Paro Festival is primarily a religious event celebrating the life and teachings of Guru Rinpoche, who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan. The festival begins with prayers and religious ceremonies performed by monks in elaborate costumes.
  2. Masked Dances: One of the main attractions of the festival is the series of masked dances performed by monks and laymen. These dances depict various aspects of Buddhist mythology, history, and spiritual stories. The dancers wear colorful and intricate costumes and masks that represent different deities and characters.
  3. Cultural Performances: In addition to the masked dances, the festival also features traditional Bhutanese folk dances and songs. These performances provide insight into the country’s rich cultural heritage and are accompanied by traditional musical instruments.
  4. Thongdrel Unfolding: On the final day of the festival, a large thongdrel (religious banner) is unveiled. The thongdrel is an intricately embroidered cloth painting depicting Guru Rinpoche or other deities. It is believed that just witnessing the thongdrel can cleanse one’s sins and bring blessings.
  5. Local Cuisine: Attending the Paro Festival offers a chance to sample delicious Bhutanese cuisine. Traditional dishes such as Ema Datshi (chili and cheese stew), momos (dumplings), and red rice are often served during the festival.
  6. Community Gathering: The festival serves as a significant social event for the local community. People from nearby villages and even from other parts of Bhutan come to Paro to participate in the festivities. It’s a time for family and friends to reunite, and the atmosphere is joyful and lively.
  7. Cultural Immersion: Beyond the festival itself, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Paro and its surroundings. You can visit the iconic Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery, explore traditional Bhutanese architecture, and interact with locals to gain a deeper understanding of Bhutanese culture and way of life.
  8. Photographic Opportunities: The colorful costumes, intricate masks, and dynamic dances provide fantastic photographic opportunities for capturing Bhutan’s unique cultural expressions.

The Paro Festival, also known as Paro Tsechu, is a Buddhist festival held in the Paro district of Bhutan. It is one of the most important festivals in Bhutan and is held every year in the spring, usually in March or April. The festival is held to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Drukpath Trek is a 4-5 day trek that connects the Paro Valley and Thimphu Valley. It is a moderate trek that offers stunning views of the Himalayas, including Mount Chomolhari, the “Divine Mountain of the Goddess”. The trek starts in the town of Paro and ascends through pine forests and rhododendron meadows to the Drukpath Pass (12,150 ft/3,700 m). From the pass, there are panoramic views of the Paro Valley, the Ha Valley, and the surrounding mountains.

Drukpath Trek in BhutanOpens in a new window

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Drukpath Trek in Bhutan

The Paro Festival and Drukpath Trek is a great way to experience the beauty of Bhutan’s natural landscape and its rich culture. It is a challenging but rewarding trek that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Here are some of the things you can expect to see on the Paro Festival and Drukpath Trek:

The Paro Dzong, a Buddhist monastery

The Drukpath Trek, a scenic trek through the Bhutanese mountains

The Paro Festival, a colorful and lively festival with traditional dances, music, and masked performances

Stunning views of the Himalayas, including Mount Chomolhari

Traditional Bhutanese villages and farms

Friendly Bhutanese people

Detail Itinerary

The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. If you arrive via Kathmandu, which offers the most breathtaking view of the range, it’s possible to see Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjunga as well. Upon arrival in Paro, you will be greeted by Bhutan Travellers and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, you can visit the Paro Dzong. It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the Dzongs (forts) currently. You’ll cross a traditional wooden bridge on the way to the Dzong. You can then tour the National Museum, formerly the watchtower for the Dzong. It now houses a collection of fine arts, paintings, thangkas, statues, and antiques. Afterwards you will visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. In the evening you can stroll through the Paro market and town. Overnight in Paro.

After an early breakfast attend the first day of the Tshechu, which is held in the ground of Rinpung Dzong. Lunch at the hotel. Evening: relax at the hotel or stroll through Paro Town.

After lunch, you have two optional programmes:1) Attend the Tshechu. 2) Drive to Chele La pass, which is at an altitude of 3700m offers a good view of Jumolhari and Haa Valley. Visit Kila Goenpa (home for Buddhist nuns), which is nestled in craggy patch on the mountainside below Chele La pass. It’s about one-hour walk amidst magnificent wooded area. Drive back to Paro. Evening relax.

After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. Guru Rimpoche 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. After lunch, drive to Thimphu. In the evening you can explore Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, and absorb the lifestyle of the people. You can also visit some interesting handicraft shops. Overnight in 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), Changangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the Takin. From there you will visit the nunnery temple, the National Library (where ancient manuscripts are preserved), and the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After a relaxing lunch, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichodzong, and Simtokha Dzong (the oldest fortress in the kingdom). Overnight in Thimphu.

After breakfast you will drive to Wangdiphodrang, with a stop for tea at Dochula (3,100 m), 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. On the way back, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20 minutes walk through the rice fields to Chhimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple, where you may receive a special fertility blessing if you wish.

In the morning you will drive back to Thimphu. In the afternoon you can visit the Textile Museum and the Folk Heritage Museum. Or you can 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! Overnight in Thimphu.

(Distance 8 km, time 4-5 hours). The trek is all uphill through forest, mostly blue pine, this first day. The camp is at Phajodhing Monastery, and you can walk around the area and see the monastery. Altitude 3,870m.

(Distance 10 km, time 5-6 hours). The trail continues to climb for about an hour until you reach Phume La (pass) at 4,210m. From here you will have a view of Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan, as well as other Himalayan peaks. The trail then descends to Simkota Tsho (lake), where the camp is located. It’s possible to go trout fishing here if you wish. Altitude 4,040.

(Distance 11 km, time 5 hours). The trail will take you on short ups and downs and through a yak herder camp. Before arriving at the camp, the trail will descend through dwarf rhododendrons. The camp is at Jimilang Tsho (Sand Ox Lake), where you will again have the chance to fish for giant trout, which the lake is known for. There is a good view of Jichu Drake Mountain from here. Altitude 3,880m.

(Distance 11 km, time 5 hours). The trek will begin with an hour-long ascent, following the ridge above the tree line and then eventually descending. The camp is near a yak herders’ camp, and there are lovely views of Jumolhari Mountain from here. You may spot some pheasants in the area. Altitude 3,780m.

(Distance 10 km, time 4-5 hours). There are many ups and downs above the tree line during the first half of the trail. The trail then descends through rhododendron and thick alpine forest to Jela Dzong and across Jela La (pass) at 3,490m. You can visit the Dzong and explore the area. The camp is a ways below the Dzong, in a yak pasture. Altitude 3,450.

(Distance 10km, time 4 hours). The trail today is all downhill, past some villages. The trail ends near the Ta Dzong in Paro. You will be met by your driver and driven to your hotel in Paro. In the evening you can visit a traditional farmhouse and, if you wish, enjoy a Bhutanese dinner. Overnight in Paro.

Drive to Paro Airport for departure.

Cost Details

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