Ura Festival With Bumthang Cultural Trek 14 days

Ura Festival With Bumthang Cultural Trek 14 days

Start Point

Paro

End Point

Paro

Duration

13N/14D

Grade

Easy

Max Altitude

3,353 meter

Meals

B+L+D

Accomodation

Hotel/Resort

No. of Person

Min. 02 Pax

Highlights

  1. Ura Yakchoe Festival: The Ura Yakchoe Festival is a traditional Bhutanese religious event featuring a sacred dance performed by monks. The highlight of the festival is the unveiling of a sacred relic—believed to be an image of the deity Avalokiteshvara—kept in the Ura Lhakhang. Witnessing the unveiling of the relic is considered highly auspicious.
  2. Mask Dances and Performances: During the festival, you can observe vibrant mask dances performed by monks and local dancers. These dances narrate ancient stories and symbolize spiritual teachings. The intricate costumes and mesmerizing dances create a captivating experience.
  3. Religious Significance: The festival is rooted in Bhutanese Buddhism and offers an opportunity to witness authentic religious rituals and ceremonies. It’s a chance to gain insight into Bhutan’s spiritual practices and beliefs.
  4. Ura Valley: Ura Valley is a picturesque region known for its pristine landscapes, traditional farmhouses, and cultural heritage. The festival’s setting in the Ura Valley adds to the charm of the event.
  5. Bumthang Cultural Tour: Bumthang is often referred to as Bhutan’s “spiritual heartland” due to its concentration of important monasteries and temples. A cultural tour of Bumthang might include visits to sacred sites like Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, and Tamshing Lhakhang.
  6. Local Communities: Interact with locals and experience their way of life. Bumthang’s residents are known for their warm hospitality, and you might have the chance to engage in cultural exchanges.
  7. Historical Insights: Guides or locals can share stories and historical background about the monasteries, temples, and landmarks you visit. Learn about the legends, traditions, and historical events that have shaped Bumthang.
  8. Bumthang Valley Scenery: Bumthang Valley offers stunning views of lush green fields, meandering rivers, and serene landscapes. The cultural tour allows you to appreciate the natural beauty while exploring cultural sites.

The Ura Festival is a religious festival held in the Ura valley of Bumthang district in Bhutan. It is held every year in the 7th month of the Bhutanese calendar, which is usually between August and September. The festival is held to celebrate the founding of the Ura village and the Ura Gonpa, a Buddhist monastery.

The Ura Festival is a colorful and lively affair, with traditional dances, music, and masked performances. The main event of the festival is the cham dance, which is a sacred dance performed by masked dancers. The cham dance is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the community.

Other events of the festival include:

  • A procession of monks and lamas around the Ura Gonpa
  • A fire puja, or fire blessing, to purify the community
  • A market selling traditional Bhutanese food, handicrafts, and souvenirs

The Ura Festival is a great opportunity to experience Bhutanese culture and religion. It is a colorful and lively event that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Detail Itinerary

Your flight descending over the final Himalayan ridge brings you to Paro International Airport, elevation 7500 feet. Your Druk Air experience has been highlighted with breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake in Bhutan. Your excitement mounts and Bhutan Travellers representative receives you at Paro Airport. Check into the hotel. After lunch, visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). Once the watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. On the way, back visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. “Fortress of the Heap of Jewels”. A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guardhouses. Today the Dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. Evening we visit Paro town, built in traditional architecture with rows of shops lining the main street. Overnight Hotel Dechen.

Drive to Thimphu (2-hour drive) capitol of Bhutan. Visit famous weekend market; fresh produce, rice, chilies, jewelry, local art, handicrafts and enchanting local shoppers. Check in at our hotel, enjoy lunch, and drive to embark on a vigorous hike up the mountain to Tango Monastery one of my favorite experiences in Bhutan. Tango is one of Bhutanese’ most important Buddhist colleges. Its name, meaning ‘horse’s head’, is derived from the horse-head shaped rock at the top. It is a beautiful Dzong built in the 18h century by the 8th Desi, Druk Rabgye. Today Tango is home to the eight-year-old reincarnate Lama, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye.

Drive to Wangdiphodrang (3 – hour drive) across Dochula Pass (10,500ft). Prayer flags send prayers on the wind. Enjoy spectacular views of the Eastern Himalayan Mountains. Stop at Lobesa for lunch. Early afternoon visit the Punakha Dzong, “Palace of Great Happiness”. Punakha Dzong is the former winter Capital and at present day hosts the administrative seat of the district. Also the winter residence of the central monastic body and its Chief Abbot. The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, male and Female River and the location is strategic. It was built in 17th century and it was here on 17th December 1907, Bhutan’s first king was crowned. We will visit the fertility Temple Chime Lhakhang and in the evening tour the Wangdue Dzong courtyard. Overnight at Dragons Nest Resort.

After an early breakfast, we depart for Bumthang in Central Bhutan. A long drive on a scenic and breathtaking highway rewarded by a stop at the Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of the royal family. An architectural wonder built by Chogyel Minjur Tempa, the Third Desi, in 1648 it is presently the administrative seat of the district and home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the Dzong is an architectural wonder. Views from here are extensive creating strategic location of this Dzong. Lunch in Trongsa town. Continue to Bumthang. Overnight at the River Lodge.

Trek begins: After a hearty breakfast, we drive to embark on our wonderful trek to Ngang Lhakhang. Today we will hike for approximate five hours passing though villages, fields and forests and also crossing over suspension bridges. Our trek will follow the Chamkhar River. Here the trout are plentiful! Fishing anyone? We will visit Thangbi Lhakhang enroute before entering “Swan Land” (Ngang Yul). Here is “Swan Temple” (Ngang Lhakhang). Swans first inhabited this part of the valley. Overnight camp 9,500 ft (2,800M).

Today a gradual climb to Phephe La Pass brings us to the highest point of our trek 12,000 ft (3,353M). The trail to the pass leads through one of the most beautiful forested areas of this region, with mini bamboo pasture, and forests of rhododendrons and mixed conifer. Our seven-hour trek today will allow many stops to enjoy nature’s rare beauty. Overnight camp near Tang village in Tang valley. Enjoy a delicious Bhutanese meal prepared in camp.

Today we pass Ugyenchholing in Tang Valley. You will visit the Ugyenchholing Palace, now housing the Family Museum, a place that will transport you to another world and time. You will view permanent exhibits recreated to capture the ambience of the lifestyle of the Trongsa Penlop (Governor) Tshokey Dorji and his household. Bhutan’s history unfolds. Continuing from Ugyenchholing, we reach the Rimochen Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Guru Rimpoche, the Patron Saint of Bhutan. This is the last point in the trek route from where we drive on through Pangshing village to Jakar, Bumthang, stopping to visit farmhouse on the way. Overnight at the River Lodge Guest House to unwind from the trek over a sumptuous dinner and local Ara (local drink).

The next two days we sightseeing and tour in Bumthang. Visit Jakar Dzong, Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, and Flaming Lake (Mebar Tsho). Shopping is a delight in Bumthang and we include a visit to the Swiss Farm along with beer and cheese factory for local flavor. Day hikes can be arranged. Dinner at traditional farmhouse and overnight guesthouse.

The next two days we sightseeing and tour in Bumthang. Visit Jakar Dzong, Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, and Flaming Lake (Mebar Tsho). Shopping is a delight in Bumthang and we include a visit to the Swiss Farm along with beer and cheese factory for local flavor. Day hikes can be arranged. Dinner at traditional farmhouse and overnight guesthouse.

Today is the first day of Ura Yakchoe in Bumthang. Ura is considered one of the holiest valleys in Bhutan. Today Bhutanese from many different areas will gather to pay respect and to be blessed at this social gathering. Bhutanese dressed in their finest clothes and jewelry. Attend this celebration of purification and religious blessings. Here we can truly appreciate the essence of Bhutanese people and a preserved steadfast culture. Arrays of colorful brocades whirl through the air as the dancers spin and dance the “thunderbolt step”. Masks of glorious demonic demons and animals arouse your senses as you watch the purification take place. The intensity goes on. Tonight we halt at the Shingkhar Lodge in Shingkhar village of Ura.

Returning to Ura Festival and watch for the Atsara (clown) which is unique in his own style, mimics dancers and entertains onlookers. Festival deities are invoked through benediction and luck is increased and misfortunate gone. Overnight at River Lodge Guest House.

Departing central Bhutan, we begin our drive toward the west. Stopping once again in Trongsa we will now visit the medieval Watchtower. This ancient structure gives unobstructed views of the valley, and it’s winding river and roads. The Watch Tower is located strategically above the Trongsa Dzong. It is a treat to climb the ancient ladders to the top, as you view warrior armor and aging altars, immersing yourself in the presence unchanged within its walls. Over night at Dragons Nest Resort.

Return to Thimphu. Visit the exceptional Textile Museum, featuring masterpieces from the Royal Family of Bhutan and splendid fabric and exquisite Thangkas. Visit Takin Zoo to see the National animal of Bhutan. After lunch we depart for our hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800 meters. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava, the saint who converted Bhutan to Buddhism, alighted here upon the back of a tigress. Overnight Dechen Hill Resort.

After breakfast, drive to airport for departure.

Cost Details

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