jambay lhakhang drup

Tour Highlights:

The unique festival of Jambay Lhakhang Drup is held in a dramatically beautiful valley of Bumthang. The oldest monastery, Jambay Lhakhang, was built in 659 A.D. It is also known for its fire blessing ceremony "Mewang" when locals run through a giant flaming gate to purify bad deeds, and the Dance of Treasure "Tercham", with masked dancers performing nude. As believed by Bhutanese, the sacred dance gives blessing to infertile women to have children. The dance is performed only at night around a bonfire, where one truly feels a deep trust and devotion of people.

Routes & Distances at Glance:

Day 1: Paro - Thimphu. 65 km, 1 hour drive
Day 2: Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha. 77 km, 3 hours drive
Day 4: Punakha - Gangtey. 78 km, 3 hours drive
Day 5: Hiking in Phobjikha valley (3-4 hours)
Day 6: Gangtey - Trongsa. 120km, 4 hours drive
Day 7: Trongsa-Bumthang, 68 km, 2 hours drive
Day 8: Bumthang, Jambay Lhakhang Drup
Day 9: Tang valley
Day 10: Bumthang - Ura. 49 km, 2 hours drive
Day 11: Ura - Wangdue. 210 km, 8 hours drive
Day 12: Wangdue - Paro. 130 km, 4 hours drive
Day 13: Hike to Taktsang monastery (6 hours hiking)
Day 14: Departure
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Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1: Paro - Thimphu
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on the earth. After visa formality, you will meet the guide of White Umbrella tours at Paro airport exit doors. We drive to Thimphu and after a short refreshment in hotel, we visit Kings' Memorial Stupa in the evening and spend some time there where aged religious locals are busy with making circumambulation around the stupa.
Day 2: Thimphu Excursion
Thimphu has a special charm and it is fascinating to sit and watch a gathering of local people in the town square, wearing their traditional dress and going about their business in a typically unhurried Bhutanese way. We visit the 12th-century Changangkha Temple and Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha Nunnery.

After lunch visit the School of Arts and Crafts, The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, the Traditional Paper Factory displaying the Bhutanese paper making process, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum.
Then drive to Tashichoe Dzong, the main secretariat which houses the summer residence of the central monk body and main seat of government. Its majestic architecture in finely balanced proportions is complemented by artistic decorations and paintings and followed by visit to the Handicraft shop and return to your hotel.

Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha
Thimphu has a special charm and it is fascinating to sit and watch a gathering of local people in the town square, wearing their traditional dress and going about their business in a typically unhurried Bhutanese way. We visit the 12th-century Changangkha Temple and Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha Nunnery.

After lunch visit the School of Arts and Crafts, The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, the Traditional Paper Factory displaying the Bhutanese paper making process, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum.
Then drive to Tashichoe Dzong, the main secretariat which houses the summer residence of the central monk body and main seat of government. Its majestic architecture in finely balanced proportions is complemented by artistic decorations and paintings and followed by visit to the Handicraft shop and return to your hotel.
Day 4: Punakha - Gangtey
Drive to Wangduephodrang and visit the Dzong which is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view both up and down the valley.

Then drive up a winding mountain road through oak and rhododendron forest, and over a high pass down into the Phobjikha valley, surely one of the loveliest high altitude valleys in Bhutan.

Phobjikha is one of Bhutan's few glacial valleys, and chosen winter home of black necked cranes, migrating from the Tibetan plateau. Explore Phobjikha valley and visit Gangtey Gompa (Monastery), the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan.

Altitude at Gangtey: 3000 m
Overnight: Farm house

Day 5: Gangtey Hike
Morning, explore the scenery of U shape Phobjikha valley and take a glimpse of local people's daily core. And perhaps you may see flock working on their fields.

Later afternoon, we suggest to do hike ‘Gangtey Nature Trail'. It's about less than 2 hours hiking through pine forest, crossing stream and open valley. You may encounter some pheasant on the way and quite close with nature. Evening, visit farm house and taste our traditional tea.

Day 6: Gangtey - Bumthang
Drive via Trongsa to Bumthang across Pele-la pass (3300m). This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between western and central Bhutan. Further down the road, stop to visit Chendebji Chorten erected in the 18th century by a Tibetan lama to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. The landscape around Trongsa is spectacular and its impressive Dzong, stretched along a ridge above a ravine, first comes into view about an hour before the winding road suddenly leads you into the town.

After lunch proceed to Bumthang, holy heartland of Buddhism. The road winds steeply up to Yutong La (3400m), and then run down through dense coniferous forest to enter a wide, open, cultivated valley, known as Chumey valley. From here it is about an hour to Bumthang, a most pleasant run in the soft, late afternoon light.

Altitude at Jakar: 2600 m

Day 7: Jambay Lhakhang Festival
We witness the half day of the festival. You will see the variety of traditional and mask dances are performed and each dance bear significant meaning. The highlight of Jambay Lhakhang Drup remains the "Mewang" - the fire blessing ceremony and the " Tercham" - a religious naked dance.During the fire blessing, locals run underneath a gigantic flaming gate made out of dry grasses with ambers and piles of burning grasses falling on their head.

The other event "Tercham" (literally translated Dance of Treasure) is performed by naked dancers wearing facial masks. We mean completely naked. Locals believe that the Tercham can bless the infertile women with children, and is only performed in the night around a bonfire. Apart from these, the other activities include- a famous drum beat dance, a clown dance called Dola Pangtoy Shazam, Raksha Mangcham (a dance symbolizing life after death) and many more. With the proceedings of the events, these festivals capture the attention of the onlookers and crate a magnificent spectacle. Later, we visit Kurje Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang.

Day 8: Bumthang - Ura Excursion-Bumthang
Early, morning, we drive to Ura valley en route to the Shartang-la Pass (3200m). During cloudless day, you can see Gangkar-phunsum (7415m) on the northern side.
If you prefer to do short hike from pass to Ura village, it is possible the trail descend all way to the Ura village through fir trees and you will spot small prayer wheel turn by creek and few mani wall along the trail. It's lovely hike and fit for all ages. Afternoon, drive 20 minutes to Shinkhar village and you can do short hike around the village, visiting the village temple and farm house. And since it is newly open to the tourist due to the road connection, most guests are interested to do round hiking and taking photo of natural beauty of environment, people and Shingkhar village. We guarantee that it is worth doing short hike! In the evening, drive back to Bumthang.

Day 9: Bumthang-Wangdue
In the morningwe, we will visit Jakar Dzong, "the castle of the white bird". Later, A full day's drive back to Wangdue from Bumthang via Trongsa on the west side of the Pele La pass. There are many interesting sights along the way and you can make frequent stops to stretch your legs and explore.

Altitude at Wangdue: 1300 m

Day 10: Wangdue - Paro,
Drive to Paro from balmy Punakha valley, then begins a long climb back up to the Dochu La, where a stunning field of white chortens and colorful prayer flags send blessings up to the Himalayan sky; snow peaks line the horizon.

Today enjoy sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the National Museum, Ta Dzong. This museum houses many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan's historical and cultural past.

Next, visit the Rinpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong's are large monasteries and district administrative centers, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards walk to the beautiful cantilever wooden bridge still in use.
Altitude at Paro: 2300m

Day 11: Taktsang Monastery Hike
After breakfast, we hike to Taktsang Monastery. It is a strenuous hike as you have to climb up and down more than 500 steps to pass one gorge to reach the monastery at the end. But rest of the trail itself is an enjoyable for many hikers since climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. You can have different angles panoramic view of Paro valley. One can hire horse and enjoy on the back of a horse till half way if you like horse riding.
This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend says that the Indian Buddhist Saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tigress and landed here and mediated in one cave. He was also a religious hero for almost whole Bhutanese people as he brought Buddhism to Bhutan in early 8th-century.
On the way back to Paro, we visit 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang which is believed to be one of the 108 temples constructed in one day at the behest of the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.
Altitude at Paro: 2300 m

Day 11: Departure:
Transfer to the airport and see you off.
 

Tour date

By request
(12 days / 11 nights)

Group size & price

from 3-12 pax:
2,790 USD per person

Price includes

  • 3* hotels double occupancy
  • Full board
  • private vehicle
  • all entrance fees
  • English speaking Bhutanese guide (other languages upon request)
  • Visa fee

Supplementary fee

  • Single individual
    80 USD per night
  • Group of 2 persons
    30 USD per person per night
  • single occupancy
    40 USD per night

* Any individual tours and services can be upgraded according to your time and interest on request.
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