NIMALUNG FESTIVAL (10 NIGHTS/11 DAYS)

NIMALUNG-FESTIVALNimalung Lhakhang is located at Chumey in Bumthang. It is approximately a 15 minute drive from the road that branches off from the village of Chumey. The Lhakhang was co-founded by Dasho Gonpo Dorji and Doring Trulku Jamyang Kunzang, the third mind reincarnation of Terton Jigme Lingpa in 1935. Doring Trulku visited Bhutan from Kham in Tibet. He came via the Monlakarchung pass and met Jamyang Tshundru and his son Choney Pelden who invited him to Shugdra. They later became his disciples. Doring Trulku left Shugdra for Nyimalung. He set to read the text but couldn’t complete reading it a hundred times as he had to perform rituals after the demise of Dasho Jamyang, the father-in-law of the Second King Jigme Wangchuck. It was during the funeral ceremonies that Doring Trulku met DashoGonpoDorji, son of Dasho Jamyang. Gonpo Dorji, on becoming the new hereditary Dungpa (sub district administrator) of Chumey immediately thought of laying the foundation of a Lhakhang. Along with Doring Trulku he decided to open a monastic institution to uphold the school of Buddhism enriched by Kuenkhen Longchen and Jigme Lingpa.

The main relic of the two-storied temple is the statue of Guru Rinpoche. The monastery is decorated with murals of the Nyingmapa and Drukpa traditions. There are also paintings of Guru Rinpoche and his disciples, the lineage of Terton Pema Lingpa, and several masters affiliated with the monastery.

One of the most important festivals held at the Lhakhang is the Kaling Zhitro Drubchen. It was initiated by Doring Trulku and he was the first person to have started the rite in Bhutan. It is held on the first fifteen days of the first month of the Bhutanese calendar.

The festival is held every year in the 5th month of the Bhutanese calendar, where the nine meters high and twelve meters wide Guru Rinpoche Thongdrol (large Scroll Painting) is unfurled. The Thongdrol which was donated by Lopen Pemala was consecrated in June 1994 in the presence of a large crowd of villagers by Lhalung Thuksey Rinpoche, the mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa. During the festival, a series of mask dances are performed.

DETAILS ITINERARY

DAY 01: BANGKOK-PARO-THIMPHU

On your arrival you will be received by Guide and Driver of Bhutan Dendrobium Tour and Trek (BDTT). And then transfer to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. On reaching Thimphu check n hotel and break for lunch, After that  visit Memorial Chorten (the stupa built in 1974 in the memory of our late Majesty The King JigmeDorji Wang chuck), And then visit Kuensel Phodrang (is one of the largest statue in Bhutan, from this point we can view beautiful scene of the Capital City).Lunch in town, After the lunch visit Art school (the traditional art school for the thirteen arts and crafts in Bhutan).Towards the evening visit Tashicho dzong (the fortress of the glorious religion, which houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, and the main secretariat building and the central monastic body).Overnight at THIMPHU.

DAY 02: THIMPHU–PUNAKHA

Punakha, on the way stop to Dochula Pass (3150m) from there you will see magnificent view of Himalayas mountains of Bhutan. Dochula is one of the famous passes in the Bhutan for 108 Stupa. Drive downwards to warmer place (1340m).we will visit Chime Lhakhang temple which takes about 30mins from car parking to Chime Lhakhang and up down it takes 1hr. Lunch at Chime lhakhang cafeteria.  After lunch Visit Punakha dzong(majestically located at the junction of the two rivers Pho chu and Mo chu, meaning male and female river, it was built in 1637AD, and was the capital of Bhutan since 1955 AD).overnight at Punakha

DAY 03: PUNAKHA–TRONGSA

Breakfast in hotel and then drive to Trongsa is about 4hrs, 45 mins hours from Punakha via Wangdi and via Pelela Pass (a break in a mountain range or other high obstruction, used for transportation from one side to the other which is around 10399feet.). On reaching Visit Trongsa Dzong  (Built in 1648 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel at the place where his great-grandfather Lama Ngagi Wangchuk had erected the temple  in 1543. It is one of the most aesthetic and splendid works of traditional Bhutanese architecture. It is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s Royal family and the first two hereditary kings ruled the country from this Dzong). And then visit Ta Dzong (Watch tower built on top of the hill to the east of Trongsa Dzong was known for safeguarding the Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion in the past. A visit to this watch tower will provide you an insight into the historical significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history). And then visit hendebji Chorten (built in 18th century by Lama Shida, from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot).Overnight at Trongsa.

DAY 04: TRONGSA – BUMTHANG

Early morning you start the drive to Bumthang is about 2hrs 30 mins from Trongsa valley via Yotong La 3425m and entering the region of Bumthang. The descent from the pass is through firs, then blue pines and bamboo. The road enters the upper part of the Chumey valley, marked by the small roadside Chuchi Lhakhang at Gaytsa. For those interested in textiles you can stop at the local weaveries at Chume. You will reach Bumthang for lunch.After Lunch Visit Ugyen Choling Dzong. After visiting Jakar dzong and the surrounding village, drive back towards Jakar. En-route visit the legendary “burning lake” (Mebartso), which is generally regarded a very holy and sacred place for the Bhutanese. Overnight at JAKAR

DAY 05: BUMTHANG SIGHTSEEING & WITNESS NIMALUNG FESTIVAL

Enjoy the Nimalung festival. Have pack lunch. After lunch continue witnessing the festival. At around 3PM, Visit Jampa lhakhang (one of the oldest temple in Bhutan, which date backs to 7th century before the arrival of Buddhism in the country) And Jakar dzong (this fortress was initially built as the temple in 1549 AD, it is now the administrative centre for Bumthang district), and then Visit Kurje lhakhang (the temple dedicated to the great Buddhist master Guru Padmasambhava who introduced Buddhism in 8th century). Overnight at BUMTHANG

DAY 06: BUMTHANG SIGHTSEEING

Breakfast in Hotel and visit cheese factory and red panda with pack lunch but bear the charges. After lunch visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of good Message) Established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingma Goemba in the kingdom). Overnight at BUMTHANG

DAY 07: BUMTHANG – GANGTEY

Breakfast in Hotel witness the Thongdrel (Liberation at sight) ceremony at Kurjey Lhakhang. Lunch in town. After lunch transfer to Gangtey (Phobjikha).On the way enjoy the seiners of land of Drukpass. Overnight at GANGTEY

DAY 08: GANGTEY-PARO

Breakfast in hotel. And then visit Black Necked Crane information center in Phobjikha valley (the wintering home for the black necked crane). And visit Gangtey Goemba (the 15th century treasure finder Pema Lingpa prophesied that a Goemba named Gang-teng (hill top) would be built on this site and that his teachings would spread from here)). And visit Norsang Carpet Factory (Established in 1992 by a local woman, it has a small hall housing eight weaving) Lunch in Town. After lunch transfer to Paro. Overnight at PARO

DAY 09: PARO SIGHTSSEING

Early breakfast in hotel and transfer to Paro.Visit NishiokaChorten,(the stupa built in memory of late Dasho Nishioka, a Japanese citizen who had served in the service of agriculture for 28 years in Bhutan),on the way stop at the Bondey village for the view of Paddy field (TANADA).And then visit National Museum (known as Ta Dzong since it has been turned into National Museum, was the watch tower of Paro Dzong in 17th century)Paro Dzong (also known as Rinpungdzong is the venue for the annual Paro Tshechu festival held every spring),and then drive to farm house and take lunch at the farm house, try wearing Gho and Kira in the farm house. Evening Dotsho arrangement at the same farm house. Overnight at PARO

DAY 10: TAKTSHANG MONASTREY HIKE

Breakfast in hotel and drive till the hiking point to Taktshang Monastery (the monastery perched on the side of a cliff at a height of 900 meters above the Paro valley), round trip hike to Taktshang monastery is about 3-4 hours from the car point. Lunch in cafertia at the lookout point. After lunch sightseeing of Kichu lhakhang (one of the oldest temple in Bhutan, built in 7th century before Buddhism came to Bhutan) And then visit Dumtse lhakhang (The unusual and circular lhakhang, reminiscent of the Shana, or the black hat worn by the Bhutanese Black Hat dancers was built by the great Builder of iron chain bridges, Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo.).Towards the evening stroll in and around the town for the last shopping in Bhutan. Overnight at PARO

DAY 11: DEPARTURE.

Breakfast in hotel and then drive to the airport for the flight t the next destination. See off by the guide and the driver of Bhutan Dendrobium Tour and Trek.