PARKAR FESTIVAL (7 NIGHTS 8 DAYS)

PARKAR-FESTIVALPrakhar, or Pra, is a picturesque village in the Chhume valley, perched on a small plateau located at the curve of the river. The village composed of seven large stone houses, has easy access on foot from the main road (10mn walk). A feeder road has also connected the village since 2006.

Prakhar Ngatshang is a complex of temples and a mansion (ngatshang), which belongs to the lineage of religious lords, as a reminder of the time when the village of Prakhar was the seat of the lords of Chhume Valley.

Prakhar Ngatshang was built at the end of the 16th century by Tenpe Nyima (born in 1569) who was the grandson of Pema Lingpa, a saint of Nyingmapa School (1450-1521). According to the legend, Tenpe Nyima received a prophecy saying that he should build a temple in the lower Chhume valley where two rivers meet next to a black rock. As he undertook the task, the temple somehow seemed to grow bigger every night, and the villagers observed white monkeys working on the temple after dark. The name of the place Prakhar which literary means, white monkey is derived from this story.

The first building of the temple, called Zha khakhang, built in the 16th century, has three storeys with the upper storey containing beautiful 16th century paintings of the life of Padmasambhava.

The main building, the ngatshang, was built in the 1930s by the then Lord of Chhume, Dasho Gonpo Dorji, a descendant of Pema Lingpa. It has living quarters and an impressive main tower (utse), which contains two temples. The largest has exquisite paintings of teaching cycles of Padmasambhava.

Next to the main building is a chapel housing a chorten where the body of Tenpe Nyima’s father, Thugse (heart son) Dawa Gyeltsen (1499-?) is entombed. This room also contains superb wall paintings, and it was restored by the second King’s senior Queen, Ashi Phuntsho Chodron (1911-2003) who was the half sister of Dasho Gonpo Dorji. She also built the water prayer wheel in the 1940s.

DETAILS ITINERARY

DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO-PUNAKHA

On your arrival you will be received by Guide and driver from  Bhutan Dendrobium Tour and Trek(BDTT). And then transfer to Punakha the drive to Punakha is about 3 hours from Thimphu via Dochula pass at 3150m, one can have a magnificent view of Eastern Himalayas on the clear weather from the pass.Lunch in Dochula cafeteria. Further down hill drive from the pass will take you to the warm and humid valley of Punakha. On the way visit Chime Lhakhang temple which takes about 30mins from car parking to Chime Lhakhang and up down it takes 1hr.After that Visit Punakha dzong(majestically located at the junction of the two rivers Pho chu and Mo chu, meaning male and female river).Overnight at Punakha

DAY 02: PUNAKHAS-BUMTHANG

Breakfast in hotel and then long drive towards Bumthang,crossing Pelela pass at 3360m. Photograph break at the pass, further 1hr30min drive from the pass will take to the village of Chendebji where the lunch will be served in Tabdey restaurant near Chenbdji stupa (the Nepal style eye stupa). Further drive from the lunch spot will reach to the town of Trongsa (the town in central Bhutan).Sightseeing of Trongsa dzong (the fortress in central Bhutan from where the Wang chuck dynasty came to power in 1907). And then further proceed to Bumthang crossing another pass of Yotongla at 3400m and Kikila pass at 2700m. On reaching Bumthang check in hotel, dinner and overnight at Jakar.

DAY 03: BUMTHANG

Breakfast in hotel and drive towards Jambay lhakhang (one of the oldest temple in Bhutan,which date backs to 7thcentury before the arrival of Buddhism in the country).And after that drive to Kharchu Monastery and lunch in town. After lunch visit Jakar dzong(this fortress was initially built as the temple in 1549 AD, it is now the administrative centre for Bumthang district), and visit Membartsho(Literally means Burning Lake), a short distance up the road leading to Tang valley. The Terton Pema Lingpa discovered several of Guru Rinpoche’s hidden Terma / relics here. Overnight at Bumthang

DAY 04: PRAKHAR (TO WITNESS FESTIVAL)

Breakfast in hotel and drive to Prakhar to witness festival with pack lunch.The Prakhar, or Pra, is a picturesque village in the Chhume valley, perched on a small plateau located at the curve of the river. The village composed of seven large stone houses, has easy access on foot from the main road (10mn walk).Prakhar Ngatshang is a complex of temples and a mansion (ngatshang), which belongs to the lineage of religious lords, as a reminder of the time when the village of Prakhar was the seat of the lords of Chhume Valley.Overnight at Bumthang.

DAY 05: BUMTHANG-THIMPHU

Breakfast in hotel and then proceed to Thimphu via same route, crossing different Dzongkhag and village. On the way you will fine magnificent view of mountain or Himalayas, different specious of birds and real Bhutanese life. After you reach in Thimphu chick in hotel. Overnight at Thimphu.

DAY 06: THIMPHU-PARO

Breakfast and drive to Thimphu, visit Memorial Chorten(the stupa built n 1974 in the memory of our third king Jigme Dorji Wang chuck). Tashichho dzong(the fortress of the glorious religion, houses the throne room of his majesty the King, the main secretariat building and the central monastic body. Lunch in Thimphu town and after lunch visit Painting School (Commonly known as the Painting School, the Institute offers you a glimpse of novices learning 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. It is a hands-on trip for you. Enjoy few moments with the future artists of the country.) And then visit Folk heritage Museum (This museum provides glimpse into the traditional Bhutanese life.). And then transfer to Paro, Overnight at Paro

DAY 07: PARO SIGHTSEEING

Breakfast in hotel and visit Paro Dzong (also known as Rinpung dzong is the venue for the annual Paro Tsechu festival held every spring).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). 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.). Lunch in town and after lunch Visit Nishioka Chorten,(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). Overnight Paro

DAY 08: DEPARTURE

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