PHONGME FESTIVAL (11 NIGHTS/12 DAYS)

PHONGME-FESTIVALPhongme Temple was built in the 17th century, later in 1911, Lt. Drungpa Lemja and the people of Phongme Gewog collaboratively extended the temple. With the introduction of Buddhism in Phongme in 1910, local Tshechu (9 mask dance) was introduced. During that time only Bardo Cham was performed.

Late on many mask dance like Peling Ging Sum(Dance of the Nyulema and the Three Kinds of Ging), Dramtse Nga Cham (Dance of drums) from Dramtse were also performed.

Dances are performed annually in Phongme Temple for 3-5 days. It is normally performed on the 13th day of the 8th month in Bhutanese calendar and is an occasion for the village people to gather round and take part in the festival occasion. The religious dances are symbolic and have a common theme to get rid of evil spirits. The swords of the dances symbolize cutting thought ignorance while the drum drives away all malevolent evils and demons. Therefore, witnessing the dances is believed to remove sins and take one closer towards attaining nirvana or enlightenment.

Day 1: Phangcham, Shingjay, Shazam, throchu, Zhana, Nyulem, Dhur dag, Pelingging sum.

Day 2: Display of Throngdrel at 7.00AM, Shazam, ZhanaNgacham, Guru Tshengyed(Dance of the 8 manifestation of Guru Padmasambhava), Tshoglen, PholeyMoley, Pacham.

Day 3: Betsarya, Shinjay, Shazam, PelingZhana, Bardo Cham, DramtseNgaCham(The dance of the Drums)

DETAILS ITINERARY

Day 01: ARRIVE PARO PARO–THIMPHU

On your arrival at Paro international airport, you will be received by guide and driver from Bhutan Dendrobium Tour and Trek (BDTT). And drive to visit Paro dzong (also known as Rinpung dzong is the venue for the annual Paro Tsechu festival held every spring), 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 transfer to Thimphu (The capital city of Bhutan since 1955). Overnight at Thimphu

Day 02: THIMPHU-PUNAKHA

After breakfast visit to Memorial Chorten (the stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of our late Majesty the King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck), Changangkha Lhakhang,(the drukpa kagyu monastery on the hill top of Thimphu town), 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 03: PUNAKHA-TRONGSA     

Breakfast in hotel drive to visit Wangdue Dzong( built in 1638 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel) and then long drive to 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 Chenbedji 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 ofTrongsa dzong (the fortress in central Bhutan from where the Wang chuck dynasty came to power in 1907).Overnight at Trongsa

Day 04: TRONGSA-BUMTHANG

After the breakfast in hotel proceed to Bumthang crossing another pass of Yotongla at 3400m and Kikila pass at 2700m. On reaching Bumthang, visit Jakar dzong (this fortress was initially built as the temple in 1549 AD, it is now the administrative centre for Bumthang district), Jampa lhakhang(one of the oldest temple in Bhutan, which date backs to 7thcentury before the arrival of Buddhism in the country). Chakar  lhakhang (means the iron castle was the palace of the King from India who built Nine storied iron castle in the 8th century),Kurjey lhakhang (the temple dedicated to the great Buddhist master Guru Padmasambhava who introduced Buddhism in 8th century). Overnight at Bumthang

Day 05: BUMTHANG-MONGAR

After the breakfast in hotel, drive towards Mongar via Thruemshing La Pass (3780m). It will take around 7 hours through the dense forest. The drive is liked or recommended by environment lovers. Enroute to Mongar, visit Mongar dzong (built in 1953, to replace the old Zhongar Dzong which got destroyed by 1899).Overnight at Mongar

Day 06: MONGAR-TRASHIANG

After the breakfast in the hotel, drive towards Trashigang via Korila Pass (2800m), it will take you almost for 4hours through the beautiful dense forest. Enroute to Trashigang, visit Trashigang Dzong. Overnight at Trashigang

Day 07: TRASHIGANG-PHONGME (WIYNESS FESTIVAL

After the breakfast, drive towards Phongme Village,(and witness the festival whole day) The drive is for 1 hour 30 minutes from Trashigang town, Enroute to Phongme valley and visit Phongme Temple was built in the 17th century, later in 1911, Lt. DrungpaLemja and the people of Phongme gewog collaboratively extended the temple. With the introduction of Buddhism in Phongme in 1910, local Tshechu 9 mask dance) was introduced. Witness the festival. Overnight at Phongme at farm house

Day 08: PHONGME-SIHGTSEEING

Breakfast in farm house and drive to Tokshing shing pang Temple was built in 1939 by Tempa Kuenzang and later renovated by the people of 3 villages in the year 1987. And visit Tokshing Pang Lhakhang was built in the year 1939 by Tempa Kuenzang and later renovated by the people of 3 villages in the year 1987. Visit Radhi Pakkaling. Pakaling Temple was built in year 1966 by Khaling Lam Kuenzang (He is from Radhi Pakaling). Pakaling Village is 1 hour 20 minutes drive from Trashigang town. After that visit Rangjung Monastery. The monastery was built in 6th jan 1988 by lam Garab Rimpoche. Main Relic in the temple are Khenlop choesum (Lopen Pema Juney, Chogyel Thritsong Detsen, Khenchen BotelSata).and round trip in Rangjung town, at evening transfers to Trashigang (Overnight at Trashigang

Day 09: WAY BACK TO SAME ROUTE TRASHIGANG-BUMTHANG

Day 10: BUMTHANG-PARO

Day 11: PARO-TAKTSHANG 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 which is about 3-4 hours from the car point. Lunch at the cafeteria (view point).After lunch sightseeing of Drugyel dzong (the fortress in ruins built in commemoration over Tibetan invasion in 17th century).after that visit Sangchen chokor Monstery in paro. (It takes 50minutes drive from Paro town. From there we can see the beautiful view of the Paro town.).And visit Kichu Lhakhang (Temple). Towards evening stroll in and around the town for last shopping in Bhutan. Overnight at Paro

Day 12: DEPARTURE

After breakfast drive towards Airport, you will be see off by your guide and driver from Bhutan Dendrobium Tour ad Trek.