Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival
Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival is a grand ceremony with festive atmosphere celebrated at the cultural heartland of Bhutan – the Bumthang Valley and Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival Tour provides you the opportunity to participate and witness such a fabulous festival in Bumthang. Unique masked dances and other celebrations is the main feature of the festival when locals gather around in a spirit of festivity with deep faith. Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in the kingdom. It was founded by, Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan King in the 7th century AD. Tsechus (festivals) are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan. A Tsechu is a Buddhist festival in honor of Guru Rimpoche, the saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan.
Trip Name: Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival Tour
Trip Duration: 10 Days
Max. Altitude: 3,120m/10,240 ft (The Tiger Nest Monastery)
Festival Date: 24th -27th October, 2018
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above
Transportation: Private vehicle
• Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the Himalayas while flying in/out from Paro.
• Explore the tiny town of Paro exploding with colors and tradition.
• Discover the tiny capital Thimphu.
• Witness Jambay Lhakhang Drop at the cultural heartland – the Bumthang Valley
• Hike Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan. Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan.
• Bhutanese ancient culture and tradition
Day 01: Arrival Paro (2,250m) – Thimphu (2,350m)
Your Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival Tour begins with the flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your guide and transferred to your hotel to settle in. Your Bhutanese escort will greet you on arrival, and then drive you the short distance to hotel. Paro is a picturesque valley with quaint clusters of hamlets amid terraced paddy fields. Although the site of the nation’s first airport Paro still retains tradition by way of architecture and farming.
After lunch depart to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive will take around 1½ hour. Thimphu has a population of about 98,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. In the evening visit the Handicrafts Emporium, which has all types of Bhutanese handicrafts for sale. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 02: Thimphu-Punakha (1,310)
On the second day of Paro Tshechu Festival Tour after breakfast, we drive for about 3 hours to Punakha, then climb up the mountain road to Dochula La at 3140m and view the spectacular sight of the Eastern Himalayas. Later we descend through varied forest and finally witness the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Following the beautiful hiking trail through the beautiful rice fields to reach the Chimmi Lhakhang. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03: Punakha-Gangtey
After breakfast walk across the bridge and visit Punakha Dzong, an ancient capital of Bhutan, spanning the MoChu and Pho Chu rivers. It is also the winter capital for the monks and the Je Khenpo (chief abbot) and after the visit drive to Lobeysa for lunch. After lunch hike another 20 minutes to Chime Lhakhang, temple of the “Divine Madman” built in 1499 and today it is mostly visited by the women who couldn’t bear Children. Also it is known as temple of fertility. After the visit walk back to the road point and then drive Gangtey. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Gangtey-Bumthang
Today, we drive 5 hours to Bumthang valley. The road climbs rapidly through a series of hairpins out of Trongsa and there are great views back to the Dzong and out across the valley. After passing through cultivated fields for a while, the trail re-enters the forest and reach the Yotong La (3400m). Descending to a low point of 2650m at a village called Chumey; the scenery is once again totally different as the route enters the wide-open Bumthang valleys. It takes about an hour to get to the roadside at Chumey, the first of the four valleys in Bumthang. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 05: Bumthang – Witness the 1st day of the festival
In the morning visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom where Bhutan’s patron saint Guru Rimpoche meditated and 7 th century Jambay Lhakhang. It dates back to the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan and is one of the Kingdoms oldest temples. After lunch, visit Jakar Dzong and Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pemalingpa and containing interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Afterwards enjoy exploring the village of Jakar, Bumthang’s main township. In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley. After dinner attend the first day of Jambay Lhakhang festival. The first day of the festival begins in the evening around 8:30 pm.
The details of the first day of the festival are as follows:
Black Hat Dance (Shana) and of the Gings (emanations of Guru Rinpoche): Costume: Dancers, wearing long brocade robes and ornate black hats, perform this dance. The dancers’ who represent the Ging wear shorter robes with masks. This dance is performed to purify the ground and to chase away evil influences.
Dance of Offering (Tshogcham): A dancer offers the body of evil spirits to the deities. After the offering is made the audience goes outside the temple where an arch of pine bushes has been erected.
Fire Dance (Mecham): The arch of pine is set on fire. The fire is said to purify the earth of evil spirits. People who pass through the arch have their sins cleansed. A dancer chases away the evil spirits.
At around 12 – 2 am, the naked dance will be performed where you can only witness the act for yourself and photography will not be allowed during the act. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 06: In Bumthang (2,745m)
Return to experience more of the festivities at Jambay Lhakhang, or enjoy an excursion to Tang Valley, the most remote valley in the Bumthang district. Activities may include a 45 minute walk uphill to Ugyen Chholing Palace, built in the 16 th century by the Trongsa Penlop Tshokey Dorji. The main building in the complex now features a fascinating museum offering a real insight into the lifestyle of a Bhutanese noble family. Highlights include a book of divination, a dakini dance costume made of bone. Option also includes visiting the 14 th century Tang Rimochen Lhakhang where Guru Rinpoche meditated and Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake), where some of Guru Rinpoche’s treasures were found in the 15th century by the famous treasure discover Pema Lingpa. It’s a good location to meditate. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 07: Bumthang– Punakha (1,310m)
After breakfast drive to Punakha, stopping for lunch along the way. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 08: Punakha – Paro (2250m)
On the eighth day of the Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival Tour, we drive to a stunning hill-top nunnery – Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Chholing. The main temple of here is dedicated to the bodhisattva of compassion and next to the temple is a beautiful Stupa. After doing some chatting with the nuns and enjoying the surrounding we re-cross Dochula ans stop at Thimphu for lunch. Then move towards the Paro in the afternoon. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 09: Hike Paro – Taktsang Monastery
Today after breakfast we drive towards the base of the Taktsang Monastery and begin our hiking for the Taktsang Monastery. The trail to Taktsang Monastery takes about 3 hours and upon reaching the Monastery one can have the majestic view of the Paro valley which makes you forget all your sweat during the hike. After spending some quality time on the Tiger’s Nest we walk back to the road point and then visit Kyichu Lhakhang one of the oldest temple in Bhutan. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 10: Departure
Your Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival Tour Tour terminates today so after breakfast, your representative will help you with the exit formalities and bid you farewell and wish you happy journey back home.