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Sacred Thimphu Festival with Cultural Tour

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 7 - 12 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 10 people
Destination(s): Bhutan  
Specialty Categories: Festival Tours   Cultural Journey  
Season: February - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1680 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3080 US Dollar (USD)

Tshechus are held annually in Dzongs throughout the country. Rare spellbinding mask dances and rituals are performed for several days by well trained monks in the courtyard of the Dzong. Many saints like Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century, Pemalingpa and Zhabdrung in 16th to 17th centuries resorted to dances to subdue dangerous evil spirits and to over come obstacles that were preventing the spread of Buddhism in the high Himalayan valleys. Monks blow a pair of long horns from the roof of the Dzong, where the sound of cymbals, drums and trumpets fill the air. People dress in their finest clothes and wear their most precious jewels providing important opportunity for unmarried men and women to find their life partners. These festivals revive the people spiritually in many ways to purify them culturally because the dances communicate moral lessons to benefit both the performer and the observer.

The Bardo dance, the main events of the festival, reminds the people of their future destiny depending on their past and present deeds. The dance of the Stag enacts the tale of a hunter who was converted to Buddhism and gave up hunting. The dance of Noblemen and Ladies tells the story of flirting princesses who are punished for their indiscretions. The Tshechus ends with the unfolding of a huge religious Thangkha or "Thongdroel" (meaning liberation on sight), at which the courtyard fills with people before sunrise even with freezing cold. This delicate artwork depicts Guru Rinpoche in his eight manifestations along with two consorts. The giant Thangkha is let down to the ground and then ceremoniously rolled and folded away before the sun rays reach it.

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival in Paro - Thimphu

Day 2: Thimphu sightseeing/Tshechu

Day 3: Thimphu sightseeing/Tshechu

Day 4: Thimphu - Punakha

Day 5: Punakha sightseeing

Day 6: Punakha - Paro

Day 7: Paro sightseeing with Taktshang hike

Day 8: Depart by Druk Air.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- All hotel and guesthouses accommodation
- All meals and sightseeing
- Specialist designed itineraries
- Services of knowledgeable, English-speaking local guides
- All ground transportation
- All entrance fees
- Pre-departure information and extras listed on trip itineraries.

Price Excludes:
- International airfare and en-route stopovers
- Druk Air airfare
- Travel Protection Insurance
- Excess baggage charges
- Transfers, expenses and services outside of Bhutan
- Personal expenses like Beverages (alcohol, soft drinks & bottled water), gratuities to guides & drivers as appropriate, and laundry, mail, phone calls and cables.