Ura Festival – 11 Days

Durations: 11 Days & 10 Nights

Locations: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Bumthangg, Trongsa and Phobjikha valley.

Highlights: During the festival a sacred and significant relic is put on display so that the people can receive blessing from this very moment.Bhutan is a land filled with snow-capped peaks, glaciers, sparkling lakes, raging rivers, green terraced fields and flower-strewn valleys. The North is dominated by the high peaks of the Himalayas.

ITINERARY OVERVIEW

DAY 01 : ARRIVE PARO- NIGHT IN THIMPHU
DAY 02 : THIMPHU
DAY 03 : THIMPHU-PHOBJIKHA
DAY 04 : PHOBJIKHA-TRONGSA
DAY 05 : TRONGSA-BUMTHANG
DAY 06 : BUMTHANG-URA
DAY 07 : BUMTHANG
DAY 08 : BUMTHANG-PUNAKHA
DAY 09 : PUNAKHA-PARO
DAY 10 : PARO VALLEY.
DAY 11 : DEPARTURE FROM PARO

DETAILED TOUR PROGRAM
Day 01 : Arrival to Bhutan
  • Altitude: 2,250 meters

Morning flight into Paro, Bhutan. On this flight, you can see breath taking views of the Great Himalayas.Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be welcomed to the Kingdom by your guide. Lunch served in Paro. After lunch drive to Thimphu 2 – 3 hours.

The drive from Paro to Thimphu is spectacularly scenic one will be greeted by magnificent, monasteries and stupas in the valleys and mountain tops.

Overnight in hotel/resort at Thimphu

Day 02 : Thimphu Sightseeing

Full day of sightseeing. Some of the highlights of Thimphu include:

  1. Visit the weekly Thimphu market.
  2. Change money at the Bhutan National Bank.
  3. Purchase world’s most beautiful postage stamps and visit the Arts and crafts school
  4. Visit Memorial Chorten to honor memory of Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck,popularly known as the Father of Modern Bhutan. A multi-storied stupa that will introduce you to the vitality of Tantric Buddhism.
  5. Observe traditional paper making from Daphnia and Edgeworthia
  6. Drive up to viewpoint and take a hike beyond to see the clear picture of Thimphu Valley.
  7. Downtown Thimphu on foot visiting Handicrafts Emporium and other Arts & Crafts stores. Buy stunning kiras which can be used and bed covers or wall decoration,jewellery’s and many more.
Day 03 : Thimphu – Phobjikha
  • Altitude: 2900 meters
  • Distance: 155 kms
  • Estimated driving time: 5 hours

After breakfast drive to Gangtey and Phobjikha valley. Phobjikha valley has been declared as the first eco-tourism destination of Bhutan by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN).

The valley falls under the Black Mountain Natural Park. Phobjikha valley is the winter home to rare and endangered black necked cranes (grus nigricllis), which migrate, in large flocks to Bhutan from Tibet & Sikang, Yunnan and Tonkin in eastern China.

For centuries the cranes have captured the human imagination with their intelligence, poise, sociality, beauty and freedom, which have given rise to several myths, legends, folktales and songs.

Overnight Phobjikha at Hotel.

Day 04 : Phobjikha – Trongsa
  • Altitude: 2200 meters
  • Distance: 120 kms
  • Estimated driving time: 5 hours

Today morning after breakfast we will visit the Nature Education centre, the carpet factory and the Sacred Gangtey Monastery, which dominates the valley. After Lunch, continue your journey towards Central Bhutan.

Check in for Overnight at Hotel.

Day 05 : Trongsa – Bumthang
  • Altitude: 2800 meters
  • Distance: 68 kms
  • Estimated driving time: 2 hours

Trongsa is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s Royal Family. Both the First and Second King ruled the Kingdom from this ancient seat. All the Kings of Bhutan has to become Trongsa Penlop (Honorary post of Governor) prior to being crowned as the Druk Gyalpo (King of Bhutan).Trongsa Dzong (fort), one of the largest in the country was first built is 1648 and later enlarged many times.

Because of being situated on a highly commanding position on the only connecting route between the eastern and western sectors (where trail actually runs through the Dzong), the Trongsa Penlop was able to control the whole of eastern region very effectively for many centuries. Visit the ancient watch tower (Ta Dzong), which is situated just above the town.After lunch, drive to Bumthang. The drive to Bumthang takes 2-3 hrs.

Tales of the great Guru Padmasambhava dominates this holy valley. View the Jakar Dzong “The Castle of White Bird”. A stop will be made on the way in the Chumey Valley where one can see girls weaving Yatha the traditional woolen material used.

Overnight Bumthang at Hotel.

Day 06 : Bumthang Sightseeing

Different from all the other valleys in Bhutan, Bumthang is very spacious and open ranging in altitude from 2,600m to 4,000m. Bumthang is a heaven for hikers and trekkers, not to mention the numerous beautiful and important Buddhist monasteries and pilgrimage sites, making it the Cultural and Historic center of Bhutan.One could spend months exploring this fascinating valley.

Almost every little valley or hill has a background of interesting myths and legends about Kings, Buddhist masters and Serpents. Bumthang is combined of four main valleys, Chumey, Tang, Ura and Choekhor (Jakar). Commonly known as Jakar valley where you can see a little bit of modern touch with Swiss Influences. Visits to the important cultural and historic sites in the special valley.

Day 07 : Bumthang – Ura – Bumthang
  • Altitude: 3100 meters
  • Estimated driving time: 2 hours


Full day sightseeing drive further east towards URA Valley. Ura Valley is famous for one of the most unique and earliest settlements in Bhutan. Hike through the beautiful hill and forest of upper ura valley to the village. It is a beautiful and breathe taking hike.Visit

Ura Village and the Temple. Mingle around with local people and watch the famous Ura Festival/Tscechu Ura is considered one of the holiest valleys in Bhutan.

Today Bhutanese from many different areas will gather to pay respect and to be blessed at this social gathering. Bhutanese dressed in their finest clothes and jewellers attend this celebration of purification and religious blessings.

The intensity goes on.Watch for the Atsara (clown) this dancer, unique in his own style, mimics dancers and entertains onlookers. Festival deities are invoked through benediction and luck is increased and misfortunate gone.

Return to Jakar, Bumthang for Overnight

Day 08 : Bumthang – Punakha
  • Altitude: 1300 meters
  • Distance:212 kms
  • Estimated driving time: 8 hours

Today after breakfast we will drive to Punakha valley with sightseeing en-route.We will stop at certain places for tea/refreshments and drive slowly towards punakha valley.

If time permits we will visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong. Built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637, by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan’s history.

Overnight in hotel/resort at Punakha

Day 09 : Punakha – Paro
  • Altitude: 2250 meters
  • Distance: 77 kms
  • Estimated driving time: 3 hours

Punakha was the winter capital for over 300 years until the time of second King. Punakha Dzong, which dominates the whole area, was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, and established the central monastic body with 600 monks.

Punakha Dzong is one of the most impressive Dzong in the Kingdom.In the morning we will visit the Chimi Lhakhang. The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behaviour to dramatize his teachings and due to this also known as “Divine Madman”.

This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. It is about 30 minute walk across field from the road to the temple.

Overnight in Hotel/resort at Paro

Day 10 : A Day Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Morning, hike up to the view point of “Taktsang”, popularly known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery.The climb up to the viewpoint will take around 1 ½ hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria.

Then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour.It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. After visiting the monastery, walk back down to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further down to the road point.

On the way, visit Kichu temple, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan Later visit King Songsten Gampo.In the evening relax and overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 11 : Departure from Paro

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for the departure flight. Tashi Delek!

End of Tour
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Inclusions
  • •    Deluxe rooms on twin sharing basis.
    •    Meals (Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner, Tea/Coffee with snacks as and when required)
    •    Accommodation in the best 3-4 star Resorts/hotels in Bhutan.
    •    Brand new Bus, SUVs’ (not exceeding 4-5 years)
    •    1 complimentary Bhutan air ticket if group exceeds 17 Pax
    •    Tea, coffee and snacks during the long drive and tour.
    •    Complimentary 1 Hour cultural program and farewell dinner for 8 plus pax.
    •    All Trekking Equipments (2 men sleeping tents, Kitchen Tents, Dining tents, Toilet Tents, Cooking Utensils etc.
    •    Trekking Guide and trekking cook along with supporting staffs
    •    Medical Facilities on free of cost (consulting doctors & medicine)
    •    Mineral water on long trips both on trek and cultural tours
    •    Museum fees and other special entry fees.
    •    A sustainable tourism Royalty of $65. This Royalty goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.

Exclusions
  • • Airfare
    • Laundry/Drinks / Telephone calls and any personal expenses.
    • Travel Insurance (Recommended but not available in Bhutan)
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • Single room supplement USD$40 per night.
    • Tips and Gratuities

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