Jambay Lhakhang Festival

Trip Facts

Jambay Lhakhang Festival
Length :  11 Day - 10 Night
Start : Paro
Finish : Paro
Trip Style : Festival Tour
Discounts : Applicable on this trip
Group Size : Maximum 12, Avg 5
Group Leader : Certified Tour Leader from The DBT.
Transport : New Model Toyota Hiace /Coaster bus/Land Cruiser not more than 3 years old.
Trip Rating by Popularity :
Physical Demand Rating :
Can it be Tailored? : Yes

Trip Overview

Bumthang-The religious heartland of Bhutan

Bumthang is home to some of the most ancient Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan. Locals deeply rever tales related to Guru Rinpoche and the Tertons, the revealers of religious treasure. Surrounded by broad valleys, Bumthang is home to the Jambay Lhakhang festival.

Built in the 7th century, it was one of 108 monasteries that were built by the king Srongtsen Gambo to subjugate an evil demon in the Himalayas. According to legends, Guru Rinpoche visited this monastery a number of times. The temple was renovated by Chakhar Gyab, the ruler of Bumthang’s Iron Castle in 8th century.

The inner shrine which houses the relics of the Jowo Jampa (Maitreya) the future Buddha is 1400 years old. Celebrated in late autumn, the Jambay Lhakhang festival is well known for the Tercham. The three-day festival ends with the late night ‘naked dance.’ A fire ritual is held prior to the perform of this dance.

The Dus Kyi Khorlo(Kala Chakra-Wheel of Time)within the monastery was built in 1885 by Gonga Ugyen Wangchuck, the first king of Bhutan. It was built to mark his victory in battle of Changlimithang over Alu Dorji of Thimphu and Phuntsho Dorji of Punakha. His daughter Ashi Wango built Chorten Ihakhang.

A trip to Bumthang will help you know about this religious festival that is different from tshechu festivals that are popular in other parts of the country. The major highlights of the festival is the tercham, dances related to the treasure discovery. You can also visit some of the most revered Buddhist monasteries that dot the landscape of the region. Bumthang is replete with markets, museums and medieval dzongs.

People fond of adventure can visit the Taktsang Monastery, located on a cliff that is 900m above the valley floor. If you are looking for an alternative tourist location, then you can visit Haa Valley, which is known for the legends of Ap Chundu.

Haa is located on the western border of Bhutan. Local historians believe that two major temples of the region, the White Temple and Black Temple were built around the same as Paro’s Kyerchu Temple, which dates back to the 7th century.

A third temple, the Haa Gompa was built further up at the site where a bodhisattva appeared as a lame pigeon to a local farmer. The farmer was attracted to the place by a mysterious fire seen on many successive nights, followed by sounds of oboes and trumpets that are commonly used in Bhutanese monasteries.

Outline Iteinerary

DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU

  • Visit the National Museum, Ta Dzong, which houses many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts to acquaint you with Bhutan’s historical and cultural past
  • Visit the Rinpung Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation who was believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime.
  • Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu

DAY 02: THIMPHU

  • Visit National Memorial Chorten dedicated to the Third King, respected as the father of modern Bhutan, who passed away in 1972. He was the one who decided to shift the capital from Punakha, once the power house of Bhutanese politics, to Thimphu for practical, if not (regional) political reasons to Thimphu in 1953. Once a broad, fertile rice-growing village, Thimphu is today the nation’s bustling capital with a religious and historical significance from the past to political and historical events that occurred in the present day
  • Visit the 12-century Changangkha and Drubthob monastery housing the present-day Zilukha Nunnery
  • Visit Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’ the most important landmark. Seat of His Majesty’s secretariat, the Central Monastic Body and ministries, it was initially erected in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and was rebuilt in the mid-1960s by the third king, who worked alongside the workers carrying huge logs on his shoulders.
  • An animal lover should not miss Takin Preserve, the zoo housing the takins, the national animal of Bhutan. Started as a shelter for a few stray takins years ago, it has turned into a full-fledged zoo but in an almost natural surrounding.
  • If during the weekends, visit Farmers’ Centenary Market to sample or observe the activities in Thimphu’s main vegetable market that provides a great photo opportunity or an archery tournament.

DAY 03: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA

  • Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 metres). On a clear day you are treated to an incredible view of the eastern Himalayan peaks. The Rhododendron forests in Dochu-La burst into a riot of colours in late April/early May. The drive through the Punakha valley offers a glimpse of everyday life in the countryside
  • Visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” to attend the festival. Built in 1637 at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers), it is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of Bhutan and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three-story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned.

DAY 04: PUNAKHA

  • Drive to Yabesa village and hike to through ricefields up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by Her Majesty the Queen, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. The Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingma Traditions
  • Visit Wangdue Phodrang town. Sadly, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong built in 1639 was destroyed in entirety in a fire that took place in..(date). People, various organizations and the government have been contributing money to rebuild this great structure
  • On the way back to the Punkha detour to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenley, the Divine Madman. Many childless couples visit this temple of fertility for blessing and most are not let down.

DAY 05: PUNAKHA – TRONGSA – BUMTHANG

  • Drive from Punakha to Bumthang over Pele La pass (3,420m) over the Black Mountain range. Visit Chendebji Chorten, on the way to Trongsa, the ancestral home of Bhutan’s ruling dynasty.
  • After lunch, visit Trongsa Dzong, the largest Dzong in Bhutan and the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty and Ta Dzong which has been renovated as the Heritage Museum housing an incredible collection of historical artifacts of the Royal Family
  • Continue driving to Bumthang, home to some of Bhutan’s oldest alaces and temples. Stay awake until midnight to witness the opening proceedings of the Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival, including an unusual naked dance performed to sanctify the region.

DAY 06:   BUMTHANG (Jambay Lhakhang-Drub- 27-31 October)

  • Either continue watching the Drub programme or visit some sacred places, such as Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred in the kingdom where Bhutan’s patron saint, Guru Rinpoche meditated and 7th century Jambay Lhakhang for the festival. A programme will be developed in consultation with the clients, depending on the Drub schedule for both the 6th and 7th day)
  • After lunch, visit Jakar Dzong and Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Terton Pemalingpa, containing interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings.
  • Explore the village of Jakar.

DAY 07: BUMTHANG

  • 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. After an hour and half- drive from the town and another 30-minute walk, you will reach Ugyen Chholing Palace, built in the 16th 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. Visit 14th century Tang Rimochen Lhakhang where Guru Rinpoche meditated and Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake), where some of Guru Rinpoche’s treasures were revealed in the 15th century by Terton Pema Lingpa (famous treasure discoverer). It’s a good location to meditate.

DAY 08: BUMTHANG – PUNAKHA

  • Explore Chamkhar town and afterwards proceed to Punakha, stopping for lunch along the way. Overnight at your hotel in Punakha.

DAY 09: PUNAKHA – PARO

  • Drive to Thimphu for lunch
  • Visit the Royal Textile Museum, formally inaugurated in June 2013. Besides educating, promoting and preserving Bhutanese textiles, RTA plans to create international awareness of Bhutanese textiles. It collects and documents important textiles that are part of Bhutanese textile heritage, and preservation and restoration of old Bhutanese textiles. The museum offers the visitors two galleries of artifacts.
  • The lower gallery offers the Royal Collections which includes the first Raven Crown. The upper gallery features pieces representing the various regions of the country. Then you can walk down the Crafts Bazaar, Handicrafts Emporium and other souvenir shops
  • Afterwards proceed to Paro, visiting Semtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at your hotel  in Paro.

DAY 10:   PARO

  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery. A walk of approximately two hours uphill taking you almost a kilometre above the valley. (Horses will be arranged up to the viewing point for those who can not walk.) Perched on a sheer cliff face, 900 metres above the valley floor, the monastery is also an important pilgrimage site for the Buddhists. The Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built.
  • Drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop.
  • En route to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Srongtsen Gampo to subjugate a demon.
  • An alternative programme could be arranged on the 10th day – a trip to Haa valley over Chelela pass, where you can watch the flora and fauna at close quarters. Surrounded by rugged and mountainous terrain, it is a valley of legends of Ap Chundu, the local deity. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

DAY 11:   DEPART PARO

  • Breakfast in the hotel, and then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.

Date and Departure Information

Fix Departure Dates are yet to be announced. If you are interested for this trip, please click the button below for the further inquiry

Price Details

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), Tourism Business regulating agency of the Royal Government of Bhutan, fixes the Tourist Tariff rate. This rate is valid for all the inclusive tour packages. The tariffs for tourists visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:

Peak Season Rate: (March, April, May, September, October and November) Cultural Tour /Trekking – US$ 250/per person per night halt.

Low Season Rate:(January, February, June, July, August and December) Cultural Tour /Trekking- US$ 200/per person per night halt.

Price Inclusions

  • Bhutan Royalty ($65 per person per day).
  • Visa Fees ($40 per person).
  • All necessary permit fees.
  • All transfers and sightseeing with entrance fees.
  • All meals including evening tea.
  • All accommodation in our partner hotels, which are some of the best in the country on twin sharing basis.
  • All trekking equipments and logistics including cooks, camp personnel, horsemen and ponies.
  • English-speaking tour leader, guide and driver.
  • Trekking Insurance (Our value-added service).
  • Cultural Performance (our value-added service).

Price Exclusion

  • Airfare for flights into and out of Bhutan.
  • All personal expenses like laundry, telephone, tips, shopping expenses.
  • Meals and Beverages other than the ones mentioned above (see inclusions).
  • Spa Charges.
  • Travel and Medical insurance.

Route map

Jambay Lhakhang Festival
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Buffalo, New York



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