Trongsa Tshechu

Trip Facts

Trongsa Tshechu
Length : 9 Days - 8 Nights
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

Trongsa, the sacred and temporal heart of the country is a two-day journey from Thimphu. Situated in central Bhutan, it was once the seat of power over central and eastern regions. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from here and today; it is customary for the crown prince to serve as the Trongsa Penlop (“governor”) prior to ascending the throne.

The dzong built in 1648 is a massive structure with many levels. The dzong’s highly strategic position allowed Trongsa Penlop to control travel and trade in the country effectively placing him in command of the whole of the central and eastern regions of the country.

Of the many festivals held in various parts of Trongsa, the grandest is the three-day annual tshechu. In addition to traditional mask dances, visitors can witness the unfurling of the sacred thongdroel and receive blessings from high ranking monks. The tshechu of Bhutan specifically honours Guru Rinpoche (Padma Sambhava) and celebrates his deeds through the performance of sacred dances. The word tshechu literally means the ‘tenth day.’

On the last day, the festival concludes with dances and the display of Thongdroel for public veneration.

The trip takes you through the western and central valleys of Bhutan, the most memorable after the tshechu festival being the visit to the winter habitat of the black –necked cranes, where you can observe these rare birds close at hand.

Date: 20-22 December, 2015

Venue: Trongsa Dzong

Outline Iteinerary

Day 1:    Arrival in Paro

  • To be received by our representative and drive to Thimphu
  • On arrival, visit Buddha Point at Kuensel Phodrang to see the 169-foot bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma or Sakyamuni Buddha, which is the most visible landmark overlooking Thimphu valley. The view from the Buddha point is spectacular and beautiful, especially at night
  • Visit National Memorial Chorten dedicated to the Third King, revered 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 in 1953. It is the religious hub of the capital, where many old people are found circumambulating the chorten.

Day 2: Thimphu

  • Visit Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion,’ the most important landmark. Seat of His Majesty’s secretariat, the Central Monastic Body and various ministries, it was initially erected in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and was rebuilt in the 1960s by the third king, who worked alongside the workers carrying huge logs on his shoulders.
  • Other sites and places of interest would be Heritage Museum - dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past though exhibition of artifacts used in rural households, and Paper making Factory – to witness the art of making Bhutanese hand-made paper
  • Or Royal Textile Academy 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.
  • Takin Preserve, the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the takin. An animal lover should not miss Takin Preserve, which was started as a shelter for a few stray takins years ago. It has now turned into a full-fledged zoo but in an almost natural surrounding.
  • If during the week ends, visit Centenary Farmers’ Market, where villagers from the valley and other nearby places come to sell their agriculture produces, providing a great photo opportunity.

Day 3: Thimphu to 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.
  • On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo 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.
  • Drive to Yabesa village and walk through rice fields to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck.

Day 4: Punakha to Trongsa

  • Visit Chimi Lhakhang built by Ngawang Chogyel in 15th century after the ’Divine Mad Monk’ Drukpa Kuenlay built a small chorten there. Considered a temple of fertility, many couples visit to offer prayers for children and are seldom disappointed.
  • Visit Chendebji Chorten on the way to Trongsa, which literally means the "New Town" in the local language
  • Visit Taa Dzong built as a watch tower which has since been turned into a Heritage Museum, housing an incredible historical artifacts and collection from the Royal Family.

Day 5: Trongsa Festival

  • Observe at Trongsa Dzong the masked dances performed by monks in colorful brocade attires and masks to the accompaniment of traditional music of gongs, cymbals and horns. The festival ends with the unfolding of a huge sacred thongdroel, depicting Padma Sambhava and other religious figures from Buddhist pantheon. The dzong, one of the largest, sits on the spur of a hill and was the seat of the Royal Family. The first and second kings ruled from here.

Day 6: Trongsa-Gangtey

  • Drive from to Gangtey. The valley of Phobjikhais well known as the winter home of the black -crane (Grus Nigricollis). Bhutan is home to around six hundred black-necked cranes with Phobjikha being one of the popular places that the birds migrate to in the winter months from the Tibetan plateau. The elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of March. Overlooking the Phobjikha valley is the Gangtey Goenpa. This is an old monastery that dates back to 17th century.
  • Visit Black-Necked Crane Information Centre, which has informative displays about the cranes and the valley environment. You can use the centre’s powerful spotting telescopes and check what you see in its pamphlet ’Field Guide to Crane Behaviour.’ You can also browse through the library and handicraft shop, and watch videos at 10am and 3pm (Nu 200).
  • Then a Nature Hike along the valley of Phobjikha would be more interesting.

Day 7: Gangtey to Paro

  • Drive to Paro and visit Rinpung Dzong, the 15th century massive fortress/monastery, which is also the administrative centre of the district. The interesting aspect is the painting of Milarepa, who was reported to have attained Buddhahood in one life. Located on the spur above Paro valley,it was burnt down a couple of times, the last one was in 1905 when Claude White, then the British Political Officer in Sikkim, visited Bhutan.
  • Visit Ta Dzong, the ancient watch tower, converted into the National Museum in 1968. You will observe anything from horse’s egg to other artifacts that sums up Bhutan’s culture. Your guide will tell you more.

Day 8: Paro

  • Hike to Taktsang monastery, where Guru Padma Sambhava was supposed to have arrived on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. The round trip takes about four hours. The monastery perched on a cliff 900 metres above the valley floor tells you how far religious persons go to detach from this mundane world in the 7th century
  • In the after noon, drive to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong. Built in 1647 by the great Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of medieval Bhutan, to celebrate victory over the Tibetans
  • Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan said to have been built by King Srontsen Gampo of Tibet to subdue a demon across the Himalayas.

Day 9: Depart Paro

  • After breakfast, drive to airport for onward journey to new destination.

Note: Check Trekking Section for Nabji-Korphu trek. This is also the right time to go on the trek as the weather is ideal with the route going through warmer region.

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

Trongsa Tshechu
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