3 Festivals to Attend during Bhutan Holiday Tours

The happiest country in the world, Bhutan is renowned for its immense natural beauty. While its mountainous topography beckons loads of adventure lovers, its monasteries and stupas invite sightseers. One of the best things to do during Bhutan holiday tours is partaking in its culture. It can be done by interacting with the warm-hearted locals or attending music and dance performances. Another thing, which can help tourists get an insight into the long-held traditions, is festivals. Described below are three of the most significant festivals, celebrated all around the country.

Tsechu

Tsechu is dedicated to the deity, Padmasambhava, who founded the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. To restore the health of the local king, the deity performed a set of dances that are now known as Cham dances. Some of these performances also depict incidents from the life of other saints. Most Tseshus stretch for four days, during which such performances, some with swords and masks, are held. The festivities conclude with the unfurling of a huge scroll painting, called Thongrel, depicting Padmasambhava with his consorts.

Matsutake Festival

Culinary enthusiasts can visit the approximately 10170-feet high Ura Valley in the dzongkhag of Bumthang during their Bhutan vacation tours to attend the Matsutake Festival. The celebration signals the start of the harvesting season for Matsutake, a type of wild mushroom. Organised in the last weekend of August, the event can help travellers combine their love for food and trekking. They can hike through the spruce and fir forests of the valley along with its inhabitants to pick the mushrooms. The locals can tell globetrotters how to find and identify them. Apart from this, traditional dance and music performances can be attended and delicious mushroom dishes can also be tasted here.

Nomad Festival

One of the unique celebrations to attend during Bhutan holiday tours is the annual Nomad Festival. Hosted in Bumthang, it brings together migrant communities from the Haa, Gasa, Thimphu, Paro, Wangduephodrang and Tashigang dzongkhags. This way, Bumthang becomes a melting pot and exhibition ground of various cultures. While here, holidaymakers will get an insight into the pastoral life, the nomads have been living for ages. They can even dress up like these migrants in attire, made exclusively of yak wool. Sitting around a hearth with crossed legs and eating traditional dishes is another thing tourists can do.

Attending these festivities during Bhutan vacation tours will give visitors a glimpse into the local culture.

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A few Must-visit Places in Bhutan Travel Packages

Bhutan, a small country on the eastern edge of the Himalayas, is renowned for its monasteries and dramatic landscapes. Wedged between China in the north and India in the south, this small kingdom is bestowed with many bounties of nature. Hordes of tourists from different parts of the world come to this country to relax in its refreshing aura or try a few adventure sports. More and more people are availing Bhutan travel packages, and this is a testament to the popularity of this kingdom as a holiday destination. There is a plethora of points of interest that can be visited during a holiday here. The following are some of the most sought-after tourist hotspots in the country.

Punakha Dzong  

Most tourists come to the nation to learn about its culture, and Punakha Dzong is the perfect place to do so. Among the largest and oldest monasteries in the kingdom, it is located in Punakha, which served as the national capital from 1637 to 1907. The significance of the place can be attributed from the fact that the wedding of Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Bhutanese king, and Jetsun Pema was held here. This is also the venue of a festival, Punakha Drubchen, held every year to commemorate the victory of the kingdom over the invading Tibetan army.

National Museum of Bhutan

The museum showcases the history and culture of the locals with its extensive exhibits. It houses artefacts from different parts of the country, representing different eras. Some of the items housed here date back to as early as 4000 BC. The museum also conducts symposiums and publishes research findings in its goal to preserve and promote the national culture.

Tashichho Dzong

First constructed in the year 1216, the fortress of Tashichho has been moved and rebuilt a number of times. It has been the seat of the Bhutanese government since 1952. This large, impressive structure is surrounded by well-kept lawns, which add to its magnificence.

Jakar Dzong

Built in 1549, Jakar Dzong or the Castle of the White Bird is famed as the seat of the first king of the nation. The monument played a significant role in defending the eastern fortresses of the kingdom. To give tourists an insight into the rich local culture, many Bhutan travel packages bring them here.

These are some destinations that people can visit during their Bhutan holiday to learn about the national architecture and history.

3 Buddhist Holy Sites to Visit with Bhutan Travel Packages

Bhutan, the landlocked nation in South Asia, lies in the Himalayan mountain range. The natural beauty of this place attracts hordes of visitors from across the globe each year. The most followed religion in this country is Vajrayana Buddhism, followed by Hinduism. As a result, there are a number of Buddhist monasteries and temples across its landscape. Those planning a holiday at this destination and looking for Bhutan travel packages should definitely visit some of its sacred sites like Gangteng Monastery, Dechen Phodrang Monastery and Kyichu Lhakhang.

Gangteng

Founded by Gyalse Pema Thinely, this monastery is one of the sacred sites of Bhutan. It belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism and serves as the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition. Located in the district of Wangdue Phodrang, this place overlooks the splendid glacial Phobjika Valley. Featuring Bhutanese architectural style, this monastery consists of a complex that includes five temples surrounding a main central tower. The main hall, built in Tibetan architectural style, is called tshokhang. The complex underwent major restoration for a period of eight years, starting from 2000. Today, this place is home to about 100 monks, who look after its maintenance.

Dechen Phodrang

Located in the national capital, Thimpu, this revered monastery was set up in the year 1971. In the local language, the name Dechen Phodrang means Palace of Great Bliss. This building contains some important, historical artefacts of the country, including the famous statue of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and some 12th century paintings, which is maintained by UNESCO. Today, it serves as an important Buddhist monastic school, with 450 student monks enrolled into its 8-year course.

Kyichu Lhakhang

Situated in Lamgong Gewog of the Paro district, this Buddhist temple is one of the most important places of worship in the country. It is believed that the temple was commissioned by the Tibetan emperor, Songtsan Gampo, in the 7th century. In the following century, it was visited by the great Padmasambhava. In the 13th century, this temple was handed over to a descendant of Nyima, who was the son of Phajo Drugom Zhigpo. In 1644, this site came under the administration of Ngawang Namgyal. The whole complex underwent restoration between 1836 and 1838, and it was commissioned by the 25th Je Khenpo Sherab Gyaltshen.

On a Bhutan holiday, exploring these venerated places and knowing their history can be a great experience, besides visiting some other top attractions the country is famous for.

3 Unforgettable Experiences to Have during Bhutan Tours

Bhutan, known as the land of the thunder dragon, is an abode of breathtakingly magnificent places as well as cultural treasures. Its cultural heritage includes thirteen arts and crafts that have been practised by natives for centuries. The women of Bhutan are highly skilled at weaving, producing textiles that are highly treasured. People, who are interested in traditional art and architecture, can go on Bhutan tours for a sneak peek into the culture of the local people. Described below are three things that can give an essence of the various aspects of the kingdom.

Walking Down the Creative Gully

Traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts are suitable for people, who have a fondness for handmade things. The locals have mastered themselves at Tsha-Zo, which includes weaving things out of natural products. Tourists may be able to see citizens, sitting on their doorsteps, prolifically working with cane and bamboo. Another vibrant art, prevailing here is Shag-Zo, the making of cups and bowls from wood. Holidaymakers can buy such handmade things from local shops to keep as a memento of their Bhutan tours.

Uniting with Nature

The pleasant climatic conditions of this Himalayan country make it one of the richest biodiversity hotspots on earth. It has a number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that are the dwellings of many animals and bird species. These protected territories can be explored by those, who wish to seek solace. There are many such establishments here like Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, Thrumshingla National Park, Royal Manas National Park, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary and Khaling Wildlife Sanctuary. Some animals to see here are takins, red pandas, barking and musk deer, bharals and snow leopards.

A Tryst with Bhutanese Cuisine

Travellers, who love food, bursting with flavour, will relish Bhutanese cuisine, which is considered incomplete without spices. Chillies are the essence of almost every dish, which is generally accompanied by rice. Some popular local preparations are Ema Datshi (made from chillies and cheese), Phaksha Pa (pork cooked with red chillies), red rice and Jasha Maroo, (spicy minced chicken cooked with tomatoes).

Travellers can go on Bhutan holiday tours to get an insight into the traditions that it has preserved for such a long time.

3 Regions to Explore with Bhutan Tour Packages

A place that would make you speechless with its alluring natural beauty is Bhutan. This landlocked country, situated in the southern part of Asia, is bordered by China, India, Nepal and Bangladesh; a reason for it to be a multi-cultured nation. Officially, the Kingdom of Bhutan, the country, though small in size, has a lot to be explored. The country is rich in culture, spirituality, adventure and nature, and nothing can be missed out. There are various Bhutan holiday packages that you can choose from to unveil its diverse aspects.

Divided into three regions, Western, Central and Eastern, the country is apt for tourists of eclectic interests. Read below to know the major tourist attractions from these three regions, and get the best out of a tour to Bhutan.

Western Bhutan

This region offers visitors to immerse in the lively and uplifting celebration of summer festival of Haa, which displays the ancient culture. It features nomadic lifestyle, traditional sports, unique country cuisine, the awe-inspiring Shamanic rituals and other folk dances. You can also go for the adventurous trek to Nob Tsonapatra to explore the interesting legends of this area.

Central Bhutan

This part of the country includes significant religious and historical sites, forested mountains and fertile valleys of the country. Some of the important landmarks in this part are the sacred Mebar Tsho lake and the Watchtower of Trongsa Museum. This region is also home to many endangered birds like Rufous necked hornbill, Satyr Tragopan and Rufous-throated wren-babbler, along with majestic Royal Bengal Tiger and the Red Panda.

Eastern Bhutan

One of the least explored, Eastern Bhutan offers the most authentic adventure sites to visitors. The entire region is flourished with unspoiled natural wonders like towering cliffs and pristine forests. It is perfect for hiking, longer treks as well as for camping beneath an ocean of stars. Some of the must-visit cities are Mongar, Tashi Yangtse, Lhuntse, Tashigang and Samdrup Jongkhar.

Exploring Bhutan region-wise is any day better for you as then you can experience its myriad cultures and attractions. It is always advisable to check the places of tourist interests in different Bhutan holiday packages to ensure that you do not miss even a single one.

3 Things to Experience during Bhutan Tours

Officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan, this small country has a large number of things to be explored. This Himalayan kingdom has a mystery and magic to unveil, making Bhutan tours an adventure in itself. The country is rich in heritage; its culture, cuisine, and arts and crafts make it distinct from others, thereby attracting tourists from around the world. Bhutan tour packages help people explore the best of this country, including the three above-mentioned aspects.

Arts and Crafts

The artistic tradition of this country has its roots in Buddhism. Almost all the representations of arts run along the theme of the struggle between good and evil. An alluring blend of Tibetan, Indian and Chinese traditional styles, represented in a country setting, makes Bhutanese art highly symbolic. During Bhutan tours, it can be best witnessed in monastic centres that are highly decorative. Paintings and sculptures are made by groups of artists, reflecting a work of faith. These artists are trained in special workshops, administered by monks. The traditional arts and crafts have been categorised into 13 forms from the reign of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye and have been practised from time immemorial.

Culture

Bhutan is a country, small in size yet profound in culture. From dresses and festivals to food and its traditions, the distinctness of the country attracts a lot of tourists. Their dresses and unique garments have evolved over thousands of years. However, tribal and semi-nomadic people still can be seen carrying the traditional dresses. Interestingly, the dresses and colours worn by people signify their status and rank. Moreover, the colourful and religious festivals celebrated by the people of this nation are equally interesting that would make visitors relate with the natives. Here, every village is known for its unique festival, among which the most widely known is the annual Tshechu. During these lively and high-spirited religious celebrations, people share meals of spicy pork, red rice, ema datshi and momos, along with the traditional rice wine, known as Ara.

Cuisine

Food is the love of life and when visiting a new place, the local dishes cannot be left untasted. Bhutan offers a variety of lip-smacking delicacies that would enrich the taste buds of tourists. Spiciness characterises Bhutanese cuisine; chillies are an essential part of almost every local dish. However, the traditional eating habits of the local people are simple; food, in general, is eaten with hands, sitting on the floor after a short prayer. If Bhutan tour packages are being availed during the time of a local festival, then a myriad culinary delights may be sampled.

These are the three aspects of the kingdom to indulge in when on a trip.

Tips to Book Best Bhutan Travel Packages

A Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas, Bhutan is known for its diverse topography, majestic fortresses and peaceful monasteries. This land of mystery and magic recently opened up for tourism, and is carefully embracing the global developments. Before 1970s, visiting this landlocked country was not an option. However, after the changes in the travel and tourism policies, a number of Bhutan travel packages are available to explore the pristine beauty of this place. Bhutan is the ultimate destination to satiate the travel lust of nature lovers and adventure seekers. If you are also looking forward to a trip to the Land of the Thunder Dragon, following tips may help you in finding the best package and enjoying a hassle-free trip.

Personalised Search

The travel packages designed by online travel agencies (OTAs) or tour operators often include all the elements of the country. Hence, people looking forward to experience different aspects of this place can simply search for Bhutan holidays and choose the one that suits their need. If you are inclined towards trekking or want to spend some quality time amidst nature, you can get the best deals by adding these specifications while booking packages. For instance, you can go through options like Laya, Gangtey, Chomolhari or Bumthang trek instead of booking the pre-designed packages. Nowadays, tour operators also offer personalised packages. Under this, they design itineraries as per the specifications of travellers and club them with the same ones.

Go Through All the Options

You are suggested to go through all the options at least once. This will help in deciding what an ideal package should include. In addition to this, you can arrive at an average price by checking the cost of various Bhutan travel packages. After getting the average, it will be easy to decide which ones are the best on the basis of the price as the costlier ones can be easily removed from the list.

These two tips may help you in getting the best value for money deals along with ensuring that you enjoy your trip to the most.