Attendance at a Tsechu or religious festival in Bhutan allows for an immersion into an ancient oral tradition that weaves in Bhutanese values, mythology and spiritual traditions through dramatic dance. The local people dress in their finest clothing to celebrate and receive blessings. Rituals and rare masked sword dances are performed with traditional musical instruments in the Dzong or monastery and typically honor Guru Padmasambhava who brought Buddism to Bhutan from Tibet in the 8th century. This is a very special time to be in the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
When the Bhutanese speak of happiness, they are perhaps speaking more of the process of creating conditions for contentment. Contentment does not come from GDP.
Happiness- thousands of candles can be lit from one single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened, happiness never decreases by being shared.
Bhutan has the stunning beauty of the Himalaya mountains with an abundance of rivers, verdant valleys with rice paddies, and jungles in the southern area of the country. Bhutan has a committment to keeping the country with 72% forest cover.
Pilgrimage to the many sacred sites in the Himalyas incudes the journey as well as the destination. Some are Buddhist temples and others are located in caves or rivers that have a special spiritual significance.
May all embodied beings hear the sound of dharma without cessation from the birds and the trees and from lights and the sky.
Bhutan has remained loyal to its Buddhist cultural and spiritual practices that were introduced by Guru Rinpoche in 737. There are over 2000 ancient Buddhist monasteries with beautiful Buddhist iconography scattered throughout the country.
Approach what you find repulsive, help the ones you think you cannot help, and go to the places that scare you.
The 2 day colorful Haa festival honors Guru Rinpoche from the 8th century who brought Buddhism from Tibet to Bhutan. Beautiful masked dances are performed by the monks and lay people. The festival offers an experience to learn about the nomadic yak herders and high altitude farms of Bhutan, their lifestyle, culture, food and even the local brew, ara. Join the fun by dancing to local folk music and maybe even ridin a yak. The peaceful Haa valley has pristine forests and alpine flowers, including the white poppy that can only be found there.
Your odyssey will aslo include the hike to the iconic Taktsang Monastery built in 1692, seeing many of the ancient heritage sites with their unique architecture and history, learning about the traditional crafts and exploring the towns of Thimphu, Paro and Punakha.
A detailed itinerary will be available soon.
The endangered 4 ft tall black-necked crane migrates from the Tibetan Plateau to Bhutan’s Phobjikha Valley every fall and goes back to Tibet in the spring. They are seen circling the local Gangtey Monastery three times as if practicing the Buddhist kora or circumabulation. Bhutan mandates the protection of the birds. Local people venerge them, believing that birds symbolize peace, healthy crops and prosperity.
Monks at the ancient Gangtey Monastery organize the Black-Necked Crane festival every November, performing masked dances representing local deities. Children dress up in black and white costues and imitate the movement of the graceful cranes.
This odyssey also includes seeing many other ancient sites in Thimphu, Punaka and a hike to the Taktsang Monastery in Paro.
A detailed itinerary will be available soon.
Cost includes lodging, land transportation, all meals in Bhutan and Sikkim, water, gentle early morning chair yoga and meditation, odyssey guide, local guide and driver, Bhutan visa. Small group experience, max 10 people. Cost does not include: travel insurance, beverages other than water, gratuities to driver and guide, your fight from and return from Bangkok, Delhi or Kolkata into Bhutan on either Drukair or Bhutan Airlines. That flight cost is extra and needs to be arranged by the tour company in Bhutan. Please contact us for more information.
Festivals are very popular events. If you are interested in either of the festivals, I will need to have final payments, additional payment for Bhutan air travel and passport information 3-4 months before departure. Airfare and lodging needs to be arranged well ahead of the festival.
Cost:$4050 per person with a minium of 4 people.
Cost: $4499 per person with a minium of 4 people.
Cost for each festival odyssey is based on double occupancy, with limited single rooms at an additional cost. If you are willing to share but we are unable to pair you with a same-gender roommate, you will not be charged the single supplement fee.
Contact us if interested. A deposit of $500 will hold your place. Credit cards or checks are accepted. Read the terms and conditions and fill out the registration form. Registration/Terms and Conditions