Druk Wangyel Festival
An inspiration festival, danced by the non-religious practitioners, a tribute to His Majesty the 4th Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck a warrior to defend the country
The Druk Wangyel Festival was established in 2011 in commemoration of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and the Armed Forces’ victory over Indian insurgent militants’ hideout in southern Bhutan in 2003. The Tshechu takes place each year on 13th December at the Druk Wangyel Lhakhang Festival Ground located at Dochula Pass (3100m) around 22km from the capital city Thimphu. The Druk Wangyel Tshechu is a unique festival that is performed by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than monks or lay people. It is a tribute to the wise leadership of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan. It also celebrates the continuous efforts of the Royal Bhutan Army in protecting the sovereignty and the stability of the country.
Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck is the founder and patron of the Druk Wangyel Festival. Druk Wangyel Lhakhang, the venue for the festival, and the 108 Khangzang Chortens at the Dochula Pass were one of the most scenic locations in the entire kingdom, offering a stunning panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. The close proximity of this festival to Paro and Thimphu makes it ideal for those with limited time looking to experience a Bhutanese festival as well as the unique cultural experiences that Bhutan has to offer.
DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU (54km, 1.5 hours)
Sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzongs are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts.
DAY 02: THIMPHU
Thimphu today the nation’s modern city bustling capital Once a rustic village sitting in a broad, fertile river valley, Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to stunning Buddha Dordenma Statue (169ft), made of bronze and gilded in gold, and the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernisation, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972. Continue on to 12th century Changangkha Temple, The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century and Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.
If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of food of Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery chillies, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items.
DAY 03: THIMPHU – DOCHULA
Leave Thimphu early after Breakfast up to Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters) to attend the spectacular Druk Wangyel Festival drive about 45 Minutes. Set amidst this breathtakingly backdrop of Himalayan mountains, the Druk Wangyel Tsechu is an experience unlike any other and truly exemplifies Bhutanese cultural traditions. The Druk Wangyel Lhakhang was built over a period of four years (2004-2008) under the vision and patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo. The Lhakhang honours the courageous service of the Fourth King, who personally led the troops against the insurgents, as well as the regular Armed Forces of the country. The Druk Wangyel Tshechu is a unique festival performed by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than monks or lay people. It is a tribute to the wise leadership of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan. It also celebrates the continuous efforts of the Royal Bhutan Army in protecting the sovereignty and the stability of the country.
Afternoon drive to Dochula – Punaka, enroute visit Royal Botanical garden at Lampelri
DAY 04: PUNAKHA
Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. Visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” Built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’, Punakha Dzong is situated at the confluence of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu (male and female rivers). The Dzong is winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and Central Monk Body. The three storied of main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtakingly example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first King Sir Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned.
Afternoon visit and enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing.
DAY 05: PUNAKHA – PARO
Morning visit to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the Mochu river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions.
Drive to Wangduephodrang Dzong built in 1639 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the Dzong was gutted by fire in 2012 and presently under reconstruction. In the riverside you can see and take photographs a unique village of Rinchengang opposite of ruin Dzong strategically located Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers.
Drive back to Paro via Thimphu en route visit Semtokha Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Monastic and Religious studies.
DAY 06: PARO
Morning hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2-4 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for four months where the monastery was later built.
In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Zhabdrung 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. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.
DAY 07: DEPART PARO
Drive to Airport for your onward destination.
3 persons & above
Low Season: Dec,Jan, Feb,Jun, Jul & Aug
Thank you & Tashi Delek
- Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65 per person per night.
- Bhutanese Tourist Visa fee of US$40 per person is charged (one time).
- FIT surcharges of US$40per person per night for a single person and US$30 per person per night for the two persons.
- Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels.
- All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) at 3-star hotels/tourist standard restaurants.
- English speaking tour guide service.
- All transfers and excursions by private vehicles.
- All entrance fees to museums and monuments.
- All internal taxes and fees.
- Mineral drinking water.
- Single room supplement of US$40/room/night during low season and US$ 50/room/night during high season (optional).
- Travel assurance (recommended).
- 4 star and 5-star accommodations and meals (optional).
- Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry, etc.