- Lamperi Botanical Garden, Dochula, Thimphu
- (April 16 – 18)
Flowers lovers are considered a representation of goddess, her perceptions are wide wisdoms and caring towards all section of people.
Rhododendron festival is an exhilarating event that marks the spring season with full bloom flowers and lush green forest in Bhutan. Much alike to the Cherry blossom festival in Japan, where Japanese celebrate the spring season with the blooming of cherry blossoms, here in Bhutan we celebrate the spring season with the Rhododendron festival.
The festival is a three–day event held at Lamperi Botanical Garden. Some 35 km drive from Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Lamperi Botanical Garden is a must visit eco–tourism attraction in Bhutan. Bhutan has currently recognized and recorded some 46 species of Rhododendron and Lamperi houses about 29 Species of it. Showcasing different Rhododendron species that are in full bloom, the three–day Rhododendron festival was first initiated in 2013 as an event to celebrate the rare blooms and to encourage eco–tourism. The main purpose of the festival is to focus on ecology, culture, food, and entertainment of the local communities which live in harmony with these eco–parks. It also serves as an opportunity to incorporate the ecological and cultural themes through this activity. The Rhododendron festival is an annual event.
DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport exit doors following customs formalities.
After lunch enjoy afternoon 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. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts.
Drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River with beautiful and natural sceneries.
DAY 02: THIMPHU
Thimphu is a rustic village sitting in a broad, fertile river valley, Thimphu is bustling capital. Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to stunning Buddha Dordenma Statue, 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.
DAY 03: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA
Leave Thimphu early after Breakfast up to Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters) to attend the spectacular Druk Wangyel Festival (45 Minutes drive, 22 km). 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 our 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.
Drive to the Royal Botanical Park at Lamperi, witness the Rhododendron Festival, the festival last 3 days, situated at an altitude range of 2,100m to 3,800m. The park is 47 square kilometers, serves as the biological corridor connecting to the Jigme Dorji National Park and Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park.
DAY 04: PUNAKHA
Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. Visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness”. Built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’, Punakha Dzong is situated at the confluence of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu (male and female rivers). It is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and Central Monk Body. The three story 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 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 drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa traditions.
Drive back to Paro via Thimphu, en route visit Semtokha Dzong. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Dzong in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Religious Monk studies.
DAY 06: PARO
Hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor, riding horse pony is available those who cannot climb uphill. 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.
While 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 the airport for flight to 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.