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black-neked-crane-festival

Black Necked Crane Festival Tour

No.of Days / Duration: 9

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Day 01: Arrival Paro - Thimphu

The most spectacular mountain flights you will ever experience in a life time. Flying in from the heat of the plains of India one can witness from the left side of the aircrafts window a series of the world’s highest peaks. Your pilot will announce the names of the peaks if the weather is clear. You will descend into the high mountains and as the plane lowers you will not find any airstrip or any city but instead you will enjoy the view of the approaching valley of Paro, the alpine forests, little monasteries, temples and farm houses. Before the plane touches the runaway you will get a glimpse of the fertile valley of Paro, the Paro Dzong (Fortress) and Paro chu (river). Our representative will be at the airport to assist you and meet. And transfer to Thimphu. Evening visit Tashichoe Dzong (Fortress of Glorious Religion). Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

Day 02: Thimphu sightseeing.

Thimphu sightseeing includes the following: After breakfast you will be transfer to the following places. And lunch will be served. Visit King's Memorial Chorten (Stupa). This Stupa was built in the memory of our Third King of Bhutan. Buddha Point (There is a statue of Buddha which is 169 feet). National Library - There are lots of Bhutanese scripts and also we have the biggest book in the world. Handmade Paper Factory The Jungshi handmade paper factory uses traditional methods to produce the authentic Bhutanese paper known as Deh-sho. It is located approximately 1 km from Thimphu City.  The factory uses the bark of two tree species, the Daphne tree and Dhekap tree in the manufacture of traditional paper. Visitors can observe the entire process of producing handmade paper using ancient traditional methods that have been practiced for generations. You can even try your hand at this ancient craft and make some paper of your very own as a souvenir. Deh-sho paper was originally used by monasteries for woodblock and manuscript books and also for writing prayer books. Takin Preservation Centre (contains national animal takin). Evening at leisure or take a walk to the main city from Clock tower square for shopping. It provides excellent opportunity to mingle with local people. Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

Day 03:  Thimphu-Punakha

Morning drive to low lands of Punakha valley touching Dochula pass 3,100 m and on the stop at Hongtsho village. Stop at the immigration check point to stamp in your permit. Next to the check point you will find small local stalls selling fresh juicy local apples available for sale in plastic bags you could try some. You will be driving through the first mountain pass in the western part of Bhutan. You will find the 108 Druk Wangyal chortens on the top of the pass where the ridges are draped in colourful prayer flags greet you. You could take three rounds and offer prayers, take some best photo shots. On the ways visit Lampari Botanical park. There is a lake and talk a walk in that park. If the weather is clear you will be able to see the highest peaks towards the north, Gangar Punsum among others is the highest unclimbed peak (24,000 ft) in the world.. If you are lucky you could see red pandas, different species of birds, you can take some photo shot close to the natural lake. Proceed down towards Punakha through Thinleygang village and upon reaching Lobesa turn left and enter Punakha valley. On the way have Lunch at Lobesa and take a hike to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple).  This monastery is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley” Divine Madman” known for his outrageous  behavior. It was built in 1499 by Ngawng Chogyal the, 14th Drukpa Hierarch. Many childless women visit this lhakhang (Temple) and seek blessings for a child. The existing footpath to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple) passes through beautiful terraces of paddy filed after crossing paddy field. You will come across a Lobesa Village with lots of traditional house. Lobesa Village is situated in valley, surrounded by paddy fields on the way to important Buddhist Shrine “Chimi Lhakhang” in Punakha. You can very well interact with local people and here also, you can visit some village houses to understand about their life style and proceed towards Chimi Lhakhang (Temple). Drive to Punakha. Overnight at a  Hotel in Punakha.

Day 4: Punakha Sightseeing

Morning we will visit beautiful nunnery built on the hill top of Walakha, join the nuns for morning prayer and later on drive further north of Punakha to visit one of the beautiful Stupa or Temple built on ridge near the Punakha river known as Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten which will take around 30 minutes to reach from the town. It was built in honour for then Crown Prince Jigme Kheser Namgyel Wangchuk which was built in 1990s and took period of nearly 10 years. From the parking, it will take another 45 minutes uphill hike to reach crossing through rice suspension bridge and rice field and return portion downhill takes around 30 minutes. Overnight at a hotel in Punakha

Day 5: Punakha –Phobjikha 

Morning transfer to Bumthang via Wangdi & Trongsa on the way visit Phobjikha  (Altitude 3,000m) Important site for visit at Phobjikha is Gangtey Gonpa (Temple), the seat of Ngyingmapa Buddhism, one of the religious sects in Bhutan. It was built by Pema Thinley, first Gangtey Trulku (reincarnation) grandson of Pema Lingpa in the year 1613.  After the visit of the lhakhang (temple) stroll around the beautiful valley of Phobjikha. This place serves as the winter habitat for endangered black necked cranes migrating from Tibet from November to February to escape harsh winter there. The road to Gangtey passes through dense forests of oak, rhododendron trees with beautiful scenery. And there you will witness Black Nacked Crane Festival held on 11th November, 2017. The Annual Black-necked Crane festival is celebrated in the courtyard of Gangtey Gonpa, in Phobjikha valley. The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of this endangered and majestic bird which becomes an inseparable part their daily lives during the winter months. The annual black-necked crane festival is organized  to generate awareness and understanding on the importance of conserving the endangered Black‐necked cranes; to strengthen the linkages between conservation, economic welfare and sustainable livelihoods of the community;  provide an avenue for the local community to renew their commitment to conservation of the black-necked cranes, and to showcase their cultural heritage and skills. The festival includes cultural programs such as folk songs and dances (some with black-necked crane themes) and mask dances performed by the local people, crane dances and environmental conservation-themed dramas and songs by the school children.  The program usually starts by 9:30 am and lasts till late afternoon. The festival is organized by the Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), a local group composed of elected local leaders (with a strong female component), Government representatives, business community representatives, monks and Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN) representative.  The festival has become a part of the local culture in Phobjikha valley ever since it was first initiated by the RSPN in 1998.  Overnight in a Hotel in Gangtey.

Day 6: Punakha- Paro

Drive back to paro. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 7: Paro– Chelela Pass- Paro

Drive to Chele la-la pass (3988 m), One the way to Chelela Pass visit a Kila gompa. The Kila Gompa or the Chele la gompa is a group of 7 temples and a number of retreats built into the face of a 3500 meter cliff. The Nunnery is home to about 70 nuns who live in complete isolation and devoting themselves to Buddhism and other spiritual studies associated with the religion. The Gompa can be accessed by undertaking a one hour hike from the nearest road head that is the Chele la Pass. The pass is about 1.5 hours away from the town of Paro, once you reach the pass you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Mt Jomohari and Jichu Drake. The Jele Dzhong is located on the far ridge to the north Drive to Chele pass a favourite place for many visitors and is one of highest motor able passes in the country. For the Buddhists, it is also a sacred place to festoon the pass with prayer flags. For naturalists, the Chele la ridge offers gardens of Himalayan flowers, plants and of special pheasant species. Water is scarce on these ridges and it is recommended to have enough water supplies with you. Evening drive back to paro. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 8: Hike to Tiger’s Nest

Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) falls in top 20 places to visit in the world.  Paro is a valley of religion and myth. The most famoulandmark, Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), stands on a granite cliff about 1000 m above the valley. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, a famous Buddhist saint, flew to Paro on a tigress and meditated at Taktsang. The monastery is considered a national treasure of Bhutan. The hike to Taktsang would take us around 2 ½ hrs to reach a cafeteria, a point from where one can enjoy great view of the monastery. Those interested can walk further 45 minutes uphill to get a closer view of the monastery. Walk down back to road. The journey downward to the road would take us less 1 ½ hrs. Have lunch in Hotel. After lunch take a walk in Paro Bazar for shoping. Overnight at the Hotel in Paro.

Day 9: Departure

After Breakfast drive back to Paro International Airport. Bhutan Buddha escort will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.

Cost Includes:

  • Receive and Transfer to Airport
  • Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
  • 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
  • Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All Sightseeing
  • Museum Fees
  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits
  • Bottled Mineral Water

Cost Does Not Include:

  • Donations to Monasteries
  • Insurance
  • Alcohol & Beverages
  • Tips for Guide, Driver & Hotel Staff
  • Gifts & Souvenirs
  • International Telephone Calls
  • Round Trip Air fare
  • Inbound Airfare

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