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  • Bhutan predominantly has many temples and monasteries and hence there are many religious and popular Bhutan festivals which have become an important tourist attraction for many. Tshechu is a festival which is annually celebrated in Bhutan on every tenth day of the month and it is considered to be very auspicious festival which everybody should attend and see the mask dances.

    For people who are seeking an element of adrenaline rush even in festivals can be a part of Jomolhari Mountain Festival which is located amidst one of the scenic trekking routes in Bhutan. Nimalung, Nomad and Pema Gatshel Tshechu are some of the other popular festivals which are celebrated in Bhutan.

    Here are the best Bhutan Festivals that you should attend:

  • 01Merak Tshechu

    In Trashigang Dzongkhag district of eastern Bhuta, Murak valley is a pristine destination with unmatched scenic beauty and remains inhabited with people referred to as Brokpas. The Brokpas are exceptionally rooted in their traditions and are quite secluded from the happenings of the outside world. The culture of this place is unique and quite different from any other communities of Bhutan.

    The Merak Tshechu is celebrated at Merak Lhakhang for a continuous three days and it provides a much-needed break to the Brokpas from the monotonous life of cattle herding. Traditional dances and music are performed by the locals here to celebrate the occasion. Famous dance performance AcheLhamo is also performed during this festival. It is a unique spectacle and many visitors from other communities and travellers visit the festival to enjoy the beauty of the festival.

    : Yak Dance performance

    Festival time
    : In the month of November

    If you love doing adventure activities and looking for undiscovered places, Bhutan is a perfect dose of thrill.
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  • 03Matsutake Festival

    Image Credit : Andrea Williams
    Matsutake Festival is a festival of the people of Ura Valley in celebration of mushroom season. This is the time to celebrate the harvest of Matsutake mushrooms of Bhutan, enjoy mouth melting Bhutanese cuisine and get a peek inside the lifestyle of people in the Bhutanese villages. Ura valley is quite famous for its pictorial setting and the people here are extremely warm and hospitable. Visitors attending the festival can enjoy the mushroom picking excursion and the panoramic forests and hilly areas.

    One can enjoy the delicious dishes out of this mushrooms picked and can dance and do absolute merry making with the locals. In the backdrop of awe striking scenic location this festival gives an excellent experience to remember forever

    Image Credits : Eugene Kim

    : Picking Matsutake mushrooms and relishing special local dishes from it.

    Festival time
    : In the month of August
  • 04Jomolhari Mountain Festival

    Image Credit : Gary Ashley
    Celebrated for two days, Jamolhari Mountain Festival is one of the most exquisite things that you will ever get to see. The magnificent theme and the amazing people define the soul of this festival which is celebrated at the heels of Mt. Jomolhari. This festival is pretty important for the local communities living around this area. There are a number of amazing shows but one in particular will surely overwhelm you.

    It is called the snow leopard show. The show aims at making people aware of the declining numbers of snow leopards, which used to be a very common sight at one time. During the festival, you will see the locals clad in colourful traditional dresses. They do the traditional folk dance on the folk songs. The show is something you will never forget your entire life.


    Image Credits : Gary Ashley

    : At the base of the Jamohhar Mountain.

    : Usually during the day

    : Part of the package
  • 05Monggar Tshechu

    Image Credit :  kartografia
    If you are in Bhutan, you should definitely visit Mongar, especially during Tshechu, the three day annual event which is organized every year in November. This is one event you will really not want to miss, especially if you are someone who loves the culture and tradition of Bhutan.

    The event is so popular that people from all over Bhutan come to see it. In fact, you will be able to see people coming from Lhunentse and even Trashigang. The most incredible thing about this event is the number of traditional dances and performances you get to se. Although many traditional festivals keep happening in different parts of Bhutan, this one is easily the most exquisite and unforgettable one. Come and visit this event to get the true essence of Bhutan in every way.

    Image Credits : Arian Zwegers

    : Mongar, east of Bhutan

    : November, during the day

    : No special fee is applicable
  • 06Nimalung Festival

    Bhutan is famous for its colourful festivals. Nimalung Festival is one of the most important festivals of Bhutan. For those who love the Bhutanese cultures and traditions and want to enjoy the traditional folk dances and performances of the locals clad in vibrant outfits, there is no way they can miss this festival. During the festival time, you will also see the locals clad in their finest dresses.

    Come here to enjoy, relax, and get lost in the beauty of Bhutan. The communities participate in a number of performances and shows. Mask dance is one of the major attractions of this festival. While dancing in masks, the locals beseech their gods for the blessings and to get rid of their misfortunes.

    : Happens at Chumey, which is in Bumthang. It is at 15 minutes drive from the road that forks off from Chumey.

    : During the day.

    : Part of the package
  • 07Nomad Festival

    If you are planning to visit Bumthang, then the best time would be when the annual Nomad Festival is being held. Bumthang is the part of central Bhutan and less than 10 hr drive from Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. This is the time of the year when you get to see the real nomadic people coming together from all parts of Bhutan. However, primarily the nomads from North West and North East Himalayas dominate the festival with their presence.

    During the festival you get to witness the unforgettable shows when the nomads put on the traditional performance. You get to understand their culture, traditions, and way of living. The colourful outfits, cheerful environment, and all in the backdrop of incredible landscape make the experience overwhelming.

    : Bumthang – 10hr drive from Thimpu

    : From late in the morning till late in the evening.

    : No special pricing to visit the festival
  • 08Paro Tshechu

    Held in Paro Dzongkhag district, the Paro Tshechu is one of the sought after festivals and a major attraction in the land of Bhutan. It is one of the biggest religious festivals here. The history of the festivals travels back to 17th century when the founder of Bhutan Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel conducted it annually. The festival continues for 5 days usually during spring time on the 2nd Bhutanese lunar month. It is an opportunity to visualize the rich tradition, culture and custom of Bhutan.

    The locals rejoice with both religious dance performances as well as folk dances performed by monks and natives. The last day of the festival is special as on this day a gigantic thangka or embroidery painting is shown to all. The Guru Throngdel shows Buddhist art and it is believed that looking at it also cleanses many sin of viewers.

    Festival Time
    : March every year
  • 09PemaGatshel Tshechu

    Based in the eastern part of Bhutan, Pema Gatshel Dzonkhag is a well known district inhabited with Tshanglas, known for its religious involvement, traditions, festivals and folk music. The celebration of Tshechu has started in this region from the early 1980’s with the construction of Dzong. This is a three day affair where people from neighboring place and far away locations come here and celebrate the social gathering and contemplate religion.

     It is believed that one can attend merit by only being a part of this religious celebration. Folk dances and music is quite common during this period. Cham, a popular mask dance is performed during this festival which narrates ways of Buddhism. It is believed to protect from harmful influences and misfortune.

    : Folk dances by the natives.

    Festival Time
    : Usually in October
  • 10Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen

    Image Credit : Marina & Enrique
    A popular annual festival, Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen gets celebrated in Punakha which is located in the western side of Bhutan. The festival has great historical importance which makes it more popular among natives. In 17thcentury, Tibetan forces invaded Bhutan from where Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the Buddhist saint, led the victory of the country.

    This auspicious occasion was celebrated with the introduction of the celebration of Punakha Drubchen which is continued till date once every year. In 2005, Punakha Tshechu was introduced to preserve Buddhist documents and his teachings. Usually these festivals occur simultaneously and in both of them much entertainment is provided by performances in folk dance. Religious customs are performed in both the festivals in the same manner as done in earlier times

    Image Credits : Esin Üstün

    : Folk dances by the natives.

    Festival Time
    : Usually in the month of March
  • 11Sakteng Festival

    Sakteng festival is celebrated in Sakteng valley which is located in the eastern part of Bhutan at an elevation of 3000 meters. The people based here are semi nomadic and they are often referred as Brokpas. This is one of the secluded places of Bhutan where influence of the modern world is yet to reach. The Sakten Tshechu Festival stretches for 3 days almost next to the village grounds.

    Apart from being a festival where the natives come together in religious influence for worshipping, it also serves as a occasion for social gathering and merry making. The festival is quite colourful where every person remains adorned in traditional clothes and celebrates with Ara, the local wine. Music and folk dances are essential part of festivity.

    : Yak dance and Ache Lhamo.

    Festival time: In the month of June
  • 12Takin Festival

    Takin Festival held in Jigmi Dorji National Park of Gasa Dzongkhag, is one of the most celebrated and popular festivals in Bhutan. Infact it is a one time opportunity for every visitor to enjoy the sight of the national animal of Bhutan which is a rare and endangered species. The magnificence of their physique and laden agility is an experience to be treasured.

    However the festival is not only concentrated over the majestic animal as in this festival one gets the opportunity to engage in good trekking, enjoy hot spring baths and do shopping of exclusive handicraft items like dresses, carpets, bamboos, leather products, tents etc. Once can also enjoy the lip smacking delicious cuisine served here in popular eateries based here. It is worth every penny to visit Bhutan during this festival and enjoy the charms of it.

    : Performance of Bhutan Takin up close.

    Festival time
    : In the month of February
  • 13Thimphu Tshechu

    Thimphy Tshechu is one of the oldest and most popular festivals of Bhutan. Celebrated for 3 days, this festival first got introduced Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 which later suffered some changes by the third Bhutan king in 1950. Usually celebrated in Tendrel Thang, in front of Tashichhoedzong this is a festival which is attained by masses of people from all parts of the country. Even the farmers take a break from their farming life and join hands to worship night and day and play rituals to invoke God.

    During this festival Cham dancers perform and provide great details about Buddhism and marks the right way towards honest living and blissful life. It is believed that these dance performances increases good luck and removes misfortune. It is also a social gathering for the people of Bhutan where they celebrate with fine clothes, jewellery and good cuisine

    Festival time
    : In the month of October
  • 14Trongsa Tshechu

    Image Credit :  Anja Disseldorp
    Celebrated annually in the courtyard of Trongsa Dzong in Trongsa which is the ancestral home for the Royal family, in Central Bhutan, the Trongsa Tshechu is an ancient festival with rich traditions of the country. As per the history of Bhutan, the first and the second king of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancestral throne. The festival is an elaborate affair for 3 continuous days and attracts people from all walks of life. It acts as a social gathering where people meet friends and relatives and together participate in merry making.

    Traditional mask dance is a common affair in this festival. On the last day a sacred Throngdrol is displayed by monks. As per locals, visualizing the Throngdrol, itself is a pious affair and it washes sins done by onlookers.

    Image Credits : Anja Disseldorp

    : Blessings of sacred Throngdrol

    Festival time
    : In the month of December
  • 15Ura Yakchoe

    Ura Yakchoe is referred to a famous dance performance shown in the Ura Valley of Bumthang. In this festival the sacred dance is performed along with other popular folk dances with a sacred relic on display so as to have blessings from the same. According to the historic reference, a lama visited one local woman in her house suddenly and asked for a glass of water.

    She went to fetch water and after coming back found the lama gone leaving the sacred relic behind. It is this relic before which the Ura Yakchoe dance is performed. This relic has been passed on for generations after generation of the woman’s family. This is one of the pious and religious festiuvals of Bhutan and many devotees visit the place to take part in worshipping the relic.


    : The sacred relic

    Festival time
    : In the month of April
  • 16Wangduephodrang Tshechu

    Image Credit : Carsten ten Brink
    Wangduephodrang Tshechu is an annual festival introduced by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal after the Dzong was completed. As per history, the dzong which served as the administrative centre got constructed in 1639 by the disciplined effort of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal near Puna Tsang Chu. To celebrate this occasion, a 3 day festival was organized which is majorly attended by the natives of Thimphu and Punakha.

    One of the most celebrated activities on this festival is Raksha Mangcham which is also named as the dance of the ox. Huge gathering assembles to see the beautiful act which concludes with the display of the Guru Tshengye Thongdrol where every onlooker fetch blessings and wash away their sins.

    Image Credits : Carsten ten Brink

    : sight of Guru Tshengye Thongdrol

    Festival time
    : In the month of June
  • 17Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival

    Image Credit : Arian Zwegers
    Celebrated at the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang Festival Ground, near Dochula Pass, the Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival got established in 2011 in memorial of His Majesty the Fourth Druk along with the auspicious occasion of achieving victory over Indian forces in southern Bhutan. One of the main attractions is the scenic beauty of panoramic Himalayan range encircling the Pass. The festival is usually a one day affair but it depicts the rich tradition, custom and culture of the Bhutanese people. The festival honors the service of the courageous and spirited Fourth king who actively participated in the Armed forces of the country. The Druk Wangel Lhakhang is a beautiful temple built here in memory of the fourth king. One can enjoy various murals and Bhutanese work of art depicting important events of the country on the walls of the temple.

    : Sight of Druk Wangel Lhakhang.

    Festival time
    : In the month of December
  • 18Trashigang Tshechu

    Image Credit :  Arian Zwegers
    Trashigang Tshechu is one of the prominent festivals which gets held in Trashigang Dzongkhag which is the largest district of Bhutan. The Trashigang Dzong was based on one of the maximum elevated ridges which overlook Dangmechu and Gamrichu. Though all the villages have their own distinctive annual festivals but it is the Tshechu held in Trashigang Dzong which is more attractive. This is a 3 day affair and usually the festival is attended by people from all kinds of communities from various corners of Bhutan.

    Usually the preparation of the festivals starts 2 days prior to actual date of the festival. The three day affair consists of ceremonial ablution, rehearsals, preparation and on the last day it concludes with the display of Thongdrol. The celebration is made grander with mask dance performance.

    : Sight of Guru Tshengyed, Thongdrol.

    Festival time
    : In the month of December
  • 19The Annual Black-necked Crane Festival -11th November

    Image Credit : Doug Knuth
    The Annual Black-necked Crane Festival –is a popular festival celebrated in the Gangtey Gompa courtyard in Phobjikha valley, with a purpose of passing a massage to all human races. The motive behind this festival is to conserve and protect the endangered black necked cranes. In this festival the locals rejoice on the arrival of the majestic bird in their lives during the winter months.

    In this festival one can view several cultural programs, celebration with folk music and dances based on the theme of conserving the species and dramas on the same content. The drama is usually shown by school children to create awareness on environment conservation. Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), organizes the event which became almost a part of the culture in Phobjikha valley

    Image Credits : Doug Knuth

    : sight of crane dance

    Festival time
    : In the month of November
  • 20Chorten Kora Festival

    Image Credit : Arian Zwegers
    Celebrated in the easternmost district of Bhutan, Trashiyangtse, this festival is famous for its religious significance. Chorten Kora is a notable stupa created by Lama Ngawang Lodrö in 1740 to subdue a demon which used to live in the place where at present the Chorten is based. Dakpa Kora a popular ritual takes place during the Chorten Kora festival.

    The festival remains crowded by people from various regions of the country. The brilliant designs of the stupa often remains compared with the Boudhanath stupa based in Nepal. According to the legends here, the stupa took about twelve years to complete and after its construction, the village people lived peacefully. One can enjoy many age old traditions of Bhutan in this festival.

    Image Credits : Arian Zwegers

    : Sight of Chorten Kora and enjoy traditional performance by natives

    Festival Time
    : In the month of March
  • 21Gomphu Kora Festival

    Gomphu Kora festival is a three day religious festival which is popular not only for the local tribes but also among Dakpa tribe from the neighboring Arunachal Pradesh. Gomphu means Meditation Cave. According to the locals the name came into existence from a cave made of rock face where there is also a temple which is built to pay tribute to this location.

    The festival comprises of many local tradition and customs. According to a popular song played here by the locals one should go round the cave today or may be tomorrow would be too late. It is a symbol of the victory of good over evil. The place seems too come alive during the festive days and the blessing at this time is considered extremely pious and that is why thousands of devotees travel during that time.


    Image Credits : Arian Zwegers

    : Sight of Meditation cave

    Festival time
    : In the month of March
  • 22Haa Summer Festival

    Image Credit : Gary Ashley
    Haa valley is one of the pristine locations where one can enjoy the various charms of nature in Bhutan. The Haa summer festival is a pleasant occasion which conducts a celebration of the living culture the exclusive lifestyle, the religious performances, tradition, heritage, customs, sports and undoubtedly native Bhutanese home cooked cuisine. The festival almost serves as an insight to the tradition of Bhutan.

    The celebration is conducted in Haa valley which can be reached by crossing Chelela Mountain pass, the highest road pass of the country. This is an extremely scenic location where the mind gets rejuvenated with a simple walk on the mountain slopes. Traditional dances and popular songs are performed by natives in this festival and onlookers may enjoy the same with Ara, local liquor.

    Image Credits : Ankur Banerjee

    : White Poppy, a flower which is about 1.5 m in length. This flower is not available in any other parts of the world.

    Festival time
    : In the month of July
  • 23Jambay Lhakhang Festival

    Image Credit : Chuck Moravec
    Located on the way to Kurjie Lhakhang, in Bumthang, Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples founded in 7th century by Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan King. As per legends, the king was destined to construct 108 temples in a single day, to suppress a demon in the Himalayan region. This temple is one of those 108 temples. Legend Guru Rimpoche is believed to visit this destination and considered it a sacred and extremely pious destination.

    The temple got renovated again in 8th century AD. The temple has more than hundred statues of Gods and Goddesses but the main attraction is the relic of future Buddha. This is a spectacular festival which is celebrated for five days.

    Image Credits : Chuck Moravec

    : A ritualistic naked dance on the fire that attracts huge crowd from all over the country.

    Festival time
    : In the month of November
  • 24Kurjey Festival

    Image Credit : Anja Disseldorp
    Kurjey Tshechu is a popular festival celebrated in Kurjey temple in Chokhor valley of Bumthang district. There is huge historical significance attached to this temple as well as the festival. According to the legends Guru Rimpoche meditated here for the suppression of evil spirits in this region. There are three major temples in Kurjey.

    The first temple was built in 1652 on the location where Guru Rimpoche meditated, the second one on the place where Guru left his body imprint and the third built in 1990 which holds images of Guru Rimpoche. The Kurjey festival is one of the important religious occasions for the locals of the place. It is a social gathering as well as a time to seek blessing and enjoy victory of good over evil. It is a festival that displays the golden traditions of Bhutan and the rich cultural heritage.

    Image Credits : Anja Disseldorp

    : special mask dance

    Festival time
    : In 10th day of 10th month of lunar calendar
  • 25Lhuntse Tshechu

    Image Credit : Hriday
    Bordering the Tibetan region Lhuntse is the easternmost district of Bhutan. The place is filled with various sacred monuments but it is Lhuntse Dzong the fortress that attracts all eyes of the visitors. Almost all the villages of Lhuentse have their own festivals and customs which are unique and extremely attractive but what catches the eye most is the elaborate annual three day festival which is celebrated to honor the deities and suppress the misfortunes.
    It is a religious celebration and that is why huge devotees gather here to visualize the masked dance and fetch blessings from the pious relics that remain publicly displayed. It is one of the colorful festivals of the country along with Cha and Ha festivals.

     Highlights: Colorful attire of Kushithara, which makes the festival more famous.

     Festival time: In the month of November
  • 2613 Days Bhutan Festival Tour

    13 Days Bhutan Festival Tour
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    About the Activity: 
    • Embark in this exciting 13 days 12 nights Bhutan cultural tour and explore the cultural richness and beauty of Bhutan on this beautiful tour.
    • Get picked up from the Bhutan Paro airport and enjoy a scenic drive through the beautiful Paro valley to the Bhutanese capital city of Thimpu.
    • Visit many tourist attractions as well as secret destinations within Bhutan that portray it's beauty perfectly.
    • View and marvel at the spectacular towering Himalayas during the early mornings.
    • Spend the evenings combing through the routes of villages and paths in Bhutan and come across amazing landscapes. 
    • End your tour after a wonderful breakfast and get dropped at the airport for your departure.



Jigme Dorji National Park

Jigme Dorji National Park is the second-largest national park in the country. Apart from covering multiple districts, it also pans over all three climatic zones of Bhutan. You can experience everything from frozen glaciers to dense jungles, rivers and historic sites without having to leave the park.

It is home to important cultural sites like the fortresses of Lingshi Dzong and Gasa Dzong and sacred mountains like  Mount Jomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake. The diverse animal cover in the area includes Bengal Tigers, bharals, black musk deer, Indian leopards and over 300 species of birds. If you decide to make it a place to visit in Bhutan in December, you can also witness the glaciers Lunana and Laya Gewogs in their full glory.

Location: Bhutan

Timing: Daily, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Price: Free


Rinpung Dzong

Rinpung Dzong holds an important place as a major religious and political centre of Bhutan. This large monastery and fortress belongs to the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school and is also home to the district Monastic Body. When here, you can visit the fourteen distinct shrines and chapels housed inside the Dzong and admire the rich Bhutanese architecture of the place.

The original building has been a part of the landscape since the 15th century and has been capturing the imagination of people worldwide, especially after its appearance in the 1993 movie Little Buddha. The place also hosts colourful festivals during the Spring months where traditional mask dances are organised for several days.

Location: Paro, Bhutan

Timing: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Price: Free


Buddha Dordenma

Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, which is situated in the mountain ranges of Bhutan. It was constructed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the fourth King of Bhutan. This architectural marvel houses over a hundred thousand smaller statues of Buddha inside of it.

Both the bigger statue and the ones inside have been built using bronze gilded in Gold. This 169-metre tall statue stands amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of the thirteenth Desi Druk. If you are looking for places to visit in Bhutan in December, this beautiful gold and bronze structure sitting amidst a 943.4 acres wide conserve forest must be on your list!

Location: Kuensel Phodrang, Thimphu, Bhutan

Timing: Daily, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Price: Free


Punakha Suspension Bridge

Punakha Suspension Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in Bhutan and stretches up to a length of approximately 520 feet! You can enjoy spectacular views of the river flowing underneath the bridge or the valleys rolling in every direction.

Made with solid planks of wood and cables anchored to massive cement block,  the bridge is surprisingly stable for its length and is covered in colourful religious flags at all points. It also acts as a starting point for several multi-day trekking trips in the region.

You can also stopover at the bridge if you are visiting the famous Punakha Dzong as it lies only half a mile away from the religious centre. You simply have to head north from the dzong, walk past the cremation grounds and follow the river to reach the bridge.

Location: Punakha, Bhutan

Timing: Open all-day

Price: Free


Simtokha Dzong

Simtokha Dzong also known as the Sangak Zabdhon Phodrang or the ‘Palace of the Profound Meaning of Secret Mantras’ is a relatively small dzong and the first of its kind in the country. It was built in the year 1629 and today houses one of the premier Dzongkha language learning institutes.

While here, you can spend your time admiring the architecture of the place with traditional Buddhist aspects like prayer wheels or around 300 carvings of saints and philosophers made in slate. This dzong is one of the most popular Bhutan places to visit in December and welcomes people from around the world.

Location: Simtokha, Bhutan

Timing: Daily, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Price: Free


Ta Dzong

Ta Dzong is a landmark building of Bhutan. It is most prominent known for the Ta Dzong museum which is also known as the National Museum of Bhutan.

Highlights: The Ta Dzong museum is a cultural museum that is situated in the Paro town in western Bhutan. Established in the year 1968, the refurbished Ta-dzong building lies right above the Rinpung Dzongunder. It has some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art which includes some masterpieces paintings and fine examples of the Bhutanese art including bronze paintings and statues. The place is a must visit for art lovers.

Location: It is located in Paro in Bhutan.

Timings: The museum in the building stays open from 9 in the morning to 5 in the evening.

Pricing: Local Nu. 10 SAARC Country Citizens Nu. 25 Non-SAARC Country Citizens Nu. 150 Bhutanese Students Nu. 5 Monks, Nuns, and Children under 10 yrs. Free

The National Memorial Chorten

The National Memorial Chorten is a Memorial Stupa of Thimphu which is also known as the Thimphu Chorten. It is a stupa located on the Doeboom Lam in the southern-central end of the city.

Highlights: The National Memorial Chorten is a stupa that was built in the year 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It is one of the quintessential landmarks of the city given its golden bells and spires. Regarded as the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan, it is a must visit for all. Highlights:

Location: The National Memorial Chorten is located in Chhoten Lam in Thimphu, Bhutan.

Timings: You can visit the place from dawn to dusk everyday.

Pricing: Entry to the National Memorial Chorten is free.

Drukgyel Dzong

The remnants of once flourishing Drukgeyl Dzong echo many stories. The Dzong sits on a path that connects Paro Valley to the Tibet through the Tremo La pass. In the past, it was a significant trade route and the Dzong was a major administrative centre. In 1951, the Dzong was destroyed by a fire and the charred walls and beams are still visible.

The complex consists of a Chorten, chapel and ruins of big towers. An adventurous climb leads you to the ruins where you can admire the once proud and regal building.

: There is something mystical about taking a walk in the historical ruins of the Dzong. On the way you can get a view of the majestic Mount Jhomolhari's snow laden peak, on a clear day.

: The Dzong is located in Paro valley and is about 25 minutes drive away from Paro International Airport.

: N/A

Kichu Lakhang

The Kichu Lhakhang temple is one of the most iconic Himalayan Buddhist temple in Bhutan and attracts a huge tourist footfall owing to how old and beautiful it is. The temple was built in the 659 AD but its grandeur is still very visible.

Highlights: Since Bhutan is famous for its temple, you can't miss out on the Kichu Lhakhang which is just a short drive from the city of Paro. There are various additional buildings and a highly noticeable golden roof all of which was made in the year 1839 by the Governor of city Paro. There are prayer wheels around the temple and you can try spinning around the temple to worship the idol.

Location: Lango Gewog, Paro, Bhutan.

Timings: No official timings given by the temple but ideal to visit during early morning or evening.

Pricing: Visiting the temple is completely free of cost for everyone.

Cheli La

Located at a height of 3,810 meters above sea level, Cheli La Pass is the highest pass in Bhutan that can be accessed by road. The pass separates the valleys of Haa and Paro and offers stunning views of surrounding area with picturesque beauty. On the way you will get to see he roadside drub chuu with beautiful paintings of Guru Rinpoche with his two wives.

On a bright and clear day of October and November, you can have a spectacular view of the Mt. Jumolhari, Jichu Drake and other neighbouring peaks, covered in snow and glittering in sunlight.

: A small 2 kilometre detour leads you to Dzongdrakha Goemba, an architectural complex perched on a high ridge and consists of four chapels and a Chorten.

: Between Haa and Paro Valleys in Bhutan.

: Best time to visit is October to November when the skies are clear.

: N/A

Taktsang Palphug Monastery (Paro)

Taktsang Palphug Monastery or more popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery is one of the most revered pilgrimage place in the Himalayan province. It is also one of the most visited tourists destination in Bhutan and is a place that showcases the great traditional values of the country.

Uniquely located on top of the mountain 1200 meters above the Paro Valley, this monastery is surrounded by the scenic beauty. This white building topped with the golden roof on the back drop of blue sky and lush green hills look stunning. The centuries old legend of this monastery makes it more mystical. The isolated location of Tiger’s Nest can only be reached by following the gruelling mountain paths.

: The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is located in Paro, approximately 10 kilometres away from the city.

Best time/season
: March to May and September to November.

Approx Price: N/A

Difficulty Level
: Moderately challenging.

The Annual Black-Necked Crane Festival

The Annual Black-necked Crane Festival –is a popular festival celebrated in the Gangtey Gompa courtyard in Phobjikha valley, with a purpose of passing a massage to all human races. The motive behind this festival is to conserve and protect the endangered black necked cranes. In this festival the locals rejoice on the arrival of the majestic bird in their lives during the winter months.

In this festival one can view several cultural programs, celebration with folk music and dances based on the theme of conserving the species and dramas on the same content. The drama is usually shown by school children to create awareness on environment conservation. Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), organizes the event which became almost a part of the culture in Phobjikha valley

: sight of crane dance

Festival time
: In the month of November

Zuri Dzong

In the year 1352, Zuri Dzong was built as a fort with a 5 storey main building. This is very well protected even today by a bridge and double walls.

Highlights: Zuri Dzong has some phenomenally fine murals in the upper chapels. One of these murals is dedicated to the protector Zaa. You can undertake a hike from Gönsaka Lhakhang to the Zuri Dzong. The peak of the Zuri Dzong is an ideal spot to have a bird eye view of the complete Paro Valley. This is the oldest Dzong of Bhutan. Here you can come across a cave where Buddha once came in the 8th century to meditate. This peaceful pace allows both the tourists and Bhutanese to soak in the tranquil which radiates from the extraordinary view. It is something that you can stare at for hours in absolute awe and wonder.

Location: It is located in Paro in Bhutan.

Timings: Can be visited anytime

Pricing: There is no entry fee to Zuri Dzong.

Trongsa Dzong

Not many would be familiar with Dzong fortress until they see the Tongsa Dzong before their own eyes. It is the largest fortress in the country of Bhutan and holds a huge historical significance. It has been renovated many a times since it was built due to natural disasters as well as general maintenance.

Highlights: For all those interested in how administration of a country took place in the past era must visit the Tongsa Dzong to witness it. The place is also a major monastic complex with over 200 monks with whom you can interact. You can also visit the Ta Dzong which is a watch tower and was initially built with the purpose of watching enemies.

Location: It is located at the Trongsa District in Bhutan.

Timings: You can visit the place as and when you like, there are no timing restrictions.

Pricing: It is completely free of cost.

Chhukha Dzongkhag

Unless you are taking an overland crossing to or from India, most of the Western trekkers tend to give Chhukha Dzongkhag a vast berth.

Highlights: People who wish to take a land route to visit the district that effectively comprises of the winding road which drops from the mountains through the green tropical foothills of the Southern Bhutan to the Phuentsholing which is a burgeoning town on the international border. Jaigaon which is its twin Indian settlement lies on the other end. This indeed is a dramatic road trip which gives you an assurance of the geographical continuity which you may not get on flying into Paro. En route to the Chhukha Dzongkhag, you’ll come across the humongous ‘Lost World’ ferns which spill onto the road along with the dozens of waterfalls which cascade from here into the mist.

Location: Chhukha Dzongkhag lies in the Chhukha District of Bhutan.

Timings: Open round the year.

Pricing: Entry is free.

Dzongdrakha Temple

The Dzongdrakha Temple is a popular temple complex which has around 4 temple monasteries and is situated on a cliff side. The view of the temple is just amazing and along with its surroundings, it offers a nice panoramic view. The four different shrines are dedicated to lord Tara, Tsheringma, Guru and Jowo Jampa.

Highlights: There is an annual festival known as the Dzongdrakha rejoice and if you can schedule your trip during this time of the year, you must definitely be a part of the ongoing festivities. Ensure to visit all the four shrines that the complex consists to witness how beautiful and majestic all of them are.

Location: It is located very near and towards the western side of the Paro Valley in Bhutan.

Timings: No official timings are given but for the best experience visit here from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening.

Pricing: Visiting the main temple complex along with all the four shrines are free of cost.

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