Punakha Tshechu (Festival)

Lingua Cinese, Inglese, Francese, Hindi, giapponese
Costo 120 USD per escursione
Numero di partecipanti 1 persona
Durata 1 settimana 1 giorno

Punakha is located in the western part of Bhutan is the winter home of the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of Bhutan. Punakha has been of critical importance since the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 17th century.

The Bhutan Festival Tours presents a chance to observe the wide range of lively and vibrant festivals celebrated throughout the country. You can witness the real Bhutanese culture and the journey can definitely be a wonderful trip of refreshment and happiness.

Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is known as the unifier of Bhutan as a nation state and he was the one who gave Bhutan and its people the distinct cultural identity that identified Bhutan from the rest of the world. During 17th century Bhutan was invaded several times by Tibetan forces seeking to seize a very precious relic, the Ranjung Kharsapani. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal led the Bhutanese to victory over the Tibetans and to commemorate the triumph he introduced the Punakha Drubchen. Since then Punakha Drubchen (also known as Puna Drubchen) became the annual festival of Punakha Dzongkhag.

The Punakha Drubchen is a unique festival because it hosts a dramatic recreation of the scene from the 17th century battle with Tibetan army. The ‘pazaps’ or local militia men, dress in traditional battle gear and reenact the ancient battle scene. This reenactment harkens back to the time when in the absence of a standing army, men from the eight Tshogchens or great village blocks of Thimphu came forward and managed to expel the invading forces from the country. Their victory ushered in a period of new-found internal peace and stability.

In 2005 another festival known as Punakha Tshechu was introduced by the 70th Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Choedra and the then Home Minister His Excellency Lyonpo Jigme Yoedzer Thinley. The Tshechu was introduced in response to the requests made by Punakha District Administration and local peopleto host a Tshechu in order to better preserve Buddhist teachings and keep alive the noble deeds of Zhabdrung Rimpoche.

These two festivals not only play an important role in preserving Bhutan’s rich culture and traditions but also provide devout Buddhists with an opportunity for prayer and pilgrimage. They reflect the richness of the Bhutanese cultural heritage and are very special in the eyes and hearts of both Bhutanese and tourists who visit Bhutan.

Itinerary,

Day 01

1Arrive in Paro drive to Thimphu.

Day 02

2Halt in Thimphu

A sightseeing tour around Thimphu, the melting pot of Bhutan, can give you a good introduction to the Bhutanese way of life. Today, we visit the popular Memorial Chorten in the heart of the city built in the memory of the third King of Bhutan. A continues stream of Bhutanese and foreigners throng the place. The devout – both old and young – doing their pious rounds and monks saying prayers best represent the spiritual side of Bhutan. Other places of interest in Thimphu include the National Library, the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts, the Takin Preserve, the giant Buddha statue on the hill above Thimphu city, the oldest dzong in Bhutan, Semtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by the founder of Bhutanese state, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

Day 03

3Thimphu to Punakha

Day 04

4Punakha Drupchen

The annual Punakha Drupchen, held on the courtyard of the resplendent Punakha Dzong, is one of the most colourful in Bhutan.

The festival features mask dances and dance drama that recreate spiritually poignant events and depict the state of the medieval Bhutan. The dance drama recreates the battle scene in which Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal hoodwinked the Tibetan invaders into believing that he had thrown the most sacred relic into the river. The festival thus brings people face-to-face with the past.

When Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal came to Bhutan fleeing Tibet in 1616, he brought along a precious relic called Rangjung Kharsapani, a self-emanated image of Avalokiteśvara. After the Zhabdrung established himself in Bhutan, the Tibetan forces came marching to Punakha to capture the dzong and seize the relic. However, the Zhabdrung enacted an elaborate procession and proceeded to Mo Chu [river] and pretended to throw the bone of contention, the relic, into the river. Tibetans returned home, dismayed at the “Bhutanese foolishness”.

The festival enacts this scene faithfully every year. Some 136 people dressed in medieval battle outfit perform a dance, shouting and whistling as they climb down the front stairs of the dzong. The men hoot their way to the river bank where the Chief Abbot of Bhutan (Je Khenpo) throws a handful of oranges representing RangjungKharsapani into the river.

Punakha Dzong, officially known as Pungthang Dewa Chenpoi Phodrang (the Palace of Great Bliss), was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutanese state, in 1637. Built on the confluence of Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River), this dzong was the winter capital of Bhutan in the past. The Central Monastic Body still spends winter in Punakha Dzong following the age-old practice

Day 05

5Punakha to Paro

Day 06

6Halt in Paro

Day 07

7Hike to Taktshang

Day 08

8Departure from Paro

Today, we drop you at the airport on time to catch your flight back home. We bid you farewell in the traditional Bhutanese way by offering you a white silk scarf.

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