15 Days
Easy Adventures
Sept 08 – 22, 2024

On this special tour, you will visit Bhutan at the height of the festival season.  In the glorious days of early autumn – this is Shangri La in its most awe-inspiring and beautiful season.  It is the end of the monsoonal season and in the fall’s golden days, the mountains echo with the boom of highland horns, accompanied by bells, drums, gongs and conch shells. In an atmosphere of mystical power unchanged for centuries, silk-robed masked dancers leap, twirl and whirl in a kaleidoscope of color as they celebrate the ancient Himalayan Buddhist rituals. The festivals in Bhutan are pure and genuine, representing a tradition that dates back thousands of years.   These are also a time for social gatherings, which also perform the function of social bonding among people of remote and spread-out villages. Large markets congregate at the fair locations, leading to brisk commerce. This is a great time to see and inter-mingle with villagers from far and near that congregate – sometimes walking for days and weeks – to participate in these festivals. The festivals are generally preceded by rituals and dances performed by monks or trained laymen in beautiful costumes of brilliantly colored silk and papier mache masks to the accompaniment of traditional instruments. The dances are usually held in the open courtyard of the local Dzongs, or monastery/district administrative center, and attended by the local people who come to receive the blessings conferred upon the onlookers. 

This Bhutan Travel’s favorite fall tour combines three traditional festivals: One at the newly rebuilt and completed majestic Wangduephodrang Dzong commanding the Punakha river valley; then a second one at the Tamshing Lhakhang– the most important Nyingmapa Sect monastery in the remote Bumthang valley and then a third one at the rural Tangbi Temple, a small mountain temple up in the distant hills of Bumthang.  On this special festival tour, you will also visit weekend markets, cross the spectacular 10,000ft high Dochu La pass and into the ancient capital of the balmy Punakha valley, then cross even higher passes into central Bhutan and explore the beautiful, remote and historic Bumthang Valleys while you attend the religious festivals there.  You will stop at Trongsa and see the largest fortress Dzong of the kingdom.  Then you will visit Gangtey, the high, remote and beautiful village surrounded by the mysterious and the dreaded Black Mountains. Your very special exploration will end with a pilgrimage hike up to the Tiger’s Nest– the most revered of all temples in the kingdom.  

Intensive sightseeing, day hikes, and a wealth of visual, cultural and scenic experiences will create an exhilarating visit to one of the world’s most untouched and the most fascinating places during a fascinating time.