Bhutan, a jewel between India and China, is about the size of Switzerland with a population of around 750,000. Within its small boundaries the ecological diversity is amazing. Tropical jungles in the south with elephants, rhinoceros, and tigers, coniferous forest in the mid region with leopards, mountain goats, bears, and variety of bird life, and blue sheep and snow leopards in the high temperature zones. Through centuries of self-imposed isolation Bhutan has been able to preserve its spectacular environment and nurture its unique culture. Drawing inspiration from its neighbour, Tibet, Tantric Buddhism has flourished and influenced art, crafts, architecture for hundreds of years, and has shaped the Bhutanese way of life. The early 1960s saw Bhutan’s first cautious opening to the outside world. Tourism began for the first time on June 2nd 1974, the coronation day of the nineteen year old King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth monarch.
The idea of happiness and wellbeing as the goal of development has always been a part of Bhutanese political psyche. While this has influenced Bhutan’s development endeavors during the early part of the modernization process, it was not pursed as a deliberate policy goal until His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan introduced Gross National Happiness (GNH) to define the official development paradigm for Bhutan.
Religious festivals are perfect occasions to glimpse what might be termed Bhutanese culture. Celebrated throughout the country, they occur in a host of differing forms, depending upon the scale, the nature of the ceremonies performed or the particular deity being revered. The best known are the Tshechus, festivals which honor Guru Rinpoche and celebrate one of his remarkable actions, and the most popular of these take place annually in or around the great dzongs, attracting both tourists and large numbers from the surrounding districts. Lasting several days, the central focuses are the series of prayers and religion inspired dances. These dances, made especially striking by the spectacular costumes of the dancers – bright silks and rich brocade, ornate hats or extraordinary masks – may either depict morality tales, invoke protection from demonic spirits or proclaim Buddhist victories and the glory of remarkable saints.
And then there are the atsaras – clowns sporting fiendish masks, making lewd gestures and cracking salacious jokes – who mingle on the periphery of the performance, are entitled to mock both spiritual and temporal subjects, and through their distractions infuse a lighter side to otherwise serious matters. The whole gathering begins to resemble a country fair, as the jolly and convivial assembly – many turning out in their vibrant finery – further entertains itself in lively conversation, the playing of an assortment of games and the imbibing of copious amounts of food and alcohol. Tshechus may end with the bestowing of powerful blessings, delivered orally by a high lama or visually with the unfurling of a huge appliqué thangka representing Guru Rinpoche and his Eight Manifestations. The commanding backdrop of a monastic fortress, the visual extravagance of the dances, the cacophony of musical accompaniments, the solemnity of chanting mantras, the artistic splendor, the unfamiliar smells and the overall exuberance of the diverse crowd lend the scene an extremely exotic air.
This combined package of pilgrimage may be of 21 days or little longer duration depending on the ease and smoothness of travel. The entry will be from Paro through Bangkok, Guangzhou and Chendu to Lhasa and flying to Kathmandu for return to Paro. The pilgrimage will cover visit to the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism… Read More
The pilgrimage to Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism in eastern China includes Emei Shan (sacred place of Samantabhadra), Jiuhua Shan (sacred place of Ksitigharba), Putuo Shan (sacred place of Avalokitesvara) and Wutai Shan (sacred place of Manjushree). This package will be for maximum of 10 days traveling from Paro through Bangkok, Guangzhou and return with… Read More
This pilgrimage package is for 14 to 15 day’s duration with 15-18 group members travelling from Kathmandu to Lhasa and return with pilgrimage to sacred places such as Samye, Potala Palace, Jokhang, Sera Monastery, Gaden Monastery, Tashi Lhungpo, etc. There will be 2-3 days pilgrimage or shopping halts in Kathmandu. Day 01: Depart Paro… Read More
This tour package covers the whole of northern region of Bhutan with travels/visits to 9 districts traversing through the most majestic and spectacular views of the Himalayas and traditional mountain settlements. In addition to visiting the most important cultural sites, the highlight of this tour package include visits to Gangtey Valley and Bomdiling Valley, the… Read More
In this tour package, there is brief coverage of the first package with more focus on Central Bhutan. Central Bhutan areas covered under this tour package consists of visits to historic and pristine environmental locations. The places of interest for our visitors will include the serene Gangtey/Phobjikha valley in Wangdue district; the majestic pass of… Read More
This tour package is designed for our guests to choose different options of days and travel within the three capital areas of Bhutan-Paro, Thimphu and Punakha/Wangdue which is considered the bastion of Bhutanese tradition and culture. These areas in this package consists of some of the most important religious, socio-cultural and administrative sights of Bhutan… Read More
Copyright © 2018 . All rights reserved Druk Odiyana Tours & Treks