Festive Bhutan is a tour in which you will enjoy Crane Festival, as well as visit the monasteries, dzongs, and cross the passes. This festival is important to the people of Bhutan because the arrival of black-necked cranes holds a great significance. Their arrivals also tell them about the beginning of winter. Some villagers believe that these endangered birds to be the reincarnations of two deities, who are said to be the protectors of Bhutan. What villagers believe, it seems to be true because when these birds arrive and leave, they will circle the Gangtey Gompa three times. To the locals, this represents the honoring of the three sacred jewels of Buddhism.
The Black-necked Crane Festival is held in Phobjikha on November 11th every year, and its date coincides with the birth anniversary of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Organized by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) and the Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), this festival began in 1998, and it aims at spreading awareness on the cranes and the traditions, as well as on cultures of the local people. In this festival, you will see masked dance, performed by the students and the local people. Archery, dart, and “Degor” competitions are some of the highlights of this festival. In addition to this, there are also food and game stalls. In the evening, you will see black-necked cranes.
On the way to Punakha, you will stop for a short walk to Chimi Lakhang. It is a pleasant 20min stroll through fields to the temple that occupies a commanding position in the center of the valley. The temple has special significance due to its association with Lama Drukpa Kunley, one of the most popular saints of Bhutan. From Punakha, you drive through Wangdi before climbing the glacial valley of Gangtey.
Day 1 : Arrive Paro
Day 2 : Paro-excursion to Taktshang
Day 3 : Thimpu (sightseeing)
Day 4 : Thimpu-Punakha
Day 5 : Punakha-Phobjikha
Day 6 : Black necked crane festival
Day 7 : Gangtey Gompa-Gogona
Day 8 : Gogona-Khotokha
Day 9 : Khotokha-Chuzomsa/ Wangdiphodrang
Day 10 : Wangdi-Paro
Day 11 : Departure