chortenkora

Venue: Chorten Kora
Total Duration: 15 days
Other places: Western, Central and Eastern Bhutan.
Entry: Paro
Exit: Guwahati, Assam, India

Summary

A festival held in reverence to the ultimate sacrifice made by a princess during the construction of the chorten (stupa), this festival involves circumambulation.

The princess was a pious Dakini Princess of the Dakpa tribe from neighboring Arunachal Pradesh, a district in India, who offered to entomb herself alive, as the Yeshe Semba, to meditate on behalf of all beings. Of the two major circumambulation events, the first is the Dakpa Kora (circumambulation of the Chorten by the Dakpas, which is held on the 15th day of the first lunar month. This is followed by the Drukpa Kora (circumambulation of the Chorten by the Bhutanese).

For this package, you can either enter from Guwahati, Assam (India) and exit from Paro or enter from Paro and exit from Guwahati.

Itinerary 

Day 01: Gawahati (India) –Samdrup Jongkhar: On arrival at Guwahati airport, you will be greeted by our company’s representative and drive to Samdrup Jongkhar, south-eastern part of Bhutan bordering the Indian states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Overnight in hotel.

Day 02: Samdrup Jongkhar-Trashigang

After breakfast drive to Tashigang, passing through several villages. En-route visit hand loom (weaving centre) in Khaling and the School for the disabled.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Tashigang – Excursion to Phongmey/Radhi/Rangjung

Morning witnesses the festival and later drive to Phongmey Gewog and visit Phongmey monastery. On the way back, visit Radhi village, where you will have your lunch. After lunch drive to Rangjung and visit Rangung Woesel Chholing Monastery – this was founded by Garab Rinpochhe in 1990.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 04: Tashigang – Tashiyangtse – Tashigang: Early in the morning drive tot Gom Kora temple and witness the Tsechu.

Day 05: Trashigang – Mongar

After breakfast drive to Mongar. En route, stop to visit Drametse monastery founded by Ani Choten Zangmo, Pema Lingpa’s granddaughter, who fled from Bumthang to escape a proposal of marriage from the local king. She fled east and when she found a place ideally suited for meditation she named it ‘Drametse’ which literally means ‘the peak where there are no enemies’. Ani Choeten Zangmo’s kudung (remains) is preserved to this day in the monastery as the most important relic.

Continue driving to Monger.  After lunch, visit Mongar dzong which is built in keeping with traditional by not using any drawings or nails and then visit Yaggang Lhakhang .

Overnight at hotel.

Day 06: Mongar – Lhuentshi-Mongar:  After early breakfast drive to Lhuntse, one of the most rural and isolated districts in Bhutan. The landscape is spectacular with stark cliffs and gorges, beautiful conifer and pine forests, and remote villages. The Kurtoe region of Lhuntse is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s Royal family. And also consider being the best for Kishu Thara textiles. Visit Lhuntse Dzong and the weaving centres. Drive back to Monger.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 07. Mongar – Bumthang:  After breakfast drive to Bumthang and you would notice a change in the weather condition as it becomes colder. We will stop at Sengor and few other places. Upon arrival at Bumthang, we can visit the town and meet the people.

Overnight in hotel

Day 08: Bumthang Halt

One of the most sacred regions in the Kingdom, Bumthang valley is a blend of the abstract and concrete with innumerable legends surrounding the area.

You will be visiting Kurje Lhakhang where the Great Indian Saint Guru Padsambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock.  The other is Jamphel lhakhang, which was built in the 7th century by Songsten Goembo, the Tibetan Buddhist King. Jakar Dzong (the fortress of white bird) built in the 17th century by Tenzin Rabgay (the fourth Desi) is another famous landmark.

You will also be visiting, Tamshing lhakhang built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa (the founder of religious treasures). Kunchosum lhakhang and Membertsho (the flaming lake) are other places. Legend has it that Pema Lingpa discovered several religious text from the lake.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 10. Bumthang – Punakha

After breakfast, we drive to Punakha. On the way we will visit Chhimi Lhakhang – which was founded in the 15th   century by Lama Dukpa Kinley also known as the divine mad man.  After lunch visit Punakha Dzong- built in 1637 by Zhabdrung. It is one of the most beautiful Dzongs in the country. Later walk around Punakha and Khuruthang town.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 11: Punakha -Thimphu: The three to four-hour drive traverses thorough a constantly changing kaleidoscope of vegetation, waterfalls, flowers, mountains and meadows. In about 45 minutes we will reach the famous Dochula pass (3,100m) where on a clear day we can see the entire eastern Himalayan range, teeming with 6,000m to 7,554m snow-capped mountains. The pass also known for its abundant species of extremely beautiful flowers has 108 Buddhist stupas exquisitely built around a mound, adding to the natural splendour of the place.

Overnight at Thimphu hotel.

Day 12: Thimphu – Sightseeing

There are great many places to see in Bhutan’s capital. In the morning we will drive to Buddha Point which provides a spectacular 360 degree close-quarter view of entire Thimphu and the adjoining areas. This is the site of the world’s tallest statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. Our next destination is the 12th century Changangkha Temple, Takin Zoo and the viewpoint at Sangaygang. On our way back, we stopover at a nunnery, the Folk Heritage Museum and the Textile Museum.

After lunch, we will proceed to Tashichho Dzong, a 17th century castle-fortress which today houses the offices of the King, Chief Abbot and government ministries. We will also take the opportunity to see the nearby parliament complex, the School of Arts and Crafts, vegetable market, and then spend the rest of the day watching an archery match and strolling around the town.

Overnight at Thimphu.

Day 13: Thimphu – Paro

After early breakfast, we drive to Paro and check in the hotel.

We will devote the day to sightseeing around the Paro valley famed for its natural beauty, historical monuments, agricultural farms and quintessentially Bhutanese village communities. Visit the National Museum, formerly a watch tower, and then the Castle on a Heap of Precious Jewels or Rinpung Dzong. Wind up the day with a stroll around Paro town. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14: Paro  – Excursion to Taktsang

After breakfast, drive for half an hour and start hiking up to the temple that is renowned in the Himalayan Buddhist world as one of the most popular sites of pilgrimage. The five-hour round trip follows an ancient but oft-trodden footpath flanked by water-driven prayer wheels.

The temple, precariously perched on a hair-raising ravine about 1,000 metres above the valley floor, is considered sacrosanct as it was in a cave within this temple that the eight century tantric saint, Padmasambhava, subdued the evils who obstructed the teachings of the Buddha. The saint is believed to have come to Taktshang in a fiery wrathful form riding a tigress. Over the years, many Buddhist saints have meditated in and around the temple and discovered numerous hidden treasure teachings.

Day 15:  Departure from Paro:  After breakfast, you will be driven to Paro international airport for your onward flight. Our representative will see you off.