Go to content
Bhutan is rich in cultural diversity and this richness is further enhanced by the wide variety of elaborate and colorful religious festivals that are celebrated
throughout the country.

Every village is known for their unique festival though the most widely known is the annual... Read more

Nimalung and Kurjey Festivals - 11 Days

Enjoy two intimate Tsechu experiences in the Bumthang Valley, the Nimalung and Kurjey festivals Bhutan’s spiritual heartland. Villagers gather to witness colourful and unique masked dances and sacred rituals celebrating Bhutan’s unique cultural heritage. Also visit sacred sites in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Phobjikha Valley, winter home to the endangered Black-Necked Cranes.


The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport exit doors following customs formalities.

After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.


Once a rustic village sitting in a broad, fertile river valley, Thimphu is today the nation’s bustling capital. Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to stunning Buddha Dordenma Statue, made of bronze and gilded in gold, and the National Memorial Chorten, completed by the Royal Queen Mother as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972. Continue on to 12th century Changangkha Temple and the Zilukha Nunnery.

If there is time, you may visit the nursing pen for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, and Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’ housing some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.


Depart for Gangtey/Phobjikha. The road takes us over Dochu-La pass (3,100m) where we can circumambulate the 108 stupas and, if the weather is clear, enjoy an incredible view of Himalayan peaks. On our descent after crossing Dochu-La pass, we can choose to walk down ancient paths and visit Royal Botanical Garden in Lamperi.

We cross the Punatsangchhu river and climb past the ruins of Wangduephodrang Dzong. Phobjikha valley is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys and the chosen home of the endangered bird species – black necked crane or grus nigricollis (Nov to Mar) migrating from the Tibetan plateau. Overnight at your hotel in Phobjikha.


Following breakfast, visit Gangtey Gompa  (monastery), which dates back to 16th C. Enjoy a last view of this  beautiful valley before departing over the Pele la pass (3,420m) on the  Black Mountain range towards Trongsa. Enroute, we pass the charming  villages and hamlets and visit the beautiful Chendebji chorten. Trongsa  is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s ruling dynasty. Visit Trongsa Dzong, a  masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Trongsa is the largest Dzong in  Bhutan and the location of where the institution of monarchy in Bhutan  began. The foundations of Trongsa Dzong were laid in the 16th Century  and there are now 22 temples in the complex. The view from the Dzong is  spectacular and one can see across the impressive landscape for many  miles. Also visit the Ta Dzong museum housing an incredible collection  of historical artefacts of the Royal Family and a range of traditional  armour.

Continue our drive to Bumthang, the  spiritual heart of the country. Bumthang is home to some of Bhutan’s  oldest palaces, Buddhist temples and monasteries. We halt for today at  Chumey, the first valley of Bumthang at the Chumey Nature Resort. Overnight at resort in Chumey.

DAY 05: CHUMEY – BUMTHANG (Nimalung Festival)

After  breakfast, drive to Nimalung monastery to witness its annual festival.  The festival is celebrated with mask dances and historical folk dances  in colorful costumes, and is celebrated to bring happiness, a better  harvest and prosperity to the village and the country as a whole. We  spend most of the day at the festival and walking around nearby villages  in this beautiful valley before proceeding to Jakar (Bumthang) over the  gentlest of passes – Kiki-La, which connects Chumey to Jakar.

Bumthang is home to some of Bhutan’s  oldest Palaces, Buddhist temples and monasteries. The valley’s barley  fields, apple groves and meadows lay below huge hills which climb up  towards the Himalayan mountain wall separating Bhutan from Tibet. The  beautiful architecture unique to Bhutan is evident in the many large  farmhouses and temples. Bumthang is associated with Guru Rimpoche  (Padmasambhava) and with Terton Pemalingpa. Overnight at your lodge in  Bumthang.

DAY 06: BUMTHANG (Kurjey Festival)

Drive  upstream of the Chamkhar Chhu river to enjoy the festival at Kurjey  Lhakhang. Historically, Guru Rinpoche was invited here to subdue evil  spirits plaguing the land. Tsechu viewers dressed in their finest  traditional clothes flock to the temple to witness the tsechu, with  monks and laymen in masks and colourful costumes performing historical  folk dances.

Later, visit Jambay Lhakhang, erected by  the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. It dates back to  the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan and is one of the Kingdoms oldest  temples. Other places of interest are Jakar Dzong (Dzong of the white Bird) and Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Terton Pemalingpa  (founder of the Nyingmapa sect) and containing interesting and ancient  Buddhist wall paintings. Pemalingpa’s heavy coat of nails is kept in the  Vestibule and people are permitted to try it on. It is said that if  they can walk around the inner sanctuary three times while wearing it,  some of their sins will be forgiven. Overnight at hotel/lodge in  Bumthang.


After  breakfast drive to Punakha crossing over Kiki La Pass & Yo-Tong La  Pass. After a short break in Trongsa continue your drive to Punakha and  en-route stop at Chendibji Chorten for lunch. After lunch drive across  Pele la pass. Overnight at your hotel in Punakha.


Visit  Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the  Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’ as predicted by the great Guru  Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu  and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters  of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to  this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong  is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four  intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated  in gold and silver. It was here on 17th December 1907, Bhutan’s first  king was crowned.

After lunch, enjoy a short walk to Chimi  Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine  Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against  the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is  an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained  monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless  couples go to his temple for blessing. Overnight at your hotel in  Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.


In  the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike to through ricefields and  up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen  Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of  the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa  Traditions.

Drive back to Thimphu where you will  have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. Afterwards  proceed to Paro. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.


After  breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of  approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the  Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for  transfer up to the viewing point). The view of Taktsang Monastery built  on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a  spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for  the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the  back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma  to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three  months where the monastery was later built. Nearby there is a teahouse  where you can stop for refreshments.

In the afternoon drive to the ruins of  the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the  Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644.  In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m)  appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th  Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the  Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.

Alternatively, day 6 could be spent on a  day trip to the Haa Valley, one of the most picturesque districts in  Bhutan. Reached via the beautiful Chelila Pass, Haa Valley is  characterised by its surrounding rugged and mountainous terrain.  Overnight at your hotel in Paro.


Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
Explore Awesome Bhutan Tours... an inbound tour operator base in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. It is registered with the Tourism Council of Bhutan, Licensed by Royal Government of Bhutan, and a member of Association of Bhutan Tour Operators.
What our guest have to say?
We pride ourselves with the positive testimonials we receive from our clients; however we always strive to improve our services every day. Hearing what our returning tour participants have to say plays a vital role. Thank you!
Contact US
Explore Awesome Bhutan Tours
Thimphu Bhutan
Mobile: +975-17128816 / 77128816
Back to content