10 days Jambay Lakhang Festival Oct 2017

jambay-lakhang-festival

The Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and it was founded by Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan King in the 7th century A.D. The king was reputed to have built 108 temples known as Thadhul – Yangdhul (temples on and across the border) in a day to subdue the demoness who was residing in the Himalayas. The Jambay Lhakhang is located in the Bumthang valley in central Bhutan on the way to the Kurje Lhakhang. It’s a ten minutes drive to the temple from Chamkhar town.

Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche visited the site several times and deemed it exceptionally sacred. Chakhar Gyalpo, the king of the Iron Castle of Bumthang renovated the temple in the 8th century AD.
The first king of Bhutan, Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck constructed the Dus Kyi Khorlo (Kala Chakra – Wheel of Time) inside the temple to commemorate his victory over his rivals Phuntsho Dorji of Punakha and Alu Dorji of Thimphu after the battle of Changlingmithang in 1885. Later, Ashi Wangmo, the younger sister of the second king of Bhutan, built the Chorten lhakhang.

The main relics include the future Buddha, Jowo Jampa (Maitreya) from whose name the present name of the temple is derived. The lhakhang also houses more than one hundred statues of the gods of Kalachakra built by the first king, in 1887.

One of the most spectacular festivals in the country, the Jambay Lhakhang Drup is hosted here. The festival lasts for five days. The highlight of the festival is the fire ritual that is held in the evening where crowds gather to witness the ritualistic naked dance.

Day 1 : 01 November 2017 - PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – THIMPHU (L/D)

Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be met by your guide..

Before transferring to Thimphu, visit the Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rinpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

After lunch, drive through to Thimphu. A drive along the winding road by the Paro Chu (Chu means water or river) downstream to the confluence with the Wang Chu, then turn upstream along the Wang Chu to Thimphu, Bhutan’s scenically located capital city, takes about an hour.

In the evening, visit the Tashichho Dzong, the seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body which includes the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan).

Welcome dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 2 : 02 November 2017 - THIMPHU – GANGTEY (B/L/D)

Today drive to Gangtey via the Dochula Pass (3140m). On the way stop to see the spectacular array of chortens, to enjoy the superb view over the snow capped Himalayan Mountains and also to see the Gasa Dzong at a distance if the weather is clear.

Your journey then continues through varying scenes of greenery all the way to Gangtey.

After lunch, visit the Gangtey monastery. It is an important monastery of the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Gangtey.

Day 3 : 03 November 2017 - GANGTEY – BUMTHANG (B/L/D)

After breakfast, drive to Bumthang via the Pelela pass (3300m), the traditional boundary between east and west.

After lunch visit Trongsa Dzong, built in 1644, an ancestral residence of Bhutan’s royal family. Then visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower built to guard the Trongsa.

Later drive to Bumthang. Bumthang is one of the most historic districts and has a large number of ancient temples and sacred sites.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Bumthang.

Day 4 : 04 November 2017 – JAMBAY LHAKHANG FESTIVAL (B/L/D)

The Jambay Lhakhang festival is the most amazing festival. Here you will get an opportunity to witness the late-night sacred naked dance which is one of the tshechu highlights and one which serves to draw many spectators.
You will also have an opportunity to walk along the farmlands and visit some of the farmhouses to understand the lifestyle of the local people.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Bumthang.

Day 5 : 05 November 2017 - BUMTHANG (B/L/D)

Bumthang consists of four mountain valleys - the Ura, Chumey, Tang and Chhoekhor. This spectacular area is the spiritual heartland of Bhutan and home to its most ancient and precious Buddhist places. The tales of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and his re-incarnates, known as Lingpas, are still evident and linger in every nook and corner of Bumthang.

Here you will visit some of the most significant and holiest places including Mebar Tsho and Tamzhing Lhakhang. Mebar Tsho is considered one of the most sacred sites in the region as it relates to the renowned treasure reveller, Terton Pema Lingpa – the incarnated disciple of Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rinpoche, who discovered treasure from the lake in the late 15th century.

Tamshing Lhakhang is located across the river from Kurje Lhakhang. This temple was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the re-incarnation of Guru Padmashambhava. The monastery has very ancient religious paintings like 1,000 Buddhas and 21 Taras (female form of Buddhisatava). The temple was restored at the end of the 19th century.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Bumthang.

Day 6 : 06 November 2017 - BUMTHANG – PUNAKHA (B/L/D)

After an early breakfast, drive to Punakha.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Punakha.    

Day 7 : 07 November 2017 - PUNAKHA – THIMPHU (B/L/D)

After an early breakfast, drive about 7 km from Punakha and cross the suspension bridge over the Mochu River before walking approximately 30-45 minutes to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten (Stupa) which is perched on a strategic ridge overlooking the nearby villages under Kabisa geog. It was built under the sponsorship of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangden Wangchuck to remove evil forces and promote peace, stability and harmony throughout the world. As the first of its kind in the world to have been constructed, the details and the architectural designs were drawn from scriptures as visualized by Dudjom Lingpa.

Later on, visit the impressive Punakha Dzong which lies between two great rivers the Pho Chu (Male River) and the Mo Chu (Female River). The Punakhas Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the district administration.

Take a walk of about 25 minutes along the terraced farmlands and farmhouses to visit the Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (the Devine Madman) in the 15th century. He subdued the demoness with his “magical thunder bolt”. The temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.

After lunch at Chimi Lhakhang, drive to Thimphu with the journey taking about 3 hours via the Dochula Pass (3140m).
You will have free time to explore Thimphu in the evening.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 8 : 08 November 2017 – THIMPHU (B/L/D)

After breakfast drive to Dodeyna to climb through a beautiful forest track to the Tango Monastery which overlooks a forested valley and other Buddhist retreats high in the mountains. If you wish we can then visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs and other items in the shops of Thimphu.

In the evening, proceed to Paro.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 9 : 09 November 2017 - TAKTSANG MONASTERY OR TIGER’S NEST (B/L/D)

After breakfast visit Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress), 16 km away from Paro. Although it is now in ruins, this dzong has great historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetan invasion. On a clear day one can view sacred Mt. Jomolhari (Mountain of Goddess).

We will then drive you to the trail head to take a breathtaking and memorable hike through beautiful pine forest. You will stop for light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria before walking on to the famous, Taktsang monastery or Tiger’s Nest. The primary Lhakhang or main temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 m into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in the east.
In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Paro.

Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 10 : 10 November 2017 - PARO - PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (B)

Early morning drive to Paro International Airport where your guide will accompany you to bid you farewell.

Cost Information

Number of days: 10 days, 9 nights
Price:
US$ 3,010 single per person
US$ 2,560 twin/double per person
US$ 2,290 triple per person

Date
14 - 17 November 2016