Rhododendron festival is an exhilarating event that marks the spring season with full bloom flowers and lush green forest in Bhutan. Much alike to the Cherry blossom festival in Japan, where Japanese celebrate the spring season with the blooming of cherry blossoms, here in Bhutan we celebrate the spring season with the Rhododendron festival.
The festival is a three-day event held at Lamperi Botanical Garden. Some 35 km drive from Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Lamperi Botanical Garden is a must visit eco-tourism attraction in Bhutan.Bhutan has currently recognized and recorded some 46 species of Rhododendron and Lamperi houses about 29 Species of it.
Showcasing different Rhododendron species that are in full bloom, the three-day Rhododendron festival was first initiated in 2013 as an event to celebrate the rare blooms and to encourage eco-tourism. The main purpose of the festival is to focus on ecology, culture, food, and entertainment of the local communities which live in harmony with these eco-parks. It also serves as an opportunity to incorporate the ecological and cultural themes through this activity. The Rhododendron festival is an annual event.
How to get the best out of the festival?
The tourists and the local visitors can enjoy the traditional dances and the songs performed by the local communities which are mostly praises to the rare flower. They also entertain the visitors with bear and tiger mask dances.
Food stalls are set up by the local communities. Simple delicious traditional dishes, snacks, tea and other beverages made by members of the local community at very reasonable rates can be available. For tourists who are looking for a variety of non-Bhutanese food, it is available at the Park cafeteria.
For tourists who are looking to take souvenirs to remind them of this extraordinary experience or just simply looking for gifts for loved ones back at home, they can avail it from the souvenir stall that are put up at the festival.
The visitors can also choose to explore on their own and take short or long hikes along the trails in the park to engage and immerse in the ecological richness.
The visitors can take the opportunity to boat on the Lamperi pond and spend some time to immerse in nature.
The visitors can choose to stay back and camp on the Park camping ground and spend a night amidst the vibrant blooms and star gaze at night.
The festival will be incomplete without a little fun activity such as horse-back riding, yak-riding, and other traditional games, Rhodo-wish-game, and instant photo program are also available.