Punakha Drubchen Tour

7 Days / 6 Nights
Festival at the Winter Capital

Tour Overview

Punakha Dzong houses Bhutan’s most sacred relic Rangjung Kharsapani “a self-created image of the Bodhisattva of compassion. As per the historical accounts, Tibetan forces invaded the valley to seize the relic but Bhutanese “pazaps” (local militia men) led by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel successfully defended the relic and emerged victorious. To commemorate the victory, Zhabdrung introduced the Punakha Drubchen. The Drubchen is celebrated as an annual festival. Visitors from the Gasa and Laya join the locals in Punakha to celebrate the festival.  
The highlight of the Drubchen features a reenactment of the 17th century battle scene to honor Zhabdrung and the great men. Subsequently Punakha Tsechu was also introduced to preserve and promote Buddhism.

Tour Highlights

  • Punakha Drubchen
  • Idyllic Gangtey Valley
  • Hike to Paro Taktsang
  • The Tallest Sitting Buddha on a mountain top
  • Tashichodzong – 17th century Fort
  • Punakha Dzong
  • Home stay experience
  • Paro Museum

Daily Itinerary for Punakha Drubchen Tour (7 Days)

Day 1

Drive from Paro Airport to Thimphu (1 hour) and sightseeing in Thimphu

Probably the only capital city in the world without streetlights and an airport of its own, this small city is home to some 100,000 local residents including the Royal Family of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Like any other capital city, it is the political and economic center for the country. The city has a 17th century fortress which houses the Office of His Majesty the King and The House of Parliament stands on the eastern bank of the Thimphu River opposite to the fortress.
Thimphu has successfully preserved its culture and tradition despite growing exponentially and rapidly. Any traveler exploring this unique city will have the luxury of modern convenience and witness ancient monument and traditional way of life simultaneously.

Day 2

Drive from Thimphu to Dochula (1 hour)

Hike to Lungchutse from Dochula (2 ways and 1 hour at the spot- 4 hours)

Lungchutse hike is one of the most rejuvenating and picturesque hike. The trail will take you through a diverse forest until you reach the ridge. From the Lungchutse temple you can enjoy a 360 degree view of the Himalayas and the valley below.

Lunch at Dochula Cafeteria and Drive to Punakha (1 and half hour) and Cultural Sightseeing at Punakha

Travelling to Punakha is like getting in a time machine and going back to the 17th century. Punakha offers tourists a unique medieval experience. The region still holds many traditional houses built decades ago with people leading a simple farming lifestyle. The valley is especially beautiful during spring and autumn adorned by the produce in the paddy fields. Did you know that Punakha was a former capital of Bhutan? Much of Bhutan’s significant history from fighting against the Tibetan invasion to the institution of first monarch to the signing of the treaty of Punakha with the British Indian Empire which shaped Bhutan’s future significantly were all witnessed in this region.

Day 3

Visit to Punakha Drubchen

Punakha Dzong houses Bhutan’s most sacred relic Rangjung Kharsapani “a self-created image of the Bodhisattva of compassion. As per the historical accounts, Tibetan forces invaded the valley to seize the relic but Bhutanese “pazaps” (local militia men) led by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel successfully defended the relic and emerged victorious. To commemorate the victory, Zhabdrung introduced the Punakha Drubchen. The Drubchen is celebrated as an annual festival. Visitors from the Gasa and Laya join the locals in Punakha to celebrate the festival.
The highlight of the Drubchen features a reenactment of the 17th century battle scene to honor Zhabdrung and the great men. Subsequently Punakha Tsechu was also introduced to preserve and promote Buddhism.

Places and attractions:
Punakha Punakha Dzong - The Palace of Great Bliss

Accommodation options:
Drubchhu Resort

Day 4

Early Drive from Punakha to Phobjikha (3 and half hours)

Phobjikha is one of the most idyllic places in Bhutan. The valley is part of an important wildlife reserve; the valley is home to the endangered black necked cranes. These birds migrate south to the valley from Tibet every winter before flying back early spring. Aside from enjoying the tranquility, the valley also has multiple hiking trails leading through the small community in the valley.

Overnight at a Farm Stay

Day 5

Not so early drive from Phobjikha to Paro (6 and half - 7 hours)

A relaxing start to a long day, mid-way through your trip

Overnight at a hotel in Paro

Places and attractions:
Paro Paro Town

Accommodation options:
Haven Resort Tashi Namgay Resort Le Meridien Paro Riverfront

Day 6

Hike to Taktsang

Taktsang which translate to The Tiger’s Nest is a Buddhist monastery in Paro valley. According to the legend, Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche flew to the current monastery site riding atop a tigress in the 7th century.
Today it has become the most visited site by tourists. Approached by a two hour hike through the pine forest, the majestic architecture perched on a cliff 900 meters above Paro valley greets the hikers. Once at the top, tourists can enjoy the panoramic view of the valley below.

Day 7

Depart From Paro

End of Trip

Payment & Cancellation Policy

Payment Terms
  • The approval of tourists VISA is contingent on the full payment of the tour
  • Flight ticket payment is subject to the Ticketing Time Limit issued by the airlines
Tour Cancellation and Refund Policy
  • 30 to 15 days prior to arrival - 20% of the total tour cost will be levied as cancellation fee
  • 14 to 7 days prior to arrival - 50% of the tour cost will be levied as cancellation fee
  • Less than a week prior to arrival - 100% cancellation charge will be levied as cancellation fee
Flight Ticket Cancellation and Refund Policy
  • Subject to the cancellation terms of the Airline
Rescheduling Tour Dates:
  • There are no charges for rescheduling your trip. However the minimum daily tariff, hotel rates, airline charges are subject to change depending on your new travelling dates.