March 21,2024 – March 25,2024.
Venue: Paro Dzong
Paro Tshechu stands as one of Bhutan’s most renowned festivals, offering a captivating glimpse into the country’s ancient living culture. This Buddhist celebration, known as a Tshechu, pays homage to Guru Rimpoche, the revered saint responsible for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan. What makes Paro Tshechu particularly special is the unveiling of a vast silk Thangka, a sacred scroll of profound significance that drapes an entire edifice. This “thongdroel,” as it’s called in Bhutan, is a religious pictorial scroll displayed for just a few hours at dawn on the festival’s last day, granting blessings to those who lay eyes upon it. In Bhutanese, “thongdroel” signifies “conferring liberation through its mere sight.” This tour also seizes the opportunity to explore the springtime splendor with enchanting hikes through the countryside, including a visit to a Rhododendron forest in Phobjikha and the Lamperi Rhododendron Festival near Dochu La Pass. The sacred locales of Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha take center stage as well.
The following are certain things that you have to keep in mind while traveling to Bhutan, which I came to know after my recent trip to Bhutan. I thought of writing about them here so that it is useful for others who are also planning for a trip there.
There are two ways to get inside Bhutan. One is to enter via Phuentsholing and the second option is to fly up till Paro and land there. To come out of Bhutan you can use the above two routes or come out through Samdrup as well. But you can’t enter through Samdrup.
For Indians you don’t need a get a visa in advance to enter Bhutan. You can get the permit on arrival, either at Phuentsholing or at Paro. You will initially get a permit for 7 days at Phuentsholing and using it you can visit only Thimphu and Paro. To stay more or visit other restricted places which I visited like Haa valley, Punakha or Bumthang, you need to renew your permit in Thimphu. The immigration office is located at Norzin Lam in Thimphu.
Bhutan follows a different timezone than India. It is GMT + 6 hours, which is 30 minutes ahead of Indian standard time. Once you cross Phuentsholing all times which are displayed are in Bhutan timezone. We missed our bus to Thimphu from Phuentsholing because of this timezone difference.
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