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Pelden Lhamoi Domchoe is the dominant female protective deity of Bhutan and this festival is dedicated to her. The festival was first introduced in Thimphu Dzong in 1710 by Kuenga Gyeltshen, who was recognized as the reincarnation of Jampel Dorji, son of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel. According to legend, Pelden Lhamo appeared in KuengaGyeltshen’s dream and showed him some tantric teachings through dances. In 1988, the festival was introduced in Trongsa Dzong by His Majesty the Fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, and the 68th Je Khenpo His Holiness Tenzin Dendup. Different dances are performed during the festival, including a Nangcham (secret performance) that is performed exclusively in the shrine with dancers circumambulating the mandala. Other dances are showcased to the public. And this is the only festival that is performed purely by the monks.

Day 1: Paro–Thimphu:

Arrive at Paro International Airport.
Travel to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. En route, visit Tachog Monastery.
Afternoon, visit National Memorial Chorten, Buddha Dordenma Statue, Kuenselphodrang Park, and Traditional Handmade Paper Factory.

Accommodation: Hotel Tara Phendeyling (or similar)

Day 2: Thimphu

Hike to Cheri Monastery.
Afternoon, visit Takin Park, Centenary Farmers’ Market, Institute of Traditional Arts and Crafts, and the majestic Tashichhodzong which houses the office of His Majesty the King.

Accommodation: Hotel Tara Phendeyling (or similar)

Day 3: Thimphu–Punakha

Travel towards Punakha.
On the way, stop at Dochula pass and visit the 108 Victory Stupas. Then visit Chimi Lhakhang, the fertility temple.
Afternoon, visit the majestic Punakha Dzong, the longest suspension bridge, and Galem’s house.

Accommodation: Zhingkham Resort (or similar) 

Day 4: Punakha-Trongsa

Leave Punakha for Trongsa.
En route, stop at the reconstruction site of Wangduepodrang dzong. In the evening, have a leisurely walk in the town.

Accommodation: Yangkhil Resort

Day 5: Trongsa Pelden LhamoiDomchoe

Visit Trongsa Dzong to witness the tshechu. In the afternoon, visit the Ta Dzong (Watch Tower).

Accommodation: Yangkhil Resort

Day 6: Trongsa-Phobjikha

Travel to Phobjikha.
Visit Gangtey Goenpa and stroll along the Nature Trail at Phojikha valley, the winter habitat of endangered Black-necked Cranes.

Overnight stay in a home-stay

Day 7: Phobjikha-Paro

Travel back to Paro.
En route, visit Semtokha Dzong, the oldest dzong in the country.
Afternoon, visit the National Museum, Paro Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang, and have an orientation walk along the silent street of Paro Town.

Overnight stay at Bhutan Mandala Resort

Day 8: Hike to Taksang Monastery

Hike to Taksang Monastery or the Tiger’s Nest.
In the evening, visit one of the nearby homestays and have a hot-stone bath.

Overnight stay at Bhutan Mandala Resort

Day 9: Departure

We will see you at Paro International Airport. We hope that you have had a wonderful and memorable stay in our dragon kingdom.