12 Days Nabji Lhakhang Drup Festival
10th – 12th Jan 2020 | Venue: Nabji Lhakhang, Trongsa.
The Nabji Lhakhang Drup is celebrated in Nabji village in Trongsa. The festival is held in honor of Guru Rinpoche who is regarded as the second Buddha in Tantric Buddhism and who visited Bhutan in 746 AD. The two highlights of the festival are the religious naked dance just like the popular Jambay Lhakhang Drup in Bumthang and a fire blessing ceremony. Several other traditional mask dances are also performed during the festival.
Day 01: Arrive Paro and drive to Thimphu.
Day 02: Thimphu – Gangtey.
Day 03: Gangtey sightseeing.
Day 04: Gangtey to Trongsa.
Day 05: Trongsa to Nabji.
Day 06: Nabji Lhakhang Festival.
Day 07: Nabji – Trongsa.
Day 08: Trongsa – Punakha (1310m).
Day 09: Punakha – Thimphu.
Day 10: Thimphu Sightseeing.
Day 11: Thimphu – Paro (sightseeing).
Day 12: Paro – Departure.
Detail Itinerary for 12 Days Nabji Lhakhang Festival
Day 01. – Arrive Paro – Thimphu (2200m altitude). Representative from Yak Holidays will greet you on arrival, and then drive to Thimphu. Visit Tamchog Monastery on the way which was built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Popularly known as Lama Chazampa, which literally means, the Iron Bridge builder) in the 15th century. Thang Thong Gyalpo (1385–1464) was a wonder working saint from Tibet who came to Bhutan in 1433 looking for Iron Ore. Stop for a while at Dochula Pass which is at an altitude of 2950 m. There are 108 Stupas on Dochula top built for wellbeing of King and the People of Bhutan.
Afternoon visit the Memorial Chorten which was built in 1974 in honour of our 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Then evening time visit Tashichhoe Dzong, the center of Administration and Religious Head, and walk in the local market.
Day 02. – Thimphu – Gangtey (3120m altitude)
Drive from Thimphu to Gangtey leads towards Central Bhutan. Stay for a while at Dochula to get early morning view of the Great Mountains of the north and take a walk around the 108 stupas. Further we reach Wangdiphodrang Dzong. Visit Wangdi Dzong which is under renovation as it was razed by fire in 2012.
Then 45kms drive to the north brings you to Nobding village from where you see Black Mountain ranges if the weather is clear. Then continue journey to Gangtey valey.
Dinner and overnight in hotel at Gangtey.
Day 03. – Gangtey Sightseeing (3120m altitude)
While in Gangtey, visit Gangtey Goempa. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Then visit the Black Necked Crane Information Centre and Wangmo hand-woven carpet factory.
After lunch, explore Phobjikha valley, the roosting ground of the Rare Black Necked Cranes in winter, OR go on Gangtey Nature Trails & hikes.
Dinner and overnight in Guest house.
Day 04. – Gangtey – Trongsa (2200m altitude) – 120km – 5 hours)
Next morning leave for Trongsa after breakfast. Reaching half way to Trongsa, you can visit Chendebji Stupa.
According to the story Lama Ngesup Tshering Wangchuk constructed the Chendebji stupa, who was a descendent of the Bemji Choeje in Trongsa, whose ancestor is said to have been a Tibetan King named Trisong Detsen.
Chendebji Stupa, built in the style of the great Bodhanath Chöten of Nepal, was constructed in accordance with the prophecy of the Second Gangteng Tulku Tenzin Lekpai Dhundrup in order to subdue harmful, anti religious demons.
Day 05. – Trongsa – Nabji Village
Next morning start the journey towards Reotala, Which is the same way towards Zhemgang Dzong. On the way you can visit Kuenga Rabten Palace (25 minutes drive) which was the palace of the ancient local ruler of the Region. After 2 & half hours drive you reach Reotala and then hike to Nabji Village for 4 hours.
Along the walking path to Nabji you can meet local people of the village and interact with them.
Stay in a Tent in Nabji Village.
Day 06. – Nabji Lhakhang Drub (29 – 31 December) – stay only one night
Nabji is a very peaceful village and quite away from the rustling town.
On the evening of the Festival Day, people start to gather at the village temple to witness the festival, a much awaited by the villagers for one year.
Nabji Lhakhang was built by Guru Rinpoche when he first arrived in Bhutan. The main attraction inside is the stone pillar called the ‘Nado’ which carries the hand impressions of two feuding Kings – Gyalpo Nawachhe & Sendarkha. Guru Rinpochhe brought peace between the two kings & made them vow not to fight in future. Nabji Lhakhang Drup is said to have no difference with the Jambay Lhakhang Drup of Bumthang. It is a five days festival which is also said to be known as ‘Doling Drubchen’. It is held at Nabji lhagkhang whereby the Terchhams or dances of Pema Lingpa are performed by the monks and the local villagers of Nabji.
The festival includes mewang, Peling Gimsum Chams, Tshogyem, Pholay Molay dance, Tercham-Naked Dance, etc. On the final day the festival is finished with the display of Thongdrol of Guru Tshengye.
Among other traditional mask dances the Ter cham dance of Pema Lingpa (naked dance) is performed during the festival. Stay in a Tent at the Village.
Day 07. – Nabji – Trongsa
After morning breakfast hike back to Reotala and drive to Trongsa.
When at Trongsa, rest in the hotel. Evening time visit Ta Dzong an ancient watch tower which is now changed into the Museum at Trongsa and walk around in the local market. Dinner and overnight in Hotel in Trongsa.
Day 08. – Trongsa – Punakha (1310m altitude)
After Early Breakfast visit Trongsa Dzong and drive to Punakha.
Trongsa Dzong, the largest Dzong at a striking location, is an important administrative building, providing the headquarters of the government of Trongsa District. Trongsa provides a strategic central location to control Bhutan and for centuries it was the seat of the Wangchuck Dynasty of Penlops (governors) who effectively ruled over much of eastern and central Bhutan, and from 1907 have been Kings of Bhutan. It is also a major monastic complex, with around 200 monks.
Trongsa Dzong, the largest Dzong fortress in Bhutan is located in the centre region of the country built on a spur overlooking the gorge of the Mangde River. In 1543 a temple was first established at the location by the Drukpa lama, Nagi Wangchuk. In 1647, his great-grandson Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal constructed the first Dzong to replace it.
Trongsa Dzong is also called as Choetse Dzong. It was enlarged and renovated extensively for several times during the 18th century (1927 – 1999) as it was destroyed by natural calamities. On the way stop for a while near Chendebji village and take pictures.
Day 09. – Punakha – Thimphu (2320m altitude)
Morning visit to Punakha Dzong and drive to Thimphu.
The Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungthang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang, is the administrative centre of Punakha District in Punakha, Bhutan. Constructed by Ngawang Namgyal, the 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche in 1637–38, it is the second oldest and second largest Dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. As Punakha was the previous Capital of Bhutan (1637 – 1907), Punakha Dzong served as the main center of Administration of Bhutan.
On the way, view/visit Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (Popularly known as “The Divine Madman”, in the year 1499. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt” and built the temple on top of a hillock. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. The Royal Botanical park, also known as the Rhododendron Garden at Lamperi is about 1 hour drive towards Thimphu. Visit Dochula pass and stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas and take some pictures.
In the evening, visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 10. – Thimphu Sightseeing
When at Thimphu visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchukand, who is considered as the Father of Modern Bhutan. On the top of Kuenselphodrang visit the largest Statue of Buddha followed by a visit to Dupthop Lhakhang, one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan.
We then visit the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls).
Bhutanese Paper making factory (called Desho), Takin reserve area and National Handicraft Emporium.
Day 11. – Thimphu – Paro (Taktsang Hike)
The day begins with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery – After early breakfast, a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684 by the then Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay.T his incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tigress, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort.
After lunch visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watch tower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley.
In the evening, free to stroll in the town for shopping and photography. Dinner and over night in Hotel.
Day 12. – Paro – Deparutre
Early breakfast and drive to Airport for departure.
- Hot stone bath.
- Cycling around Paro valley.
- Practice Archery.
- Bhutanese cooking class.
- Bhutanese cultural show featuring various mask dances and folk dances.
- Talk on Gross National Happiness / Buddhism.
- Consulting an Astrologer.
- Practice Dart.
- Performing religious ceremony.
- Marriage ceremonies.
Please contact us for the price.
Tour Cost Includes:
a. All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]
b. Accommodation [Twin Sharing] Single Room Supplement Extra.
c. All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
d. Royalty & Govt. Taxes.
e. Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments.
f. Visa Fee.
g. English speaking Local guide.
i. Bottled water.
Tour Cost Excludes:
a. Drukair fares.
b. Insurance Premiums
c. Payments for service provided on a personal basis.
d. Cost for any services not mentioned in the “Cost Include head”.
e. Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
f. Personal expenses such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera Charges, Incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services.