The Royal Government of Bhutan is pleased to announce further incentives and policies to revitalize the tourism sector. This is due to the important role of the tourism sector in job creation; making money by exchanging money; recognize the potential for further benefits for the supply industry; and boost overall economic growth. The incentives and measures include the following: 50% reduction on the applicable SDF of USD 200 for tourists paying in Bhutan paying in USD. The actual discounted SDF is US$100 per person per day for tourists paying in US dollars. In addition, the SDF offers a 50% discount on fares for 6-12 year olds for children paying in US dollars who are visiting the country as tourists. . There is a 24-hour exemption from the SDF for tourists staying in border towns. The above incentives come into effect on September 1, 2023 and are valid for four years until August 31, 2027. The Royal Government will regularly review the domestic and international tourism scenarios and may withdraw the above incentives in order to preserve and promote Bhutan tourism. Policies in the high-end, low-volume tourism sector after August 31, 2027.
|Oct 28, 2023||Oct 31, 2023|
Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in the kingdom. It was founded by Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan king in the 7th century AD. The king was destined to build 108 temples called Thadhul-Yangdhul (the temples above and beyond the border) in one day to subdue the female demon residing in the Himalayas. The temple is one of only two out of 108 temples built in Bhutan. The second building located in Paro, Kichu lhakhang was also built on the same day.
One of the biggest festivals in Bhutan is Thimphu Tshechu. This festival takesplace in the capital for three days startingfromthe 10th day of the 8th lunar month. Thimphu Tsechu was founded by the 4th contemporary king, Tenzing Rabgye (1638-1696) in 1670 in the 8th month of the Bhutanese calendar to celebrate Guru Rinpoche’s birthday. It is located in the courtyard of Tashichhodzong and is considered one of the most beautiful Tshechus in western Bhutan. This tshechu is seen by thousands of people, many of whom come from the neighboring Dzongkhags (district) to attend the festivities. Before Tshechu itself were days and nights of prayers and rituals to invoke the gods. Tsechu is a religious festival and by attending it is said to gain merit. It is also an annual social gathering where people gather to rejoice, dressed in extra vagrant costumes. In order for Bhutan to continue to enjoy happiness, many learned lamas have established the tradition of these dances. The deities of tantric teachings are invoked in these dances. Through their strength and blessings, all misfortunes are destroyed, and peace and happiness reign. When started by the 4th Desi, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867, Tshechu consisted of only a handful of dances strictly performed by monks. These are Zhana chham and Zhana Nga chham (dance of the 21 black hats), Durdag (dance of the lords of the crematorium) and Tungam chham (dance of
fearsome gods). Thimphu Tshechu underwent a change in the 1950s, when the third king Jigme Dorji Wangchuck introduced various Boed chhams (masked dance performed by house monks). These additions added color and variety to the festival without compromising its spiritual significance.Masked dances suchas Guru Tshengye (Eight Manifestations of Guru), Shaw Shachi (DeerDance) are popular because they resemble theater onstage. Equally important are the Atsaras, who are more than just clowns. The Atsara are dupthobs (acharyas) who provide protection. Atsara dances and jokes were said to be able to infiltrate the forces of evil and prevent them from doing harm during Tshechus. Modern Atsaras also perform short skits to spread health and social awareness messages. For the peasants, Tshechu was also seen as a break from agricultural life. It is a time to celebrate, receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.
|May 02, 2023||May 06, 2023|
A long time ago, a lama visited an old woman. This lama seemed very mysterious and all he asked for was a glass of water. The old lady was as kind as she was, she went to get water and when she came back, the lama was nowhere to be found. But there was a bag outside his door. She opened the bag curiously and discovered that there was a statue in the bag. The statue is no ordinary statue, as it is a relic. Since that day, the relic has been passed down from generation to generation since, and today the same relic is on public display during the festival.
|Mar 01, 2023||Mar 03, 2023|
Punakha Tshechu, like all Tshechu festivals, honors Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rimpoche, the precious yogi and saint who is said to have introduced Tantric Buddhism throughout the Himalayas. Paint. The festival’s mask dances are performed by monks dressed in colorful brocade costumes and imbued with chanting and reciting Buddhist scriptures. The highlight of the festival is the opening of a giant canvas thangka, a sacred scroll, depicting Padmasmabhawa and images from the Buddhist temple in .
|Feb 24, 2023||Feb 28, 2023|
The Punakha Dromche festival is unique in that it is the only festival to feature a procession reenacting the war against the Tibetans in the 17th century.
Dromche usually includes dancing and this festival is dedicated to Yeshe Gompo (Mahakala) or Palden Lhamo, the two main guardian deities of the Drukpa people (Drukpas = people of the country Druk or Bhutanese). Punakha Dromche takes place in the first month of the lunar year and ends with the ‘Serda’, a splendid procession that recreates an episode of the war against the Tibetans in the 17th century.
Religious dances Performers in the festival are called ‘Cham’ and there are a large number of them. The dancers wear sumptuous costumes of golden silk or brocade, often decorated with carved bone ornaments.For some dances, they wear masks that can represent animals, scary gods, skulls, or simply simple humans. These dances can be grouped into three categories;
(I) Dances that guide or teach,
(II) Dances that purify and protect a place from evil spirits,
(III) Buddhist victory declaration dances.
Gom Kora Lhakhang, Trashigang
|Mar 29, 2023||Mar 31, 2023|
Located among paddy fields below the road to Tashi Yangtse, around 1 hour’s drive from Trashigang. Guru Rimpoche meditated under the big rock and subdued an evil demon here.
The Gom Kora Tshechu is held from the 8-11th of the 2nd Bhutanese month and is visited by locals and tribal people from Merak-Sakten and Arunachal Pradesh, who circumambulate the gonpa throughout the night.
The Relics inside the goenpa include a garuda egg. The remaining lengths of chains from the iron bridge in Doksum are kept in the monastery. There is also a steep rock to climb for blessings and a crawl through a narrow passage in the rock, to get cleansed of your sins.