Photo Tour: Bhutan Jambay Festival (BNRP10)
Time & Location
Photo tour description:
A photo tour (12 days) starting in Thimphu (via Paro), with its towering gilded Buddhist statue, traditional painting school, impressive fortress and hand-made paper factory, before ending with a traditional folk dance at a rural farmhouse, giving us ample opportunity to witness and photograph daily life. From Thimphu, we drive to Punakha through the Dochula Pass, sitting at 3100 metres above sea level, with 108 Buddhist shrines and stunning views across Himalayan valleys. From here we meander through Metsina village and rice fields before stopping at Chimi Lhakhang, nicknamed 'The Temple of the Divine Madman', after its founder, a 15th century lothario monk, named Drukpa Kunley, set about denouncing celibacy as a necessary path to enlightenment. At Punakha we visit its largest temple, which scenically sits on the convergence of the Mo and Po Chhu rivers. Following Punakha, we head to the Black Necked Crane Centre in the beautiful Phobijkha glacial valley, which is the winter home of Tibetan cranes, although we will be slightly early for their migration period. We’ll also stop off to view the well preserved murals at the Gangtey Monastery, before continuing our journey east through the watchtower of Trongsa, a traditional textile and weaving centre and onto Bumthang, which translates as beautiful field and is where the Jambay Lhakhang Festival is held. The festival is known as a Tshechu and takes place in one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan. It is performed by resident monks, who don elaborate silk costumes and masks whilst performing a number of dances and comical plays depicting Buddhist scripture. On the first evening there is a black hat and fire dance ritual, to mark the opening of the festival. The following day there are a number of performances, depicting mythological tales of the struggle between ‘good and evil’. Whilst at the festival in Bumthang, we will also visit Ura Village, which consists of 40 dwellings with cobbled streets, giving it a rustic ambience, and explore the surrounding countryside within the Ura Valley. Heading back west to Paro, we visit its weekend market, which is always great for street photography, before ending the tour with a trek to the iconic Taktsang or ‘Tiger’s Nest Monastery’. The monastery sits perched high on a cliff face, 3120 metres above sea level, with, on a clear day, a view of the magnificent Mount Jomolhari. Following our trek, we will return to our hotel for a farewell dinner before flying out the following morning.
- DEPOSIT: Solo £2700 10% Disc£750£7500£0
- DEPOSIT Shared £2430 10% Disc.£675£6750£0