Trip Snapshot

Name of Trip :

Chorten Kora Festival

Trip Length : 14 Nights 15 Days
Rating : Popular
Destination(s) : Bhutan
Group Size : 4-10 Person
Trip Date : 25th February & 11th March
Trip Start From : Paro, Bhutan
Trip Ends : Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan
Accommodation : Hotels and Resorts
Request Detailed Itineary Book This Trip

Route Map

Chorten Kora Festival


This Festival tour to Bhutan takes you to Trashiyangtse, the easternmost district in Bhutan that borders Arunachal Pradesh.  Chorten Kora was built in 1740 by Lama Ngawang Loday in order to subdue a demon that lived there. Legend has it that a young Khando(Dakini) from Tawang was buried alive inside the chorten as part of the ritual. Due to this spiritual significance, a ritual known as Dakpa(a tribe from Tawang) Kora is also held annually besides the Chorten Kora festival. Therefore, the festival sees crowd from as far as Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The festival also sees attendance of people from far flung eastern regions such as Merak and Sakteng. According to another legend, the chorten is believed to be built in the exact design of that of the Boudhanath stupa in Nepal. It is said that the design of boudhanath was imprinted on a radish and by the time it reached Bhutan, the radish had shrunk. The similarity of the design and the difference in size is attributed to this story.
  • Day 01: Arrive Paro,  Paro – Paro
  • Day 02: Paro to Thimphu
  • Day 03: Thimphu – Thimphu
  • Day 04: Thimphu – Punakha
  • Day 05: Punakha – Trongsa
  • Day 06: Sightseeing Trongsa - Drive to Bumthang
  • Day 07: Bumthang – Bumthang
  • Day 08: Bumthang – Bumthang
  • Day 09: Bumthang – Mongar
  • Day 10: Mongar to Trashiyangtse
  • Day 11: “Chorten Kora Festival” in Trashiyangtse
  • Day 12: Trashiyangtse – Trashigang
  • Day 13: Depart TrashiYangtse - Trashigang
  • Day 14: Travel day to India border
  • Day 15: Samdrupjongkhar to Guwahati

Destinations :

Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue, Gangtey, Trongsa, Bumthang, Lhuntse, Mongar, Trashiyangtse, Trashigang and Samdrup Jongkhar

Activities :

Attendaning Chorten Kora Festival, Hiking, Visit Farm House , Monastery, Museums, Weekend market (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only) Stroll around the City etc.

Tour Highlights :

  • Visit the impressive Dzong (fortresses), former palaces and Buddhist monasteries.
  • Hike through the ridge top Goembas (monasteries) and meet the monks.
  • Hike through the terraced farmlands and villages, visit the farmhouses and meet the villagers.
  • Attend the local festivals and events.
  • Visit the vibrant markets and towns.
  • Visit the traditional arts and crafts workshops, meet the artisans, weavers and painters!
  • And much more...

Chorten Kora Festival


Day 01

:

Arrive Paro,  Paro – Paro

International Airport: During the flight to Paro, one will experience breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. At Paro airport you are received by your tour representative from Bhutan Majestic Travel.  Check into your Bhutanese style resort, enjoy lunch and depart to tour Paro village and historical Dzongs and museums in Paro. Visit the National museum (Ta-Dzong), the watch tower for the Rinpung Dzong which was converted into the National Museum in 1968. A most interesting museum comprised of several floors displaying Bhutanese historical art and medieval weapons. We then visit Paro Rinpung Dzong. A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guard houses, to the Dzong. Today, the Dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the nation. The Dzong was built in 1645 A.D. We follow up with a drive to Drugyal Dzong; the Dzong, although in ruins, holds great historical significance. It was from this fortress that the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan invasions. The name means "The Victorious Bhutanese." This spot offers a magnificent vista of Mount Chomolhari, "Mountain of Goddess" (Alt. 7329 m). Here is the spot many treks depart from; Visit a typical Bhutanese farm house on the way back and enjoy dinner in a cozy restaurant in Paro Village. Overnight Paro Hotel.

Day 02

:

Paro to Thimphu

Early morning, we take a side trip to a path for a hike up to the famous "Tigers Nest Monastery", i.e. Taktsang Monastery; Taktsang means "Tiger's Nest". The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4,000 feet. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava, the saint who converted Bhutan to Buddhism, alighted here upon the back of a tigress. Spectacular and spiritual in nature, Shangri-la. We stop for photos and enjoy tea and snack at the midpoint viewpoint. Returning down the path to our vehicle we continue our drive to Thimphu. Arriving in Thimphu, we make a stop at the Bank of Bhutan to exchange currency and visit Bhutan’s post office. Here you will have an opportunity to view and purchase elaborate and exquisite Bhutanese stamps; a must for any stamp collector and great gifts as well. Drive to Thimphu, Capital city of Bhutan, Over night Hotel in Thimphu.

Day 03

:

Thimphu – Thimphu

Today we visit many historical sights in Thimphu location: Memorial Chorten, a large stupa built in memory of the third King who reigned from 1952-1972. Painting School, where traditional art is still preserved. Artists are taught to paint Thankas here (sacred Buddhist scroll). Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where one can buy Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts. Royal Textile Museum; displaying royal textiles and weavings of exceptional beauty and Bhutanese art form of the weave. Simtokha Dzong. This is the oldest fortresses in Bhutan, built in 1629 A.D. by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It also houses the largest monastic school in the country. Tashichho Dzong - the main Secretariat Building. It is from here that the King and other prominent civil servants run the country. The Head Abbot and the central monastic body also reside here during the summer. Tarkin Zoo and House of Paper-House of Incense. Overnight Thimphu hotel.

Day 04

:

Thimphu – Punakha

After an early breakfast, drive to Punakha and Wangdiphodrang. On the way, halt at Dochula Pass for a hot cup of tea/coffee and on a clear day; view the most spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayas. We check into our hotel, enjoy lunch and depart for Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong was the former winter capital and present administrative seat of the district. It is also the winter residence of the central monastic body. The Dzong (fortress) lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, meaning male and female rivers. It was built in 1637 AD. Your senses will awake upon entering the impressive courtyard of the Punakha Dzong; “Palace of Great Happiness. It was here on 17th December 1907, Bhutan’s first king was crowned. NOW, load your camera and with respect to the Religious festival you witness, capture its essence. We are privileged to be here among Bhutanese locals from many different areas who gather to pay respect and to be blessed at this social gathering. Dressed in their finest clothes and jewelry, all that attend this celebration of purification receives religious merit. Here we can truly appreciate the essence of Bhutanese People and a preserved steadfast culture. Arrays of colorful brocades whirl through the air as the dancers spin and dance the “thunderbolt step”. Masks of glorious demonic demons and animals arouse your Senses as you watch the purification take place. The intensity goes on; you are transposed. Return to our resort lodge for dinner , Overnight Hotel in Punakha.

Day 05

:

Punakha – Trongsa

This morning we return for a few hours of festival at Punakha Dzong and then depart for a six hour scenic drive to reach Trongsa. This is a most spectacular drive! Watch for monkeys along the way. Your drive takes you along the high Himalayan highway with long climbs up and down; breathtaking and exhilarating! Look down on Trongsa Dzong for miles away from your Himalayan Highway! Check in at the hotel, owned mostly by Tibetans’ small but clean and homely with excellent food.

Day 06

:

Sightseeing Trongsa - Drive to Bumthang

Visit Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of the royal family and its watch tower. Built in 1648 AD, it is presently the administrative seat of the district and the home of the monastic school. Built at split levels on a narrow spur, the Dzong is an architectural wonder. The view from here extends for many kilometers and in the old days, it was a vigilance point for both the eastern and western routes. Thus, the strategic importance of this Dzong. The watch tower, located directly above the Dzong is a most impressive structure, towering over the Dzong. Here we may watch archers at play outside the walls of the Dzong. Departing Trongsa, our journey takes about 3 hrs and goes along the scenic highway. Watch for yaks along the route. Arriving Bumthang you check into your friendly and hospitable lodge.

Day 07

:

Bumthang – Bumthang

Morning: Visit the historical Jakar Dzong, built in 1646 A.D. by MinjurTenpa, the third Druk Desi (Tetnporal ruler). In 1683 A.D. it was extended by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay, the fourth Desi. Visit several ancient and sacred monasteries such as the Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Kencho Sum Lhakhang, Tamshing and Pema Samba Lhakhangs. Also visit Member Tso "The flaming Lake," which is considered one of the most important pilgrimage spots. A trip to the Bumthang Swiss farm is also interesting. Overnight lodge; enjoy a local drink; Arak and converse with your Bhutanese host.

Day 08

:

Bumthang – Bumthang

We will drive to Tang Valley and hike to visit the Ugyenchholing Dzong. The Ugyenchholing Dzong was formerly the palace of Trongsa Penlop Tsokey Dorji. You will visit the Ugyenchholing Palace, now housing the Family Museum, a place that will transport you to another world and time. You will view permanent exhibits recreated to capture the ambience of the lifestyle of the Trongsa Penelop (Governor) Tshokey Dorji and his household. Bhutan’s History unfolds. Continuing from Ugyenchholing, we reach the Rimochen Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Guru Rimpoche, the Patron Saint of Bhutan. We also Visit Rimochen Temple, another temple blessed by Guru Rimpoche and where imprints of the Saint’s foot and Body can be seen on the rock. In the evening we visit a farmhouse for local hospitality and conversation. Overnight Hotel in Bumthang

Day 09

:

Bumthang – Mongar

After an early breakfast, gear up for a fantastic drive to Mongar. The journey is long and crosses Thrumshing La, which at 3,800 mtrs, is the highest pass. Check in at hotel/guest house. Mongar is the district headquarters but hardly more than a transit town. It is also the first town built on a slope instead of the usual valley. This is characteristic in eastern Bhutan where there are few valleys. The true homeland of Eastern People, Sharchogpas, begins in Mongar.

Day 10

:

Mongar to Trashiyangtse

Morning visit at Mongar Dzong. Mongar Dzong is a new Dzong, completed recently. It was built in the 19th century, restored in 1953 and again in 1990 after being destroyed by a fire. The administrative scat and the monk body reside in the Dzong. Lunch at the hotel/guest house. Depart for Trashi Yangtse,which lies to the North West of Trashigang, over night Guest House in Trashi Yangtse.

Day 11

:

Chorten Kora Festival” in TrashiYangtse

Today we attend a remote and rural festival at the popular Chorten Kora; one of few stupas constructed in Nepali (Sherpa) style. It was built to mark the site where Guru Rimpoche subdued many malevolent beings. According to local tradition, the architectural model of the stupa was brought from Nepal, carved on a radish. Chorten Kora temple is in Trashiyangtse District in the East which adjoins the Trashigang District. The chorten is 3 minutes drive from the town. Chorten Kora was built in 1740 by Lama Ngawang Loday. The stupa is shaped like the Swayumbhunath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. Locals believe that a 15 –year old girl was sealed alive in the Stupa as an offering of the people of Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. Tawang people come for the festival in the first month on the Bhutanese calendar on the 15th day. The Trashi Yangtse Dzong was built around 1656 AD in commemoration of a Drukpa victory and renovated in 1976. This valley was of great strategic importance in the old days because all travel to western and central Bhutan had to pass through here. Overnight in Guest House.

Day 12

:

Trashiyangtse – Trashigang

Morning hike to Bumdeling to see yaks and trout fishing can be added for relaxation and leisure, visit the traditional wood craft workshop where typical Bhutanese bowls and other wooden items are made. (These products are very popular in Bhutan) We tour Zorig Chusum, the School of 13 Traditional Crafts; Tsenkhar ruins, which is a 20 minutes’ walk from the Tsenkharla School. This is the ruins of a fort said to have been built in the 9th Century by the Tibetan prince in exile, Lhasey Tsangma. We visit at Doksum village, where most women sit weaving outside their house. Doksum is also the site of Bhutan’s only remaining 15th century iron chain bridge.

Day 13

:

Depart TrashiYangtse - Trashigang

Morning Singseeing, afternoon drive to Trashi gang rest in Hotel

Day 14

:

Travel day to India border

Travel day to India border - Trashigang to Samdrupjongkhar: This is our last full day in Bhutan and we spend it mostly driving to Samdrupjongkhar, towards the southern border where we exit into India. Along the way we will stop and visit the following places: Kanglung Temple; Yonphula Monastery near Kanglung; Zangtopelri temple in Wamrong. Overnight Hotel in Samdrup jongkhar.

Day 15

:

Samdrupjongkhar to Guwahati

Airport After breakfast depart Samdrupjongkhar for Guwahati Airport in the Assam State of India. Your Indian Immigration formalities will be processed at the Indian Immigration checkpoint at Kalanadi in the Nalbari district of Assam, just south of Samgdrupjongkhar. Still in the company of your main Bhutanese guide, your journey will take you through the Indian towns of Kumrikata, Tamalpu, Rangiya and end at Guwahati. The road passes through some tea gardens between Kumrikata and Tamalpur and the rest of the journey is along the country side of Assam interspersed with forest belts in places. The bus journey will take a little over 2 hours.

Chorten Kora Festival


Cost Includes:

  • Receive and Transfer to Airport
  • Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
  • 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
  • Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All Sightseeing
  • Museum Fees
  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits
  • Bottled Mineral Water
  • Walks and Hikes

Cost Does Not Include:

  • Donations to Monasteries
  • Insurance
  • Alcohol & Beverages
  • Tips for Guide, Driver & Hotel Staff
  • Gifts & Souvenirs
  • International Telephone Calls
  • Round Trip Air fare
  • Inbound Airfare

Accommodations and facilities:

There are limited choices of accommodations in Bhutan. With a few exceptions of highly over priced international chain properties, hotels in Bhutan are small with 15 to 20 rooms. The hotels have been categorized by local authorities as Star 1, 2 and 3, with 3 Star being on the top level 1Star at the bottom and naturally we have pick the 3 Star category hotels and resorts which are local architecture with Bhutanese décor, well maintained and staffed with the friendly locals. There is disparity in the rooms in most of the hotels and travelers of the same group may end up in two different types of rooms although you have paid the same amount. You will have private bathroom with 24 hour running cold and hot water. They provide some fundamental toiletry supplies but hair dryers, iron and ironing board etc may not be available. Hotels in Paro and Thimphu do have internet access in office or reception areas. There are some new deluxe properties and international chain resorts which are above the traditional classification criteria and in the higher side in terms of price and can be booked with supplemental cost. Hotel listed on the itinerary are suggestions only and during peak season and tours timed with festival, we may not get the same hotels and in that case, we will book you in the similar property or upgrade you to the higher level.

Guide and Escorts

Our Tour Guides are local individuals with college degree, government certification, experienced and with knowledge on the destination, history, culture and religion and most importantly they are easy going, detailed oriented, patient and high level of customer service skills. They will uncover the wonders of the destinations for you which you would never find on your own. They ensure that everything goes well with your tour without a hitch.

Vehicle:

We use good condition Toyota SUV and Toyota Coaches for all transfers and tours. Driver and guide is not the same person. Driver may speak little or no English but they know the road and are skillful to fix the problem in case of mechanical breakdowns. Depending on group size, we will use Japanese made Sedan cars, SUVs or minivan for entire transfers and tours.

International and Internal Flights:

All internal flights are part of travel plan and are locally booked by us. You will be emailed e-ticket receipts once the reservation is booked and tickets issued. But you have liberty to book your international airfare on your own. We can certainly help you book international flight if that originates from the city that you live in. Once you receive itinerary, it's your responsibility to verify the itinerary and reconfirm the schedules.

Visa and Permits:

Passport should be valid for 6 months or more at the time of travel. We will take care of Bhutan Visa and permits. Bhutan Visa Fees of USD 20 which will be collected with the Tour Payment in advance. You will need to provide a copy of your passport which should be sent to us by email for Bhutan Visa Processing. Bhutan visa is preprocessed by us and we will provide you a copy the Visa Approval Letter before your trip which you will need to present at Druk Air counter at the time you check in for flight to Bhutan. You will get actual visa seal on your passport upon arrival at Paro airport.

Trip Activity Level:

This trip is basically motor vehicle based sightseeing with some short hikes and village visits and suitable for all travelers with regular health conditions. When we are driving from one city to another, we will be driving from 3-6 hours with occasional stops for photography and for refreshments. Roads are narrow and some portions may be rough and damaged. The itinerary allows enough acclimatization for you and it's advisable that you should keep physically fit and start mild exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling or practice some aerobics about 2-3 months ahead of the trip. It's your responsibility to determine that you are fit for this trip and if you have any health conditions, please consult with your physician before you sign up for this trip.

Note on Itinerary:

We do our best to adhere to the itinerary but it should be taken as a generic guideline in terms of what you expect to do or see during the tour and may differ in the practical ground from exact sequence or order of the sights to the overnight places depending on the local conditions.

Booking:

When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking so that we can confirm you in preferred hotels and flights. A 100% of both the Tour and Airfare is requested along with a completed trip application form plus copy of the photo page of your passport.

Cancellation:

  • 100% Refund if tour canceled within 60 Days from the start of the tour.
  • 50% Refund if tour canceled within 45 Days from the start of the tour.
  • 25% Refund if tour canceled within 30 Days from the start of the tour.
  • No Refund if tour canceled less than 30 Days from the start of the tour.

Final Trip Dossier:

A final trip dossier with local contacts, hotel lists, check lists, travel notes and relevant information will be sent about a month ahead of the trip.

Leave a comment

No Comments Yet

You can be the first to comment!

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

Request Detailed Itineary Book This Trip