Tentative Takin Festival Program and Itinerary

6th January 2012 (Takin viewing)

9:00 -11:00am : The drive to Punakha from Thimphu is around 2 hours. Therefore, everyone to start their journey from Thimphu at around 9am. However, it is recommended to start early to keep some time for en route sightseeing.
11:00-11:10am : All Guests to gather at Punakha Dzong parking.
11:10-11:30am : Visit Changyuel Bum Galem’s house
11:30am-12:30pm : Drive to Shatem Camground
12:30 -1:30 pm : Lunch at Shatem Camp ground
1:30-2:30 pm : Opportunity to see Takin (Bhutan’s national animal) at Kabina
2:30-3:00 pm : Drive to Gathana
3:00-4:00 pm : Another opportunity to see Takin at Damina
4:00-5:30pm : Depart to Damji and it provides a wonder opportunity for bird watching during trek to Damji
5:30-6:30 pm : Relax and settle down at the Campsite or farm houses
6:30-7:30 pm : Dinner
7:30-8:30 pm : Opportunity to interact with other colleagues
9:00 – : Night halt

7th January 2012 (Visit to various places in Damji)

6:00-7:00 am : Early morning bird watching opportunity for those interested along Damji-Gasa highway
7:30-8:30 am : Breakfast
9:00-10:00 am : Visit Jigme Dorji National Park Information Center and Botanical Garden
10:00-10:30 am : Visit Bjishang Middle Secondary School and head of village’s office
10:30-11:30 am : Visit Gathana viewpoint and tea will be served at the viewpoint.
11:30 am-12:30pm : Drive to Gezapang and make a brief stop at Goenteygang to stare story on the legendary couple Gasa Lamai Singye and Changyeul Bum Galem.
12:30-1:30 pm : Lunch will be served at Gezapang
2:00-3:30 pm : Drive to Gasa (Brief stop at Gomo Dharphuelsa and offer khaddar (Scarf) to Gomo, the protective deity of Gasa)
3:30-3:45 pm : Visitors will be taken to a house where they will be able to see Zhablham (shoes) of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (16th century
Saint) – who was widely revered by Bhutanese.
3:45-4:00 pm : A brief visit to Zhabdrung’s water mill
4:00-4:15 pm : Visit the water tunnel of Gasa Dzong
4:15-4:30 pm : Visit Gasa Dzong and Gasa Lamai Singye’s residence
4:30-5:00 pm : Visit Phulakha Lhakhang
5:00-6:00 pm : Relax and settle down at the campsite or farm houses. Tourists will have the choice to sleep in yak-hair tents called Bja, used by Yak herders)
6:30-7:30 pm : Dinner
7:30-8:30 pm : Interactions/Free time
9:00 PM : Night halt

8th January 2012 (Cultural programs at Gasa Festival Ground)

7:30-8:30 am : Breakfast
8:30-9:00 am : Gather at the festival ground
9:00 am : Reception of the Chief Guest
9:00-9:15 am : Marchang ceremony
9:15-9:30 am : Welcome address by Dasho Dzongdag, Gasa
9:30-9:45 am : Address by Director, Department of Forests & Park Services
9:45-10:00 am : Address by Director General, Tourism Council of Bhutan
10:00-10:20 am : Keynote Address by Chief Guest
10:20-10:30 am : Welcome dance by Gasa Dzongkhag Dancers
10:30-11:30 am : Opening of the stalls by the Chief Guest
: Various cultural programs
11:30-12:00 am : Goenzhey, an interesting traditional dance, will be performed by men of Khatoe and Khamoe geog
12:00-12:20 pm : Pachham (religious dance) by monastic body of Gasa
12:20-12:40 pm : Aulay (traditional dance) Dance from Laya
12:40-1:00 pm : Shanzam Chham by dancers from Khatoe and Khamoe geog
1:00-2:00 pm : Lunch
2:00-3:00 pm : Khuru (dart) competition
3:00-4:00 pm : Archery competition
4:00-4:30 pm : Wresting competition
4:30-5:00 pm : Tug of war
6:30-7:00pm : Dinner
9:00pm- : Night halt

9th January 2012 (Visit to medicinal baths, hot spring, and Takin viewing)

7:30-8:30 am : Breakfast time
9:00 AM-3:00pm : Visit to various medicinal baths:
1. Tokey Menchhu
2. Jagoe Menchhu
3. Mani Menchhu
4. Chatshachhu

Bird watching while walking from one medicinal bath to the other

3:00-4:30pm : Yet another opportunity to see Takin at Chhu chup
4:30-5:00 pm : Free time/Settle down
5:00-6:30 pm : If interested, guests can take a hot spring bathe.
6:30 -7:30 pm : Dinner
7:30-8:30 pm : Another opportunity for hot spring bathe.
9:00 pm : Night halt

10th January 2012 (Visit to Tshechhudrag and Khailo Community Forests)

7:30-8:30 am : Breakfast time
9:00-11:00 am : Drive to Paniko and visit the Paniko Drubchhu)
11:00-12:30 pm : Visit Tshechhudrag. It is a sacred religious site where the
Great Buddhist Saint, Guru Rinpoche meditated and flew away to
Goen Tshephug ney.
12:30-1:30 pm : Lunch
2:00-2:30 pm : Drive to Khailo
2:30-3:30 pm : Visit Khailo Community and tea will be served by the Kailo Communiy Forest members.
3:30 pm : Drive to Thimphu

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