Upcoming Events

  • URA YAKCHOE, Ura Lhakhang, Bumthang, 30th April-4th May
  • NIMALUNG TSHECHU, Nimalung Dratshang,chummy, Bumthang, 24th-26th June
  • KURJEY TSHECHU, Kurjey Lhakhang,Choekhor,Bumthang, 6th June
  • TOUR OF THE DRAGON (BICYCLE RACE), Bumthang to Thimphu, 5th September
  • THIMPHU DRUBCHEN, Tashi choedzong,Thimphu, 18th -22nd September
  • WANGDUE TSHECHU, Tencholing Army Ground, Wangduephodrang, 21st -23rd September
  • TAMSHING PHALA CHHOEPA, Tamshing Lhakhang, Chhoekhor, Bumthang, 22nd -24th September
  • THIMPHU TSHECHU, Tashi chhodzong,Thimphu, 23rd -25th September
  • PEMAGATSHEL TSHECHU, Pemagatshel Dzong,Pemagatshel, 20th – 23rd October
  • CHHUKHA TSHECHU, Chhukha Dzong,Chhukha, 21st -23rd October
  • THANGBI MANI, Thangbi Lhakhang,Choekor,Bumthang, 27th – 29th October
  • JAMBAY LHAKHANG DRUP, Jambay Lhakhang,Chorkhor,Bumthang, 27th -31st October
  • PRAKHAR DUCHHOED, Prakar Lhakhang,Chummi,Bumthang, 28th -30th October
  • BLACK NECKED CRANE FESTIVAL, Gangtey Gonpa,Phobjikha,Wangduephodrang, 11th November
  • MONGER TSHECHU, Monger Dzong,Monger, 18th -21st November
  • TRASHIGANG TSHECHU, Trashigang Dzong,Trashigang, 19th -22nd November
  • NALAKHAR TSHECHU, Ngaa Lhakhang,choekhor,Bumthang, 25th -27th November
  • DRUK WANGYEL TSHECHU, Dochula,Thimphu, 13th December
  • TRONGSA TSHECHU, Trongsa Dzong,Trongsa, 20th -22nd December
  • LHUENTSE TSHECHU, Lhuentse Dzong,Lhuentse, 20th -22nd December
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Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen

Punakha Tshechu and DrubchenPunakha is located in the western part of Bhutan is the winter home of the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of Bhutan. Punakha has been of critical importance since the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 17th century.

Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is known as the unifier of Bhutan as a nation state and he was the one who gave Bhutan and its people the distinct cultural identity that identified Bhutan from the rest of the world.

During 17th century Bhutan was invaded several times by Tibetan forces seeking to seize a very precious relic, the Ranjung Kharsapani.  Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal led the Bhutanese to victory over the Tibetans and to commemorate the triumph he introduced the Punakha Drubchen. Since then Punakha Drubchen (also known as Puna Drubchen) became the annual festival of Punakha Dzongkhag.

The Punakha Drubchen is a unique festival because it hosts a dramatic recreation of the scene from the 17th century battle with Tibetan army. The ‘pazaps’ or local militia men, dress in traditional battle gear and reenact the ancient battle scene. This reenactment harkens back to the time when in the absence of a standing army, men from the eight Tshogchens or great village blocks of Thimphu came forward and managed to expel the invading forces from the country. Their victory ushered in a period of new-found internal peace and stability.

In 2005 another festival known as Punakha Tshechu was introduced by the 70th Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Choedra and the then Home Minister His Excellency Lyonpo Jigme Yoedzer Thinley. The Tshechu was introduced in response to the requests made by Punakha District Administration and local peopleto host a Tshechu in order to better preserve Buddhist teachings and keep alive the noble deeds of Zhabdrung Rimpoche.

These two festivals not only play an important role in preserving Bhutan’s rich culture and traditions but also provide devout Buddhists with an opportunity for prayer and pilgrimage. They reflect the richness of the Bhutanese cultural heritage and are very special in the eyes and hearts of both Bhutanese and tourists who visit Bhutan.