Destination Himalaya specializes in adventure tours to Himalayan Countries, offering Photo Tours, Wildlife Safaris, Treks, Luxury Tours, Custom Tours and Groups to Tibet, India, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Bhutan.

Photographer's Bhutan

Featuring Festivals of Bhutan

Bhutan is an immensely beautiful and serene land, and is a place where the Buddhist faith of its people remains the nation’s most vital cultural force. The rugged mountain landscape, the terraced agricultural fields, dramatically situated monasteries, the colourfully dressed people , , The Bhutanese joyously express their fervent faith during their festivals.

These festivals held annually in Bhutan's monasteries and Dzongs, are a photographer's delight. Dressed in their finest clothes and jewelry, Bhutanese people attend the festivals in celebration of purification and religious blessings. 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.

Of course the itinerary is designed to allow plenty of time for photography and getting you to each location at the right time of the day.

Outline Itinerary
(Note: the following outline itinerary is specific to festivals happening in the Bumthang region of Bhutan. The itinerary will be modified to accommodate the festival days for Paro, Thimphu, Punakha festivals)

Day 1: Arrive Bhutan
The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some of the world’s highest peaks. We drive to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital and spend the afternoon photographing the city.

Day 2: Exploring Thimphu
Today we will visit the local bazaar where everyone goes to buy fruit and vegetables, rice, grains, chilies and other fresh foods - a great portraiture day.

Day 3: To Punakha/Wangdi Valley
A landscape photography day as we drive to Phunakha, over Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft), with impressive views of many towering mountain peaks.

Day 4: Exploring Punakha/Wangdi Valley
We get up close to rural Bhutan as we hike past (and photograph) terraced rice fields to the temple of Chimi Lhakhang.

Day 5: To Bumthang
Explore Wangduephodrang Dzong and then continue our drive over Pele-la pass (3,300 m/10,800 ft) to Trongsa.

Day 6: Reach Bumthang
Day to visit and photograph Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648, and was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Driving over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft) we reach Bumthang.

Days 7 & 8: At Festival
Two full days to partake in and photograph the festivities and enjoy the celebration of the Buddhist festival in one of Bumthang's Monasteries (Ura, Thangbi, Jambay). People from all over Bhutan gather to pay their respects and in turn be blessed at this social gathering. Dressed in their finest clothes and jewelry, Bhutanese people attend the Tshechu in celebration of purification and religious blessings.

Day 9: To Gantey Valley
Today we head to Gantey Valley, one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. We will explore and photograph Gantey village and the monastery.

Day 10: Paro Valley
A few kilometers beyond the Gantey Monastery, we visit the village of Phobjikha before continuing on to our next destination, the idyllic Paro Valley.

Day 11: Paro Valley / Taktsang Monastery
On our last day in Bhutan we visit the most famous of Bhutanese monasteries, Taktsang, Guru Rinpoche’s “Tiger’s Nest”. This evening we will take a stroll around Paro market and the town before enjoying our Farewell Dinner.

Day 12: Depart Bhutan
Today we leave Bhutan, taking the return flight from Paro to Bangkok, connecting to our home city.

Other Photo Cultural Journeys:

  • Photographer's India - Land of Tiger
    India's jewels are not just the palaces, temples, and bazaars but also its rich wild life which define her exotic past. On this wildlife photo tour, you will visit two of India’s premiere wildlife parks – Kanha National Park and Bandavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh. We end the trip with visits to World Heritage sites of Khajuraho temples and the Varanasi by the banks of the Holy River Ganga.
  • Photographer's India - Pushkar Camel Fair
    The Indian sub-continent is more than a repository of an ancient civilization; it is a lively and ever changing work in progress. Visit a bazaar and groups of women in saris of seemingly impossible combinations of magenta and turquoise vie for visual attention with their sisters in silk of purple and yellow.
  • Photographer's Myanmar & Angkor Wat
    Myanmar (Burma of late) is a'must' on any photographer's bucket-list. From the shimering pagodas in Yangon to the fields of pagodas in Bagan to the leg-rower fishermen of Inle Lake, Burma will conjur up images that your minds eye will forever rememeber, while your camera tries to capture the moment. But thats not all, form Burma we fly to Cambodia to photograph the World Heritage site at Angkor Wat.
  • Photographer's Tibet
    On the Roof of the World, locked away for centuries, Tibet has always held a unique place in the human imagination, conjuring an unearthly realm beyond our reach. Known for its stunning landscapes, colorful festivals and friendly people, Tibet is a photographer's paradise.
  • Photographer's Nepal
    Himalaya – the name says it all.  Straddling the border between Tibet and its southerly neighbor, the Kingdom of Nepal, the world’s tallest mountains soar to the heavens, seemingly piercing the unimaginably blue Tibetan skies.  This land was made for hikers and photographers.
Suggested Extensions:
  • QuickEscapes – Mountains
    Visit the Hill Stations of Kalimpong and Darjeeling offering fabulous views of the high Himalaya. Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu can all be viewed from Tiger Hill, above Darjeeling.

  • QuickEscapes – Kerala
    After this hard high altitude tour, take in some R&R in the calm and leisurely paced life on the backwaters of the Arabian Sea, enjoy the pristine beaches of Kerala and an ayurvedic spa. We fly you to Cochin via Kathmandu.

Other itineraries featuring Bhutan:

Call us toll free at 1-800 MY INDIA (1-800-694-6342) or email us to request a detailed day-to-day itinerary.


Paro Dzong
Buddhist Festival
Thimphu, Phunakha
Trongsa, Bumthang
Paro Valley, Taktsang

It's Included:
Medical & evacuation insurance
All hotels, meals, ground transportation, local guides and entrance fees
Fully escorted trip

Festivals Dates for 2016:
Punakha: February 14 - 19
Paro: Mar 19 – 23
Ura: Apr 18 – 23
Wangdi: Oct 8 – 10
Thimphu: Oct 11 – 13
Thangbi: Oct 14 - 17 Monggar: Nov 5 – 9
Jambay: Nov 14 - 17

Private Departures:
On Demand - you choose which of the festival best suits your travel dates and we will build the itinerary around that festival.

Land Cost: per person
From: $4585 per person
(minimum two travelers)

Pilgrim at the festival

Leh monastery
Traditional hand woven fabric

At the sunday market

Leh monastery
Masked dancer
    EXPLORE OUR DESTINATIONS find us on facebook View our slideshows