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Chomolhari Trek Thimpu Tsechu Festival 15 Days

Bhutanese horseman by Ronda C., Chomohari TrekMt. Chomolhari (23,993') is the westernmost peak in Bhutan where the Himalaya form a natural border with Tibet. The route to the "Mountain of the Goddess", as most routes throughout Bhutan, remains lightly traveled by outsiders. Due to Bhutan's careful and considered integration of tourism into its traditional culture, the privileged trekker is rewarded with majestic mountain views from pristine and unspoiled trails.

Our trip begins in the town of Paro, an area steeped in historical significance. It is the home of the Drugyel Dzong (fortress/monastery, c. 1650), built to commemorate the defeat of invading Tibetan forces, and the famous Taktsang Pelphug, "Tiger's Nest" monastery, which was destroyed by fire in 1998. After a day exploring Paro, we will set out on our trek by way of the Paro Valley toward Chomolhari, one of the most beautiful and venerated mountains in the Eastern Himalaya.

We will cross the Ngile La and Yale La, passes both above 16,000'. Following the course of the Pa Chu River, our trail reveals unparalleled views of the surrounding mountain ridges and snow-covered peaks, many of which remain unnamed and unclimbed. The alpine meadows here are home to yak and their nomadic herders, who we are likely to pass along the path. The alpine flowers blossom in early autumn, and the blue sheep and musk deer are plentiful along our route. The descending trail leads through a rhododendron canopied forest to meet the Thim Chu River; waterfalls and langurs can be seen on this part of the trek.

Our trail out of this spectacular wilderness concludes in Thimphu, where we'll enjoy the traditional costumes and colorful pageantry of Thimphu Tsechu, one of Bhutan's sacred religious festivals. The city is also home to the kingdom's oldest dzong, Simtokha, and the National Library. Bhutan's artists are revered for their skill, and pupils learn the fine art of Buddhist thangka painting at Thimphu's traditional Painting School. Here we will also visit the National Assembly building, Tashichho Dzong, office of the King and the Chief Abbot.

We'll return to Paro for our international flights. The Chomolhari trek is a wonderful way to experience Bhutan's natural beauty and the rich history and culture of its people. Detailed itinerary available.

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