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 the 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 militiamen, 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 people to 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.
Jambay Lhakhang is located in Bumthang and is situated on the way to the Kurjie Lhakhang. It’s…
Start Date: 13th November 2019
End Date: 16th November 2019
Destination: Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, Bumthang
One of the biggest festivals in the country is the Thimphu Tshechu. This Thimphu festival tour is held…
Start Date: 7th Oct 2019
End Date: 9th Oct 2019
Destination: Tashi Chhodzong, Thimphu
Punakha is located in the western part of Bhutan is the winter home of the Je Khenpo,…
Start Date: 05th - March, 2020
End Date: 07th - March, 2020
Destination: Punakha Dzong
The Paro Festival is held every spring and is one of the most colorful and significant events…
Start Date: 17th March, 2019
End Date: 21st March, 2019
Destination: Rinpung Dzong, Paro