Jhomolhari-The Mother Goddess Mountain Trek
- Duration: 12Days
- Activities: Trek/ Tour
- Country: Bhutan
- Trip Grade: EASY
- Group size: 2-10 People
- Best Season: March to May & September to December
The festival celebrates the culture of the communities living in close proximity to endangered snow leopards. “A community based initiative for the conservation of snow leopards”
Jomolhari Mountain Festival is an exquisitely themed two-day event celebrated at the base of Mt. Jomolhari, by communities located along one of the most scenic trekking routes in Bhutan.
The festival celebrates the culture of the communities living together with the natural wonders that surround them: one in particular, the elusive, yet elegant, snow leopard! This endangered cat thrives in the region; several camera trap photos and definite signs have established the region as one of the best snow leopard habitats in Bhutan.
The Jomolhari trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in Bhutan and passes through prime snow leopard and blue sheep habitat. Numerous camera trap photos, signs, and DNA sampling from the region has established the region as one of the best snow leopard habitats in Bhutan. The two communities of Soe Yutoed and Soe Yaksa lie along the Jomolhari trek. Yutoed has 28 households and Yaksa 18. The residents are primarily yak herders as the area is mostly above tree line. While yak predation is prevalent in the area, herders have generally been tolerant of some level of predation all along. However, public attitudes and perception towards snow leopards are fast changing.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
During the journey to Paro, one will experience breath-taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, our representative will receive you and escort to the Hotel. Overnight in Hotel
Day 2: Paro Sightseeing
Drive to Drukgyal Dzong (a ruined fortress – 16 km away from Paro Town). Although now in ruins this Dzong is of historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetans and drove them back. From here too the Peak of Jumolhari (Alt. 7,329m/24029ft) can be viewed on a clear day. On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. After lunch, at the hotel, take a leisurely stroll around the compound. Overnight in Hotel
Day 3: Tiger Nest (Takstang Monastery) Hiking – Paro Sightseeing
Drive to to trail-head and begin your trekking / hiking to Takstang (Tiger’s Lair) monastery, Bhuitan’s most famous sight. Your guide can arrange pony/horse for ride uphill till the Cafeteria, but one must be able to walk after that. A proper trekking boot or good walking shoes is necessary for this hike those who choose not to hike can stay back with the driver and tour around Paro.Overnight in Hotel
Taktshang – Tiger’s Nest: Taktshang or ‘Tiger’s Nest’ as it is often referred to for Taktshang Pelphung monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan’s monasteries. It is located on the face of a 900m sheer cliff. An impressive and un-miss able site, but accessible only by walk or to ride mules/pony. Taktshang was rebuilt by population of Tsento village. Again in April of 1998, a major fire destroyed the main structure of the building and its contents (some believe it to be arson). Reconstruction began in 2000 and was completed and consecrated after extensive efforts and financial support of Governments as well as donors.
Day 4: Paro – Shana (Start of Chomolhari Trek). Camp. (B, L, D)
Visit After breakfast, you will leave hotel with your trekking crews and drive to the trail head at Drugyal Dzong. The Dzong today exists only in ruins and has the glorious history of having fought the war against Tibetan Invaders in the 1600s. The trek begins, following the Paro River gently uphill through rice paddy terraces, apple orchards, and forest, passing the village houses.Overnight in Camp
Day 5: Shana – Thangthanka
The trail continues to gradually climb along the side of the Paro, River. The valley narrows and closes, and the path then winds along the stream. This day’s trek is not so hard, but it is long, and there are many short but frequent ups and downs. From the lunch stopping point, you can see the route to Tremo La which is paved in stone and served as the main trade route to the Phari Dzong in Tibet. It was also the main invasion route of the Tibetans ages ago. You camp in a meadow with a stone shelter. On a clear day, you will see the Jumolhari Mountain. Overnight in Camp
Day 6: Thangthanka – Jangothang
It’s a not so long day but you will have an altitude gain of 450m. The trail continues to follow the Paro River up, past a small army post, where the valley begins to widen again and you are also rewarded with the view of high ridges and snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas. You may see some yaks grazing and also the winter homes of the yak herders. You will get the chance to visit the Yak herders and share a cup of yak butter tea with them. Also, you possibly will get to buy dried yak cheese-“chugo” from them. You will set up camp below the ruined fortress at the base of Jumolhari. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful camps in Bhutan. Overnight in Camp
Day 7: An Additional Day in Jangothang for Acclimatization.
You will take an additional day in Jangothang which is necessary for acclimatization. You will have several hiking options today: 3 to 4 hours up to a ridge that will give you a good view of Jichu Drake, or to the head of the valley toward Jumolhari, or trekking up the main valley toward Jichu Drake, or to Tsophu for fishing. If you do not wish to hike today you can relax at the camp, read novels or write journals, as you wish. Overnight in Camp
Day 8: Jangothang – Thangthangka. Camp. (B, L, D)
The trek trail will be through several villages, see some yaks grazing and winter homes of the yak herders. Return to Thangthanka. Overnight in Camp
Day 9: Thangthangka – Shana. Camp. (B, L, D)
This day trek trail is easy, valley narrows and closes, and the path then winds along the stream. Return to Shana. Overnight in Camp
Day 10: Shana – Paro – Thimphu (End of Chomolhari Basecamp Trek). Hotel. (B, L, D)
The trek trail following the Paro River gently uphill through rice paddy terraces, apple orchards, and forest, passing the village houses. At the end, you arrive in capital city of bhutan, Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel
Day 11: Thimphu Sightseeing
Thimphu sightseeing includes – visit to National Library, the priceless collection of Buddhist manuscripts and few English version books; Folk and Heritage Museum, which displays day to day livelihood of typical Bhutanese farmers in medieval period and their accessories; Late King’s Memorial Stupa, built for the world peace and Traditional Handmade Paper Factory; Painting School, which preserves our traditional paintings, sculpturing and wood curving; Majestic Tashichhodzong, which houses office for the king and the ministers and National Handicraft Emporium, the best place to look for souvenir from Bhutan. Evening free walk in Thimphu City. Overnight in Hotel
Day 12: Drive from Thimphu to Paro International Airport – Final Departure
Good Bye from Bhutan with lifetime experience.