Punakha Festival

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The three-day Punakha Drubchen Festival is followed by the three-day Punakha Tsechu Festival.

Punakha Drubchen is an annual festival established by Zhabdrung to commemorate victories over the Tibetans.

Punakha Tsechu was introduced in 2005, in line with Bhutanese Dzong and monastic traditions and in response to public demand.

The annual Dromche or Drubchen of Punakha is notable for its dramatic reenactment of a 17th-century battle scene, depicting Tibetan armies invading Bhutan to seize the country’s most precious relic, the Ranjung Kharsapani, a self-created image of Chenrizing.

According to legend, Zhabdrung orchestrated an elaborate ceremony where he pretended to cast the relic into the Mochu River, causing the disappointed Tibetans to retreat.

During the festival, a procession of monks, led by the head abbot Jekhenpo, makes its way to the river, where a handful of oranges symbolizing the relic are thrown.

The festival also features ‘pazaps’ or local militia men, adorned in colorful battle attire, riding horses and showcasing a battle scene.

The festivities culminate with the display of a giant Thangkha featuring images of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyal.


Festival NamePlaceFromTo
Punakha FestivalPunakha DzongMar 06, 2025Mar 11, 2025
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